The Taxi Driver

Posted by Corey at 5:33 pm on Thursday, August 30, 2007
Filed under General

Taxis here are really wild. I’m not sure of the exact numbers but apparently there is an abnormally high number of auto-related fatalities here! And after having many close calls with crazed drivers I believe it! At least everyone knows taxi drivers are crazy, they even got included into my Spanish homework.

We had a grammar lesson that dealt with using ser vs estar in alcohol related scenarios. My favorite as translated:

Symptom: The taxi driver (is) a pink elephant.
Cause: He drank a lot.
Solution: Ask the elephant what happened.

This made me laugh hysterically, I don’t know why they don’t teach grammar like this in the States it would be much more interesting!

I really like my classes here, its been interesting trying new things and looking at them from an Argentine perspective. I always look forward to my marketing class, and I just found out that the teacher is a big deal here; he’s the guy that did the marketing for Spider Man 3 when it came here and I think he works with other movies.

It’s also been really weird seeing glimpses of my friend’s lives back at home, my sister just moved into her Columbia dorm and looking at pictures of the city and NY college life makes me miss home. Same goes for getting Facebook invitations to parties at home, and seeing my friend’s away messages that they’re on campus.  Lately, I feel really disconnected from home.

At the same time, I’m loving being here more than ever. I’ve made friends with a bunch of Argentines and the weekends have been a lot of fun to say the least. The night scene here is so different, but its really great. Before class the other day as we were waiting for the teacher who is always late, I was discussing with other Americans how different the dancing is. We were reminiscing on high school dances or US clubs were its not uncommon to see people literally dancing on top of each other, but that’s not at all how it is here. If you see anyone doing that, you know they’re not from Argentina. I’m a hip hop lover but don’t mind its absence too much, its been fun getting into the local scene.

I checked out the Zoo the other day, its just down the street from my apartment and the weather was perfect.  It’s strange how much closer you can get to the animals, I was standing three feet from zebras and rhinos.  The cages weren’t exactly closed either, as we were walking I saw a couple birds walking underneath the bars.

With the RhinoHungry HippoElephants

And finally Fashion Week was such a disappointment!  I was so upset, because I had been looking forward to going for weeks!  I went with a friend and we waited in line for about three hours but couldn’t get in to any of the designer’s shows.  The line would start moving once the show started, but then they’d cut it off and wouldn’t let any one else in, and by that time a line had already formed for the next show which was an hour later, so that it would be impossible to get in the following show.  It was so frustrating!  And then I found out the next day that my friend’s roommate knows someone who works there and we could have had VIP status.  Oh, the disappointment.The screens from outside the fashion show

I’m off to Body Pump at the gym.  And I’m beginning to understand what the instructor is saying!  Thinks are looking up..

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Missing parts

Posted by Corey at 10:32 pm on Monday, August 20, 2007
Filed under General

I am feeling a little frustrated after having searched for many hours to find a normal pair of socks. They are the first thing I run out of so I am forced to drop my laundry off, and I would really just like to be able to buy more! But no, thus far I have only been able to find nylon or thick white tube socks. This is not the first time I wished there was a Target here…

Also, peanut butter really does not exist here, so if anyone has plans on visiting Argentina I would reccomend they bring a good supply! I wish I had known, I bought the only jar available at the supermarket and it is really horrible. I am really missing my honey roasted and crunchy!

Aside from those two inconveniences, things have been good. I should be reading for Analisis de Discurso, tomorrow I’m meeting with two of the other girls in my group to discuss the readings and then Wednesday we have to give a presentation to the class about the material! I am really getting nervous for that, I hope I don’t embarrass myself but I’m not feeling so optimistic about giving a presentation in Spanish. So for the 1000 time, I’m wishing that I was fluent..

Outside of the classroom, I ‘ve been seeing a lot of fun things. Saturday was the Campeonato Mundial de Tango, the World Championships of Tango. It was at the Rural, the same place as the animal show, so it unfortunately still carried the lingering smell of horses and cows. Not so pleasant, but the show was free and it’s only a 5 minute walk from my apartment so I couldn’t really complain. The dancers were so good, it was amazing to see how precisely they moved and the emotion and theatrics of the performances. I can’t even begin to imagine how much practice it must take to look that good.

tan.jpgdd.jpgPerformers

BA Fashion Week is also being held at the Rural and runs from the 22-24, so I’m planning on going this Saturday to see Argentine designers! I want to get work with fashion on the editorial side, so for me its perfect to be going.

Time to hit the books, wish me luck for Wednesday!

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What would Harry Potter do?

Posted by Corey at 5:03 pm on Monday, August 13, 2007
Filed under General

I had to laugh seeing an article titled “What would HP do?..”

I am in full tourist mode lately. A little too much partying called for doing something productive, so I decided to visit the famous Recoleta cemetery yesterday where Evita is buried among other famous Argentines. I’ve never seen such a beautiful place for dead people! Not that I’m an expert on the world’s cemeteries, but it was really amazing. I went with a friend, and we bought the map at the entrance, because neither of us has much of a sense of direction. BA is still cold, but the sun was shining and I’m happy with how my pictures turned out. However, my photography is still a little sub par, despite taking a class in High School, I feel like I never manage to get the picture right..hopefully a little more practice will change that.One of the tombsRecoleta Cemetary with Stef

We wandered around for awhile, then stopped to listen to one of the Spanish tours, which proved to be somewhat difficult, but I learned about one of the tombs, where the woman was allegedly buried alive, because the next day visitors went to the grave and it was all displaced and the woman had scratches on herself like she was trying to get out! I guess History can be interesting..Rufina, the woman who was buried alive!

We also met a Canadian wandering around the cemetery; he said he’s been traveling alone for a year and was staying in Argentina for the next two weeks before finally going back to work. I’m so envious! Hopefully someday I’ll have to opportunity to do the same. After we parted ways with him, we were also lucky enough to make friends with Lous a charming doctor/psychologist/Cuban jazz drummer/homeless man at the cafe we went to. I got to have coffee and try to politely decline having a greasy scarf and coat draped on me! Argentina is so full of friendly people!

Yesterday was also “El dia del nino,” a day of celebration for the kids. It’s really a big deal, my host family had the grandchildren running around and there was presents, tea, and pastries. Its good all the walking and trips to the gym that I do here, otherwise I’m sure that the flan and dulce de leche would quickly catch up. “El dia del estudiante” is coming up in September, so I have no classes to look forward to soon!What I stuggle with
Today I walked through the Palermo fair, like the one in San Telmo, but the area is full of stores in addition to the artisan stands so it’s near impossible not to spend money. The jewelry here is really beautiful, their stones and silver look so nice together.  I need to get a job here.

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¿Por qué no?

Posted by Corey at 11:20 pm on Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Filed under General

¿Por que no? (Why not) is the question Argentines love to ask in conversation. I’ve found myself saying it a lot as well; Why not do as much as I can here? The possibilities are endless.

Today for example, was the Exposicion Rural, which starts off as a competition for a variety of prizes, such as most attractive cow, and lasts for about 2 weeks as a kind of zoo/ ranching fair. I knew I was in for a treat when the overpowering smell of cattle almost knocked me over upon entering. Once I got past that, it was actually fun to see all the animals. There had to be over 1,000 kinds of horses, cows, pigs, and birds all neatly sitting in fenced squares that filled 2 huge rooms. It didn’t really seem to be a tourist thing either, just thousands of Argentines loving every minute of the livestock celebration. Following the animals was an outdoor show featuring Indians and Gaucho ranchers parading around on their horses. And everywhere you looked there was cured ham, bread, and pastries being sold to an incredible amount of people.GauchosMe and my special cow friend

After that was a run around the city, and then Body Pump at the gym. Its always a bit of a challenge for me to go to the gym, not in that I don’t know what I’m doing with weights, but just in understanding what people are saying to me! Trying to understand the instructor while struggling to finish a never ending set of lunges is no easy task. I was trying to sneak peeks at the woman next to me to see what she was doing, while not appearing to be some gawking weirdo. I really need to look up gym vocabulary before my next visit!

I’m really enjoying the different kinds of things here, over the weekend I went to San Telmo for the Sunday artisan fair. It goes on for blocks, and features mainly jewelry, photography, leather products, and furs, but if your lucky you might spot a vendor selling some 10 year old sneakers and old wigs like I did! Tango performers dance in the street, and at one point it was hard to hear over the drummers that filled a portion of the street. I can’t wait to come back here for souvenirs and gifts before I leave, but I have no idea how I’m going to fit everything in my suitcase. I might have to look into mailing things home before my flight…San Telmo Dancers

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Mejor!

Posted by Corey at 9:35 pm on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Filed under General

Thankfully, I can say that the last couple of days have been much better!  Once you get to know it, Buenos Aires is really not so intimidating.  Today classes started, and on Wednesdays I have Analysis de Discurso y Creatividad 2.  Both are listed under “Publicidad,” which deals with the marketing and advertising, so I’m excited to work with a different side of my English and journalism major.  In addition to my Spanish class for international students, I’m thinking I might take lessons outside of the university.  I hear they run at about 30 pesos an hour, so for $10 American, it’s not a bad option.

I’m excited for the weather to get better, because when it does, I don’t think I’ll ever be home.  There’s so many fun ways to explore the city; there’s this city bike tour I’ve been reading about where you can choose how many hours or miles you want to bike, which will be perfect when its warmer.  My exams should end before December, and since I’m here till the 22, there’s a lot of time for more adventures.  Igazu Falls is a must that I’m really excited for, as is Bariloche and the Lake District, all of which are supposed to be beautiful.  We also have a short break in October, so I’m thinking that will be a good time to visit a friend in Sao Paolo, Brasil.

That is if I have enough money left to travel.  The shopping here is unbelievable.  I had some time to kill before my rock climbing class, which was unfortunately canceled because of the rain, so I met my host sister on Florida Av at a department store.  From there, it was downhill for my bank account.  The sales were so good!  For about 180 pesos, I got a pair of boots and 2 shirts, so really I didn’t do that much damage.  But if your into nice leather, which who isn’t, Florida is the place to go.  They raise the prices because its kind of touristy, but the stores were amazing.  Argentina is known for its leather, and the purses, boots, and coats are really great quality.  The smell was heaven.  But 900 pesos for a bomber jacket just wasn’t happening.

Well I’m off to El Museo tonight, not a museum, but the best bar for a Wednesday night. Ciao for now!

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