Sunday, March 8, 2009

Post Number 8: Return to Buenos Aires

February 15 – 21

First thing we do is pack away our winter coats…hot times, summer in the city.

Next…we go to check into the apartment that we rented last November from an on-line agency.

Last year, we rented an apartment in the Recoleta and wanted to rent the same one this year but it wasn’t available. So we rented another in the same neighborhood. The location is great – near Vicente Lopez Park and friends,

restaurants, shops, streets with great architecture. Whoever said Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America captured it (or parts of it, anyway) perfectly…

But the apartment is not nearly as nice or comfortable as last years. And, with several not-so-minor issues (inadequate AC, no hot water, no internet connection) we begin the hassles of trying to find another apartment and getting our $$ back from the rental agency – ughhhh!

Lucky for us, our friend Jim offers his apartment while he’s in Brazil, so we stay there for the next few days. At first, we’re pretty cranky, but than decide we’re not going to let the apartment situation get us down. So we get into the city’s rhythm.

We meet friends for lunch at Kansas (an American-style rib place), check out Jumbo supermarket (BA’s equivalent to BJs or Costco), eat pizza at Los Maestros (we were regulars last year and recognize the waitress), and find new “locals”:

the Melody Café for our morning café and toastadas, where we look forward to seeing waitresses Laura and Gabriella. David practices his Spanish with them and they get to ask what the English words are for the food served. It's a great way to start the morning (usually around 11:00 or 12:00) and there are a lot of laughs.

and Pasadena for late night snacks (David orders “migas,” little white bread sandwiches with the crust cut off, like the things my mom made me for lunch when I was in elementary school).

There are “liquidacion” (sale) signs everywhere so we buy a few things, but better than that is window shopping and photographing fabulous gowns that hardly anyone I know would wear.

After 5 days we decide we can’t stay at Jim’s indefinitely so we move into our apartment. Luckily, the hot water is fixed, David has figured out how to get access to the internet, and we buy a floor fan. We spend time outside, either walking the city or sitting in the park, where David studies Spanish, I sketch, read, or listen to my iPod, and we catch up with our friends, who also hang out there.

February 22 – 26

On Sunday we walk down Avenida Posadas, a very upscale street just a couple of blocks from our apartment, to the open market in the Plaza Francia. There are two really nice parks on the way with sculptures and giant trees.

We peruse the many vendor stalls

and head over to the Recoleta Cultural Center to check things out.

I decide I’m going to watch the Oscars that night. We are 6 hours behind WST, so they don’t start here until around midnight. And they are televised in Spanish. David hooks me up via computer, to an English simulcast, but there’s a 45 second delay between the picture and the sound. My brain is on overload by 2:00 so I give up and go to sleep.

On Monday, the AC is fixed – a small step for mankind! This is good, since we have not yet found another apartment. And, in some bizarre way, I’m actually getting used to this one…it’s quiet, the bed is really comfortable, it’s in a great location and the view from our balcony is really nice.

On Wednesday we go to the movies, since Wednesday is 15 peso day (per ticket). Tickets are discounted from their usual 20 pesos ($5.71 currently) per ticket. 44 pesos (about $12) gets you 2 tickets, popcorn and a Pepsi. We decide on Slumdog Millionaire and buy our tickets at a kiosk in the theater; no waiting on line and you choose your seats ahead of time – very civilized.

The movie is in English, with Spanish subtitles, except when they’re speaking in Indian… then there are Spanish subtitles. A little is lost with our limited translation skills, but not so much that we miss the essence of the movie, which we love.

More to come soon...we are almost caught up!

1 comment:

  1. How idyllic. After a beautiful weekend that hinted of Spring (in the 60's - I took long walks both days), it's snowing again today. How ridiculous. A damp snow that won't amount to much, but it's insulting. Between that and the time change, I, of course, overslept and was late to work. Did the time change there this past weekend, too? Fun to read your life backwards. Annette