Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Morning Buenos Aires.

Now we are both wondering the same thing. Why in the hell am I awake? I want to know, you want to know, every one is confused. It is 8:43 in the morning and I will you inform you all that I did not set an alarm. That's weird right? We all know me for my weirdo sleeping habits, that make records.

Well, I woke up early yesterday too and I have a theory as to why. Forever and always, when I have been excited about something or another, a trip, christmas, skiing, my birthday, I have a tendency to wake up early. Level of excitement=earliness of wake up time. It's a direct correlation. When I was around 7, I would wake up for Christmas at 4:30, sometimes earlier. Now, this tendency has declined the older I have gotten, because I think I get less excited about things than I used to but I'm still a pretty excited person, in general, goes along with the whole wearing your emotions on your sleeves thing.

Anyways, it hasn't happened as much in recent year, in fact, this past year on Christmas, I think my mother had to wake me up, this has never happened, I thought I was losing my inner child. However, I can now affirm that it is still there because apparently I am so excited about coming home, to levels of which even I was unaware, I have woken up early for a 2nd day in row, and I don't leave until tomorrow. That means that I will have woken up 3 days in a row, extraordinarily early, now using my direct correlation model, this would mean that I am so unbelievably beyond excited at this point, I just can't sleep. HELLO NORTH CAROLINA, HERE I COME.

So, yeah anyways, I leave tomorrow, which puts me at home in about, well in 45 minutes, it will be 48 hours exactly, which is tiny, miniscule and yet far too much time.

So you might want to know? What am I going to do on my last day in BA? Nothing special. I might walk around and take some pictures, I'm going to my favorite restaurant for lunch and then having dinner with my friends, they wanted to celebrate my birthday (which if you have forgotten is in 6 more days). I have to turn in my last paper today and really that's it. But for now, I think I might go lay back in my bed and pretend that I can sleep.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The end is near.

But is it really the end?

I'm not sure. I have been thinking about whether I should actually stop updating my blog after I leave. And the answer is not immediately. As much as I have had to say about living here, I have no doubt in my mind that I will have plenty of things to say when I get home about being at home. Also, I'm expecting a little recognized phenomenon to occur, it's called reverse culture shock. Here's what wikipedia says about it:

"Also, Reverse Culture Shock (a.k.a. Re-entry Shock, or own culture shock[7]) may take place — returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture.[8] The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock."

Now to me, this makes perfect sense, if I adjust to a culture, and to some extent, you have to adjust no matter how resistant you are, but upon return, I will have to readjust. And I have been making mental lists of all the things that will be different when I ge home, I will share a few. Here:

1. At home, in the US, the majority of people are fat. The obesity rates are just disgustingly high. In Argentina, it is the opposite. The rates of anorexia and bulimia are just disgustingly high. It will be like returning to the country of people who have been all the food Argentines don't eat. Seeing women eat in public, that I think will be jarring.

2. Toilets here are weird. They don't have flushers, they have either buttons on the wall (I don't understand how this works) or they have push in buttons on the top or the side or somewhere. Also, for some reason, the toilets here don't really take toilet paper, so there are always signs telling you to throw the paper in the trash can instead of the toilet, I rarely actually do that, but the lack of guilt I think could be a change. Also, most public toilets here don't have toilet paper. This includes universities, restaurants, movie theaters; I miss toilet paper (that I am of course not allowed to put in the toilet anyways).

3.I have not been in a car in well, 4 months 2 weeks and 1 day. Back when I went to Smath, I could get car sick after not having been a car since the last extended break, imagine the consequences of this interim. Also, most people in the United States have cars. I don't anymore, but I can drive mom's if I want, so that might be weird. Also, people tend to obey traffic laws where I live. They obey stoplights, they see the lanes as having meaning and they stop at intersections. OMG.

4. The main food group here is just different. The Argentine Food Guide Pyramid would go something like this:

dulce de leche

They have been known to eat a few vegetables to, but only on occasion. I will miss the copious amounts of calabaza (read: butternut squash), the batatas (don't exist in english or the US) and they tend to use mushrooms heavily, this makes me happy. Although, I will not miss the scarily common arugula. Oh, and I almost forgot, beets. It turns out that I love beets. Yes, the kind from Doug, and I will miss them, my mother doesn't provide them for me.

Those are just some differences I can think of now, but I will try to note as many as I can upon my return. I think I have started to forget what living in the states is like, small towns, cars, people smiling on the street in a non-i-want-to-rape-you manner. I can't wait to get back to southern hospitality.

This point reminds me, the other day, I was thinking about living in BA and how it has changed me and the habits of my southern upbringing. Absolutely everything is the opposite to start off with. You don't make friends, you don't talk to strangers, you don't acknowledge people on the streets, you stare at the ground. I asked my mother the other day if it was safe to look at people that you walk past and she responded by saying, yes and you can even say hello. Now, this is just unheard of, doing that here as a woman is just, well it doesn't exist and for a man, it's a come-on. I storm past people on the sidewalks, I cut off old people and I curse at people. I no longer understand sidewalk etiquette, because it doesn't exist here, not even slightly. Now, I sound awful, don't I? Only to you soft americans, that's what you have to do to survive here.

When I get home, watch for changes, I can tell living here has affected me, but I can't tell how and I want to know, because I'm not sure I am going to like it. Like for example, I will now kill you if you walk slowly in front of me or if you block the whole sidewalk with your whole damn family and the stroller.

So, as you may have ascertained, I have mostly finished my work. I have to turn in my final paper Thursday afternoon at 6 (which is not afternoon, but rather evening at home, showing how warped I am) to my teacher. I'm currently waiting for revisions from my academic advisor and that's about it. I need to start packing soon I think. Also, tomorrow, Spain plays Germany, you should watch.

That's really it, my brain is mush and now I sleep.


p.s. my host mother told me tonight that she is getting another host student on the 19th. her name is kristin. weird.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


So, I know I haven't really been updating my blog a lot recently but let me tell you I have been swamped with work and in fact, I still am. The point is that I have the best parents in the entire world and I just thought you should know. I will proper blog post when I finish my last paper.

But until then,


my parents rock

Friday, June 25, 2010

Americans dream about something right...?

The other night on the way to yoga, I was thinking about the american dream. Now, that may seem like a weird thing to think about but when you walk a lot by yourself, you have a lot of time to think. I walk a lot, and at night, I won't wear my headphones for safety issues, so the only thing I have to listen to is my own thoughts.

Anyways, the reason that this ran through my mind was because I was thinking about the ways I have changed. I know that I have changed as a result of this trip but as of yet, I haven't been able to put into words any actual changes, it's just a feeling I have. So I was thinking about my changing self when I realized at least one way I have changed. I am now much more able to see the good of the United States. I have never been particularly patriotic and in fact, I have never really liked being an American. Now while that hasn't completely changed, I am starting to see what it is that the american dream represents for the rest of the world. I'm not saying I understand what it is like to be living in poverty in a third world country or anything so absurd, because I never can but I have met people here who idolize the United States. They see it as a completely magical place. They want to travel there more than any where else in the world and this isn't just one person, I have met several people with these dreams.

There is definitely something to believing you can do anything and that is something I truly believe, that with proper use of resources and enough determination, you can do anything. However, I am actually starting to realize how american I really am in believing that. It seems, that in the rest of the world, you can't just do things because you want. Americans have it easy and I have also realized, quite a while ago actually, how much Americans just do what they want when they want because they want it with no real thought to anything else. It was never weird for me to look at someone in whatever situation they were in and think that if they wanted to change it, they could, but then I met my maid here. She's the third generation of her family to clean this apartment building and that astounds me, how many third generation of any type of worker do we have in the US anymore? It is much more common that a child will reject the family business and do what their heart desires.

I don't know why I was thinking about this. But it's making me realize how american my ideals and my approach to life are. I do what I want because I want it, I have a enlarged sense of individuality (for which I thank my mother) and I have a hard time understanding a lifestyle outside of grow up, go to college, get degree, get a job and there's life. I don't know what this means for me, it was just something I was thinking about.

Also, I wrote this post yesterday, and never really proofed it, so if it seems illogical or weird, just accept it and love me anyways. Also, today when the USA lost against Ghana in the world cup, I felt something weird, I think it was American pride. I wanted use to win or at least make it farther, I thought we should have beat Ghana and I felt sad when we lost. It is not only weird for me to feel emotion over a loss in sports much less watch a game of something, but to feel pride in my country and care whether or not we do well is just something new for me.

Anyways, I have to go to dinner now.

2 weeks and counting

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

El internet y el frío.

So, although I should be working on my mid-term that is due on Monday or my 3 other papers, I have decided to write here instead. For some reason today, my internet in my house is working. I don't know why, but I don't want to question it too much because this is the first time it has worked in several days, and of course the technician is coming tomorrow to fix it. Who knows?

Because my internet has not been working for several days, I have frequented cafés in the attempt to work, I will go and sit for hours, breaking records that only try to match my previous records spent in perkins library. However, I can only go to cafes so often and in reality (although I can never truly admit this), there is some work that I can do without my computer attached to the tips of my fingers. When I first started to realized this was true, I was amazed because I can't recall having done much of anything in the past four years without my computer. The majority of my arty stuff is on a computer and I write papers on computers and only last year did I take notes without a computer (this was mostly due to laziness of not wanting to carry my comp around). In fact, Nikhita and I were talking the other day about what it is like to write things, on paper. Who does that anymore? We were both fully in agreement that we can't think without the computer open in front of us to write. Now I ask, is this healthy? What does this mean for my and future generations? We are completely dependent on these machines but more than that, the internet. Yes I could theoretically write a paper without the internet because I would still have my computer, and in fact, the internet probably only distracts me, but still I feel a gap when I don't have access. In normal life (meaning at home in the US), I have internet access everywhere. I am one of those crackberry people who will google anything, anywhere, anytime. And seriously, when are any of us "disconnected"? By not having internet, this means I am only checking my email once a day, only responding to facebook and checking my blogs every few days, this is disconnected? I don't know, I don't know how this affects me or what it says about me but I'm sure it says something about everyone who is this way, meaning a good portion of the world. With laptops and smartphones and wifi enabled ipods, how long do we ever go without checking our emails? We don't.

Sorry, that was a rant but I can't help but think and also see that I have a problem, which reminds me, I miss my blackberry, a lot, like more than anyone should ever admit to missing an inanimate object, but I do. You should all expect me to attack you when I get back via blackberry.

Moving on (that's what we do in life isn't it?), yesterday was the first day of winter here. This means that you all, you who are in the northern hemisphere, are now in summer, does that mean it will get hotter in North Carolina? Lord, I hope not, I don't want to melt as I get off the plane, how anti-climactic. Anyways, it was the first day of winter and the high for the day was something like 55 degrees (Fahrenheit of course because I'm american and that's how my brain works). All day long, in the newspapers and on the news channels, there were messages about how this was the coldest day of the year and how everyone was hoping that this cold let up so as to not create the coldest winter in history. I'm being serious for the record. Also, as a result of this, the people are bundled. I have never even seen people who live in places where it actually gets cold wear two scarfs, but here I have seen that. Partly that is because people here will wear absolutely anything and also because if it goes below 70, they think they are going to die of cold. Now I understand that people are adjusted differently to cold weather based on experiences but I just cannot take these people seriously. Today it was in the 60s and people were wearing gloves, heavy winter jackets, several sweaters, scarfs y qué sé yo, everything you could ever imagine you would wear if you were in wisconsin and it was 20 below. I know I should be accepting and not judgmental, but I'm not and I will judge you if you ever try to tell me that 60s is cold.

In addition to this major excess amount of clothing that everyone argentine desires to wear, it affects us foreigners too. I am by far one of the more naked people in BA this time of year and that usually means that I am wearing boots, tights, dress and a sweater during the day and my leather jacket at night. That's naked. For some reason, even though any of us have ever seemed to think it is what we would call cold, we wear clothes like it is. For example, I have seen Lindsay, who let me remind you is from Wisconsin, wearing a sweater and her northface jacket with jeans and flats when it is in the 70s. Now that's just ridiculous. We feel for some reason obliged to dress like this. Literally every day we talk about how it's not cold outside and based on the reactions of the people, we get dressed thinking we are going outside in a blizzard, it never snows. (Sidenote: Apparently, 3 years ago, it snowed in BA. I have recieved this information from several different people. It's apparently a very big deal. This reason this interests me is because I would love to be here during snow, absolutely love it, because I cannot even fathom what people would do. Would they leave houses? Could they leave their houses? Would the city just stop moving? I think it would be utterly fascinating.) This reminds me also, I brought two jackets. One for medium weather and one for slightly colder, not cold weather. Well I haven't had to opportunity to wear my colder one, not even once. This makes me sad, because I love that coat and it's not like I can wear it when I get back home, apparently it's deathly hot.

So this is short and sweet, hope you enjoy for once that I didn't write a five page blog. you're welcome fans.

(I know I need to make my ego smaller, it's not all real, I swear)

love you lots
and lots
and argentina won
the US plays tomorrow

Friday, June 18, 2010

Work work work and more work.

Let me tell you about how bogged down with work I am. I am currently on gchat talking to Erik about whether I should go out tonight or stay at home and read some enlightening Amy Tan. After telling him how much I have to do in the next 2 and 1/2 weeks (assuming I want to finish with a few days to left to enjoy what I have left), he suddenly was fully in favor of me staying in and reading. Here, I will include you in my life.

That previous bit was written on Friday night. And I will inform you that my Saturday was not much more exciting, I stayed in both nights in an attempt to finish the Amy Tan book I am supposed to be reading. I actually just finished, it's a little after 1 on Sunday. The rest of my day will be spent re-reading short stories for my exam on Tuesday and tomorrow, I will attempt to learn everything I can about them all again. This is not actually very exciting. Last night at dinner, I made out a schedule of what I have left to do before I leave, in less than 3 weeks I might add, and I have every day schedule down to a t (is that the right form of that saying?). Anyways, I was also talking to mother on Friday night and she asked me the age-old mother question, "Did you put off everything to the end?" This is a question that she has asked me many times, and for once, the answer is actually no, or more no than yes. I mean yes there are things I have put off, but I actually have been really busy with work recently and I have been doing the best I can to keep up. It's so frustrating. For example, I got several assignments for papers only last week. And for one of my classes, the due date for my final paper is two years from the end of the seminar, so of course the mid-term is due the second to last class. However, because I am a foreigner, as I am so often reminded of, I have to turn in all my work before I leave the country. There is no leeway on this and so what I end up with is my mid-term due one week and my final due the next. Blah. Ok, I am going to stop talking about this now because it is causing me depression that I do not wish to have. Optimistic point though! Because I have so much work to do, the day where I leave will come quickly because every day is scheduled already. Woot!

Second thing that happened this week that is of interest and is most likely more interesting than me complaining about how much I have to do is something that happened on Wednesday. Wednesday evening around 7pm, my friend Nikhita and I were sitting in a cafe that is at the corner of my block, literally several hundred yards from my apartment but no more. We were both working on our computers (as I have no internet at my house and will expand on that later). We had been sitting there for a while, I got coffee, she got orange juice, we split a muffin and in essence, life was good. Then the strangest thing happened, a man walked into the cafe, reached from behind Nikhita while staring me straight in the eyes and took her computer that she was actually typing on. He then proceeded to run out of the cafe and somehow, Nihkita managed to run after him. I'm sure she would have caught (which potentially could have been very dangerous), but he already had a friend waiting on a motorcycle for him and they sped away. And like that, it was gone, robbery had occurred and we were standing dumbfounded in a café, not even able to speak. Nikhita asked if we could call the police and sadly every one confirmed our suspicions that it wouldn't do any good anyways. The police would likely not even write down anything we said, this happens to often, no one can do a damn thing about it. All of this, Nikhita's host mother later confirmed. So we left to go call her parents and try to figure out what to do. There were the normal bits of surprise, grief and then ice cream to try to calm the nerves, which helped of course. We have since then worked out a sharing bit for when we are in Starbucks (they have a security guard, I am now very conscious of where I take my computer), and her host mom and some family friends have made sure she is set until we go home.

The thing is, about this robbery, is that we were in the safest part of Buenos Aires. We were in the nicest part of town, which of course makes us targets in one since, but there is also supposed to be less crime here, I am supposed to be safe. Well, although I have never felt completely safe in Buenos Aires as I would in say, Kernersville North Carolina, I have felt comfortable. Don't get me wrong, of course I always have my guard up, from men making sexual gestures on the street to people invading my personal space a little too much on the subway or buses, but I felt at least safe-ish near my home. And to add to it, we weren't being stupid Americans. We didn't leave our computers just sitting on a table as we went to the bathroom (which we saw a girl do the next day at a different cafe quite close to the first) and we weren't ignoring our surroundings, we were being safe. We were sitting inside and Nikhita was physically touching her computer when it was taken. There was absolutely nothing we could have done, which helps a bit but also puts reality in a scary place, there is nothing we can do here to actually control out safety here. I realized shortly after that I am just fed up with this city, I can appreciate it for some things, but I want to be home, not for my food, or my family, or my friends or whathaveyou, I want to be home so I can feel safe at least for a little bit. And I know I am going to be living in NYC next semester and that it isn't exactly safe, but it's just not the same. Buenos Aires is a really poor city; these people don't have anything else. It also has one of the highest crime rates in the world, compared to Buenos Aires; I will be safe in NYC. I don't know, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'm really glad that we were okay and that nothing too traumatizing happened (like the girl whose house here got broken into or the three girls who were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight on a busy street), but still it just reminds that I am never safe and there is a feeling of constant stress knowing I can never be careful enough.

Okay, now we're moving on to the next biggest even that is happening in my life right now. My Internet (did you know that internet is a proper noun according to Microsoft word?) sucks ass. Literally. As most of you know, I have never had particularly good Internet while I have been in this country. It went in and out every ten minutes, if it even took that long and the majority of most skype conversation consisted of me leaving and calling back and then disappearing and then calling back and it was a vicious cycle. It never got better, it only got worse. It had gotten to the point that if I was video skyping and even clicked a link to facebook (which is not slow internet friendly), then it would cut out. Well, this was annoying (I would also have to go start the modem every 10-20 minutes) but I could handle it. Then Hilda moved in and when it went out for real, like I would to go into the other room and restart the modem, I could no longer go into the other room at night because Hilda was in there sleeping. This was annoying, but manageable, as I could always just go restart it in the morning. Well then the annoying thing happened, my host mother tried to get it fixed and now because of all her brilliant technicians coming in and changing wires and putting the modem in my room, I no longer have internet. It was out for several days straight and before that it would work in the lowest sense of the word, it was so slow at one point, I couldn't load pages, any of them on the whole internet. Then it went out completely and she had the technician come back. He tried to fix it, but said that we would have to call the cable company, that he could only replace the modem and he said it should be fine until the cable company came. Well, what he didn't know was that he was wrong. It worked for one day and then didn't work the next morning and then did work at night and then didn't work in the morning and then didn't work at night and then didn't work at all. This is where we are now and the technician doesn't come until Wednesday, and as I'm sure you can all imagine, this really is helping me get all my freakish amounts of work done...not even slightly. I'm stuck and I have to spend all my time in either Starbucks or at Nikhita's house, this sucks. I can't wait until I get home and there isn't a "problem in the area" that keeps from having internet access. OH and I will have my blackberry which keeps me constantly connected, Oh America.

Speaking of America, or at least specifically, the United States of, the place I call home, I've noted something recently. Somehow, during my time in Argentina, I have become more American. I have never been particularly American like, I always have certain qualities that identify me as what I am, but never any of that overt patriotism or inability to find other countries on the map or that desire to only speak English. However, since I got here, I've realized how truly American I am. I realized this when I was standing in Starbuck's, wearing Lindsay's northface jacket. All of that is American. I eat at mostly British or americanized restaurants here or some type of international cuisine because I can't actually stand argentine food anymore. I still dress very American like and well, then there's my accent and for those of you who haven't traveled a lot, even non-native English speakers can usually identify an American accent. It's the normal English that everyone knows and can identify. Anyways, I just thought I would note this and how I think it's weird that living abroad made me more American.

In contrast to that entire last paragraph, I have to tell you that somewhere in the midst of the World Cup starting, I have become a football (soccer) fan. I know things about the World Cup. I know players, for at least Argentina, I know the rules, I know why they do certain quizzical things and I can actually explain this to others. I have been following the quarterfinals elimination and when asked I can tell you when the next game is of at least the US and Argentina, I'm pretty much a connoisseur now. I watch games, I care, and I don't know how this happened. I think it has to do with a possible two things but these are just hypotheses. First, I really like both the Shakira song "Waka Waka" (in Spanish and English" and the David Bisbal K'Naan song "Wavin' Flag" and these are highly associated with the World Cup making me love the world cup more and want to watch. This is weak theory; please let me tell you the more likely one. Soccer players can be really hot, I mean completely gorgeous. They're not all bulky like football players and soccer is ten times more interesting than baseball, but mostly they can be really gorgeous and it makes it worth watching. I know I shouldn't say this out loud or rather type and publish it to the internet, but seriously google Gonzalo Higuaín or hell, anyone on the Brazilian team. Any sane straight female should really jump on this bandwagon, soccer is fun.

Oh also for those of you who are wondering if the entire city shuts down for the World Cup, the answer is yes and no. For Argentina games, YESYESYES (or SÍSÍSÍ), the whole country shuts down, but not necessarily for other games, life goes on but everyone knows and every café has the TV on the same channel. It's pretty marvelous to watch as long as the game isn't at 8:30 in the morning, like it was last Thursday, Argentina versus South Korea (for the record, Argentina won, 4-1, 3 of the goals were scored by Higuaín). There's another Argentina game at 3:30 this Tuesday also.

Little side note of Argentine culture, they love to use superlatives (and conversely, diminutives as well). This morning I walked into the kitchen and Hilda was on the phone (which is one of the three things she ever does, talk on the phone, watch TV and knit, she has a fascinating life) and I overheard her say "Bárbaro! Buenísimo, Buuueeeenooo!! Fantástico!" all in a row, just like it, that's a quote guys. It is the equivalent of saying, "OMG THAT'S SO AMAZING, LIKE SOO SOO GOOD, SOO GOOD, SOOO FANTASTIC, SO GOOD!" all in row, which just sounds ridiculous. Hehe.

Ok, so as another little side note. As a result of having so much homework and never having reliable internet in my house and also the cushy chairs and smell of coffee, I spend a lot of time in Starbuck's. Now, as I am sure you are all judging me "She's in Argentina and hangs out in Starbucks, how American" and on one hand you would be right, you can find lots of Americans/English speakers there, but there is a different stigma to starbucks here. Instead of representing the classic chain and the murderer to the small individually owned organic mom-and-pop coffee shop, it is what the young crowd does. In Argentina, that old sit down in a coffee shop and enjoy coffee like it is a meal thing is exactly that, old. And it's only what old people do. Here, the young crowd goes to starbucks, there are always massive groups of teenagers and a few couples showing their love for one another in the starbucks we go to. But all starbucks are like this, the other ones I have been to, have young businessmen, American tourists, and young people. That's just what it is, which is almost the opposite of in the States, where all the cool young people go to little shops with organic coffee, because that's what we do. And here, starbucks is what they do.

My point being, as I seemed to completely have lost it in my last paragraph is that I spend a lot of time there. I know I have mentioned this before. Either way, Argentine starbucks are celebrating their 2-year anniversary in the country this week and they are having coffee tastings and the like. So today, Pablo, the guy who always gets excited when Lindsay comes in because he knows her very difficult American name, comes up to us (Lindsay, Ami and I) and asks if we would be interesting in doing a tasting. We of course say yes, and he tells us it will be just like wine. Hehe, not that we ever want to do wine tastings again. Anyways, so he comes back, he walks us through the tasting and we door poorly with identifying the flavors and smells and whatnot even though we know ten-fold more about coffee than we do about wine, we still fail, it's still a fracaso. I still have a cold and Ami stills likes describing things as what they are, it tastes like wine, it tastes like coffee. So Lindsay is left to determine what the coffee smells and tastes like and how to correctly identify it. She does better than Ami and I. We all decide we like the stronger African one better and we can now tell the difference between African and Latin American coffee like we can tell the difference between young wine and old wine, we're experts and we need a hell of a lot of practice. Anyways, it was fun, we got two free French presses of coffee and free cookies for the tasting. Then he gave out free carrot cake, we are still unsure why we bothered to buy anything. :)

Ok, so there is a chance that this is the longest blog post I have ever done. I will try to write more often and have shorter posts that are easier on the eye. I'm sorry, it's really difficult between the homework and the internet. Oh and don't forget, I will be home in less than 3 weeks, which is less than 3 weeks. It's so close, I can almost smell the obesity and tobacco, WOOT!!

love love love and wordiness
happy father's day benny (and the jets)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I think the end is near.

So, yesterday I received an email from the oh-so-cryptic Ben, the step dad of all knowledge. It said "26 days" and other than sounding like a slightly shorter version of 28 days, I realized it's not that much time. I have a lot of papers and such left to write but that's not the most important thing. 3 weeks and counting.

Moving on, this past week was a bit hectic as I assume that all weeks in the future are going to be. I mean at least until I get home. I skipped my UBA class last monday because it was far away and I had a paper to write. Tuesday, I went to class but somehow in the course of my life became sick with what I will refer to as the plague. It was horrible, so Tuesday after class, I ended up laying in my bed and not moving, watching Dexter and thinking I was going to die. What made this worse is that I had already bought my plane ticket to go to Mendoza the next day, so I knew I had to rest. And I tried. It took me forever to go to sleep because I was having hot spells and cold chills and I had this nasty throbbing headache and I had a fever. It was really unpleasant. Then thank the lord, I finally slept. I woke up on Wednesday early than I desired to and watched Glee (which was a somewhat disappointing finale) and some more Dexter. At some point, I showered and dressed and we went to the airport and flew to Mendoza. And here we can move into the details of my trip.

We got to the hostel, it was really nice and cute and super safe. I went to bed almost immediately upon arrival and the others ate. I was asleep by 9:30. I woke up pretty early the next morning and checked my email and had breakfast and found out that we should already be leaving for our day at the wineries. We got the right bus to Mr. Hugo's and followed the map to our first vineyard, Trapiche. We took the tour, learned a lot about wine and realized how little any of us knows about wine. We did a tasting and Ami so genuinely commented that "it tastes like wine" when we were repeatedly asked what flavors we could taste in the wine? Leather, chocolate, tobacco, shoe, wool, sheep, dog, none of us knew what was going on. To add to this, I was still stuffy and when asked to smell wine, I couldn't really do anything more than suck snot. I was super classy. At this point, we were wine sipping without having eaten since breakfast and decided to go to one of the wineries to have lunch. It was the farthest away, the Familia di Tomasso and well, Ami bikes really slowly. Also, this calm country biking that you may have imagined is not exactly what we were experiencing. We were biking down the side of the main road that runs through wine country and there were buses and tractor-trailers and it was sometimes scary. At one point, when a tractor trailer full of wine bottles passed I realized what the most painful death ever would be. I used to think it would be slowly being eaten to death by a turtle, but I realize it may in fact be riding a bike on a road when a tractor trailer of wine bottles passes and the truck breaks somehow and all the wine bottles spill out, shattering on to you, cutting you all over while wine pours into your cuts. Doesn't that sound awful? Well, when the fourth or fifth truck like this passes by, less than two feet from you, you start imagining these types of scenes, like you were living in final destination or something.

Anyways, we had good lunch, more wine and then some more wine. We did some spontaneous yoga and somehow, our balance was off. Hmm. We eventually made it back to Mr. Hugo's to get our complimentary glass of wine. Well in Mr. Hugo's world, a complimentary glass is actually a complimentary unlimited amount of wine, where he continually fills glasses while smiling and speaking in Spanish to tourists, who mostly only speak English. It was great fun. At some point, we made it back to our hostel after Lindsay insisted on eating something from a place called Mr. Dog and I think the guy who works at our hostel thinks we're crazy. Although, he must not think we're too awful, we're facebook friends now, which is legit.

Friday morning, we woke up, slowly, all needing water. It was a very smart idea of ours to schedule our paragliding trip in the afternoon. We ate some breakfast and then avoided food, because apparently paragliding can cause nausea. This is true, in case you are wondering, I experienced it first combined with the nausea I got from the very bumpy, somewhat hazardous ride up the mountain. That would be the mountain that I then JUMPED OFF OF WHILE STRAPPED TO A PARACHUTE. OMG, it was so awesome. Adrenaline, Nausea, Cold, More Cold and then came the acrobatics. It was amazing, so amazing and I loved every second of it and I cannot properly describe to you what it is like to jump off a mountain, and I literally mean there are no words for the experience. I was speechless, but I got a baller picture of me in the air. It will be my new profile, don't fret.

So then, we returned and all showered because we were all disgusting, not from paragliding, from not showering for several days, because you don't have to when you live in a hostel. We went to the grocery store and bought groceries (only vegetables) to make ourselves dinner. Oh and we bought supplies or what supplies we could find in order to make chocolate chip cookies (because we were all missing them and thinking of home) and those supplies would come to delicious fruition the next day. We roasted butternut squash and batatas (which don't exist in English) and made some corn on the cob. Also, we made about ten times more food than we needed, but as I am most affectionately known as "the garbage disposal," it all worked out in the end.

For the rest of the weekend, we cooked more, we watched various movies and various games of the world cup. We baked, we became known as "the chefs" of the hostel and traded recipes with some new Irish friends. It was awesome and we essentially did nothing. We baked chocolate chip cookies which although very common in the US, are not so common worldwide and I had several people ask what we were making. We had enough to share with every single person in our hostel and everyone loved them, even though they judged our combination of milk and cookies and we judged their combination of beer and cookies. Also, in case you are ever in a country where brown sugar doesn't exist, for example, Argentina, then I have a solution for you. Instead of the usual present brown sugar, we substituted granulated sugar on a 1:1 basis and added about a tablespoon of honey based off an idea I got from googling. It worked perfectly, you couldn't even tell the difference. Also, they don't sell chocolate chips here in general, you can find them, but they're not everywhere, which astounds and confuses me.

Saturday night, we discovered a version of Spanish monopoly in the hostel. This was a win. We decided to play. It turns out that there is a reason I never play monopoly...I'm cursed. In a simple game of monopoly, I rolled 21 doubles. I went to jail 3 times because of rolling doubles 3 times in a row and I went to jail a total of 6 times (one of which I rolled doubles on the first try to get out). It was really creepy and we decided I was cursed because it is statistically disturbing to roll that many doubles. This led us to look up people who died on my birthday, because I am obviously the reincarnate (can you use that as a noun?) of some crazy evil dictator or algo así. Well, it turns out no one super scary died on my birthday, but the whole being born on Friday the 13th might have some weight in the issue. Also, while we were googling, I told Francisco (the night guy at our hostel) that I was cursed and he didn't believe me. So he pulls the game out of the cabinet and has me roll the die to prove I'm not cursed. Well, I rolled doubles, He still denies it and after we figure out no one awesome died on my birthday, he had me roll them again. I rolled doubles again. That's 23 times folks, be wary, you're my friends, you're next.

Sunday morning (awesome news show), we awake to finish packing and go to the airport pretty early. We make it back and attempt to do homework, not sure we ever did. This brings me to the next subject of my musings. I don't have all that much time left here. I have an epic amount of work to do, because the way school works here is no accountability for the majority of the semester and then a whole bunch of death at the end. So much fun. My goal is to be done by July 5th, so I at least have 5 days left in BA without a whole bunch of shitty work to do.

I've been thinking about it and I think there are actually some things I am going to miss about BA. It's started to grow on me a bit here at the end and I'm not nearly as unhappy as I was a month ago. I still hate my host family and I call them "las viejas" (which means old ladies) but she is now making me almost a separate meal ever night and this is helping. I still hate meat and can't wait to not eat it, but I've been able to avoid it fairly well in the confines of the city. The food is what has been causing me the most problem here, but soon I will have food I like. And once I stopped caring about my host family and what they think even slightly, life has been much better. I still can't wait to go home, but at least I know now that I can make it the last 25 days, which is now more like 24 and I will be fine.

All right, although I would like to keep writing, I have much work to do and really need to start doing that. Also, I should shower and wash my massively long hair at some point as it takes quite a long time now.

lots of love
lots of besos

p.s. i know that we are young and i know that you may love me, but i just can't be with you like this anymore, alejandro

^my new obsession, just accept it and watch the video, trust me, it's worth a watch and alejandro needs to beat bad romance as the most watched video of all time

p.p.s. i just put this into word to proof it because ami told me i was making mistakes and i really wish i could write papers this easily, it's 3 pages single spaced, damn

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hey Boys and Girls

I know I have been not very daily in my blog updating recently. Let's just call me a failure and move on. Today is Sunday and instead of doing the work that I know I need to do because I will have no more time before it is due, I am watching Dexter and skyping with my mother, how fascinating. Actually, and this may surprise you all, I haven't really talked to mom since last week, which for us is a really long time. I've just been busy this week and my yoga classes are moved to the nighttime now, limiting the amount of time I am actually ever at my house at night and thank the lord for that because I hate it here. The maid steals and the nasty host mothers bring in people without telling me and don't introduce and just leave me standing in the kitchen in my pajamas. Those bitches.

So right now I am sitting at starbucks which is where I spend more time than I should actually admit. Ami and Lindsay and Nikhita and I all come here quite often to the point that I realized today that I will most likely miss the people who work here. We beso when we come in, the security guard and I have inside jokes and we share mate with them. This might make me sound a bit pathetic, but the reason that we come here is to escape being in our houses with our awful host families (at least that's why Lindsay and I come) and we can stay here and not be bothered of judged and there is coffee and there are muffins and it is a happy place. Also, here, Starbucks does not have the same stigma that it does in the states because starbucks is actually the cool place to be, it's where all the young people go, whereas the traditional sit down and enjoy your coffee at a table cafe is where all the old people go. In the states, the cool people go to local places, I know this, but it's just different here. Anytime you walk into a starbucks here, you will see tons of people working, lots of teenagers hanging out and many more teenagers making out. It's a interesting place.

This past week, on Tuesday, I went to the Opera with my program. It was free and I had never been to the opera. We went to see Madame Butterfly, which was very beautiful and possibly the most melodramatic thing I have ever seen. Butterfly kills herself because it is no longer worth living once she finds out her American husband (she's japanese) has gotten a new wife. It's pretty darn racist but the music is beautiful. The seats that we had were in the paraiso alto section, which is the section that is so high, you can touch the ceiling, literally. We could only sit in certain places because of the arches that they most conveniently built in front of us. Also, there were some points where I actually considered napping. This was not because it was boring but rather because the music was beautiful and relaxing and put me into a happy place where I could nap. I never actually fell asleep, I was afraid that I was going to fall off and into the crowd. It was my first opera, I am cultured now and I actually really liked it, I think might go to another one sometime. It could be fun.

Let's see, the rest of this week has been filled with lots of homework and class and skyping with friends which is obviosuly the most wonderful of the three. I am going to yoga twice a week, which is honestly the only thing getting me through living in Argentina at this point. I love the studio here and my yoga instructor is really awesome, we also get to do inversions in every class and I just really like it. I also really like having my classes taught in spanish, I'm getting pretty good at knowing the names of all the body parts. Also, I am damn near mastering the forearm stand which if you don't know what that looks like, then you should google it and my goal before I leave Argentina is to master the handstand, I'm getting there, but I haven't made it yet.

Friday, Ami and Lindsay and I made an attempt to go the religious theme park here in BA, but we never actually made it because we were too busy enjoying life and taking things slowly, so we actually did nothing all day. However, Friday night, we did manage to make it to the movie theater. Finally, a week later, Sex and the City 2 premiers in Argentina and we were able to go see it. The theatre was almost entirely women, which wasn't surprising but what was surprising was that there were actually some straight men to found in there with us. We watched and laughed, mostly at how ridiculous everything we were seeing was. We also realized that half the jokes in the movie were fully based on puns in the English language and there were so many awesome jokes that were just lost, like lawrence of my labia and mid-wife crisis are the two I can think of right now. Anyways, I liked the movie for its epic badness and I just really thought Liza Minelli singing single ladies might be the funniest thing I have ever seen. Another favorite part would be Samantha's breakdown in the middle of the market, oh the awesomness.

The rest of our super awesome weekend has been filled with homework. I'm supposed to be reading all of The Color Purple by tomorrow and Ami and Lindsay both have parciales tomorrow, which are like midterms. ick. I'm about 2/3 of the way through and have no desire to read anymore, I find it be boring. Oh and Saturday night, we went out to celebrate Lindsay's 22 and 2/3 + 1 day birthday. We wanted the opportunity to celebrate everyone's birthday while we were here in BA and her birthday is in October, we missed her half birthday and attempted to celebrate her 3/4 birthday, but somehow miscalculated 9 months from October as an actual 8 months from her birthday, giving us 2/3. This day fell on a Friday and the only day of the week we don't have dinner provided with our families is on Saturday, so we added a day, making this the most complicated celebration ever. It was fun, we basically did the same thing we do every Saturday night, we went to Cumaná, had some wine and sat talking for over 3 hours. Ami and I gave Lindsay a cup of ice water for her birthday, she was really missing ice water. We lead some crazy exciting lives.

I'm not really else what to say at this point. I can't wait to come home, you knew that. I have a lot of work to do, you knew that. Oh, I'm going to travel again this week, and that's exciting if only because I get to be away from the old hag host mothers. We're going to Mendoza for 4 days and it should be a lot of fun. There will be paragliding in the andes and wine drinking and bike riding from vineyard to vineyard and we are going to absolutely ignore homework the entire time, how happy!

In other fun news, I have to take my computer to the MAC store sometime soon because I think I have somehow screwed up my airport and for all you haters out there, you are not allowed to contribute that to MAC error, because I doubt it actually is. I will contribute it completely to Kristin error, because if you recall, I break things. I can't work well with plants, animals, cell phones, ipods or computers. Don't ever let me babysit. Just a warning.

I think that's about it for now, I have class tomorrow and tuesday and I'm skipping on thursday, which is also exciting.

And remember, you are the truth of the world.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Has things to say, but doesn't feel like saying them.

So, it's friday night. I should be excited to go do something super awesome, but I haven't actually found myself excited about anything in a long time. Lord, I am so emo, I need to get over this shit. Like I said, it's friday night and I feel guilty because I haven't been writing in my blog but I honestly don't feel that there is anything all that interesting going on in my life. Whatever.

(Here is where I tell you wrote that paragraph on friday and have just now made it back to my blog, it's sunday.)

So, I had class on Thursday, it was the only class I will have had in a ten day period because I don't have class on fridays or wednesdays and monday and tuesday were both holidays in honor of argentina's birthday. They celebrated for five days, I think 2 days would have been enough, I only went 2 days, although I am glad I got to go. I'm glad I got to be here for such an event and it was actually a lot of fun to be there.

Anyways, on Tuesday, Ami and Lindsay and I decided to go to the parade for the bicentennial. This was the most important thing to happen during all the festivities. It was supposed to start at 7, so we left our houses a little before 7, knowing it wouldn't start anywhere near 7, argentines just aren't that timely. So, we arrive at 9 de julio (the street where all the jazz is happening) and there are just more people than you can possibly imagine. They predicted a crowd, but holy man, this was a crowd (and I went to inauguration, remember?). We walk and walk and walk in the direction we think things are happening in. We get there, we can see the big screen, Cristina is talking. We try to figure out exactly where the parade route is so that we can somehow find ourselves in the middle of the action. We ask someone and walk in the direction of the diagonal where the parade is to be and by walk, I mean attempt to walk. There were far too many people to actually walk. I would describe it more like a black hole where gravity (here it's people) is pressing on you from every side and you are getting pushed and shoved and are trying to maintain standing and then you get hit by a stroller and the man next to you stops to have a cigarette. You can imagine this was a most lovely experience.

At some point we realize that we are standing between two rows of metal barriers meant to partition off the parade route and we're not the only ones, there are a ton of people standing where they shouldn't be. The police were trying to get all the people out of the parade route and after they realized very quickly that this wasn't working, they made another solution. They found some police tape and just made new barriers of people in front of the metal barriers giving you a partitioned off middle section, then some police tape, people, then metal barriers, then more people. It was really an excellent design. So we stand, we wait, we're behind the police tape. Nothing happens. We know the parade has already started, we saw it on the big screen. We stand. Nothing happens. People start to ask the police officers questions. Usually this seems like a good idea until you realize not a single police officer here actually gives a shit about the parade route. An Argentine asks one officer, where is the parade supposed to go? He says here. And she says, well how is it going to do that? He shrugs. We and everyone else realize that the floats literally have no where to go because of the wall of people, oh fun.

The police tape breaks, the people flood into the parade route and then somehow, miraculously, there is a reformed parade route and there are floats and lights and people coming down the street. Not that it wasn't well lit before, it's BA, but still, these were flashing lights and there was music. So Ami and Lindsay and I find ourselves on the other side of the parade route being crushed to death by people and then by more people who are moving out of the way of the parade as it approaches. I find one of those metal barrier things that for some reason is now perpendicular to the parade route, how effective and decide that this would be the perfect place to stand. I climb onto the barrier and yell for Ami to give me her camera, because I can see everything from here. Perfection. At some point, I hand my purse back to Ami, there is no way I am getting my camera out in this madness and then she and Lindsay decide that want to go back a little bit to be able to breathe and so as to not get trampled like Mufasa in The Lion King. Ami gives me her phone and I stay to take pictures. It was so awesome, somehow even in the midst of the most ridiculous street party/gathering/parade nonsense I have ever found myself in, I managed to start talking to some argentines beside me and made some friends. This was nice once Ami and Lindsay had left because periodically, the entire parade would have to stop to push the people out of the route to make room for the floats. Like I said, this was well-planned and well-executed. Go argentina.

The parade pretty much was designed to travel through Argentina's history, both the good and bad points were highlighted and it was really interesting, like I said, a good experience. However, when the last float finally made it to where I was, which was near the end of the route, all the people flooded out into the street behind it (because the last float was just a DJ playing popular argentine songs) and it became a moving street party. There were people everywhere just singing and dancing and screaming and then randomly, all the argentines, with pride of course, would start jumping to the music. I found myself in the middle of the hubbub with my two new argentine friends and the only thing to save yourself in a crowd of people jumping is to jump, so I jumped. It was amazing and so much fun and fortunately, I did not get crushed to death. At some point, I managed to find Ami and Lindsay again in the massive and endless crowd (which the news reported to be 2-3 million) and we went home, but man was I energized. Good job argentina, I really mean it, buen trabajo, feliz cumpleaños.

Fortunately yet again for me, I did not have to get up for class in the morning. This was doubly good because I had been sleeping really horribly and having some pretty wicked nightmares. However, on the recommendation of the my mother, I started taking melatonin and now I have actually been sleeping well, I think my body was just out of whack for some reason, maybe it's the argentine food.

Wednesday I did nothing, Thursday, I went to class, then yoga and then had coffee with Ami and Nikhita but mostly did nothing, unless you count skyping with my future husband Sean for an unnamed number of hours, something (which I secretly do), but I did nothing productive. Friday, I woke up with intention of doing homework, but I'm pretty sure I actually did nothing. I like sleeping in and apparently, contributing not a damn thing to society. My mother should be so proud of me. I promise to become a useful person again someday, I just don't think I am going to find that in Argentina, oh whoops, it's not counting towards my gpa, thank the lord.

Speaking of how useless I am, I have been finding it extraordinarily difficult to do anything lately. No one in the university system holds you accountable, which usually doesn't bother me, but there is also the little fact that the majority of my readings have no play on any form of evaluation for the class. All I have is final papers and one in class exam and one oral exam. None of the readings I currently supposed to be reading count for any of that. So, would you be working either? I doubt it, I'm watching Dexter. You should too.

Saturday, I went to the organic farmer's market in Palermo, which in itself wasn't easy to find but it was amazing and we ate organic chocolate while drinking organic coffee, in case you are unaware, this is my version of heaven. After we finally pulled ourselves away, we went and had lunch at Buenos Aires Verde, which was good but still had a little bit of that Argentine version of nutrition as it's core. It rained all day and I loved it because it gave me a reason to wear rain boots, a rain coat, to carry an umbrella and to look like a complete idiot for a day. Also, to note, the three of us got confused for germans and brazilians, don't understand either.

After this, we did nothing. I started watching Dexter. Oh and then there was some meat, but that's really worth seeing and not talking about. Here, just a tease, kidney. Mmm, delicious.

Anyways, that's all for now. I tried adding in some pics. Hope you like it!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

You are insultingly young.

So I am trying to recapture my narrative abilities but I feel that my depression has stolen them from me. I never considered myself a particularly amazing writer, but I feel that my last several posts have been sub-par, somewhat mediocre. I have considered making up stories about all the amazing things I have been doing in BA, using my imagination to the best of it's abilities, like the Wiggles do. However, I have decided that I am too honest a person for this, I have decided to only tell you real, true life stories, like A&E and MTV do.

Moving on from my rambling. On Wednesday, May 19, I had my first real anything with my internship with this independent literary arts magazine run out of BA. They are in their seventh year, which is kind of a big deal, because think about how hard it is to start and maintain a magazine in the states, now imagine that with how difficult Argentina makes everything. So, basically they are cool. The email I received said that I should meet both the directors, Marcelo and Graciela, and my contact Maxi at the house/office thing at 6:15 to review what I am doing before the meeting started at 7.

I got there at 6:15 exactly which means I was very early on Argentine time. Marcelo and Maxi were there, we sat down and chatted about what I was doing and what I have been doing. Marcelo ranted about facebook and twitter and twitting and how he doesn't understand it (he's in his 60s, I'm guessing) and it was pretty hilarious. Graciela arrived right around 7, looking completely disheveled, but when she got settled, we sat down and I caught her up on everything I had talked about with Marcelo and Maxi.

At around 7:30, the first person showed up for the meeting and then they started pouring in (by which I mean, that the meeting totaled maybe 11 people). A little after 8, the meeting started. I took notes, they talked and had intellectual discussions. I was lost for about half of it and then (to make myself a wonderful use of the english language) they talked about Lost and the end of Lost for maybe half an hour or more. At the end of the meeting, I chatted with my teacher who is a writer for the magazine and then we all went out to dinner. By this time it was 10oclock and I needed to go home, but this was the first time that I had ever had the opportunity to meet any one with the magazine, so I took it. This was also the first time that I had eaten an entire dinner with only Argentines and I will say only this, I miss table manners and I thank Emily Post for her crazy etiquette inducing ways. Anyways, we finally finished dinner and I went home and showered by about 1:30 and needless to say, I did not finish my homework for my 10am class the next day.

(Sidenote: I have been writing this blog post for literally 4 days, so there are many more things I must tell you).

Thursday, nothing in particular happened. Class, yoga, café with Ami and Lindsay where we made a full list of all the things we want to do while we are in BA. As of today (Sunday, the 23rd), we have only 6 full weeks and some change left and we have a lot to do. But that's okay, we will either finish the list or we won't, none of us actually care all that much.

Friday, I woke up and did the most exciting thing ever. I went to the immigration office to get my permanent residency and by that I mean, I am officially a resident of Argentina, until the 29th of September of course. After the massively boring wait at Immigration, we went to Pura Vida for lunch which was delicious and then I came home to skype with a most lovely Nandita Rao. I caught her right between her two scheduled out study times for the M-CAT, this is why I am a double humanities major. Win. But really, I love her a lot, she's fabulous and I miss her like crazy. After that I took a really long nap and then woke up to have dinner with the host mom and her lesbian lover (who is not actually her lesbian lover, I don't think, but it is her friend who has in the past week for some unknown reason moved into our house). After that, I did absolutely nothing and I have no shame in admitting it. My Friday night consisted of a shower, a bowl of cereal and some sex and the city. It was ultimately glorious.

Saturday comes. Saturday is the day of fun. I woke up, had some eggs and with some fresh mushrooms in them that I had bought at the farmer's market. It was delicious and then Ami and Lindsay and I went the Abasto Shopping Center with the intention of shopping and a result which was more like us just trying on the most ridiculous argentine clothes we could find and taking pictures in the dressing rooms. Don't worry, I'll post all these pictures soon. So, I actually bought one shirt from Zara but that was all any of us bought. I just needed something new in my closet, I hate everything I have here. After shopping, we went to this place in Palermo that is supposed to have really good cupcakes. And as it turns out, they have really good cupcakes. We got a lot of cupcakes and some coffee because we want to try them all. We each got a main cupcake for ourselves and then we each picked one that we would cut into thirds, so that each of us could participate in the glory that is baked goods. Lindsay picked the carrot cupcake as her primary and a patagonia as her secondary (which is chocolate with a berry mousse). Ami and I both picked the Red Velvet cupcake as our primary and she picked the Bombon as her secondary (which is chocolate, dulce de leche and creme). My secondary was Café Olé which really just means tiramisu. Heaven. No worries, there are pictures of everything from the unveiling to the aftermath of this glorious baked goods adventure. These will also be posted when I care to post them in the near future.

So after this, we went to check out the bicentennial nonsense. (Oh, we did walk into a store on the way to the subway from cupcakes and I found my perfect shoes in the right color on sale but sadly and as perfectly explains my life in this country, they didn't have my size or even a size close to mine and if you recall that scene from the most famous youtube video called Shoes, the scene where the saleslady tells him that his feet are kinda big, well that is pretty much what went down in this store, except for she was super nice and I am just not the same size as an Argentine in any sense.) We got to 9 de julio, which is the street where all the jazz is happening. There were concerts and harps and more people than I could ever hope to count. We fought the crowd for a bit and then got bored and sat down and watched a guy paint graffiti for a while. After a bit of this and some people watching, we left and walked to Cumaná for dinner. No, we don't have any creativity, or in reality, it's cheap and close and the only argentine food any of us really likes. We sat and chatted for forever. Oh and it was decided that I have a cute version of a southern accent and should not try to rid myself of it anymore because what I have left is not annoying like Paula Deen's (and her existence) but rather quite charming and seemingly hospitable. How do you feel about this? I would really like to know more, do you like the amount of accent I have left? Let me know.

After eating, we left, Ami and I got some chocolate milk in boxes like they have juice and walked home while having an entire conversation on the validity of juice boxes and how it is completely unnecessary to add sugar to juice because it is perfect in its natural state. I came home, showered and fell asleep to the wonderful sounds of Lady Gaga playing very loudly from the apartment below me.

How glorious, I know! I also know that this is a very long post, you're welcome, I know you are all on summer vacation and have nothing better to fill your time. There should be more to come as it is the most exciting weekend of the bicentennial and I don't actually have to go to class again until Thursday. Oh and I don't have class on Fridays, win.

For now, I should either do some reading or not, I have yet to decide.

Lots of love
miss you all

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't cry for me, Argentina.

So, I know that I promised that I would update my blog yesterday, but I completely 100% forgot. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, and I know I have been a very mediocre blogger lately but I'm trying.

If you're wondering, I have 53 days left here in Argentina (and for the record, no I didn't know that, I just counted). I've been trying to be very optimistic about the time I have left and be very optimistic about life because things really aren't that bad. When I get depressed, I just remember that my life is much better than anyone on Gossip Girl's life.

For Tuesday, I had to read a book called "El Juguete Rabioso" which I think is a less severe somewhat similar version of a clock work orange but it's in spanish and it's by an argentine author. I liked the book a lot, but imagine if you were reading a book where you didn't know what half the words meant and when you bothered to look them up, some of them don't even exist. It was a challenge to say in the least, but I finished on Monday and actually had time to write my review and sleep, some.

There is nothing else really exciting going on in my classes. I seem to have found myself in a very lucky position, I have only one in-class final. And I only have one mid-term, which is an out-of-class paper. Go me!

None of this is interesting, sorry, I just don't really have a lot going on right now. Tonight, for the first time, I am actually going to go to a meeting for my internship and meet the people who work on the magazine. I only have a little over 6 weeks left to my internship and finally, it's starting! Woot. Oh and moving on, I have been researching internships for NY. I feel like I am super behind because my overachieving friend Erik has already applied for several, but that's just how he is. Also, he no longer has to go to class. Blah. I am applying for an even spread of internships I think, between magazines, publishing houses and with fashion companies. That makes me sound so much cooler than I actually am. Oh and if anyone knows anything about how to make a portfolio, let me know, I think I need one.

Today, I am going to the study abroad office to ask about some hypo-allergenic detergent. And then I have my meeting, in the interim, I plan to read Operación Massacre by Rodolfo Walsh for my Spanish class tomorrow.

I know, it's all so very thrilling. Well at least this weekend is Argentina's bicentennial celebration for independence, it's a big deal. Hopefully, I will do something remotely interesting, most likely not though.

more love

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just to check in.

I haven't died. I'm swamped with work. Tuesday, I promise.

oh, in the mean time, to fill all the free time you will have from not reading my blog. i have a present.

expand your music knowledge. go ahead. i dare you.


p.s. you could also just watch glee.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Noticias en la vida de Cristina.

Updates in the life of Kristin (Cristina is like Kristin, but in spanish).

So, I thought that since I have already, or will at least most likely finish my homework in a timely manner tonight, I should post to my blog. Right now, I am waiting for Ana to serve dinner, which she doesn't even start unless I am home, so if I come home late, like I did tonight, we don't get dinner forever. I don't like her and I think she is stupid, and to only exacerbate my pain, I will not be moving houses anytime before I leave Buenos Aires. This is partly my fault and partly the fault of my program, and while I admit that I am at fault also, I am still quite upset with them. But I don't really want to talk about that anymore.

Nothing exciting or noteworthy in particular has happened (other than the aforementioned lack of movement) but I guess I can talk anyways. Today, I went to starbucks to do homework and was somewhat productive although not that productive in the scheme of things. And this morning when I woke up, I finished my readings for tomorrow, of which I am proud, but then I went back to sleep and woke up and went back to sleep three more times. This lead me to finish breakfast at the same time that Lindsay finished lunch. Go me!

Yesterday, during my yoga class, we were doing inversions and it was handstand day. We always do inversions in yoga class and that makes me happy because I had never really done any before I came to Argentina (oh noting this on my list of happy things that have occurred as a result of my being here list). Anyways, I have been able to do a handstand since I was little but never have I done one properly yoga style, which means that you start with you hands on the ground and a strap around your elbows and then kick up. Well, exciting day of days, I was able to kick up (against a wall obviously) and not only was I able to kick up several times, I was able to hold myself unsupported for several seconds. This was quite exciting and while I am sure most of you will not understand what an achievement this is, anytime I am able to do something new in yoga is a good day because it means I am developing in my practice and strengthening my body. That's a good thing, yay yoga!

Oh, as a result of this, my arms are almost too tired to type. I keep having to take them down off the desk to rest. I am an old pathetic lady. Oi.

I just had the untamable urge to listen to "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca, so I am. This is a fabulous movie, if you haven't seen it, I would highly recommended it.

This is just the non-sequitur post of the week, since nothing has purpose. Sorry for making you read it.

Dinner Time.

Ok, I am never going to write more, I have to finish my homework. This is all for today.

I'm going to say David Bisbal on Sunday, I'm stoked.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lord I need to get better at this blogging thing.

Hey guys I know it's been a while, almost a whole week, but you must remember that now that your exams have died down and come to an end, my semester is just starting to get intense. So let's review Kristin's last week quickly:

Martes/Tuesday: I was sick, didn't leave the house except for to go to the kisoco at the corner to get wheat cookies and sprite.

Miercoles/Wednesday: I went to immigration to get my visa, it was a horrific experience, I cried, but that's not the point, I got my temporary residency. I'm an argentine resident for at least the next 15-30 days. Had lunch at pura vida, drank coffee, attempted to go to the art seminar I wanted to do, which yet again hasn't started. Then went to Mario's house in San Telmo, ate pasta, listened to him talk forever, came home, slept. The end.

Jueves/Thursday: Got up, went to class. This was boring but alright. Went to get thai food in Chinatown with Greg and Lindsay. It was decent. Did not make it to yoga because of thai food eating. Came home, watched copious amounts of Gossip Girl instead of doing homework.

Viernes/Friday: Woke up, got in the way of the housekeeper who gets here obnoxiously early on Friday mornings. Went to get vegetarian buffet and then went to La Boca. El Caminito, you should have seen pictures by now. There were colorful houses and the amount of harassments was increased about ten-fold, we even got a f*** you, how pleasant. Took lots of pictures, returned to recoleta, had some coffee and went home for dinner. After dinner, Greg and Lindsay and I went to see a movie called Synecdoche, New York. I still have no idea what it was about.

Sábado/Saturday: Very argentine day, sort of. It was at least as argentine as we will ever be. Woke up, went to pura vida and got food to go. Ate food in the park, sat in another park and drank mate while people watching. Attempted to do work, failed. Went home for a bit, did some work, skyped the fam then we went out to eat and for a show at this place called Clásica y Moderna, which is a bookstore/restaurant thing. It was cool and I had a really interesting salad of pears, arugula (they love it here), walnuts and blue cheese. The show was good, we also had wine and a brownie thing for dessert.

Hoy/Domingo/Sunday: I went to tea connection with those people I always go to tea connection with. Tea Connection got a new menu, it's seasonal, what the hell? the only reason this upsets me is because I will never again be able to eat a mangomania salad and they are delicious. They did however slightly make up for it with their new salad choices, I had the Riso-n'salad, which was basically risotto covered in a thick layer of arugula with walnuts and olive oil, it was also delicious. After that, Ami and Lindsay and I went to our sunday-afternoon-let's-do-homework haven called starbucks (because of the chairs) and we worked for a long time. And of course we did the usual people watching and what not, people really like to get it on in starbucks here. I don't know, now I'm home and am not able to contact my parents at all, too bad it's mother's day. That's alright though because I am talking to cassidy for the first time in forever.

That's about it for what you missed, there isn't a whole lot going on. I'm doing a lot of reading and homework for my classes here while also trying to get things done for NY next semester. It's a lot to handle and I can't really get any work done in my room. I don't really like being in my house, that's a problem. Anyways, I've been thinking a lot about Argentina and whether or not I would have chosen it had I known what I was going to go through and the answer is, most likely not. I do not regret my decisions to study abroad but I do not think I would have chosen Argentina and although my goal was to learn spanish more, I do not know what I would have even chosen a spanish-speaking country. Ah, too late for that now, I have had some wonderful experiences and made some good friends so it is alright.

Last thought of the post: do you think that argentine women are bitchy because they are hungry?


Monday, May 3, 2010

"juice box trend sweeps the nation after duke student imports argentine obsession"

So, I wasn't actually planning on posting today, but I felt that this needed to be shared with everyone.

First, the skype conversation that started it all:

Lindsay Berger: yeah, i totally owe you a juice box tomorrow
Lindsay Berger: i like that we treat each other with juice boxes
Lindsay Berger: it's a great tradition
Lindsay Berger: i'm going to miss that when we get back to the u.s.
kristinoakley: why are we stopping it/
kristinoakley: who said i was?
Lindsay Berger: who said you were what?
kristinoakley: stoppng the juice box tradition
Lindsay Berger: oh, that's right. you're gonna start a trend in the u.s.
Lindsay Berger: with the juice boxes
kristinoakley: yep
kristinoakley: in NYC
Lindsay Berger: omg that would be so great!!! i really hope it works!
Lindsay Berger: i would love it!
kristinoakley: im going to try
Lindsay Berger: i can see that as a headline, "north carolinean singlehandedly restores the popularity of the juice box"
kristinoakley: see my life is going to be on tv
Lindsay Berger: kristin oakley sweeps the nation with the juice box trend
kristinoakley: yeah pretty much
kristinoakley: you can write the story

Lindsay is a journalism major, so on my wall I receive this:

ok, here it is.

the headline would be, "juice box trend sweeps the nation after duke student imports argentine obsession"

lede and nut graf(s): "from new york to san francisco, citizens across the nation have rekindled their nostalgic flame with the juice box. kristin oakley, a duke sophomore, is credited with igniting the trend she first observed during a semester abroad in buenos aires, argentina, where citizens consume seven times more juice boxes annually than americans. the north carolina native, currently studying in new york city, was first spotted with a multi-fruit juice box in hand in times square near the end of august. stylish new yorkers followed oakley's lead and began carting many varieties of mott's juice boxes around the city for a healthful and youthful afternoon pick-me-up. the juice box is now considered a staple in the life of all powerful new york execs and has attained a position of prestige rivaling that of the requisite blackberry."

next, there would be statistics quantifying how much juice box consumption has increased, and in which cities it is most popular. i can also see a follow-up story about the positive health effects this massive increase in juice box consumption has had on the nation, including an exclusive interview with one kristin oakley.

And then, even more:

kristinoakley: all i have to do is look fabulous while drinking juice boxes
Lindsay Berger: i know
Lindsay Berger: i was thinking that would be a good sidebar type thing
Lindsay Berger: like pictures of the essentials of a new york wardrobe
Lindsay Berger: with you looking stylish with a juice box
Lindsay Berger: and then little information boxes about all of your wardrobe essentials
Lindsay Berger: including the juicebox

This, my friends, is why we are friends.


p.s. all real writing credit here goes to lindsay berger.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Adventures of Elga and Marge.

So, if you weren't already assured that I was completely an idiot, please let me tell you what Ami and I did last night. We went to eat at Cumaná and we sat there for forever. I talked, Ami listened, apparently I am a very interesting person. I explained religion to Ami, and I mean all of them, we have very different upbringings. Then we finally decide to leave and give or take a few unimportant sentences, the conversation goes like this:

Me: You know what would be really good right now? Let's go get some chocolate milk.
Ami: Ok, let's go find a kiosco.
Me: Alright, we've walked for four blocks, there are no kioscos open. Hey, look! A McDonald's, let's get a tres sueños McFlurry!!
Ami: But wait isn't Volta around here somewhere?
Me: Yeah, it's that way...oh how will we decide between the two?
Ami: Let's play rock paper scissors, I'll be McDonald's, you be Volta.
Me: Oh, you're the white trash version of me!....oh I feel like I'm controlling destiny.
Ami: Fine, then we'll flip a coin
Me: Not in front of the homeless woman, that's do you flip a coin?
Ami: I don't know
Me: Oh shit, I dropped it.
Ami: look and see what does it say

(We walk to volta, buy ice cream, sit down to eat)

Ami: Hey look at the wall, I can tap that woman on the head with my giant foot shadow, hahahahahahah
Me:Oh hey, me too, let's make shadows with our feet. do you think my toe will fit in that man's ear?
Ami: I don't know, I keep wiggling my calf right next to his head....

this went on for a good 20 minutes, affirming that we are in facts, complete idiots. I'm sorry you had to read this, I thought you should know.

to move on to other things, it's been a pretty busy weekend. I guess that's good. Yesterday, I went to Belgrano, to Barrio Chino a.k.a. Chinatown to get Thai food. Now, that might sound strange to you, thai food in chinatown, but it's most certainly the most logical choice for thai food in BA. Not only was I surprised by how good it was for BA's standards, I was surprised that it was actually good. Or maybe it's just that I haven't had any thai food in 3 months and have forgotten what it is supposed to taste like, that's also a possibility. Anyways, so I went with my friend Erika and we did the double split which I think is necessary in all thai food situations. We shared the paneang curry with tofu and a chicken pad thai. They were amazing, I got extra rice, which they never charge for in Argentina. Yay. And it was actually really good, the curry, in my opinion was better then the pad thai, but both were good. We ate everything and then got dessert. We ordered sweet rice with mango (which a one, very lovely Nandita Rao introduced me to) and it was amazing. Hot sticky, sweet rice with coconut milk and mango slices from heaven. Oi, I was in love. Then we got the bill, yikes. International food here isn't cheap, doesn't matter if it's good or not, it's just not cheap. But it was oh so delicious and I plan to go back on Thursday for more heaven. HEAVEN.

After that we went by Erika's house for a second and then headed out to a free concert in the street. It was sort of correlated with the international book fair that's going on right now (I know, I know, the 10 year old Kristin's biggest dream, international book fair) and had some really famous old people. So we went and sat and more and more and more and more people came. the concert finally started and the opening act was some lady, no idea who she was, but I was uncomfortable sitting on the ground in a hot pink dress and I wanted to get some coffee. So I leave to get coffee and run into Ami and Lindsay, standing literally 5 people away. There were so many people I would never have known. Anyways, they were kind of bored also, so we went to get coffee. Lindsay just wanted to make sure to be back for some old Brazilian Guy named Caetano Veloso (yes I had to look that up), apparently he is the BobDylan of south america. Lindsay told us we should feel honored to have seen him live, I believe her, it was actually really cool. Also, watching Ami in crowds is fun, she's short. So before the crowd could leave, we left. The Subte was closed because of all the people and we waited for a bus for about 10 minutes. We caught the bus and went back to Recoleta.

As you have read before, you know what happened for dinner and the aftermath, I won't go into it again.

Today is Sunday, that means it is homework day. I should be doing homework, but I'm not yet. I am going to tea connection for lunch (as always) and I have to meet my concentration at the International Book Fair at 4. We are going to hang out there and then see someone talk. His name is Richard Piglia, pretty famous if I'm right. And then there is a free circus tonight, that I sort of want to go to, but then I don't know when I would do my homework.

That's about it for this episode of inside the life of kristin.

Until next time,


p.s. I forgot to tell you what the title of the last blog meant, it was "estudiar letras es como morir de hambre" which in english means "to study literature is like dying of hunger". someone at UBA told me this last week, I love it. It's even better than the American version, which is "What are you going to do with that?" The answer, probably be happier than you corporate asshole or scientist shut up in a lab who hasn't seen daylight in 5 years (that doesn't apply to lily though).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Estudiar letras es como morir de hambre.

I know, I know, I have been absolutely awful about updating my blog this week. I could lie and say that I have been super busy and had tons of work to do, but that's not entirely true. It's just been a rough week.

As most of you know or at least should have figured out by now, I'm not too crazy about argentina. And that dislike has been getting more and more difficult to handle as time is passing. It's been a rough week because I know that I am unhappy here and I have been having some difficulty dealing with it. I want to come home, I miss everyone dearly and there is no possibility that I can come home. I have exactly ten weeks from today left. I can't wait. Now, you may be thinking, this is the most amazing opportunity and Kristin is getting to see so many amazing things and that is all true, but there is a very large difference between traveling somewhere, seeing how beautiful it is and living there. There have been a lot of things that have contributed to this dislike. I really don't care for the disorganization that is inherent in everything argentine, I really just want someone to get their shit together. I also really really can't handle the food here. They have basically no international food, everyone eats argentine food. My lit professor told me that eating international food was something only rich, elitist people eat international food. So there is not much sushi or chinese food to be found, basically no thai or indian food and I have yet to find any good hummus. The last thing that is wearing on me the most is my relationship with my host mother. I don't care for her at all and in addition, I don't think I am all that good at living with host families, it has never really been a good experience for me. I am thinking about moving houses for my last month, because then I won't have to deal with her. She has been trying to control my diet, what I wear and she sometimes watches me eat. It's really frustrating, anyone who bothers to read this blog probably has met my mother and knows that she hasn't tried to control anything I do ever, or at least in a very long time. I miss her more than you could imagine. Anyways, not to start off on a negative note, although I did, I just wanted to tell you what has been going on in my life and much more important than my classes, this has been going on.

Moving on, this past Monday, I had to go talk to one of my advisors in the program about my diet. I hate eat. All we eat is heavy food and meat and more heavy food and then some more meat. And my host mother has been trying to force feed me and has been yelling at me about wasting food and whether or not I am on some sort of diet. I'm not on a diet (we know I love food too much for that), but I have been trying to eat healthier because you are what you eat and I think it will make me happier if I eat better, if I eat the way I am used to, little to no meat, no salt and fresh vegetables. MM, good. I also eat wheat usually with milk, but I am weird. So I went to talk to them and the first thing they suggested was moving houses but it turns out I had missed the date by 4 days to move and so I would have to live with her until at least the 22nd of May, so they decided to just call her instead. They called and she asked me that night about what I liked and what I didn't. I told her less meat, more vegetables, no salt. She told me she doesn't cook with salt, and compared to most argentines, she doesn't, but I bet she has high blood pressure. I laughed (in my head) when she told me this. We have had meat almost every night this week since that call. Great. It is slightly better though, there was actually lettuce in the house, clean fresh crisp lettuce in the house. I just ate it plain I was so excited. However, she is still trying to "trick" me into eating more and basically, I can't stand her. Hence, I'm thinking about moving anyways.

I haven't really done much else this week, I've had some homework. None of this homework got approached until the last minute though, because someone named Nandita finally reappeared onto planet earth and we skyped for over 2 hours. And then I got to talk to Sean and Erik (and they, and I hope they read this, have no idea how much it means to me that they are always there and make a point to talk to me, because I am lonely and love to be remembered). On Thursday, I went to the first step of getting my residency and was therefore late for class, and that was about it. I went to yoga too, woot.

Yesterday was a fabulous day. I signed up (or rather sean signed me up because I was in class) for this trip through my program (which means they paid). It was an Urban Biking trip to Tigre which is a bit outside of BA. And also, weather permitting, a kayaking trip when we got to Tigre because its right on the river. It's a big river, woah. So, we went, we rode a train a bit out of the city because it's scary. And then we rode our bikes, made a pit stop, had alfajores and mate and then kept on riding. We rode to Tigre, had some lunch and some really good smoothies. The weather was perfect, we went kayaking and it was amazing. We then rode the train back into BA and we were done. I fell asleep on my bed when I got home, had to wake up to shower and eat something and skype with Erik for a bit and then went back to sleep. Now, it is the next day and I'm fully rested but I need some ibuprofen. Yikes.

Anyways, today, I'm going to get some thai food in Belgrano, let's hope it's good. I know, I just keep trying with low expectations and I am going to keep trying. And then I may or may not go to the horse races here, not sure about that. I don't really know what the day holds.

Talk to you soon.

un beso

Sunday, April 25, 2010

At least we still have Cumaná.

My life is like 101 Dalmatians. You know that part where all the dogs start to work together to send messages through each other by barking and barking and barking to each other because that is their only way of communication, well the dogs in neighborhood do that. At any time, it is likely that the dogs will start barking, one starts and then they all follow and it's like I'm living in a Disney movie, except for it's not the cool part of a Disney movie, it's the annoying part for the humans (that's me). I would much rather be in like "Hakuna Matata" or "I just can't wait to be king" or some part of Finding Nemo, pretty much any part, because I don't know if you remember this, but it takes place in Australia and I love Australia and also the fishys are cute.

Moving back into the realm of what is Buenos Aires. I know I have said this many times, but there is not all that much variety in Argentine food, there are even Argentines who will admit to this. So, us Americans we need choices, because I don't know if you know this either, but Americans pretty much do whatever they want, when they want to. I miss this. Anyways, so we have made a list based on research and the suggestions of other (both Argetines and Americans) of new and different places to go eat. We have to do this because if you just randomly choose a restaurant on the street, it will have some combination of the following: meat, empanadas, pasta, possibly casseroles(called cazeulas), possibly some mal-formed variation on the salad, desserts with dulce de leche and bread. That's pretty much it, plus 2x the meat. So we have tried many new restaurants this way, we have tried some awesome and some mediocre vegetarian restaurants. This is how we found Tea Connection and Pura Vida and such delicious and completely americanized concepts such as these.

Moving on, this weekend was a weekend of restaurants given to us on suggestion. First, on Friday, we went to Sarkis finally. This is supposed to be the best Middle Easter/Greek food in BA and has had great reviews on every website we've seen. We have also gotten about a million brilliant reviews from other kids in our program and anyone likely to eat Middle Eastern/Greek food. So, we go to Sarkis, we are expecting pretty much the best dining experience we've ever had, as that is what others have led us to believe. And I will have you know, that is not even remotely what we encountered. We arrived, sat down, were immediately handed English menus without being asked (which was theoretically helpful because the spanish menu didn't contain any descriptions, only names, that's really what menus are good for, nothing). Anyways, so I dare to ask our overweight and very hairy man waiter a question and he doesn't so much as answer as explain to me that a half portion is smaller than a full portion, which is not what I was asking. He says of course we should all get full portions, which leads me to this suggestion, Never take advice on how much to eat from a fat man. This seems logical, and it is, I know, just do it. Moving on again, so we order, we decided to split an appetizer of garbanzo bean pureé a.k.a. hummus. And we all order mild variations of the same thing, some vegetable stuffed with some meat-rice combo. Our hummus arrives with pita, with my food, Lindsay's food and Ami's food. And yes, I think it is weird to get your appetizer with your meal. So, we start eating the hummus which does the trick if you're craving hummus but is mediocre at best (which is really all I expect here anymore). We chow on hummus, Greg tells us it has some sort of milk product on it, because he is having a mild allergic reaction. This obviously points out that something is wrong, because pita bread by design contains no milk products. So we are sitting, waiting, wishing that eventually Greg's food will come out. We sit, we don't eat our food because it would be rude to eat while Greg is starving. The waiter comes by and explains to us how sometimes food takes time to cook and that we should just eat. We try and fail to explain to him that we just don't work that way, we have manners. We sit, we wait, we are still wishing. Time passes. After about 10 minutes, we decide that the three of us have more food than we can eat anyways and give some to Greg so we can all start eating. (For the record, the full portion of grape-leaf wrapped met-rice combo that I order contained around 10 of these things, which leads me to remind you, never take advice on how much to eat from a fat person). So we are all eating and sharing and tasting each others food only to say, yeah that tastes just like mine, only slightly different. The four of us finish all of our food, literally all of our food and sit for another five minutes before Greg's food shows up. And in case you are wondering, he ordered a red pepper stuffed with meat-rice combo. So Greg eats, he starts feeling sick. Ami and I order BaclAva and it finally arrives and it is wonderful, absolutely wonderful and just drenched in honey. Mmm, good. We eventually get the bill and pay the man, making a point not to tip too much because he was basically crap. So, this seems like the end of mediocre Sarkis experience until I make a point to note that Greg is still sick. And after we've been shopping for only a small amount of time, he leaves to find a bathroom and then throws up. Wow, Sarkis, one for the win. He goes home, we continue shopping without having decided if we will return to Sarkis for anything more than the BaclAva. Note of Happiness: It was cheap, we like that, we're easy.

Moving on. Friday night, Ami and Lindsay and I went to see a movie (greg was still sick). It was an Argentine movie and completely in spanish and more importantly, we understood basically everything that went on. It was actually a really good movie and I would recommend it highly.

To Saturday and beyond. We did basically nothing. Eventually we met at Cumaná for lunch because it's real food, it's filling and we know that we like it. No one is going to get sick and we know that it will be a reasonable price. Also, we hadn't gone this week, and it is our goal to go once a week. After Cumaná, we planned to go to the Museum of Fine Arts which is right near that giant mechanical flower. Cool. It is apparently awesome and something you should see and we hadn't yet. Before actually making it to the museum, we got sidetracked. The weather was "horrendous," it was cool and cloudy and it was basically perfect fall weather. There was no one out because it was so "cold." We went to Starbucks, yes starbucks in argentina, because we wanted to walk around outside with our lattes and think of home. It worked wonders. We walked in, it smelled like heaven and we wondered why more argentines didn't appreciate the ability to choose to sit and drink coffee or just walk around in the beautiful outdoors with it (although there were a hefty number of argentines in starbucks and they just opened the 18th one in BA in the barrio of Caballito). I had a Chai Tea Latte and felt happy. We walked to the museum and it actually is something to see. One of the best art museums I have ever been in. There were so many great works, by great authors and although it was a bit confusing, there are just so many things to see. It was awesome, we didn't even finish half before we got tired and ran out of time and decided we would have to return. Really top notch art museum.

Saturday night arrives, it's party night. We have reservations at a restaurant called La Cabrera which is supposed to be really good. We have reservations for 8:30, which is really early, but we also should have called earlier in the week to make reservations, oops. We arrive and are seated. We decided what to eat and eventually out comes this massive amount of food, which deserves the pictures that Ami and Lindsay took. This is a meat place btw. I had order some chicken kabobs and out they came, completely encased in a layer of bacon death. So I had to send them back and my experience was kind of subpar. But Ami and Lindsay and Greg all had wonderful meats and happiness and that is wonderful. We shared a bottle of wine which affected me more than the other because I hadn't really eaten a lot. We got some desserts, Greg got fruit salad and I got the Chocolate Volcano, which was wildly expensive but delicious nonetheless. I think overall this was an alright dining experience, but I doubt we will ever return, it was really pricey and the food wasn't that good, good, not that good.

So, that is pretty much my summary of the past bit. I know I haven't been keeping up with my blog as well as I should have been, but no one was reading it anyways. Also, considering half of my posts are solely about food, it is really no wonder I have been gaining weight. But I started running again (and there ensues the shin splints) and I have been making a conscious effort to eat less bread (of which they provide heaps before every meal) and less dulce de leche. My pants are almost fitting like they used to, get pumped.

Alright, time for life to call in again. Although I have finished my Native American Poetry reading, I still have short stories to read, 3 chapters n Boquitas Pintadas, a 2-page thing to write, an informe to write, a resume to create and a syllabus to translate to english, so I should get on that. Also, I have to go to lunch at Tea Connection at 2:30, because that's what we do.

Also, I finally bought rain boots and according to, it's never going to rain again. I hate you karma.

lots of love, like lots, also i still need some addresses for postcards if you want one, hmmm.