Monday, August 22, 2011


Jueves el 18 de agosto – día 32
I have officially completed my first month here in Buenos Aires and I can’t believe it!  I feel like I just got off the plane two days ago.  While I wouldn’t say I’m completely used to everything I have definitely made a lot of progress.  I’m no longer petrified of the public transportation systems here, and I have a basic idea of where I am most of the time (although I think this has  more to do with my lacking a sense of direction than this being a new city).  I’ve also gotten used to the prices here, and don’t always have to divide everything by 4 to decide if it’s a good deal or not.  It’s crazy to think I only have 4 more months here, if they go by as fast as the first I’ll be back in Gettysburg next week.

Today I got up at 9 and had some cereal for breakfast, then I did some reading and random things online.  I got an email from UBA saying my psicolinguistica class for tonight was canceled because the professor is sick, so I only had one class today.  I also had to register for my castellano class with IFSA.  We had to pick 3 options, but only 2 didn’t have conflicts with my current schedule so I emailed the program, and hopefully I get placed in one of the classes I can take, otherwise I don’t know what I’m going to do.  

At noon I tried to sign up to go to the theater with IFSA but there were only 5 spots, and they were all full when I tried.

I went downstairs to pack my lunch (peanut butter and banana) and then took the subte to my clase: Literatura Argentina en USAL.  I really like the class, and we read classic Argentine literature, the stuff students here read in high school.  The class also gives historical context to the stories so we also learn about the history of Argentina along with the literature.

While I didn’t have piscolinguística tonight I had to go to UBA to buy the readings, which was annoying.  As I was leaving the building after I bought the things I needed the fire alarm was going off, when I got home I had an email saying: El Departamento de Letras informa que la facultad está siendo evacuada por haber recibido, nuevamente, una amenaza de bomba (the building was evacuated because they received a bomb threat).  While that’s pretty scary I couldn’t help but think back to 9th grade when we had bomb threats every week for about a month… good old GAHS!

Clarisa called me down for dinner, which was a really delicious concoction.  Basically it was a bed of saffron rice with zucchini, peppers, onions, and spices on top, and then she scrambled an egg and poured it over top, and cooked it just until the egg was set.  The combination of the flavors was amazing!   Then after dinner we had postre de vigilante.  Clarisa told me since I’ve been here she’s remembered how good sweets are, I tried to explain to her the concept of having a “sweet tooth” but I don’t think she quite understood the concept as it doesn’t translate to Spanish.

After we finished eating I went up stairs to shower.  I did some reading (we’re starting El matadero in my literature class) and then went to bed.

Viernes el 19 de agosto
Today I had to get up at 8:00 to go to Migraciones to start the process of obtaining residencia en Argentina.  I had a quick bowl of cereal, packed my lunch, then headed out to meet Julie.  We took the subte and then walked a few blocks to micgraciones. 
Gorgeous church close by

Graffiti that was everywhere in the area

We had to wait outside in the cold (I didn’t realize how cold it would be here and I have to say I’m not a fan) for about 20 minutes before we could go in.  Once we got into the office everything was really simple, we checked in, paid our $55 pesos, then waited about 10 minutes to be called to an individual meeting.  We had to fill out information from our passports and our parents’ names and get our fingerprints taken with this cool digital fingerprint taker.  

When I was finished I walked to IFSA to fill out my registration form for my UCA class, ate my lunch then took the subte to my meeting about doing biochem research at la Facultad de Medicina de la UBA.  The people there seemed nice and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot considering I know absolutely nothing about biology, so I think I’m going to give it a try.

It was a nice day out (but a little chilly) so I decided to walk home (about 25 blocks).  Here's some sights I saw on the way: 

"No hay sueños sin esperanzas"

Unfortunately for me it started raining when I was about 5 blocks away and my umbrella did little to help me as the wind was blowing really hard.  I really need to find raincoat here but clothing is kind of ridiculously priced.  When I got home I took a shower and changed into some dry clothes then did some reading for class.  When there was a temporary lull in the rain I took my clothes to the lavadero and then came back home.

Clarisa went away to visit a friend for the long weekend (Monday is a holiday to celebrate San Martín) so I was on my own for dinner.  She left me some leftovers from the delicious zucchini and rice dish so I heated that up and watched the news while I ate.

Since it was windy, raining off and on, and near freezing I decided to stay in and do some work instead of going out, so I made some tea, turned the little heater in my room on high and read.

Sabado el 20 de agosto
Today I got up around 9:30 and made myself some breakfast (vanilla yogurt with an orange and peanut butter toast).  I picked up my laundry, straightened up my room and then  went to Julie’s house at 12 to  meet her for yoga, but when I got to her house I realized I didn’t have any minutes left on my phone, so I had to go home and put more money on.  We went to the yoga studio which is only 4ish blocks from my house, it was a good class and I bought an 8 class card.

I headed home and made myself some lunch.  I had bought some packets of soup at DISCO so I had spinach-cream soup (to which I added some fresh steamed spinach because the soup was kind of lacking) and a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.  Then I headed upstairs to shower and get ready.

From August 16-30th Buenos Aires hosts TANGO Festival y Mundial, which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.  Basically there are a ton of various conciertos, esectáculs de danza, radio en vivo, clases de baile, cines codumentales, conferencias, ferias de productos y el mundial de baile (concerts, dance shows, radio broadcasts, dance classes, documentaries, product fairs, and the dance world cup) all with free admission (some of the events require you to go early in the morning to get tickets for things later in the night, and for others you have to arrive very early to get in).  

I met Julie and Andy and we took the colectivo to el centro de exexposiciones for a beginner’s dance lesson.  Unfortunately for us we got there 20 minutes early and the class was already full.  We decided to wait and take the next class which started in an hour, so we walked around, looked at some of the products, watched some tango dancers, and a concert (Bertero Big Band Tango).   

We got in line 40 minutes before the class started and in 10 minutes the line for classes was huge.  Since we were the second group in line we got wristbands and were told to come back at 6 for our lesson.

I was paired up with a woman from Argentina who told me she enjoyed dancing.  It was a good experience for me because she knew what she was doing, I did feel a little bad though because I wasn’t very good.   In the beginning we would take turns leading (which is usually the man’s job) until she realized I was absolutely terrible at leading (I don’t understand how guys do it, it’s so hard).  We only learned the basics, but it was fun.  I’d like to do it again sometime, but with someone I know so I don’t feel bad for being bad.  

Our instructor and his daughter
Our instructors

After our lesson we ran into some people from our program who were staying for a concert that started in an hour.  Andy, Julie, and I decided to go take some pictures of the floraleis at night (it’s only about 2 blocks from el centro de exposiciones).  

When we got back to el centro Andy and Julie decided to go for dinner so I met up with Melissa to watch La Orquesta de Leopoldo Federico.  The concert was absolutely AMAZING!  The music was wonderful and the entire center had buena honda (basically good vibes).  There was a even a couple who spontaneously started Tango dancing right next to me.  

Carlos Gardel's suit
Carlos Gardel

Spontaneous tangoers

Tango dancing lights on the ground
 Melissa and I met up with Shawn (who knows how to ballroom dance and was tango dancing with an adorable old man) and Julia to get dinner.  We went to Porte Zuelo, which is a restaurant/bar.  When we sat down a waiter gave us a free margarita (apparently he made it by mistake) so that was a nice perk.  I got a delicious sesame chicken salad and a glass of wine.
Shawn and her little old man
Porte Zuelo

Margarita gratis!

Ensalada de pollo sesameo

Then we ordered two desserts to share and I got a banana daiquiri (which was almost too strong to drink).
When we finished up Julia and I headed to bus stop, Shawn got a taxi, and Melissa headed home.  I got home, got ready for bed, and crashed.
Panqueques de dulce de leche
Comienzo el lunes (I'll start Monday)

Daiquiri de banana

Me, Melissa, Julia

Melissa, Julia, Shawn

Domingo el 21 de agosto
This morning the cat woke up me up about 3 times by scratching at my door with a lot of enthusiasm.  I was not happy.  I ended up getting up around 10:30.  I had some yogurt and a banana for breakfast then did a lot of nothing.  I made lunch and then took the bus to Melissa’s house.
We went to a dance show featuring Carlos Copello (a big name in tango, or at least that’s what my program tells me).  The show was absolutely incredible!  The music was amazing and the dancing was AWESOME! 

This kid was roughly 14... he was awesome

After the show I took the colectivo home and did some reading before dinner (leftovers).  I was home alone since Clarisa was still at her friend's house and I have no idea where Lu was so I read some more and then watched some TV (Aladdin in Spanish) before going to bed.

Lunes el 22 de Agosto
Today is a feriado (holiday) para José de San Martín (actually it was Wednesday but Argentine's move holidays to Fridays or Mondays so there is a 3 day weekend), who was a military hero in Argentina.  I didn't do much today other than a lot of reading for my classes.  When I got up I had some breakfast then read.  Then I made myself some lunch and watched 13 going on 30 (in Spanish).  Then I read some more.

I did, however, venture to DISCO to buy some things for my lunch, when I chanced upon a delicious treat, oreos filled with dulce de leche and banana cream.  They were quite tasty (especially with extra dulce de leche)!

After I came home and tried my oreos I read some more (I'm finally finished with everything due this!). I showered and then made myself some pasta for dinner.  Clarisa got home at around 10 and she told me really enjoyed her trip.

I'm off to bed now.

Un beso,

Random Photo:
Who ya gonna call?

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