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Showing posts from December, 2008

Daily Pic 71 : More Vicente Lopez

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I really should learn to line up the horizon!

New Years Eve Day

It's New Year's Eve today... we are going to be meeting some friend in Palermo for a few drinks... a good way to see in the New Year. I'm not actually sure of how this city functions tonight so it will be good to see.

Today was not as productive as I would have liked it to be! I had a few administrative things to sort out... finding a new apartment (I need to move on 1 Feb), finalising a few plans for my mother's visit.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day.

Today I went for a long walk, sat in a coffee shop on my laptop and tried to get things done. It was a bit of a slow start on account of the big night we had last night, unexpectedly.

Nicky, Helen, Chris and this guy from Oz (Peter) went for a drink or two and dinner. Then we ended up at an Irish Pub (I know, I know, I know - you do crazy things when you're abroad. Normally I wouldn't go to an Irish pub but I made the effort on behalf of the ladies with us. It was good fun. I left first and was home at 1.30... the o…

Slow on the posting

Mrs C left today, we took her out to the airport at around midday. On Monday we all went out to Tigre to go on the Delta. We ended up at el Gato Blanco again, the water level was high so some places were not open. It was fun.

Daily Pic 70 : Aliens. Vicente Lopez

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Daily Pic 69 : Familiar

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Quite a familiar motif. This isn't the Friendly Society in London, but the club Bahrain in BA.

The Weekend

It's been a busy weekend, I've been out a lot!

On Saturday night we all went to Bar 6... Chris, Helen, Mrs C and I. Then a couple of drinks are Limbo in Palermo. After that I met Alejandro and we went to Ambar. I'd never been there before. It's a huge club... good music. It was packed and very hot indeed! It was a fun night.

Today we tried to go to the Feria de Matadores but after the 40 min bus ride we discovered that it was not happening... so we went to San Telmo for lunch instead.

Daily Pic 68 : Dirty

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Such a sweet little shop.

Party Season

I went out last night to meet Alejandro. We went to The Sub... a club in town. It was another late night but as I didn't drink I didn't feel too bad this morning. Today I took a nice long walk and bought towels for the pool. I was concerned that we were damaging the ones from the apartment. So I went to the big Coto and got some more.

The afternoon was sleepy! Lazy days!

Christmas

It's interesting experiencing Christmas in a different country... seeing how things differ. It's all about Christmas eve here. Last night we decided to go out. There is a club that was having a party we thought sounded like fun. So we met Nicky in Serrano Square at 11.30... the streets were deserted, no people, no cars, no cabs.

The only people were zombied foreigners wandering around looking for an open bar. We discovered that Mott and Sugar were open. Sugar is popular with foreigners so I was surprised it was open. I'd never been and to be honest we had no choice so we went there for a couple of drinks. Then we went to the Club.

When I left the club at 4 in the morning, things had changed. The streets were packed, the bars and restaurants were open, people everywhere. I suspect people spend the evening with their families and then go out at around 1. I'm sure New Year will be the same.

Today we are having a lazy day, roast turkey later. We had empanadas for lunch and Mr…

Daily Pic 67 : From from the roof

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone who reads these ramblings. I hope it's a good one.

Shopping

I've been spending the past few days buying Christmas presents. To be honest, I don't have that many to get but since I've been trying to stretch my money I haven't done much shopping here... so it has been a rare treat to be shopping... I've savoured it.

Daily Pic 66 : The Final Kiss

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Daily Pic 65 : Filming

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Stumbled across this on Sunday. I think they were filming a car advert. Well at least there were many Volkswagon's with German number plates involved.

Sunday Sunday

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So, the family got back on Sunday morning. Around midday we all headed down to San Telmo to look at the market. Mrs C is a big fan of antiques. It pissed down. We haven't had a lot of rain since we've been here but we had quite a bit on Sunday. Thankfully it didn't last and we go a dry patch here and there.

Mrs C made dinner, a delicious chicken curry. So nice to have some spicy food. After a nap I went to meet Alejandro to watch the annual Christmas fireworks, then we both met up with Helen and Chris at Sitges. It was packed. I guess holiday season bring all the tourists. I've never seen it so busy. The poor waiters were run off their feet! Bizarrely Perez Hilton was there. I thought I recognised him, Chris did a quick search online to find pics and we had a match. As we were leaving, Helen spoke to him and confirmed. Hence the picture. Weird huh?

After Sitges we went to Amerika. I'm not really a fan of the club but for some reason last night was really fun. Had a g…

Daily Pic 64 : Trees on Libertador

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The weekend

Chris and his family are away at Iguazú this weekend so I have the apartment all to myself. It's kind of fun, although I'm starting to feel a little lonely! He he.

On Friday night I went out. I met up with this guy called Marcello, who is here on holiday. We have a mutual friend in London. So we met at Bar 6 and had a beer and then headed to Contramano. It was fun.

Today (Saturday), I woke up early (I'd only got home at 5!) and went for breakfast at a little place two blocks away. I'd seen that they served scrambled eggs. After that I had a few chores to do and then I went to Palermo to do some hopelessly unsuccessful Christmas shopping. I wandered about, looking at things, struggling to commit to any purchases. So, then I stopped for a coke and an ice-cream, delicious.

This afternoon has been domestic. Two loads of laundry, cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, bought some groceries and had a little snooze. My friend, Alejandro is coming over to visit tonight for din…

Daily Pic 63 : Subte

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Daily Pic 62 : Plaza de Mayo

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Daily Pic 61 : San Telmo

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On the tourist trail

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Well, this is what it's like. We have visitors so are doing the tourist thing. Today, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada and San Telmo. After lunch at el Federal I excused myself from the family and went shopping.. well I didn't end up buying anything but I tried... walked and walked and walked... Now I'm relaxing at home. We ate dinner in the apartment today.

Daily Pic 60 : It is Christmas after all

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Moms and cousins

Mrs C and Helen are here. We picked them up at the airport last night. It was lucky, Helen was booked on a slightly later flight which would have meant waiting at the airport three hours after Mrs C's arrival but she was able to get onto the earlier one... so all was well.

It's always weird when new people arrive, seeing the city through fresh eyes. Noticing new things that never occurred and seeing things again you have taken for granted.

Today, I met Chris and his family in Palermo and we went for lunch at Quimbombó. Very nice indeed. Lazy afternoon. Now they are all at the pool and I am considering joining them. It has cooled down ever so slightly so probably a good time to be out.

Daily Pic 59 : Congresso

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A bad tree

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Well I finally decided I couldn't pretend Christmas wasn't happening for any longer. I've done a great job of ignoring it but with guests coming today (for Christmas) I thought I should make an effort. And what an effort. I managed to get a tree and decorations for less than 70 Pesos!

I didn't want to spend a fortune considering I'd probably be tossing it all away anyway so I have created this festive delight. It's small, kinda hideous but will do! Now that's the spirit.

A hot weekend

It's hot again! It's wonderful. I've been totally chilling out. The new apartment is much better for that. I've even swum for the first time! It was great.

On Saturday night, Chris and I went to meet Carmen for a quiet drink. She didn't meet up with us on Friday (as the was the plan) and so we met her and had a little sit and some food in Plaza Serrano. The lovely Nikki joined us, but we were all a little bit jaded from the night before so it was all very subdued! Anyway, it was good to see Carmen and hear of all her adventures around Argentina!

On Sunday, I lay in the sun by the pool. It was divine. I read my book, listened to my iPod - desperately lazy but brilliant. In the afternoon I went to meet Alejandro for a stroll in the Palermo parks... he came back to the flat for a swim and a pizza.

Daily Pic 58 : Obelisco

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It's leaving season

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It seems everyone is leaving! Robin and John are off next week, as too are the Norwegian ladies... Carmen is in town for 3 nights only.

So the past week or so has been about saying goodbye and various leaving parties. Although it wasn't a leaving party, we went out last night with Stephen, Nicky, Robin and John. It was a fun night, although I felt a little worse for wear this morning. We started the night at Congo in Palermo... then we went to Bulnes Class, which really is a Saturday night place, so not so good. They had some weird fashion show on... a bit sad. Then we went to Angels! We danced a bit, then we danced some more. Trannies galore. It was fun, only home at 5 though!

Daily Pic 57 : More Grafitti

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Daily Pic 56 : Biblioteca Nacional

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Agüero 2502.

Guido's Bar

We went for dinner last night - there's a shock. This time it was with the lovely Robin and John from the US. They also brought their friend, Candice, who was a delight. Sadly Robin and John are leaving BsAs next week so it was good to see them. We went to Guido's Bar, which is remarkably close to where live. It's on Republica de India. Despite it's proximity we were late.

Foolishly we left the house woefully unprepared for finding a new restaurant. We wandered around and around the botanical gardens. I had thought a quick glimpse at google maps would have been enough information to find it... it wasn't. Anyway, we were 1/2 an hour late... which is bad.

Despite the bumpy start, we had a great time. It's a set menu arrangement, where you pay 90 pesos and they bring you loads of different foods. Quite handy if you find the pressure of deciding too much. It was fun.

Afterwards we went to a bar down the street and had a few beers. Heading home at around 3! Where does …

Daily Pic 55 : Belgrano

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A delicious neighbourhood of Buenos Aires... swanky.

Daily Pic 54 : Subte Tunnel

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Bye Bye Vlad

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Originally uploaded by owenaj Vlad left this evening. I'm sad. It's weird, he came with us on the same flight so has been here the whole time we were here and now he's gone. I guess it means the next phase begins.

I think Vlad enjoyed his time, although I'm also sure he's keen to get home and back to London... his flat, life and David.

Chris and I met Vlad and Stephen in San Telmo for lunch today, we enjoyed hamburgers at El Federal, which is always a treat.

Daily Pic 53 : Paraguay y Gurruchaga

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Tuesday

Yesterday was good. I had had quite a late night on Monday night so slept late on Tuesday. Then we strolled down to Mark's Deli (notorious lunch time haunt of the oh-so-cool Palermo media set) to meet Mia for lunch. We chatted over our meal of chicken salad (me) and a sandwhich (Mia) about loads of things. It was great fun.

After that I came home to see Chris and his friend, Julio.

The evening was Vlad's leaving dinner. We went to the rather gorgeous Green Bamboo. It was a delight to have spicy (really spicy) sauce. We all took a rather huge gulp of it, expecting it to be standard Argentine "spicy". It was hot.

After that we popped in, briefly to the coolest bar ever... 878 Thames.

Daily Pic 52 : It's hot

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Seems the only way these neighbours could sleep in the heat last night was to move their bed onto their terrace.

Goodbye Rhonagh

Today is Rho's last day in the city. She's going home. And so we had a little farewell last night. We had dinner at a local Parrilla in Recoleta and then joined Åsa and some other folk for a few drinks... she is also leaving. It was a fairly low key but pleasant evening.

Tonight is Vlad's last in town. Things certainly are changing.... next phase is the mothers. Mrs C first and then my mama comes in Jan.

Daily Pic 51 : Demolition

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All over Buenos Aires, there are building sites with older buildings being pulled down to make way for high rise apartment buildings. Often you can see evidence of the homes that were once housed within the old buildings. Sorry about the quality (camera phone) but this site in Belgrano clearly shows off where the kitchens and bathrooms were in previous apartments.

Madonna

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We saw Madonna at the River Plate Stadium last night, it was brilliant.

She sang, Don't Cry For Me Argentina, which was a real treat! The crowd loved it. The crowd in general were very different from a UK audience. Much more enthusiastic and up for it. No drinking either. Usually in the UK you run the risk of a pint of lager spilt down your back...

Getting home was a bit of a pain and we ended up walking the 40 odd blocks, stopping for Pizza along the way.

Madge looked relaxed and like she was having fun. Clearly didn't bother to learn any Spanish and spoke almost entirely in English.



Daily Pic 50 : Florida

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The weekend

It's been a lazy long weekend. And I'm loving it.

Yesterday, Vlad and Stephen came over and we sat by the pool for a bit. I didn't sit too long as I was due to meet Rhonagh for coffee in town. So I went into town to Café Richmond, I suggested it, knowing it would appeal to Rho's sense of style.

I enjoyed a delicious tostado mixto (ham and cheese, what else), actually it wasn't that delicious, but familiar, and two (yes two) Submarinos. I know, I'm a pig.

Chris cooked steak rolls for the boys.

In the evening we all went to Rho's hostel to have a few drinks with her hostel mates. We left her there and headed to Bulnes Class. I then went to meet another friend (Alejandro). We were going to go to Angels (a club) but decided against it when we had to queue for ages so we just went for a stroll and had a quiet night. It was a complicated night, but a good one nonetheless.

This morning I am just relaxing on the balcony, thinking about how to fill the hours until Madonn…

Daily Pic 49 : La crisis de Britney Spears

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Rather out of date gossip magazine in the barber shop.

A lazy day

Well I had the laziest of days today, it was heaven. I didn't leave the flat!

Last night I had a friend over for dinner (now that I can cook) and so we enjoyed roast chicken. It was delicious. Then today, I cleaned up, folded my laundry etc. Slept a bit. Not a productive day in any way, but fabulous nonetheless.

Tonight, we are ALL (Vlad, CMC, Stephen, Rho and I) are going to Bar 6 for dinner, deliciousness defined. Should be good. And, now it's walking distance.

It's the little things

So, we moved. And I'm loving our new apartment and getting pleasure from the simplest of things. Cleaning the kitchen this morning was a delight, doing the dishes. The taps actually work properly... doing my own laundry - there's a laundry room, perhaps now my clothes will stop shrinking. Also, we have sunlight in the apartment, a radical idea.

It's all the excitement I can handle

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We moved! Finally we are out of the horrid apartment. Although I loved the area (Arenales y Ecuador) the apartment was kinda skanky. No light, never felt clean, a kitchen that was unusable. But now we are living in a deluxe apartment in the sky. These things are relative.

Loving the new place. It's at Charcas y Gurruchaga. A different kind of area.

We were only in the apartment for a few hours and I was looking out the window when I saw the oddest thing. One of the huge old Plane trees fell over! It literally just fell across the street, landing on two cars and the security hut for our building. Dangerous! Thankfully no one was hurt but there was a fair amount of excitement.

I'm not sure what caused it to collapse, it was alive and well... it was a windy day.

The local council were on site within 30 mins slicing up the tree and monitoring the damage. Today the Cable TV folk are repairing the damage the collapsed tree did to their wiring. It brought down two "telephone" p…

Madonna is in town

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Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour hits Buenos Aires tonight (I'm going on Sunday). This did make me giggle though. She popped by the Casa Rosada to visit with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who also happened to be meeting with former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt. Cristina managed to bring the two together for an unlikely pairing.

This is Madonna's "yes, I know, being held hostage for 12 years by Columbian rebels must have been difficult" face.

Daily Pic 48 : On the wall in San Telmo

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Didn't they try this before?

It seems SAA is going to be flying Johannesburg to Buenos Aires from next year. I seem to recall they tried to open up that route last year and had to cancel plans in order to complete "restructuring". I hope it works this time, that would be a wonderful route for me considering how fond I am of both cities.. and of SAA.

Because I'm in *that* kind of mood

Reciprocal tax

So it seems that from the 1 January Argentina will be charging our American (from the US) brothers and sisters an entry tax, equivalent to the tax the US imposes on Argentine's entering it's sacred land. Obviously it seems quite a few expats are somewhat agitated by this as they rely on leaving and re-entering, refreshing their tourist visas, to stay here. It's not clear whether they will have to pay the $134 each time, although I think it's only applied every 5 or 10 years. Other countries are affected too, Australia and Canada for example. British folk won't be charged as they don't charge Argentines for visiting and spending their hard earned money in Britain.

Personally I think any tax of this nature is absurd... surely you want people to visit your country and would encourage tourism? Maybe I'm missing something.

Certainly $134(US) is a lot more for your average Argentine than you average American tourist?

It takes time to get these things right

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So, I had another haircut, my second in the land of mullets. The first time (6 weeks ago) I didn't feel that the barber listened to me and left it too short. Despite hours of snipping away I felt he could have done more. I assumed of course that it was my Spanish that let me down. Also, he didn't use clippers, I'm a bit fan of clippers for men's hair. I was determined to get it right this time.

It isn't a good haircut. I think of like ordering a steak in a new restaurant.

I've had a few steaks in this town and *usually* they are slightly more cooked than they would be in the UK. Like if I order a medium, it comes out medium well, usually. There are a few exceptions, and these catch you off guard. So you'll go to great lengths to get what you want, possibly over-emphasising the amount of time you'd like your meat cooked, only to find that the starting position is the same as you'd get in England. You end up with over cooked meat. My hair is ummm... ove…

I'm not one to complain but...

Not being able to break a 100 peso note when paying for a breakfast of 39 Pesos is surely a problem. Oi vey!

Design

As the more alert of you will have noticed, I'm mucking about with my blogger template (oooh matron). Anyway, you'll be experiencing some unpredictable things for the next few hours with the site. Apologies.

Daily Pic 47 : Dogs in San Telmo

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Back in Buenos Aires

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We're back in BsAs. We basically spent all of today travelling, the flight was delayes and although we left the hostel at around 11.30 we only got back to Buenos Aires around 19.00. One hour time change included.

The last day in Santiago was kind of chilled out. Stephen, Vlad, Chris and I went to the pool at the top of the mountain and swam and relaxed. Then we went and had a bite to eat. There was a party in the house we were staying and we were invited so we spent the evening there. I didn't stay too long and had a wonderful long night's sleep.

It feels good to be back in Buenos Aires, although Santiago was very cool too.