Monday, June 14, 2010

Taxi drivers are crazy.

Friday night:
So that night we ended up going to a "blind theater." What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that you sit in a completely pitch black area and they make noises at you and have a play that is partially in-prov, partially scripted and they throw water at you and you smell things in the dark. And this was all in Spanish so pretty much didn't understand half of it. Oh well, the experience was still pretty cool! Then the group (Ruth, Kerri, Camille, Renee, Kendall, y yo) headed over to Plaza Serrano where everyone else had started the night out. Granted the theater started at 11:30 so we didn't even get over to the plaza until 2ish. Remember, this is Buenos Aires, things don't get started until 2 am or later. So we met up with the rest of the group and decided to go back to the bar that we were at the first night. We actually ended up staying there until, oh, 5 o'clock in the morning. Funniest thing? When Stephen and I were walking home we saw a cafe that was PACKED with people. They were just drinking coffee, hanging out, you know. whaaaaat? People never sleep! So... sleep until 1030 for the argentina game!!

So woke up after waaaaay too little sleep and headed over to the restaurant/buffet place that we had our first lunch. They had a projector screen with the game playing and endless pizza and drinks. The game was AMAZING! especially watching it with Argentinians. It was fun to go crazy with them when they scored and go ahh when they missed. Of course, all of us ordered a lot of water.. We thought that we were going to be able to stay at that restaurant all day but it turns out that was not the case. So we headed back to Plaza Serrano to find a bar to watch the game. We actually went back to one of the bars that we had gone to on the first night and found a bunch of Americans and English people. Perfect for watching the US v. England game. We ordered some cafe drinks (as we were all soaking wet from walking over without umbrellas or raincoats... didn't realize it was going to rain.) that were amazing! It was coffee, milk, baileys, and some other stuff. I of course ordered a brownie to top it all of and had quite the enjoyable experience. And then I saw the words "White Russian" on the menu.. needless to say that was my next drink! Probably the best white Russian I have ever had... We finished watching the game and headed back home. I once again passed out for a couple of hours and then Camille and I headed out for a quick bite at a cafe near our house. And by the way when you order an ensalada: tomate al medio, that literally means a tomato cut in half. After that I came back and quickly got ready and headed out the door to meet up with Stephen and Ben. We then got a phone call from John who told us that he wanted to check out a club in Recoleta (our neighborhood) so we thought it would be a good idea to stay where we were and wait for everyone rather than walking for 15 minutes to meet everyone at the original site. So the time passes and we learn that everyone is still at Alto Palermo (where we were originally going to meet) and so we tell them to start walking towards us as we walk towards them... well that didn't happen. So an hour after we were supposed to meet everyone is finally together and pissed off because of Senor John and his bad planning skills. It's okay, he did completely take all the blame. But the adventure continues... So we went to Liquid, a club that was supposed to be really cool. After waiting in line for 20 minutes we finally get to the door and guess what... you have to be 21 as a girl and 23 as a guy to enter... what????? So we left and headed to Lost, another club. Once again you had to be 21.. so we said screw it and went to the bar that Stephen, John, Ben, and I went to on Thursday and it actually turned out awesome. They had a bar open upstairs that was almost Athens-esque. We all bought drinks and settled down at a table. Turns out it was some girl's birthday party, but we still had a good time. We even danced some! Although we were the only ones who were really dancing.. we have got to find a club!!! So we just sat there and drank... and lo and behold we ended up being the last ones to leave. We literally closed down the bar. Amazingness. Then, Ben, Chris, Stephen and I got in a cab and headed back to Recoleta. The cab driver was craaaaaazy. He kept talking about American pornos or something... I don't really know... Got home safely (after passing that cafe.. and guess what! Saturday at 5am it is just as packed!) and promptly fell asleep.

Slept until 1. Sat in bed until 3. FUERZA BRUTA at 530. Best. thing. ever. I either was a) on drugs or b) should have been on them. Just imagine a guy in a suit running on a treadmill in the middle of the crowd while things, including people, are flying at him. And then imagine a giant see-through pool hanging from the ceiling with girls swimming/dancing in it. And while all of that is going on, rave music is playing. Imagine the entire crowd, from small children to old adults, raving! Jumping up and down like insane people. I can't even really describe. It was amazing. I want to go see it again. After Fuerza Bruta I spent the night writing my composition for class the next day and finally skyping with mi mama y padre. Sleep came early (midnight) as I had my pasantia the next morning!!

So I wake up bright and early (7.. way too early) and woke up to a nice surprise: cold milk for breakfast!! ah loved it. I headed out the door early as it was my first day at my pasantia (internship) and wanted to be on time. I of course ended up arriving 15 minutes early.. whoops. About 10 minutes after I got there the vet, Liliana, arrived. For the next 3 hours I shadowed her as she checked the healthy cats and then headed up the stairs to take care of the sick ones. Ask me if I actually understood what she was saying. NOPE. There are just so many things that I don't know in Spanish.. I honestly don't know about the next 3 weeks.. I'm slightly worried. I did manage to prepare some shots and put cream on a couple of sores though... And it's not like she speaks any English so it's just plain hard. And the stupid dog that lives there freakin' BIT me. I might have kicked in the face after that but I was just protecting myself from getting mauled. wtf. Oh, and of course I step outside and it's pouring down rain. Luckily I brought my umbrella, but still, that did not help my day get any better. Oh, and it's an hour bus ride from my pasantia to the school. And I have 30 minutes to get there. Yea... So I then arrive thirty minutes late to my class.. luckily class went well and my teacher didn't mind that I was late as she was also some what late. I love my class still so that's good!!! After class we headed to an empanadas stand got a couple and went back to UP to wait for the others/eat our lunch. Once the film class got out we ended up just going to a cafe and hanging out. We got hot chocolate (made from steamed milk with chocolate literally just dropped in it... so good!) and chatted for a couple of hours. Once the lit class got out we all split up and headed up. I think tonight it just going to be a chill night. No homework, no obligations, so I'm thinking watch some TV? hmmm....

Friday, June 11, 2010

don't touch the glass!

Lo siento that I didn't post yesterday. So it started out like any other day, walking to class and then class. Cristina is awesome. She made mate for us (we didnt drink it but she showed us how to make it). After class we (John, Vicki, Kendall, Renee, Ben, Jaidam, and I) once again headed to a bank. This time everyone successfully got money out. Yay! Then we went to this delicious cafe called Cafe Nostalgia. Best spinach noquis (gnochi) ever. For real, it was soooo good. Needless to say we're going back. After that we ended up riding the subte (this time with no one's wallet going missing). We walked around Puerta Madera for a while. At one point Vicki and Ben decided that it would be a good idea to try and run across the 10 lane highway to get to the other side... they only made is as far as three lanes and then ran back to us. We also ended up walking through the National Defense building's lawn where they have a tank and some other crazy statues. We also all took pictures with the giant statue of Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus). Pretty cool. Once we crossed the street, at a crosswalk, we made it to the diques (dikes) of the port. We walked past this old naval ship which is a museum but was closed by the time we got there. We walked along the boardwalk and saw some great restaurants (including TGI Fridays) and some neat looking bars. I want to head back there for dinner one night! We finally found the Museo Fortabat at the end of the boardwalk and sat down for a minute before heading inside. We promptly got lost at the entrance of the museum and felt like American tourists when the museum guides had to show us that we were actually headed for the bathrooms instead of the paintings.. whoops. The paintings were actually pretty neat. There were some South American artists along with Andy Warhol, Auguste Rodin, Chagall, Dalí, and a few other real old paintings. On the top level we also managed to find stuff from Egypt.. k cool. Después del museo, we split up and headed back to our houses. For some reason we didn't have dinner for a while. Adriana (my house mom) had a lot of people over. When we finally got dinner however... it was amazing. We had tomates and lettuce and some tuna wrap as an appetizer (I wasn't the biggest fan of the tuna wrap) and then creamy chicken and creamy rice for dinner. So good. And to top it all off, lemon sorbet and chocolate ice cream for dessert. Yea, it sounds like a weird combination but it was real good. I then got ready to go out on the town with some of the people from the group. Stephen and I met up with Ben and John at UP and headed to a bar that is near the club where we were going to go later. So we sat around, drank beer (I had a margarita consisting of lime juice, sugar and tequila.... eww), and watched the last two minutes of the NBA finals game. After the game some dance show was on and the girl dancing on it had on a skimpy top. So, while she was dancing, on national television, her boobed popped out. And she left it out. The rest of the dance. On national television. Say whaaaaaat? We waited a while for Vicki and Kim to show up and when they never did (something going wrong with our crappy modes of communication Claro phones) we decided to head to the club "Lost." When we got there, a line had already formed. Mainly of boys... real gross looking boys. I wasn't feeling comfortable and neither were the guys so we decided to call it a night and check out a different scene the next night.

First actual day of my pasantía! Anne and I rode the bus (actually relatively easy as it just shot as straight down one road... by the way the bus system here is CRAZY. And I didn't even figure out UGA buses for a year..) We arrived at my internship and to my dismay nobody opened the door for ten minutes. We finally got someone to come to the door after Marcela texted them from school. I then met Sandra, who is so animated and kind and I'm so excited to work with her! The whole place smelled like cats, but then again it is a cat shelter! I also met the vet that works there (and promptly forgot her name.. whoops). We figured out my schedule and she gave me some forms to complete and I was sent on my way to get to class. After a 45 minute bus ride back to UP, I headed straight to class. Marcela is going to help me figure out a faster way to get to UP as I only have 30 minutes between when my internship ends and my class starts. As for class, I love taking 4010! Our class today was to go to lunch and order in Spanish. Our teacher, along with Rosa and Anne, taught us different things about the food and culture. So awesome. We talked in Spanish the whole time and even go to watch highlights from the South Africa-Mexico game. And oh yea, we get to take field trips every Friday. So cool. So, if you ever go to BA for the UGA study abroad program, take 4010. Best idea ever. After class we decided to take a break from running around and split up. I headed for home. After a 45 minute walk back to my apartment, I was greeted by the doorman, Adriana and Gloria and headed straight to bed where I promptly fell asleep for two hours. Who knows what will happen tonight? Perhaps a dance club? We shall see!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


ah so today was amazing! and it's not even over yet! So this morning, once again, I did not go to my internship. Which means that next week I will be slaving away trying to make up for all the missed time. Lamee. So after a lazy morning and a quick 45 minute walk to school, we had our second day of class. I already love this class. We're actually learning useful things for the city and such. It's great too because our teacher will actually correct us when we say something wrong and not allow us to ramble on like idiots. I feel like I've gotten better already :). After class we ended up eating at this great Chinese restaurant for lunch.. it was so good and so cheap! 86$ for all of us (pesos, not dollars). I also won the wonton bet with Jai. He thought that fried wontons were the little crispies that you get with soup and I knew that they were actually the crispy things with meat and other stuff inside them. And of course they were the fried crispy things with meat. After lunch we tried to go to a bank but of course it was 4 o'clock and the banks here close at 3. It's kinda strange that they close so early since everything else stays open so late. So we kept walking and went to Malba. It's a Latin American modern art museum and free for students on Wednesdays. Gotta love free stuff! So we headed in and straight to top floor. Unfortunately we were a little surprised by the art.. it was all real photographs of some rather disturbing stuff. I won't go into details here, but if you want to know then ask me later. Ugh. Anyways the rest of the museum was actually really awesome. Some of the pieces were really cool and others... didn't really understand. But that's what happens sometimes in a modern art museum. After spending an hour or so in the museum (it wasn't that big) we headed back to UP to meet up for our tango lessons. By the way, LOVE tango!! It was awesome! Although sometimes the girls had to be paired up with girls since there were more guys than girls. Still awesome. Me and Stephen had it down. We tangoed right into other people. Mainly because the room was so small. In our class were native Argentinians and some were soo good. They were twirling all across the floor. I feel like in the next class I need to bring my heels. All the girls were wearing heels and it seemed like it helped the dance go smoother. After tango lessons we headed back to our host homes and had dinner. I wanted to go out tonight but seeing as everyone else had to be up pretty early and others were still recuperating after being sick, we decided that tomorrow is going to be the better night to rageeeeee. Hasta manana, amores!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

oh el subte

So, today started out with my pasantía being canceled. A bunch of our groups is actually sick right now (hopefully just a 24 hour bug) and two of the coordinators (Anne y Marcela) are sick also. Anne was supposed to take me to my internship, but seeing as she was sick, we didn't make it there. I just hope everyone feels better! Camille and I tried to find a quicker way to get to school today but it turns out that we just ended up walking through some sketchy neighborhoods. Next time, we're just gonna go the way we normally go. Gotta love Ave. Santa Fe. And we saw the El Ateneo, which is a super awesome cafe. It used to be a theater and on stage is where all the tables and chairs are. Where the seats used to be is a bookstore. We didn't have time to stop in today but I guarantee you we will be later We had our group lunch today where we found out the schedule for the week. This weekend we are all watching the World Cup games (both the Argentina game and the US game) at some bar or restaurant somewhere. It's going to be awesome! So excited. After the group lunch I sprinted to the bank to finally get some pesos! Then it was class time. Our teacher is actually pretty cool. She speaks clearly, sometimes a little fast, but she always slows down. I feel like I've already learned a lot and it's only the first day. The class itself is going to be amazing. On Fridays we are going to other places, not just sitting in the room. We'll be going to different museums and neighborhoods and really learning about the culture. Hopefully my grammar will improve too. She gives us a break in the middle of the class for about 15 minutes so we can use the restroom, go get coffee, or whatever. The class seemed like it was over before we knew it. After class, a bunch of us went to a cafe and got drinks to warm up (today was the first real "cold" day). I asked for hot chocolate and got this amazing hot milk with pieces of chocolate that were melting inside of it. So amazing.. After we paid we decided that we wanted to venture to the other side of town and see the Obelisco y la Plaza de Mayo y la Avenida Corrientes. So we rode the subway (el subte). It was ridiculously packed. People were everywhere. I mean everywhere. I couldn't move. Once we got out of the subte, we were in la Plaza de Mayo! We walked around, took pictures, looked touristy. It was great. We then walked into Catedral, which actually looks more like a courthouse than it does a church. But it was beautiful on the inside. It's amazing what people can make. After visiting the church, we walked around that area for a while longer just looking at everything and looking for jerseys and such. We actually ended up talking to a couple of street vendors who made us bracelets for free! A couple of us went to tip them.... and poor Kendall no longer had her wallet :( Stupid subway. We think someone reached in while we were packed in there and got away with it. We stopped at a locutorio (computer cafe) and she tried to call and cancel all her credit cards. Of course, the companies were dumb and she decided to just call her parents and have them cancel all of them for her. Lame pickpockets. After this traumatizing experience we flagged down a couple of taxis and headed home. Dinner was excellent- spinach soup, carne and potatoes... oh and I ate the potatoes.. craaazy right? They actually tasted pretty good- they were sweet and more creamy than the ones in the states. To top it off we finished with a peach. Delicioso. I love talking to our host mom (Adriana) and grandma (Gloria) but the two boys that are living with us just seem lazy and awkward. Rich just talks about how he slept through his Spanish class this morning and then looks weird while we talk in Spanish. Gerard tries but is just horrible... like real bad at it. He also knows that I don't like him and tries to poke fun at me because of it. Apparently people can really tell when I think they are just awkward and I don't like them. He also speaks in a ridiculous Boston accent. Ugh. One of their friends came over today to walk with them to a bar to watch the basketball game. He at least was nice and didn't seem as annoying as the other guys, minus the fact that his little chin scruff was on the side of his chin. Not in middle. On the side. He obviously doesn't use a mirror to shave and I kept staring at it the whole time. Ok ok, I know I'm being harsh, but some people are just.. blah. Anyways, after dinner Camille and I sat in our room and did homework. I actually enjoyed doing my homework! I feel like I am starting to get the hang of Spanish and am starting to think in it. Yay! Now, I'm headed to bed for my first day at the cat shelter! Buenas noches!

Monday, June 7, 2010

albahaca es basil

So, today started early. Like 9 am early. Ugh. Jaidam, Stephen, Camille, and I tried to use the bus system, don't know how well that really worked out as I felt like we walked longer than we rode the bus. Anyways, maybe we'll figure out a better way tomorrow. OH AND THEN A BIRD POOPED ON MY HEAD! Ugh so disgusting. However, according to Marcela it's good luck. I honestly don't know what is lucky about yellow poop in your hair... Any who, we had our class orientation today where we learned all about the Universidad de Palermo (UP), which is basically random buildings in the middle of the city. Definitely not a college campus. It's pretty nice and I'm excited to meet my professor tomorrow for the first day of class. We walked around for a while in between orientations and ended up eating lunch at a little cafe. Empanadas were of course the lunch of choice along with a good ole sugary Coca. After lunch we walked around the Alto Palermo, which is a crazy huge shopping center right near the school. We even found this giant kid's arcade where they had DDR and other fun things. Including a racing game with actual cars. Rest assured, we're going back with money to play :) The mall also had this awesome sports store with every jersey that you can think of from the world cup. Except, of course, the US jersey. The mall was crazy great. Even saw a pair of shoes for oh, 100 pesos. Which means $25. Going back, yes? of course! We walked back to UP for the orientation about our pasantias (internships). Sadly, the class is satisfactory/unsatisfactory which is annoying but oh well. It's going to be an amazing experience. Oh, and yeah- my internship is working at Refugios de los Animales, which is a cat shelter. Vets come twice a week to check up on the animals and I get to shadow them. Yay! And I've gotten my rabies vaccine and antibiotic ointment so I'm good to go. After the orientations we all wanted to go see the zoo (which is apparently awesome!) but of course when we got there it was closed. It's only closed on Mondays though so we're just going to go back. We then had an adventure riding on the subte (subway) to home. Camille and I passed out when we got back and woke up to the smells of dinner. We ate some sort of bean soup which I actually liked (I know, I know mushy things!). And to top it off ice cream for dessert! We ate with the two other students that are living here, Gerard and Rich. They're down here with some social work graduate program for three weeks. Neither one of them really knows Spanish all that well so it makes it a little difficult for them to communicate with our host mom. (Our host mom is awesome and so is our host grandma! Greta (the dog) on the other hand...) We hung out with Adriana (our host mom) and some of her friends for a little bit after dinner and now we're headed to bed. Hasta manana, chicos!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First full day in Buenos!

Ok, so today was amazing. We had lunch as a group, everyone including the stranded Houston-Panama City kids, at this crazy delicious all-you-can-eat buffet. The food was a-m-a-zing. Desserts were off the chart. And of course I drank 2 1/2 bottles of water to make up for the dehydration that I was feeling from the night before. Anyways, we then went on a city tour which included the Casa Rosada, Eva Peron's grave sight, Avenida de Julio (which is the widest street in the world, you can't cross it in one stoplight!), and this crazy market place where we saw the casa de la familia de Ezeiza. After the tour, we split up. We (Camille, John, Stephen, Jaidam, Kerri, y Kendall) went to this crazy music festival where a band was playing on stage with people dressed as cats dancing. Also, on the screen behind the band was this film of cats... who knows. There was definitely a hint of a certain herb in the air and lots of maté. They didn't play for that long once we got there so we explored and found this random courtyard with a stage in it and some people hanging out. We hung out there for a while and eventually we watched this craaaaazy good hip hop dancing/break dancing group. They did moves that I didn't think were possible. Then this guy started beat boxing for oh, fifteen minutes while the group kept dancing. It was pretty awesome. I'm pretty sure John got it all on camera so I might be able to post it here once he puts in on Facebook. We wandered around for a while after that ended trying to search for food. We ended up at this place where we all just got pasta or salad. Relatively cheap and by that point we were all starving. 50 pesos later and it's time for bed. Tomorrow we have our orientation for our classes and our internships. ah so excited.
Buenas noches, chicos!

First night in Buenos :)

So tonight we had a welcome party thrown for us by our directors. It was awesome! We all got to chop up ingredients and make empanadas and I even cooked a little... whoah big deal! After everyone had been introduced and we all got more comfortable with each other, we went out as a group for the first time! We were of course loud, boisterous Americans but we all definitely had a good time. Kim and I split a liter of the house wine at a bar- surprisingly, it was amazing. It came in this funny bird pitcher and it literally looked like the bird was throwing up our wine when we poured. Everyone else split huge bottles of Stella. It was definitely a success. We got to watch the Cuba v. Argentina men's volleyball tournament at the bar. So fun. After that we split up into groups; a couple people headed home to get some shut eye while the rest of us kept on going. The next bar was pretty chill; we got a pitcher of beer to split while listening to old 90's music. Apparently Argentina is a decade behind on the whole pop music scene. We then went to one more bar (don't worry, I ordered water) and then took a taxi home. Buenos drivers are craaazaaay. There is no such thing as "lanes." Kinda scared the livin' daylights out of me last night. We all made it home and bunked down for our first night in Argentina!! Oh, and the group is totally awesome. I'm so excited. This is going to be an amazing five weeks!