Wednesday, September 27, 2006

You Are Here

Puente De La MujerThis is our hostel on google maps, the area doesn't look nearly so dreary in real life, and this is Puente De La Mujer (Woman's Bridge) at Puerto Madero which I took some photos of a couple of days ago. Apparently Puerto Madero is where all the tourists go, God knows why, it's like the Docklands in London and even has its own Canary Wharf.

I should have said in my last post that our breakfast consists of two medialuna (half moon) facturas and a beverage. The medialunes are like small dense croissants glazed in sugar and got a bit boring after the first day. Kai defends them by saying they're not boring, sometimes they're stale, sometimes they're fresh. He's right, sometimes they're very dense and sometimes they're quite light. Anyway, it was a bit of a shock to the system this morning to be presented with toast and jam!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food Glorious Food

Jamie enjoying the steakUp until last night I had been a bit disappointed with the steak, it's not bad, it's just not been as good as everyone made out. There was one exception which was the Sandwich De Lomo Completo, or Lometo. It is the most incredible thing, a slice of tender beef, cheese, ham, lettuce and tomato inside a piece of French bread, I really can't tell you how good it tastes! And then last night we had the most fabulous steak in pepper sauce.

Kai's been obsessed with being able to cut the steak with the back of his knife. Last night I went one better and cut my steak with my fork :)

Now I'm hungry, and it's only 4:20. Everything happens so late here, the restaurants don't get busy until 10, and trying to get everyone together and out the door is what Kai and Spencer might describe as a nightmare or hell on earth. Victoria took my watch away on Friday night and wouldn't give it back to me until Sunday night. I can hear Jo's mum saying something about letting women walk all over me :) (Probably while telling me what I should be doing.)

FacturasThey love their sweet pastries (facturas) and tarts here, they look wonderful, and sometimes taste quite good too :)

Ah, I See

"...the thing you eat your cereal out of is spelt bowl, the thing in your blog is the tube your food comes through, bowel, if you reread your blog substituting bowel for bowl its really funny."
Well Ha Fucking Ha :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Letter From Home

"Is this a kind of enema, mensioned in your last blog, it sounds rather painful, and not particularly tasty."
Well now you mention it, it's not particularly tasty, but it's that sort of thing that tastes like it will do you good, or at least might make you feel good.

The weather wasn't so good on Friday and Saturday, it rained Friday night, and when it rains here it really rains, we had horizontal lightning and everything.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

¡Happy Spring!

Mate DrinkersThursday was the first day of spring, which is celebrated here with flowers and a day off school, which is traditionally used for picnicking and drinking mate. Mate is kind of difficult to describe, it's kind of like a green tea, but with quite specific drinking equipment. You fill up a bowel with leaves and a bit of sugar and then pour in some hot water and drink the water through a straw with a filter on the bottom. You keep replenishing the bowel with water and pass it around amongst your friends. We did this in a park around Palermo, very close to the airport.

Friday night we went to another dance class, I think this one was the milonga, as opposed to the tango we did before, again, much fun was had, and I'm sure there are some photos somewhere.

I think my Spanish is getting worse. I swear I will do more work this weekend.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Small World

Last night I met a Norwegian at a party who lived in Hurstpierpoint when he was about 11.

I also completely lost any ability which I might have had for Spanish. I am hoping that with a little rest and relaxation it may return. Perhaps a bit of work too.

One thing I meant to mention about the milonga and Mexican parties was how grand the places were. The Mexican party was held in the central Buenos Aires post office, marble everywhere, and the milonga in a similarly grand bar/restaurant. Which is all well and good, but the acoustics are terrible!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chicos Behaving Badly

It may not surprise anyone to hear that Kai has been pissing me off. Outside of class it's fine, but I just cannot stand the way he behaves in class. And he's getting worse by the day. He takes every opportunity to ask how to say words such as "rob" and phrases that might help him while he's being robbed or after he's been robbed. He really pissed off our (female) teacher today by saying that the most important thing about a secretary was the way she looks. He doesn't even acknowledge that anyone besides me is getting pissed off, and talking to him seems to make him worse. Anyway, like I said, outside of class it's ok, or at least I can avoid him :)

Well that's what I wrote yesterday, but I am feeling muh better today, I think I actually anoyed him today :) with my story about Sra Peacock and Srta Cayote finding an ostrich egg. Anyway, one of the reasons that I am feeling so good is that yesterday two people separately complimented me on my Spanish. It wasn't quite that impressive, they were actually comparing me to two days ago. I think I have Victoria to thank for this for pretending not to speak any English. She let her guard down last night though and she definately understands and speaks more than she lets on :)

We had a fun weekend, I was pretty lazy and Kai made it all the way to another country. Friday we pretended to be Mexican, which consisted of shouting "vive" and drinking Corona. Saturday we went to a milonga, which is both a dance and the place which you dance, to watch the girlfriend of the head of our Spanish school dance who is also the person who taught us. See videos somewhere below.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bad Dream

I've been having some really bad dreams lately. Last night I dreamt that I had killed two of my mum's best friends (Sarah and Celia if you're wondering) and I was off to jail. The strangest thing was that I was not in the least concerned that they were dead, I was just dreading the next however many years in prison. It was one of those dreams that you wake up from incredibly glad that it was just a dream.

Toby immediately decided that I was anxious about Spanish. It may have something to do with Spanish, but more the exercise that I did last night. I was describing Edward Scissorhands, and all the different tenses of "to die" and "to kill" had me all confused.

¡¡¡Happy Birthday Maddy!!!

Buenos Noches

VictoriaFor one of our earlier Spanish exercises I had described myself as "solo y desesperado", I bottled it at the last minute and didn't read out the last part in class. This escaped my mind as Victoria read through my previous work. Nevermind, it got me a laugh :) I can't tell you how difficult it is to flirt with someone when you have to spend 95% of your time looking up words in a dictionary :)

We managed to smuggle some wine in tonight, cunningly hidden in Kai's rucksack. We shall wait to see if it's still in our room after the cleaners have been round :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Morning After

Well we were allowed back into the hostel, despite Kai doing an inverse Jesus - drinking the wine as if it were water. I can highly recommend Lopez 2004. And to think, barely four weeks ago I didn't even think I liked red wine :)

Plaza De MayoSaturday I stayed in and pretended to do my Spanish work on the roof while Ricardo, Kai and his "friend" Rachel (is it spelt differently when it's pronounced Rakel?) went round Boca. Sunday, Kai and I walked to Plaza De Mayo.

The Jazz musician we saw was Hill Greene. Though I thought that was the guy that Eminem sang about humping a dead moose.

I felt much better about Spanish today, though that might have been because Kai and our fellow classmate, Toby, were having a bad day. Kai is ill, of course, and hadn't done much of his homework (though that hasn't stopped him nagging me) and I think Toby had a bit of a serious weekend :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tengo Tango

Big DogWell tango was ace. Really good fun. The only thing I can compare it to is taekwondo: the movement, the instructions, the coordination, there was even that weirdo beginner who thought that she knew everything. Although it was even worse at tango as as a women she should have been following, but she seemed desperate to lead. Yes, there are videos of Kai and I. In my defense I have to say that Kai started filming just as I was beginning a dance we hadn't done before called the milonga, watch me grapple with the teacher at the beginning :)

It's funny how different people's perceptions are - I overheard Kai speaking with his dad tonight, saying how good everything was, apart from the hostel, I think the hostel's great. It's really secure and clean and even The Rules don't seem so bad now, they don't seem to be very strictly enforced, especially the "quiet at all times, silence after 12". We're going to have to test the "no alcohol" and "no admittance to drunk residents" later. Hopefully not both at once.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Chico Time

Kai Full of PastaThe weather´s getting better and better, yesterday I went out wearing only one jumper. I still can´t believe it will be 27C in a few days, or that it was 20 a few days before we arrived.

I feel this post descending into a list of things we´ve done, and I´m not going to fight it, I´ll just try to keep it brief. Arrived Sunday and took a catameran down the river with a couple of amigos from the hostel. Ate steak, was a bit disapointed. Monday I was feeling ok with the Spanish classes. Tuesday I was feeling despondant and shit at Spanish, reminded myself it was only dias dos. Went to a semetary more like a city. Saw some Jazz in the evening, which started with a really cool solo electric double bass version of Summer Time. Kai unusually mute. Wednesday felt shit at Spanish but cared less. Teacher took down our email addresses under the guise of an exercise. Tried to change money sin pasaporte. Ate our first vegatarian meal (pictured). Thursday made even less contribution in Spanish and wrote blog post using fucking anoying Spanish keyboard. I have ¿ but where the fuck is the at sign? Having our first tango lesson tonight. Video is promised.

Women who've met us a few times keep refering to us as chicos. I'm hoping it's a term of endearment.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spanish Classes

In 1992 the governors of Spanish in Argentina decided that "ll" is not a letter in its own right but is in fact two "l"s. I want to know how much these people get paid. "ll" is pronounced "sh" btw, double "l" or single "ll".

Kai's taken enough photos for us both. Shockingly, none of me eating, though the highlight of those photos is Kai eating a "millionaire" (I think). Unfortunately Kai was too slow to capture the perro muerto flotante. Sorry, had to use babel fish, despite the fact that I did ask our tutor how to say floating dead dog. Tutor muchos cuteos, must concentrate on Spanish, must concentrate on Spanish.

Popular past times in Argentina include kissing in public (which Kai pretends to hate vociferously) and dog walking, which I always thought was unique to the English.

Los New Radicals have just been announced on Kai's short wave radio.

Dad, if you're reading this, so far I have seen a low flying cormorant from our catamaran and what looked like a large robin with a burnt orange underneath.

Got to go and do my home work. Ciao, or rather chau, for now.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

United We Fall

United charge a "nominal fee" for alcoholic drinks! I'm not sure I call London prices nominal. Nevermind, they almost made up for it with their unusually normal and friendly air stewards. And I can now recommend everyone sees Inside Man.

Other than that it's fucking cold. And it's just rained. Oh and the ice cream is really excellent here, unless we just happened upon the best ice cream parlour in Argentina.