Thursday, December 25, 2008

mate and medialunas

(wednesday december 24, 2008)

mate (pronounced - ma-tay) is a traditional Argentine drink, somewhat like coffee and tea is traditional in the states.

today i drank my first mate in the park with an Argentine friend. she brought the mate, the wooden mate cup, the metal straw, the yerba and the hot water. I brought the medialunas (I've talked enough about the medialunas, everyone by now should know they're croissants, right?)

if you've never seen mate before, it looks like a drug with it's metal straw and wooden or natural gourd cup. The mate itself looks like dried grass and it gets passed between friends.

(photo below: the yerba in the plastic container and the wooden mate cup)
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(photo below: fill half way with hot water)
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(photo below: insert metal straw and full the rest of the way)

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i only took small sips; it has a strong taste. i can't really compare it to anything. tobacco was my first thought. it takes getting use to.

after mate and medialunas in the park i braved the grocery store (christmas eve). there weren't as many people there as i thought there would be

(photo below: my american eyes still see things that 'wouldn't be right' i the U.S.)
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on my way home, carrying two heavy bags i passed a familiar face...."who is that, who is that, how do i know him........shit, it's that guy from the park who wanted me to be his english teacher...crap" so I looked back and he was gone....then to my right i see him crossing the street coming towards me! (So, to back up and recap, he walked towards me, then past me, crossed the street, turned around and then re-crossed the street. creepy no?) then he started talking to me in Spanish about me teaching him English, i stopped walking, said no, i wasn't interested and then said good-bye. he re-crossed the street and walked away. i wanted to watch where he was going but the fruit stand guy asked me what I wanted. I bought some strawberries.

Since I was only 1/2 block away from my apartment and I didn't know where the guy went, I circled the block with my two heavy bags. I'm still not sure if he followed me.

In the evening I had two friends over to cook some Mexican food. We had chicken tacos, yellow rice, beans and guacamole! Arriba! Around midnight we went up to the roof to watch the fireworks that Argeninians set off. It was a warm evening. Each of us wore a summer dress and flip flops.

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