Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Penguin´s Funeral

Yesterday was rather epic, in terms of Argentina and important events. Everything--even the 25hour kiosks--was closed because Argentina was taking the census.

The way the census happens here is that everyone stays in their house and waits for the censist to come and ask them questions. Everything must be written BY the censist and on the card that they provide. It seems like a pretty good deal to me. I had a picnic and ate some salami and drank beer in front of the cementery, which was super fun.

The other major event was that the ex-president and current president´s husband died of a heart attack. They thought about calling off the census, but realized it was a bit too ridiculous. There is a lot of speculation about what the president will do without him because he is so involved even though he is no longer the president, and I am super excited to see what happens in the elections next year.

So today before going to class, I went to the Plaza de Mayo and looked at all of the mourners. The line to walk by the Pink House--the Argentine White House--went for blocks and blocks, so I didn´t get in. But people have letters to him taped all over the plaza and all of the graffiti is wishing strength to the current president. It was super exciting to see everyone together and I was almost surprised how positive everyone was. Nobody was saying that they were happy he was dead or putting down Peronism/Kirchnerism as would probably happen if we were in the US. He kind of looks like a penguin, so my friend and I bought little penguin pins and I will hopefully find someplace discreet to put it so my host parents don´t kick me out. They weren´t sad that he died, but were more positive than I thought they´d be. I wanted to buy an Argentine flag with his face on it, but they were U$S 10 and I can do a lot of other things with that much money. Also I would have been creeped out when I looked at it hanging in my Smith room a year from now.

Basically it was really cool! I am going to class now and I will upload pictures when I´m at home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last Day of USAL!!!

I know, right?! I now have only my IFSA Spanish class and Tango, if that counts. However, today was exciting!

As usual, and as you might expect, getting up at 6:30 was a challenge and I was convinced I was going to be late. Of course, I was early and had an awkward chat with someone in the other class about the test that I so gracefully bombed the week before. He told me that the exchange
students fail every year and I shouldn't be worried. When the professor finally came, she was in a super cheery mood and decided to let me and my friend go early because we didn't have any other material to learn that we'd be tested on. We sat in a cafe and watched Animal Planet and drank orange juice.

Then Andrea and I went to Abasto Shopping (a super fancy mall) with a sheet of coupons and looked in all of the stores on the list. Really, we just found them and determined that they were too expensive for us. We turned it into a a scavenger hunt and had a great time!

Andrea is writing her 20 pages on Peruvian food in BsAs (clearly I took the wrong seminar to make up credits for) so we went to a really fancy Peruvian lunch. In Buenos Aires, it's common to have a "menu ejecutivo" option for lunch. This means you pay in cash (usually about A$R 20-30) for a drink, a meal and either soup or a dessert or a coffee, depending on the place. This place had soup, and it was probably one of the best meals I've had in Buenos Aires. It was pretty healthy considering some of the things I've been eating here, and for A$R 20 it was an incredible price!

After lunch, Andrea had to go to a hemeroteca. I was as mystified as you are, but it involved going to the city legislature and pushing through a large crowd of people to tell the security guard we wanted to go there. We went through super back-room looking hallways to small storage rooms full of newspapers. It is probably against fire code, but the people there were super nice to us and let her copy her papers for free!

To top today off, I went to the grocery store and bought some ham-flavored crackers for the picnic we are having tomorrow in celebration of the census. You know you want to try them.

And here are the pictures!

I forgot to go to this but I was excited about it!

This is the church right next to the Plaza de mayo which was really cool! It has the tomb of Saint Martin in it, so you get two pictures for this day!!!

I had Sushi with Shaun on Monday, and it was super exciting! This was also a menu so it cost about $6 for two of these things of sushi and a drink.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Intense Weekend!

I have been slacking on the leona challenge for a week already, although I have been taking pictures for it religiously!

Saturday we went to a David Bisbal concert in an (American) football fie
ld! I never realized quite how bouncy he is, in the most adorable way!

Sunday Andrea and I escaped Buenos Aires and Argentina to go to Uruguay. I was super excited to use my Argentine residency to leave the country and I even made a friend! We got super los
t when we first arrived, but clearly we are okay now! I will write another entry about MVD when I am more motivated...

Monday we woke up not in Argentina! But fell asleep there.

Tuesday was Katie's birthday! We went to Farrici and ate Dulce, per her request.

Wednesday I saw this ad for this show I always watch with Aldo, called BREEEEK.

Thursday Katie and I had amazing fake iced coffee at Milkaaaa!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Parque de la memoria

OK so I am starting the Leona Challenge today! This is a park dedicated to people who were "disappeared" during the dictatorship starting in 1976. The walls say the names of all of the confirmed deaths, but there are also empty plaques for people whose entire families were wiped out or just never had the guts to announce the disappearance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3 months!!!

OMG I haven't updated in forever!!! Important things that have happened:

  1. Rosario
  2. Iguazu
  3. Residencia Precaria
  4. Tea Connection
  5. UBA toma
OK I will try and do a quick summary of each of them!

1. Rosario
We went to Rosario with IFSA, which is a city about 4 hours outside of Buenos Aires. It was really, really chill and I was really excited to get out of Buenos Aires! As much as I love it. I ate some Pizza and laid in bed in the hotel and watched TV. (That isn't as bad as it sounds because it's not something I can do here and sometimes you get sick of clubbing.)

2. Iguazu!
We (Shaun, Andrea, Morgan and Katie and I) went to Iguazu because soon it will be too hot to go. Katie and I went up a day early, which was really fun and I felt made seeing the park easier because it was a pain trying to keep the group together the next day. The park was SO BEAUTIFUL!!! For those who aren't in the know, Iguazu is one up on the list of the world's biggest falls compared to Niagra, and the widest. It is about 20 hours away from BsAs and we went by "semi-cama" which is like a bus with airplane bus and airplane food. That I didn't die from eating it was a minor miracle, but overall the bus experience wasn't that bad. On the ride back we got boarded by the border police 5 (five!) times to make sure we weren't drug trafficking or something. Shaun didn't bring his ID and almost got deported...and they gave us disapproving looks because my visa expires next Tuesday!

3. Residencia Precaria
However, I got my Residencia Precaria yesterday! This means that I will have full student residency (this expires in 6 months) next month, after I have the precaria for a while. However, I can leave Argentina with this and pretend to be Argentine!

4. Tea Connection
Is a cafe chain. Imagine if Whole Foods and Starbucks had a child--that is Tea Connection. I'm there right now, sitting in a leather chair next to a pot of bamboo, drinking grape-ginger-pear-apple juice--excuse me, naturally-flavored water--that sets me back $2.50 a glass, corked bottle (that they reuse, of course.) The food is overpriced but super delicious.

5. UBA Toma
So the situation has gotten from bad in a fun kind of way to bad in a ridiculous sort of way. Although I enjoyed not having class the first two that we missed, having class in the parking lot was a pain. That only happened once, and we had normal class last week. However, today the students decided that the talks with the Ministry of Education were going badly, and thus they decided to take the Ministry as well. Hopefully that won't last long, but now IFSA is saying we won't get credit for these classes, and UBA is saying that the regular students might not get credit for this either--which really ruins everyone's life plan. IFSA's solution is to make me write a 20 page paper, researching the subject I was studying. We will see how this goes...

AAAHH i don't know what else to say! Leona wants me to start doing a picture-a-day instead of writing because I'm bad at writing, so I am going to start that....tomorrow. Never do today what you can procrastinate on, right?