02.25.09

A little about Buenos Aires

Posted in Buenos Aires at 8:16 pm by Jackson Lee

You might be wondering what I´ve been up to in Buenos Aires for the last 6 weeks.

Living Like a Porteñol

I arrived via the somewhat casual travel services of Aerolineas Argentina, caught the bus into the city and made my way to ‘Hostel Suits Palermo’ where I would spend the next few days acclimatising and getting to know this enormous city.

Where shit gets done!

Congresso – Where shit gets done!

Hostel Suits Palermo was my first real taste of the social magic of hostels. I met some interesting people including a couple of kiwis blokes trying to do something new everyday of there 12 month trip around the world. This included swimming in one of BsAs city fountains (at a major intersection), piercing body parts, not sleeping for 3 days, travelling with a Swedish female rock band etc etc.

Using craigslist.org, I checked out a couple of places to stay and ultimately decided to live with one of the guys from Ultimate Frisbee, mostly because his apartment had a good study environment (minus the construction crew next door). Located between the hip suburb of Palermo (population 225,000), a huge beautiful park (which, oddly, has a area designated for transvestite to congregate at night – I know, nasty huh!) and the pram-pushing suburb of Belgrano, the apartment has been the perfect place to begin this trip of South America. My humble abode pictured below.

Weather of the gods

The first thing you should know about Buenos Aires is it is hot. Beautifully hot. Not humid hot where walking out of air-conditioning is like slipping into the camp fire but sunny, smile-inducing, girls-have-every-excuse to show of their curves, hot. And its sunny – it rains when you want it to – which is about once a week and there is often a soothing breeze which works as a reminder to put a paper-weight on the newspaper during your afternoon siesta. This city has the best weather of any place I’ve been.

City Biking Touring

No arguments here, cycling is the best way to see this city (and perhaps all cities). Get on a bike…. More to come

Tango

I’m hooked by this beautiful and sophisticated dance. If you never enjoy a warm evening watching Tango over a drop of Mendoza Vino then then please punch yourself in the face. Mid-dance, you will catch yourself with a wider, warmer smile than you had when you first realised girls like sex too.

02.24.09

Birthday 31 – Half way to 62

Posted in Buenos Aires at 8:51 pm by Jackson Lee

Last week my age flipped over again. Birthdays, I´m told, are a big deal in Argentina. An America who has lived here in Buenos Aires for the last 10 years recounted to be that often on his birthdays people he hardly knows (i.e. someone meet on a plane) will ring and congratulate him. And if a birthday party is organised, its more than likely that anyone that can turn up, will turn up.

My birthday was a pretty quiet afair. I decided to take the not-tell-people approach as I felt uncomfortable with celebrating “myself” with people that I don´t really know. Wrong or right decision….?

Dinner last Thursday night (i.e. the night of the 19th) got started at midnight, which meant it was on my birthday (Friday the Feb 20th) so the guy I am staying with cooked up some birthday food (see photo below).

Birthday Pie

This was followed by a entertaining night out in Palermo at a bar with excellent taste in music (Pink Floyd). There were several casualties from the 10 Peso (US$3 buck) bottle of Gin. Incidentally, alcohol is rediculiously cheap here (unless purchased in bar). Saturday rolled around with a intense, “my dentist would be proud of giving me” headache hangover. Luckily, we play Utlimate on Saturday and the Argentines love to sing birthday songs in groups which was both good-fun and nervous-system testing at the same time.

I´ve been writing some post which havn´t been posted yet. The journey out of Buenos Aires into South America (heading towards Bolivia 1st) begins in the next week.

02.20.09

Carne De Vaca

Posted in Buenos Aires at 3:57 am by Jackson Lee

I got sick with a cold. A week later I got another cold. The buckle reached the shortest length hole on my belt as the pounds shed away. My eating habits since arriving in Buenos Aires had taken a serious hit. Pizza, Empanadas and Quilmes beer might be damn tasty but they don’t provide a lot of nutrition.

I like to explain to people that Chinese food is extremely diverse, so long as you accept that most of it is bathed in cooking oil and tongue fortifying Asian spices, you should have no problem enjoying the range of styles. The Argentine’s don’t deep fry as readily as the Chinese. In fact, the basically eat Carne De Vaca (beef) + Mediterranean pasta and bread + dulce to Leche (or themes similar).

The pampas (the farm area’s of Argentina) are vast beyond describing. The are home to the Argentine gauchos (cowboys) and hordes of cow. Argentines are very proud of producing the worlds most price-competitive, high quality beef. This, unsurprisingly, has heavily influenced the culinary tastes of local people. Parrilla’s are almost as common as Fish’n’chip shops. Parrilla food is basically a pile of meat (plus fries).

Knowing that being on the road in South America would offer little for a hungry vegetarian, I had been planing returning to the world of carnivores after 6 years of lettuce grazing. During Grahams visit a few weeks ago, I plunged back into the meat eating world.

The first roast dinner I’ve ever cooked