Friday, October 30, 2009

Mi Gusta

An update soon coming about my 4 day stay in IGUAZU FALLS!!!!!

In the meantime 2 more reasons to add to the list of why this place rocks:

1.) "Doing laundry" here means taking your laundry to the laundromat 2 blocks away, give it to a woman who does it for you. 10 pesos per load (ahem $2.6 USD) and you don't have to bring any detergent or anything. You go back in a few hours and it's all folded and dry, ready to go! I really like this translation, "doing laundry", here!

2.)  When you rent a fully furnished flat here, you also get a cleaning lady who comes once a week. When inquiring about not having one come (you know to save money) the rental guy was like well it's not worth it, you won't really be saving anything, maybe 7 pesos per month. Beautiful. Though i do have to wonder how the heck these cleaning ladies survive off that kinda salary...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Horse Shoe Up My Butt

Well there must be a horse shoe up my butt or something! this week I've been training people the TEFL methods of how to teach English as a second langauge! lol! I'm laughing because I'm technically underqualified for the job! i only have a TESOL, which is lower than a TEFL, and was barely trained, never mind knowing any methods! so how did it happen? morgan works at a language school in the marketing department and they desperately needed a substitute for the tefl trainer course that started this past Tuesday. they were adamant to start on tuesday (instead of the following week when the trainer would be back) and morgan immediately thought of me! she called me up and i was like you know i don't know the TEFL methods, i only have 1 year experience, i'm in no position to do this -feeling rather uncomfortable about the whole thing, really flattered but uncomfortable to do it. but then she told me they pay and i was like YES! no problem! done! haha! so i'm officially "one of those" -ya know, that person that has that wicked high-paying job that they shouldn't have, and there are plenty of other people well-qualified and should have it over me! but it's only for this week, so i gotta figure out how to get my butt in there, or at least sub once a week each month or somethin!! i'm soo grateful to know morgran! she's super rad and just oozing with help!

found another great reason to love this city:
went out for dinner last night with morgan and her roomie and her friend. we went to this parilla and had to wait to be seated. if you wait to be seated here, for more than like 5 mins, they come around and give you a free glass of champagne/wine/beer!!! so you're standing outside on the sidewalk, drinking a free drink, as you wait! AND, you get free refills!! my friends also told me that you cold potentially swoop in on the free drinks, and then if you're still waiting, you can just leave! just tell the host that it's taking too long and leave! and they won't charge you a cent!! crazy sauce! needless to say, i'm gonna make sure i always go at busy eating times, so i have to wait to be seated! now that's what i call "worth the wait"!

we waited last night though! and it was super good food! can't wait to go back! there was a fight though, that broke out at this restaurant -which was a sausage fest (a true sign of how good the meat is: all men at the restaurant, barely any women, and they still pile in). so i suppose with the lack of women, the men need to prove their masculinity through fighting. one dude busted out a knife. got a bit scary but was stopped within minutes. and we were at a nice place too, like business men there, dimmed lights, weird! this italian guy that came out with us was like this is the point where we dine and ditch (mid-fight), but they place was so full with tables we would have had to climb over them to make it out, causing a scene -needless to say we didn't do it. those italians are smart though! anyways, the 2 sides of the fights went back to their respective tables, one of them with a steak knife in his back pocket as everyone in the place carried on with their meals. it was weird, they weren't asked to leave. though 10 mins later a load of cops came and escorted them out. it was an interesting way of handling things. but i'm glad nobody was injured, esp since one dude had a knife! and loads of men in there, who were ready to fight if necessary! that could have got ugly fast! esp with it being so hard to walk inbetween the tables! not an easy exit! and then they came and gave everyone a free glass of champagne for the disruption! morgan's right: she never gives me a dull time! haha!

anyways, back to the job hunt! can't believe in 2 days it will be a month since i've moved down here! it has gone by insanely fast! i only feel it has been 2 weeks tops!! love this place!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

You Are What You Eat

Wow! lots to catch up on! where to start?!....guess where i left off: with the canadian meet up!

my canadian friend, morgan, invited me out last wed. with her friends. we went to a club that was having a famous band, los bombos (? pretty sure that’s the name! they’re a brazilian style of band!), play and a really famous singer, juana somethin-or-other, was performing with them! super cool and fun to see! plus i was able to bring brian and cassie along with me! it was my first time meeting morgan in-person and she super rad! gotta love how the canadians stickin together!

on thursday, we moved into the new pad in san telmo! lots of onda (character) but a few minor problems that are still waiting to be fixed. our landlord has done a few things since, so i think she will actually get to doing all of them. san telmo is so quaint and cute! unfortunately, there aren’t as many trees. but everything is so close by and lots of cobblestone streets! in palermo (where we were before), everything was more spread out and it didn’t feel so homey.

this past weekend i got invited to joaquin’s (the argentine that took me and the joes out our 2nd night here) ranch/blueberry farm/weekend home with the joes! his dad throws bbqs come spring and summer time just for fun, and saturday was one of them! it was absolutely gorgeous and fun and fattening! but oh soooo good to get out of the city! i didn’t even realize it! and don’t even get me started on how tasty the meat is! i’ve heard for almost a year now how amazing it is, but all this talk sure as heck doesn’t do it justice, and if you know me, you know i’m not huge on meat! so for me to say this, holy cow! awesome!
break it down now:
saturday: the joes and i meet up at joaquin’s apt in belgrano to get a ride with him to baradero, located north of the city. we get there and find ribs stacked with meat on this huge pit/grill thing and a butterflied pig, head and all, grilling! crazy! this ranch had a pool, horses, pigs (minus one, and tasty one at that!), rabbits, chickens, and sheep! once their family friends came, hors d’oeuvres were served: homemade empanadas and choripan. note: empanadas can be a meal in themselves, think hot pocket sized. choripon, also a meal. it is chorizo cut down the middle and stuck in a fatty bun. and no, they were not cut into bite sizes for the typical appetizer portion! so we pretty much had two full meals -not to mention that within the hour, the actual meal was served!! aye dios mio!! but the ribs were to die for! just oozed off the bone with love! and don't get me started on how tasty it was! the ham was awesome too, and i don’t even like ham! i only eat pig in form of sausage! side dishes? not so much! this was a meat extravaganza here! they had buns, but nobody ate them, maybe a bite or two. salad, but again, barely touched! they just had heaps and heaps of meat!! lots of delicious argentinian wine was served as well! which i’m no connoisseur but ooo baby good stuff! and i don’t think it was bcuz i just came from awful wineville, aka turkey! super good! next: champagne and some kinda weird pastry thing was served for desert, along with their delicious coffee! food coma?! mmmm, is there something between food comma and food death? a food haze?!...fog?! ridiculous amount but really really ridiculously good!

then they had this band play, no not during the meal, but after. they played argentinian folklore music and were crazy good! these guys and the way they can work that guitar!! this one dude was a prodigy or something! at the end he started using a wine bottle to play the guitar! holy moly!

afterwards, everyone pretty much upped and left including the host, santiago! they barely sat around and chilled like after an american style bbq, weird. so once everyone was gone, it was just me, the joes, and joqua! at that point, the sun was setting and it was so beautiful. the joes and i wanted to go horseback riding but they weren’t set up to do so. But! there was a horse with an antique carriage conveniently attached, so the joes each took me for a ride! joey was convinced he had found his calling, but then the horse just stopped to eat and wouldn’t budge! haha! spoke to soon! then we hit up the atv! they taught me how to drive manual! awesome! and joey raced around in a classic motorcycle! sa-weet!

afterwards we chilled/tried to recover from the massive feast in joqua’s beautiful home and played card games. later, we ate some left over meat cuz you know, we hadn’t eaten enough already! this cow and pig just kept on giving! and then we all slipped back into a coma! so we beached whaled it in the living around the fire. we didn't have the lights on bcuz two of the walls are windows and the moonlight was super bright. i remembered mike telling me a bit about their magical/scary stories they have here, so i questioned joqua and it totally back fired! haha! (thanks a lot mike!!) he didn’t know any, but he scared the crap out of me (which i’m not usually such a wuss...must have been the meat!) and of course, the joes played along! since we got to the house, joqua had wanted to take us into the tiny town for dancing. at this point, we were all exhausted from all the food and could have easily passed out, but since i got too freaked out to go to bed; i got them back and made them go dancing -well ok, wasn’t too hard since they all like dancing, but it was more of a push to get them on their feet! so at about 2:30 (yes that’s when it’s good to go out here! yowch!) we left for the club. and oh my god! this town is like a mexican hovel and nothing but 14 year olds!! oh and i’m pretty sure those black censor bars would have covered more than what these girls were wearing!! meanwhile, i’m in a wool sweater (hey! i planned on being in the country the whole weekend; going out didn’t even cross my mind!)! lol! god, and the smoke! i’ve gotten used to the smoke in clubs from traveling, but this was a whole new level! at that ripe teeny bopper age, when it’s the cool thing to do, they light one up after the other. at one point i was gasping for air, i’m pretty sure i inhaled cancer that night! i was beside myself with the scene! i felt like i should have been chaperoning and going around scolding them as i rapidly whip the cigs outta their mouthes and find some piece of clothing to cover their hoohas! i mean, am i insane here?! how is this the thing to do...for the entire town to do?!! aye dios mio!!

anyways, sunday:

woke up to joqua cutting up the leftover meat from the pig and cow that really does keep on giving as he is singing some brazilian club song in a very high-pitched voice! haha! this guy is so funny! so breakfast: lol! chorizo! i had cut it up to serve as aps for when his friends arrived (which he invited over that day for another bbq), but i mean it’s bite sized and just sitting there! needless to say joe and i went to town on it! haha! ate a very hefty portion of it! woopsy!....breakfast of champs baby!

next, joqua’s friends arrived, and man, dude is a pimp or somethin! like 20 of them came, only 3 others were boys!! immediately i told joey to take notes! haha! all of them spoke english (phew!) and were super nice and fun! we hung out pool side, it’s spring here and was nice and warm. it’s that time of year when everyone’s excited to soak up any bit of warmth they can get. then we feasted, again. choripan and empanadas for hors d’oeuvres. then pig and ribs. no salad this time around. and only 2 people had a bun. and how many rounds of meat went around? nobody will ever know. they are seriously serious about their meat here! sooo tasty though! then we went back to hang out by the pool. everyone here loves to dance (YES!), so we busted a move or two! haha! all the girls were impressed bcuz my gringa ass has rhythm! haha! 

best part: i got to go horseback riding!! and there was no saddle and i was barefoot!! so amazing!!!!! i mean let me go horseback riding and i’m already bouncing off the walls with joy and now an experience like this, wicked!!!

later that night we all went back to the city as everyone has work on a monday! the weekend was much too short! i hope we get invited back! so relaxing and fun!

this past wed night morgan invited me to a cocktail party. they have after office parties here. people just go straight from work to a club, there are drink deals and blah blah blah. so i met up with her and her friends. it was quite interesting! lol! i heard lots of creepy crawlers go to these things to hit on women, but it’s hit or miss with the severity of them. now there was a fair share of them at this particular event, but we were in a big group so we could ward them off pretty well! haha! though i should warn you: that the world has ended, apparently bcuz this one guy is not tall enough for me -or so that's what he told his friend and the friend then relayed to me. oh, and i have the “buenos aires batman” at my beck and call. so i'm completely safe here guys, no worries! haha! i just scream or yell, whatever i want, and he’ll be there in a blink of an eye! haha! at least there were no marriage proposals like in turkey! lol! i mean where do these guys come up with this crap?! so hilarious! anyways, these group of girls were a lot of fun and i hope to get to hang out with them lots more! 

thurs night i met up with tiffany who used to work at effins, my watering hole back at state (thanks frank and jason for settin it up!). oh! and i brought cassie along cuz when i was telling her about my dinner plans, she was like wait! i know her! i took spanish with her back at state! (again greg, it is a very small world after all! mwhaha!) and to top that off, she brought along her roomie and this girl alyson, who also happens to know jason (and it gets smaller!)! anyways, tiff took us to a peruvian place. soooo sooo good, who’d a thunk?! but i have to say, their dishes either tasted like indian or chinese. regardless, super good! and *drum roll please!* tried the ceviche. as you all know, not a fan of the fish, but this didn’t even taste fishy! kelli, seriously you would have keeled over and died.

last night i got to see dustin, a childhood family friend!! he’s here on his honeymoon (cough! cough! katie and greg! cough! cough!). it was great to reunite with him (it’s like once in a blue moon our fams get to see each other) and meet his wife-y! she's super cool! i took them to a great parilla (grill house) along with the joes and the roomies. lots of good feasting of the meat and drinking of the wine! afterwards we went back to our area (which dustin and sara happen to be staying in) and wound up at a flamenco bar. we caught the tail end of the performance! awesome stuff!

tonight is the arg vs. peru game. gonna meet up with tiffany and some others at a bar to catch the game. afterwards, i plan to meet up with one of morgan's friends, mary, to go salsa dancing! olay!