Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm going to get fat.

For many reasons,

#1, I just discovered through experimentation that if you spread dulce de leche on shortbread cookies with cream in them, that it's really delicious and also really really bad for you, but oh so delicious

#2, the eating schedule here throws me off immensely. Usually I am the type of eater you would call a grazer, I eat a lot of little things all day long, that is not how it works here. You sort of prepare for hibernation, argentines eat a whole lot about every 8 hours, so my body can't handle this change and is packing it in for winter.

#3 Medialunas, are like the argentine versions of croissants except for they are sweeter because they are glazed with butter, they are delicious and conveniently available at every single restaurant in Buenos Aires, also, they're really cheap making them more awesome but no less fattening

#4, dulce de leche, I know that I have already mentioned some of the affects of dulce de leche, but it does deserve its own category. people here put dulce de leche on everything and I literally mean everything, I have had dulce de leche ice cream, about 5 different types of pies and cakes with it and even a dulce de leche empanada which was damn good. anyways, the point is that it is unhealthy and i am going to get fat.

On a slightly lighter (*pun*) note, I have also been researching the all natural healthy organic restaurants available in BA. They exist but its pretty much an american insertion in argentine culture. I have also been researching other nationalities of food that are available in BA. I have figured out that many Argentines just don't eat the foods of other nationalities. This depresses me because it means you can't find any good restaurants and I am getting a little sick of Argentine food. All the food is good for about the first month and then, well at least for me, you really want some sushi and some pad thai and some hummus and to eat something purely organic. Mmmm. So, in my research, I have found a couple of options. Yesterday I went to a place called Tea Connection which is completely americanized. This doesn't mean for a second that Argentines don't go here, because there was about an even number of Spanish and English speakers in the café. But what it is, I realized is that its just not something Argentines would do. Just like other things I've found that I like, like yoga studios and juice bars, really good tea places aren't in the culture. And here enters the americans. There are english menus available at Tea Connection and literally one of my favorite parts was the Iron and Wine playing in the background. Glorious. I had really good tea and a medialuna that was just perfect and I'm happy.

In addition to my natural searches (which I plan to continue to test this week), I have been searching for some sushi. I have heard tell that there isn't any particularly good sushi in BA. Well I went to one of the top rated restaurants in my barrio last night and it was only subpar. But it was however really nice to eat wok noodles and raw fish. It was most certainly something other than the regular Argentine food.

I have also been in search of some hummus. I dared to ask my host mother where I could get some hummus and after several minutes, she sort of figured out what I was talking about and recommended an Armenian place not too far from our house, which has pretty awful reviews online. Then however a friend from the program suggested another place, which I had intentions of trying today, but it is raining incessantly and far away, so sometime later. As I was asking my host mother about where to find some other types of food (and this entire question obviously astounded her, because I don't think she's ever eaten good chinese and she probably thinks it's weird that I will eat sushi but not onions), she tried to tell me about all these "chinese" places she knew of. She said I was most likely to find chinese in Chinatown, which makes sense. However she also told me about a place near our house that is a buffet and serves all types of chinese food, like sushi. I no longer trust her opinion on food.

Anyways, this is my spill on food and now I can appropriately move on to other things I have done since my last post, which is not a hell of a lot. On friday, I did approximately two things of note. The first is that I went to register for classes at the university of BA in their philosophy and letters department, UBA Filosofia y Letras. This is last of all the colleges to have registration for us foreigners and it is also the most daunting and notorious. every single academic advisor tells students not to take regular classes in UBA FyL but only the seminars because apparently the final exams require something of you similar to Odysseus' journey. Actually, we don't know exactly what happens in an UBA FyL final exam but we know to avoid them. UBA is the public university which has 300.000 students, in case you don't remember me telling you that. It is also completely underfunded. Greg told me that the Social Sciences section was really ghetto and that I should probably expect something similar at this other UBA. Well when we arrived, it was like stepping back in time or at least that's they way I imagine it. It is ghetto, it is underfunded, it does look like a place that has strikes every two weeks where the professors don't come to class. It also is the most intellectual place I have ever been which I know sounds ridiculous but I can think of no other way to describe it. It was what I had always imagined attending a university in the 60s and 70s in the US to be like. There is graffiti everywhere. There was a used book sale going on in the front door and upstairs there were booths of people selling stuff and handing out political pamphlets and ideas. I signed up for a few seminars there and then we left, but I cannot wait to go pack. You can feel it in the air, UBA is not like other places.

Friday night, I also went to the theatre. Our program sponsored a trip and I decided to go and it was really cool. The theatre is gorgeous, it was in the Teatro Nacional Cervantes (which as I always tell you is worth a google) and we saw a play called Marathon. It was quite strange and the whole thing was a metaphor for life and the final prize is death, when you finally get to stop dancing. The inside was just epically beautiful and the chairs were just epically uncomfortable. But besides the chairs, I really enjoyed the play, and I actually understood a good part of it. Of course, I didn't understand everything because it was quite fast and bit dramatic and there was some vocabulary that I didn't know, but I got the idea of it and that makes me very happy. I would strongly recommend it to anyone, you know who's in BA and speaks spanish.

Anyways, that's about it for me. Oh except for that I actually have class tomorrow with actual Argentines, about which I am very excited. Also, I am thinking about taking tango lessons, can you please provide your opinions on this? Do you think I should or that I shouldn't? Also, on wednesday, Greg and Lindsay and I are going to El Calafate for sure and I am quite excited about this as well. If you haven't already, you know what you should do (hint: google).

Muchos besos,


P.S. After this upcoming weekend is semana santa, which is easter and which is when mom will be visiting and we will be going to IguazĂș Falls. Woot.

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