Friday, October 09, 2009

Week One in Buenos Aires

Well, I have been here for just over a week and this is what I have to relate so far.

First, I forgot to mention in my last post the eerie and ethereal highlight of the overnight flight: a lightning storm at 35,000 feet. The captain came over the loudspeaker to tell us to buckle up, but he steered clear of the clouds beautifully and we didn't feel a bump. I was so grateful to be on the right (er, left) side to catch sight of the most incredible clouds I have ever seen. They were huge, curvaceous towers that extended as far down as I could see and ended about 200 feet above the plane in a huge dome. There were about 5 of them and each had its own individual lightning show going on inside. I craned my neck as long as I could to watch for the flashes in an otherwise pitch black night.

Ok, on to Buenos Aires. I wish I could say I've done more interesting things since being here but the truth is, life is pretty normal. I have so much time and I've done all the touristy things already so I've mostly been laying low, getting my bearings of where I live, eating empanadas and pasta and parrillada (aka meat), sleeping and working. Sol and her mom Lydia and I had a fantastic lunch last Saturday and then cruised the fashionable shopping district called Palermo. That night I hung out with my friend Renée (who I met in Chile oh-so-long ago and is now living in Buenos Aires), her roommates, and their friends. On Monday I caught up with my old neighbor and friend Claudio and will see some more old friends tomorrow for a birthday party. I'm busy trying to make new friends too, so stay tuned! So far it consists of a fluent-in-Spanish-and-Portuguese fellow Yanqui who lives 10 blocks from me and loves the same things I do, but I'm also busy meeting locals. Hopefully this weekend I'll go dancing so I can regale you with an absurd "I was out until 7 am" story for the next blog.

Last Sunday, a famous Argentinean folk singer named Mercedes Sosa died. I went to a gringo bar to watch the Seahawks get pummelled and then walked to my old apartment building to visit Claudio, which happens to be right by Palacio de Congreso. Thousands upon thousands of people were lined up for blocks to get into the congress building to look at Sosa's remains. It seemed strange to me that she should be on display by the state but Argentineans take the death of famous people very, very seriously. I was unable to take the normal bus home and went in subway (which involves a much longer walk but I love the underground) instead, where I turned on the TV and was able to see her laid out without waiting in line for 6 hours.

On to where I'm staying: the apartment is HUGE, which by American standards is normal-to-big. Sol completely remodeled the whole place when she moved in (her dad owns it) and it's all in very good taste, not to mention comfortable. There is a hammock in our living room for heaven's sake. Did I mention she cooks for me and supplies me with endless cups of mate during the day? (We both work from home.) I won't tell you what I pay in rent because it will make you cry.

Sol and I each have our own large bedroom and share the third bedroom as the office/dining room. It's been really easy to work from here and it doesn't feel odd at all to communicate with coworkers from such a distance since we all use IM anyway, even if we're 5 feet from each other. I'm excited to get started on my next Apex venture which is producing an Art Appreciation electives course. I've also drafted a budget for my time here which includes paying off my credit cards and student loans in full by April - hopefully I can stick to it!

A few things I forgot but was quickly reminded of upon return:

  • It's impossible to find sheets with a thread count above 180
  • The thunder and lightning storms are intense and awesome
  • Spending pesos is easier than spending dollars
  • I love instant coffee and am not ashamed to admit it
  • My Spanish is better than I remember it being but it's still frustrating when I don't know the word for something or forget a grammatical construction
  • My teddy bear is the single most comforting thing I brought with me

I promise a more visually pleasing blog next time and will commit to taking some pictures soon. Also, I plan to work up the courage to take my video camera out of the apartment sooner rather than later.

Next time I blog I hope to have exciting updates on a few side projects/hobbies I'm trying to pursue here.

Until then, if you're so inclined I'd appreciate any comments you might have. I love hearing from readers! (Note that it's very easy to post an anonymous comment without needing to create a blogger or google account.)


Anonymous said...

It all sounds awesome - I'm jealous. Empanadas are delicious!

Jenn said...

I don't have any Mercedes Sosa in my music library. I've got some Luis Gardel, though so I'll listen to that today and think of you over there.

AmberAnda said...

Bienvenida! Enjoy settling in and drink some mate for me.

Momma Archer said...

Only 180 thread count sheets? Eew! Other than that, it all sounds terrific. Love you!

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