Thursday, November 18, 2010

Buenos Dias Buenos Aires

Hola! Guess what? I'm in Argentina. Crazy, no?

Can I just say, flying first class was one of my favorite things ever. The food? Not as bad as usual airplane food (especially the seared ahi tuna, yum!). We didn't have to buy any airport food, because they fed us so much (but a word of advice, avoid the mahi mahi, it was so gross! a total disappointment after the ahi tuna). Plus they bring you hot towels, and lots of snacks and drinks, and there are pillows and blankets, and tons of footroom and bumroom, and you can recline without feeling like you are crowding someone else, and I just loved it.

On the way to Atlanta. There were tiny bottles of water waiting for us when we got to our seats!

Can you believe this leg room? I have my legs completely stretched out.
Another blurry picture. That's what I get for asking A to take a picture in the dimly lit airplane. This is the plane to Argentina, which had better seats and more legroom. Plus they gave us orange juice when we got on. I don't think I can ever ride coach again.

The hotel/spa we're staying in is awesome, very modern. Our room is almost completely white, walls, kitchenette, curtains, bedding, and all. The floors are super dark wood. There is a pillow on our bed that is off-white cotton cable knit, and I totally want to make one, and a gray sheepskin rug by the bed that I love. The bathroom has a bidet. I don't much like it, but perhaps I just don't have the technique down. It also has a super cool sink with a little soap tray.

View from our balcony.

Our bed, see the sheepskin rug and cabled pillow?

The dreaded bidet. Plus I think you are supposed to put TP in that little garbage, not in the toilet. Mostly I forget.

The cool sink with the little soap tray.

I looooove Argentina. A and I have been talking the whole time if we could see ourselves living here. There would definitely be some things to get used to, like the stinky park and speaking Spanish, but I think the answer is yes.

This map shows the area in which we are staying, Palermo. We pretty close to the Japanese Gardens and the Zoo, which is also kind of stinky to walk past. We love going on walks through the neighborhood. On every street there is some sort of little restaurant, mercadito, shop, bakery, or something fascinating. There are also residences above everything. The buildings are pretty tall, but you don't even notice because the trees along the street create a leafy-green ceiling. There are garage doors for the apartments on the street front, but they aren't like American garage doors. They are beautiful, some wood-paneled, some stainless steel, all super cool. In the lobby of each apartment building there is a doorman who watches the street, so it feels very safe to walk around at night. There are also balconies everywhere, all planted with flowers and very beautiful. The texture of the street is fascinating and it is all very walkable (here in Palermo, most of the streets are one way, one lane, and the blocks are very short).

So far, in our neighborhood, we've visited an electronics store (for a surge protector that adapts American plugs to Argentinian ones), a hardware store (for duct tape and scissors), a supermarket (for sandwiches and bottled water), a pizza place, and an empanada cafe.

The stinky park I mentioned above is sort of a narrow park that goes down the middle of one of the streets. There are always dogs there, and it must be garbage week because there are lots of bags of garbage piled there. It smells really bad, and I almost lost my empanadas last night when we walked past. Argentina almost feels like an American or European city in the architecture and metropolitan nature, but there are little hints of South America in areas like the stinky park.

There are dogs everywhere here! We see probably five dog walkers everyday, each with ten dogs, plus individuals. This leads to a lot of dog poop on the sidewalk. Mostly the dogs are nice, and don't bark, which is good for people who are scared of dogs, like me.

The food here is so good, but we haven't found many vegetable-rich dishes. I've eaten a ton of empanadas (my favorite were pumpkin with leek and cheese and eulogia, which had beef, olives, rasins, and other stuff inside). Breakfast at our hotel is pretty good, fresh jugo de naranja (orange juice) bread, cheese, ham, croissants, fruit salad, yogurt, eggs, and baked goods. Today I got what I thought was dulce de leche to put on a croissant, it mostly just tasted like caramel, but was delicious. And the Coke here is so good.

This is a pizza oven. Argentina has Italian roots, as reflected in the food here.

A blurry picture of me, but kind of cool? I was SO tired on Tuesday. The flight plus four hour time difference killed me.

This pizza was amazing.

My delicious empanadas and coke, and a hungry A.

So we're mostly here for the Automechanica convention. I went to the convention with A yesterday, and things were a bit frustrating for awhile. We had gone on Tuesday to set up, and our booth had no power, not enough furniture (just one desk), and was the only booth with black walls (not so good for projecting images onto). We waited there for hours for the organizers to give us more furniture, hook up the power, and change out two of the panels for some white ones. Finally we left to go get dinner, expecting them to fix things by the next day. Wednesday when we showed up, we had more furniture but nothing was fixed. Luckily we had borrowed a sheet from the hotel, which we taped up for the makeshift projector screen. Finally they hooked up the power, but we still didn't have internet connection. The show started at 2:00 pm, and they had told A that they would give us the internet password by that time. By 3:00 I finally went to "headquarters" to sort things out, since no one seemed to be doing anything, and we couldn't show our product without the internet. Even though we had requested a translator and the internet, they had never charged us for it, which is why we never received it. Anyway, I paid for everything and we got hooked up. Things went extremely well after that, and even though I wasn't all dolled-up like the other booth babes, it was fun to talk with people in my broken Spanish.

Walking back to our hotel after trying to set up on Tuesday.

My handsome husband working hard at the show, still waiting for the stinking internet.

Today I am shut up in the hotel room, which is why I am posting this too-long travel log. I am supposed to be researching and writing a giant paper for school, which is due the day get back from Argentina. Hopefully I'll get it finished up, and then I can go out and take a load of pictures of all these things I'm telling you about.

I had better get to it, so adios!


lynandsky said...

So I know you should have been writing your paper, but how fun was that to read about your trip while you are still on your trip! I'm way, way jealous - look forward to more pics :)

Becka said...

That's so cool. Dave is there right now too and I wish more than anything I could be there with him. He's in Malargue which is south of Mendoza.

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