Sunday, December 7, 2008

I love Tina

It's Tina and my 2 week anniversary! (argenTINA)

I had a really wonderful day. Today made up for my bought of sadness yesterday.

The people in the room next to me were loud last night. The hardwood floors and no pictures on the walls didn't disguise the noise either. When I woke up the bathroom (that i share with them) was terrible. there was water all over the floor with their used soap. Before they arrived the bathroom was spotless. (*they left today, so hopefully no one else will come. even so, it's just for 1 more day)

Around 10:30 I headed out to take the 'colectivo' (bus) to San Telmo. It was very easy, the stop was just two blocks down. I noticed a 'Farmacity' (CVS equivalent) across the street so I went over to buy some toothpaste. A medium sized tube was 3 pesos ($1.00). They have SO many of the same products as in the states.


After I bought the tooth paste I ran across the street to catch the colectivo. When I saw it coming I put my arm up to wave and he stopped (I'm getting the hang of this). On the bus I was looking at my map and trying to read the street signs. As we got close I stood up and stood at the front door. Another colectivo success.

My classmate and I studied for a bit at a cafe. I had a large cafe con leche, a bottle of water and two pieces of thick whole wheat toast for I think 20 pesos ($6)

After some conversation we walked around the San Telmo feria (outdoor market). There are many antiques, artists and crafts there. After walking through we were hungry again so we stopped at an courtyard restaurant for empanadas! Once we were already seated the waiter told us there were no more empanadas...what a disappointment...but we were hungry so we ordered pasta and had a glass of red wine each. I ordered seafood on my pasta, which I should have known better. Buenos Aires isn't good with seafood. It was so so. 35 pesos ($10)

I'm having a difficult time with the food here. I really don't like anything and I didn't think of myself as a picky eater. Everything seems to be bland or just not taste right. I do like the croissants, empanadas and the wine. I feel like I'm eating because I know I have to, not because I want to. I'm sure I'll find something I like, I just have to keep looking.

Afterward we went to a grocery store to get a bottle of water. 1.5 liters was 2.70 pesos.

^(photo above: the bottle appears to be the same size as a '40' in the U.S.... 3.30 pesos equal $1. A beer costs 85 cents)

^(photo above: $1.08 bottle of wine. not sure of the quality though)

Around 5:30 I started looking where I should catch the number 10 colectivo back to Recoleta. My classmate and I walked a couple streets. She suggested I ask a police officer that we passed. As I approached him, he got a huge smile on his face. how cute. he pointed me in the right direction and used every muscle in his face to smile. My classmate noticed it too and commented. i think argenine women don't give men a break, so any attention from a woman, just a glance and they light up. (i kind of like it, it's a real confidence booster)

I think when I return to the states I'm going to be too spoiled from living here. Wine and beer are inexpensive, having a maid is common, having your clothes washed for you is inexpensive and people take their time eating at cafes and restaurants, relaxing and/or enjoying their company.

On the colectivo home the driver was playing the Beatles. A John Lennon Christmas song came on and he turned it up. Yeah, another Christmas song in Sunny, sweaty sun burned Buenos Aires where flowers are blooming and palm trees stand tall. How conflicting to what christmas 'should' feel like. But I love it.

The driver noticed I was watching my map and smiling at the Christmas song. In spanish he asked where I was going. I did that best that I could pronouncing my street name. He tried speaking to me, but I didn't understand too much. He was very kind and pointed with a kind smile to where I needed to get off.

I came back to the hotel sweaty, sun burned and happy. It felt like I was on vacation today...sitting at the cafe, for an afternoon glass of wine, while two guys played acoustic guitar and the sun was shining.

What a good two week anniversary gift. Thank you Tina!!!

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