First, let me just say I realize the last two weeks I haven't updated this at all, and I'm sorry. However my lack of updating was caused by reasons beyond my control. As you will see shortly from Tuesday to Thursday I did absolutely nothing worthwhile (thanks a lot pneumonia...) and last week April was here dragging me all around the city (ok, so maybe I did most of the dragging). Regardless, at long last, here is a lovely update for you with tons of pictures (and more to come when April sends me here pictures since she forgot to bring her USB camera cable along...)!!!
Martes el 11 de octubre – día 86
Tuesday I was feeling fine except I still had a cough. Unfortunately I called the doctor, who said I wasn’t allowed to leave the house until Friday when I had to see him again. Clarisa was nice enough to take my laundry to the lavadero for me and buy me some groceries since I was confined to the house. I spent the day doing random things online and reading for my classes. Clarisa wasn’t home for dinner, she went to the airport to pick up Lu (who was in Mendoza visiting her dad) so she left me some mashed potatoes.
Miercoles el 12 de octubre
Wednesday my cough was about the same, but I was still feeling fine. The director of my program, Mario, came to visit me, which was nice since I’ve pretty much been in isolation since last Friday. I spent the rest of the day reading for classes again. Clarisa went out with a friend and Lu wasn’t home so I watched Los Simpsons while I ate tarta de verduras and a tomato salad for dinner.
Jueves el 13 de octubre
Thursday my cough was a lot better. Once again I read for class and did a whole lot of nothing. Clarisa went to a birthday party tonight so once again I watched Los Simpsons while I ate my dinner (vegetable rice).
Viernes el 14 de octubre
The day of truth had arrived. I arranged for Raquel (from IFSA) to meet me at my house at 9:45 so I could be at the doctor's office at 10 when they opened. My first step out into fresh air in a week was glorious, and the weather was sunny and fairly warm! The doctor listened to me breath, asked me questions about my how I was feeling then told me Monday I could return to classes, but that I had to "take it easy" and not do "normal things I do." For instance, I needed to nap when I was tired, and not do any exercise. With this wonderful news Raquel and I got back in the taxi and I headed home.
I emailed Mom and Nanny so they could stop worrying about me being deathly ill and headed off to meet April at her hotel. Unfortunately I got half way there before I realized I didn't remember the number and had to go home. By the time I got to her house I was out of breath (which is pathetic considering I had been walking for maybe 10 minutes), but it was great to see a familiar face from home! We went in and I rested for a little (after my marathon of 12 blocks...) then headed out so she could exchange some money.
|April's hostel room|
After we got the money situation settled we went to the botanical gardens.
|Why yes, that is a statue of Romulus and Remus suckling from a wolf.|
After the botanical gardens we headed back towards April’s hotel and stopped for lunch at a place the hotel staff recommended called Barak. We got a tomato, goat cheese, and radicchio tortilla (omelette) and a chicken sandwich to split along with some delicious mango lemonade.
|A cool looking car we passed on the walk|
At that point I was pretty tired so I walked April back to her hotel then went home and took a nap (the entire time I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep I felt like an old person, out of the house for a few hours and I was out of breath and tired).
April met me at my house and we headed to Krishna, a vegetarian Indian place a few blocks from my house that I’d wanted to try and the hotel recommended. The restaurant was really cool, with low tables and cushioned benches along the wall to sit. We decided on ginger lemonade to drink and I got Thali, which was a mixed plate of different Indian foods, all of which (except the pile of beets, which I stayed away from) were delicious! April got papa guaranga, which was basically potato lasagna with a cream sauce and cheese-it also came with an interesting sauce of some sort of fruit on the side that was really good. Also an interesting note about the place, our waiter was a very thin little man wearing bright red skinny jeans, quite a look!
After dinner I walked April home and then went home myself to go to bed.
Sabado el 15 de octubre
Saturday April and I headed out on a colectivo (her first) to Recoleta to visit the cemetery (I know it sounds strange to visit a cemetery but I promise it’s really pretty, just look at the photos!).
|Oh hey Cristina|
|It's supposed to be good luck to touch his nose, that's why the paint is worn off|
|Sarmiento's mausoleum, I read one of his books in my lit class, and he was president (He also seems like he was a pompous ass, but I digress).|
|One of the more modern tombs we saw.|
|His nose is worn because it's supposedly good luck to rub it.|
|Eskimo kisses with the dog for good luck!|
Then we headed to the feria nearby to do some shopping. Along the way we got hungry and bought some delicious chocolate churros from a street vendor.
After taking a bunch of pictures we headed back to my house.
After lunch we went to the feria in plaza Serrano, then went to sit in the park for a little. I went home and took another nap (lame, I know), then I met up with April to go to dinner.
|Spotted: Spiderman outside the park|
We went to an Italian place where we split gnocchi and a pizza, as well as some Argentine Malbec. We had a 20% discount coupon the waitress wouldn’t let us use because we “told her after she ran the card” (even though we put the discount coupon on top of the card when we paid) so April decided to be bold and only leave her a 2 peso tip. Take that evil woman! After dinner we went go get April's first ice-cream here, then we both headed home to go to bed.
¡Feliz cumpleaños Uncle Steve!
April came overa round 11 and we had our leftover pizza for lunch before heading to San Telmo to another feria. It’s pretty much impossible to explain San Telmo if you’ve never been there, the streets (for a good 4 blocks in pretty much every direction from Plaza Dorrego) are packed with vendors selling anything and everything you can possibly imagine.
We spent a few hours browsing around before stopping at a Havannah for a snack.
After Havannah we struggled to find the bus stop (the street the bus usually runs on was full of vendors) but finally made our way home.
|Candy coated peanut vendor, they're so good (and addicting)|
|Fresh OJ :)|
|Woman engraving my mate!|
|A church we passed on the way to the bus|
|Waiting for the bus.|
April and I went to the park by my house to drink mate. Then we visited the supermarket to buy some wine.
|Quilmes in the grocery store... so cheap|
For dinner we went to fabrica del taco, which was delicious as always.
|Margaritas: Melon and Passionfruit|
|Bean and cheese dip|
|My taco - carne asada y cerdo pastor|
|Hungry? : p|
|Chicken taco and beef taco|
After dinner we went to Aroma and bought some desserts to eat with our wine at April’s hotel.
When we finished the desserts (which were delicious, obviously) I headed home.
Lunes el 17 de octubre
Monday I had to do the last step for my residencia so April came over and we took a colectivo to Plaza San Martín. I got her situated with breakfast in a café then headed to migraciones. When I got the building I couldn’t even see the end of line, but luckily I spotted two girls from IFSA close to the door so I snuck in line with them (yes I realize that isn’t the honest thing to do, but would you really want to wait in line for upwards of 2 hours? - yep, didn’t think so). I still ended up waiting for about 45 minutes, but I finally have my residencia completed (which is 2 pieces of printer paper-so official), so I don’t have to worry about that anymore!
I headed back and found April, then we took the subte to the IFSA office. We saw the obelisco, although I think April was more interested in the traffic, I guess that’s the civil engineer geek coming out :p .
We had pizza and chicken empanadas at La Rey, a famous pizza place.
We headed to IFSA to turn in a photocopy of my residencia, and I picked up a form to send to the insurance company for my doctor’s appointment and x-ray (which is a big paper-work night mare… I paid for your stupid insurance, just give me my freaking money, if you’re not going to pay me because I’m covered by my parents’ insurance why did I have to buy your stupid insurance?) then we went out to explore the city.
We were going to take a tour of teatro colon, but the online schedule for English tours was wrong (big surprise) so we just took pictures of the outside instead.
We walked to El Ateneo, a bookstore which used to be a theatre, and browsed around for a bit.
We took a colectivo home then went to a café for medialunas and submarines.
For dinner we headed to Don Julio’s where April tried a Fernet and coke (an Argentine favorite) and we had some good food, but the waitress brought us (and then charged us for) a full order of ribs instead of a half order because she didn’t believe that I ordered a half order since she wrote down a full order. After that annoyance we headed home.
Martes el 18 de octubre
Happy 25th anniversary Mom and Dad!!! You’ve been together for over half your lives… guess that means you’re pretty old :p
Tuesday April and I met at my house and went to my castellano class. While I was sitting in class April explored the area, which includes a large road (Libertador) with a beautiful statue, a rose garden, and lots of parks.
After class we took another colectivo home and had our leftovers from Don Julio’s for lunch.
I headed to class at UBA and April went back to her hotel.
Aril came over after my class and we set out to met Ludi and Alicia to go to La Catedral for dinner and a tango lesson to celebrate my birthday.
We arrived at La Catedral and Alicia and Ludi’s friend Jorge found us a table and took our order. We got pizza and wok rice to share along with a large pitcher of sangria.
|Alicia and I with the Sangria ;)|
April and I headed out to the dance floor for our lesson while Ludi and Alicia stayed with our things. The lesson was really fun, and it was great getting to meet people when we switched partners (for April this didn’t happen because her partner-who was a terrible dancer- didn’t get the whole switch partners memo). There were a ton of tourists there, but also a few locals (some of whom were very creepy).
|April learning to tango|
|Me learning to tango with a hilarious German guy|
|Tango-ing the night away|
After our lesson we went back to our table and Alicia and Ludi had ordered a “cake” for me. Jorge brought a piece of tiramisu with a candle, which we all shared.
I danced with a few of Ludi and Alicia’s friends, and then April and I took pictures and watched Ludi and Alicia dance (they’re both good).
The tango show Tuesday night left something to be desired, but there were still some cool parts.
April and I headed home (super early by Argentine standards, but late by my still tired from pneumonia body).
|Ludi tango dancing!|
Miercoles el 19 de octubre
Wednesday I go up and packed a lunch for April and I to take to Puerto Madero. We met outside my house and took a colectivo. Unfortunately the bus was croweded and April dropped our lunch on the ground, spilling most of the veggies onto the bus floor (that’s a floor even I wouldn’t eat off of), but we still had our sandwiches.
After our hour-ish bus ride we ate along the water then headed to the ecological reserve. We took one of the loops so we could see the river (Rio de la Plata).
After we walked back to UCA I headed to my class at while April explored the area. I arrived at class 25 minutes late, and found out from a friend that the teacher had just arrived 5 minutes before me (typical).
When class was over I went out to find April and we took the colectivo back to my house.
April and I decided we were hungry so we went to get cupcakes at Muma’s. The cupcakes were delicious, but different from American cupcakes because they didn’t really have icing, the passionfruit/strawberry one had homemade whipped cream on top, and the chocolate one (sooooo goooooood) had dulce de leche and whipped cream on top.
When we finished our cupcakes and tea we walked around the area and did some window shopping before going back to my house.
For dinner we were going to go to a Mediterranean restaurant, but due to our cupcake intake we didn’t go out for dinner until after 21:00 meaning the restaurant had a wait, so we went to a Mexican restaurant called Cielito Lindo instead.
We both got margaritas grandes to drink and I got chilaquiles, and April got a chicken quesadilla with rice for dinner. For dessert we shared a piece of pastel de 3 leches, which we decided would be good infused with rum.
Jueves el 20 de octubre
Thursday April came over right before I headed off to class and I took her to a bakery, and then pointed her in the direction of the money exchange place before going to my USAL class via subte.
After my lit class I took the subte to UBA for four hours of fun and excitement (or boredom and sleepiness depending on how you look at it…).
When class was over at 20:30 I went to the bus stop to wait for the colectivo. It was raining (don’t worry I had my umbrella) and I had to wait 35 minutes for a bus to show up. Unfortunately that bus just kept on driving and ignored the 4 people standing with their hands out waiting for the bus to stop, so I waited another 10 minutes to actually get on a bus.
I got off at April’s hotel and we went to a bar to get some dinner. We ordered some quilmes so April could try it along with chicken empanadas and mozzarella sticks. There were several little kids walking around asking for money (typical, especially since we were in a very touristy area), while we didn’t give them money we did give a little boy a mozzarella stick, which got me thinking about how crappy these kids' diets are, but that's a different topic for a different time.
After we finished eating we headed to Freddo for some late night ice cream. April got chocolate mousse and I ordered chocotorta freddo, but got chocolate con almendras (almonds). It was good, but what if I had been allergic to almonds, what would you have done then Freddo? We ate our ice cream then walked to our respective house and hotel to go to bed.
Viernes el 21 de octubre
Friday we got up early to go to San Antonio de Areco, which is a big Gaucho place about 2 hours outside of Buenos Aires. We took a colectivo to Retiro, then found our bus line and bought our tickets (which we had reserved the day before). We bought an overpriced breakfast, then boarded our bus at 9:30. On the way there I read a little for class then slept a little.
We ended up eating at this place called Tokio, April got a chicken tarta and I got a vegetable torta, which were both good!
After lunch we walked to the Museo Gauchesco. Unfortunately the house part of the museum was under renovation, but it was still neat to see and only cost $10 pesos ($2.50). We also had an adorable little dog, who we named Poncho, follow us around as our museum tour guide (if I thought he was disease and flea ridden I would have taken him home with me and Scout would have had a playmate).
We walked back aross the bridge and sat in the park for a bit before going to explore the town. We found a chocolate shop we wanted to stop at, but it was full of children and had a line out the door so we decided to look around and then come back.
We continued our walk around the town and unfortunately both of our cameras decided to run out of battery :( . We chanced upon this leather/jewelry store where I ended up buying a silver and leather bracelet and April bought a silver bracelet.
We made our way back to the chocolate shop, which smelled divinely delicious. We got a free sample of chocolate, and I decided to buy a small bag and April decided to buy some alfajores. Then we got a free sample of alfajor and April decided to buy her dulce de leche there as well.
Quite satisfied with our purchases, we headed back to the bus station to head home.
After a little under 2 hours we were back in Retiro. We took a colectivo to April’s hotel, charged her
camera, then headed out to meet Alicia at Reencuentro for a delicious parilla dinner!
After dinner April and I went back to her hotel to start packing up her stuff, which was actually easier than I expected. When we had everything mostly figured out I headed home to go to bed.
Sabado el 22 de octubre
Saturday was April’s last day, so we decided to just take it easy and wander around the area. April met me at my house and we headed out for some lunch.
We ate at this café nearby called Magdalena’s. We got delicious omelettes with potatoes!
After lunch we walked around for a bit and shopped some more in Plaza Serrano, but it looked like it might rain so we went back to April’s hotel and had some delicious té de frutilla (strawberry tea).
When the skies cleared up a bit we went to Freddo for April’s last helado (ice cream) en Buenos Aires. She got a cone of dulce de leche con brownie, and I got a chocolate cone with frutilla a la crema (strawberries and cream) and crema on top, all dipped in un baño de chocolate, ¡que delicioso!
After ice cream we went to the grocery store and some kioscos to buy some last minute things before heading back to her hotel for one last time.
Norberto, the taxi driver, arrived at around 18:45 and carried her suitcase downstairs (luckily because it was really heavy), then we said our goodbyes and April headed off to the airport and I walked home.
I stayed in the rest of the night, catching up on some work, plus, since Sunday was election day, no place would really be open on Saturday due the no alcohol after midnight on election day law.
Domingo el 23 de octubre
Today I woke up, had some breakfast and did a little work, then had some lunch and did a little more work. I met up with Ludi to go to Rosedale.
We went to the rose gardens which were absolutely beautiful!
Then we met up with some of her friends to do slackline.
We didn’t stay long because Ludi was going to go play soccer, and I wanted to get home and do some more work.
I got home and went to my room to do some work before skyping with the fam.
Clarisa and I had dinner around 21:45 (pasta with olive oil and spices). We watched Cristina Kirchner’s re-election acceptance speech while we ate, then I went upstairs, showered, and went to bed.
|Rainbows, peace, and love, outside the Recoleta Cemetery...|