Monday, August 31, 2009

Smoke Break

I couldn't quite capture it, but if you look closely, the girl on the back of the bike is holding a cigarette firmly between her fingers. We were riding in a cab parallel to this pair, and at stop lights, she would take a puff or two. Argentines loooove their cigarettes and I guess they take them everywhere. Also notice how close the driver is to -- or rather, how he is touching -- the bus in front of him. Perfect example of Argentine driving.

Sunday Evening

The weather was so warm yesterday. We opened our bedroom door and enjoyed the evening.

Ellie enjoyed the patio. I'm glad "curiosity" didn't get the best of her and she didn't fall five stories to her death.

The moon had come up.

It's about time to plant some flowers!

And these boys were enjoying a large bottle of wine in the "park" below (can't see the bottle here, it's on the ground between them). The couple was strolling. I was feeling creepy for taking their pictures.
I'm glad we enjoyed it while we could. The weather turned rainy and cool today. It's springtime, I guess!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I went to my first Argentine futbol game. It was Boca Juniors at home, but -- dare I say? -- I haven't decided if I'm a Boca or a River fan (extreme rivals here in Buenos Aires)! Shhhhh! Either you're a fan of one OR the other. And after seven months (!) it's high time I decide for myself which side I'm on.

This is where we bought tickets from a scalper.

Once inside, we were really feeling the spirit. The crowd was loud, there was a fan band somewhere in the stands, and the music and chanting did not stop the ENTIRE game!

It was beautiful and sunny, so Neil took his shirt off, which I think is totally hott, but perhaps even the less-than-high-class (public urination EVERYWHERE) fans around us thought it was exceptionally white trash. No matter.

My neighbor to the right was enjoying rolling his own little something-something ...

... and then, I kid you not, I looked at the jumbotron and saw what time it was ... (16:20, hint, they use military time here).

Side note, it was 20 Celsius, which is 68 Fahrenheit. Pretty nice weather.

My doobie-rolling neighbor was redeemingly sporting the hat I featured at the top of this post. It was a Nike/Boca Juniors hat, and I guess the Boca fan slogan is "Cada dia te quiero mas." It translates to "Every day I love you more," which, apart from declaring Boca fans' loyalty, just sounds so cute.

Unfortunately, Boca tied 2-2. Or perhaps fortunately, as no fights were spawned as a result.

Although, interestingly, you have to wait until the visiting fans have ENTIRELY cleared out of their designated, separate section before you can leave, which took about half an hour. They don't want to risk mixing the fans and the chance of any fights erupting.

All in all, a lovely day to be outside. And we didn't even get mugged, robbed or raped on our way out of La Boca, a notoriously SKETCHy neighborhood.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SkullHead NippleHoodie

We see this graffiti mural on Godoy Cruz every time we drive back from lunch at California Buritto Company.

For a long time we've been talking about taking this picture. The other day the opportunity, in the form of a long line of cars behind a red light, presented itself. I hopped out, and Sandra snapped this shot. Hehe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You'd Think Some Grown-Ups Live Here

Thank you, Ali!!!! We LOVE what you did to the place! You are truly your mother's daughter.

-- M and N

Monday, August 24, 2009

Out of Control

So I got tired of shaving my legs; I'm a busy woman, OK? And it's winter. And strangely enough, Neil just thinks it's funny. Well, we recently had a beautiful sunny day, and I went to sit on the balcony. I pulled up my pant legs and saw that my leg hair had come to this. Not only has it grown to its maximum length, but it's patchy. I know, I know, it's pretty gross as is. But don't you think it would be better if it was at least thick and even, not scraggly?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Winter Delivery

Translation: "McDelivery: So the cold doesn't leave you without McDonald's."

I'm really surprised they don't have this in the U.S. Maybe in New York?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Just went to (always a mistake -- covet, covet!) and saw this freakish photo on their home page (which is much bigger on their site, for some reason it is not full size here):

Is it just me, or are their heads like fun-house images? Her face is SOOO small, and then they had to go and put her beside a guy with a big face to begin with, and then a mane that doubles the appearance of the size of his head.


OK, so I started the last post meaning to list things I miss about the U.S.

There are probably lots, but here are some for now, mostly food:

  • Crab cakes (the Washington Post just HAD to do a mouthwatering review of D.C. Metro area crab cake restaurants)
  • Kickin' Crab and Sweet Corn Chowder -- you can get it at the soup and salad bar at Harris Teeter, Giant, Safeway, etc. grocery stores. SO yummy.
  • Chipotle
  • MILKSHAKES -- I never really had them that often, but they DO NOT have them here, so of course now I really want one!
  • good Thai food
  • Popeye's chicken tenders with honey mustard dipping sauce, biscuits and dirty rice
  • a good chef salad
  • that's all I can think of for now
As much as I love the restaurant scene here, sometimes a girl just wants a Pillsbury Orange Roll -- there's another tasty I miss!

I'm pretty much only missing perishable and restaurant items; everything else we can either get at the Commissary or order online. Let me tell you, an APO (or in our case, DPO) is a beautiful thing. Shipping costs to a Miami ZIP code and then on a plane direct to the Embassy at no additional cost!

As far as non-food things I miss, I miss driving out to my parents' house and seeing Arlington and the cities beyond melt away to suburbia and then to fields and the way Loudoun "used to look." Then climbing the mountain in my little car, cresting it, seeing the valley below me and the next right onto the winding, hilly mountain road to their house in the woods.

And I miss NORMAL pedicures!!!!!

Five Percent

I am laying in bed, thinking about some of the things that I DO miss about the States.

Don't get me wrong, I am not homesick or anything, but I have been thinking more about some of the things that I like and miss.

One, I have not driven a car since January 29!!!

I miss the independence having a car gives you; although I do like going out to the corner and hopping into a cab and being dropped off right in front of wherever I want to go.

I don't like stinky cabs or talkative drivers when I want to stare out the window.

By the way, I met a racist cab driver the other day. I'd heard Argentines can be very racist, but I had not encountered that.

To make a long Spanish conversation short, the cab driver basically started out by saying he doesn't like Barack Obama. I was like "really, why? You're like, the first person I've met who doesn't like him" because most cab drivers are like "Oh, the U.S.?! I LOVE Obama!"

So anyway, this cab driver is like, "No, I don't like Barack Obama."

"But why?"

"Well, because I'm racist."

Um, OK. We're at a stop light now, and he turns around and looks my face up and down, and says "You're medio" which I took in this case to mean in-between or not totally black, or whatever, which is true.

I don't really care what he is or isn't, and we still have about 10 min. of cab ride left and I'm not feeling at all threatened by this guy, he seemed likeable enough, albeit sadly misled, so I was like,

"Oh, really? How did you learn to be racist? Were your parents racist?"

"Oh no, no, I didn't learn it, no."

"Well then why are you racist?"

"Well, I'm not 100% racist. I'm like 5% racist. How do you say 5% in English?"



"Yes, percent. Well, if you're only five percent racist, you're like everyone else -- everyone has their prejudices" (this was the only word I could think of in Spanish, because it sounds like the English word, but it pretty much is what I was trying to say, "prejudices").

And it's true. Whether we like it or not, we all have 5% biases against people or characteristics that irk us. We just try to overcome them, and not declare their existence to strangers in cabs bearing those characteristics.

That was the gist of the conversation, whatever, it was funny to me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gaucho Pants

These are real deal gauchos in their gaucho pants. Pretty sweet.

This was at an agricultural show at the expo center beside the Embassy. We got in free with our badges, and we went over there a couple times to get lunch; yummy chorizo sandwiches and hamburgers. Sorry, cows.

They were all beautiful animals and the gauchos were all so cute and sweet. It was crazy to see tons of people who came in from the country who seriously, seriously dress like this. I mean people in the crowd and stuff with little ascots/scarves and caps like this, tweed jackets and sweater vests and leather boots. Totally European feel.

Red-Letter Night

Neil and I went out 7/16 to a super-hyped restaurant to celebrate. A very singular evening. The food wasn't that great after all, but the company was good and the mood was nice. The dessert redeemed the place a bit.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Play Radio Play

Neil is listening to this old song that he hasn't heard in a long time. He was listening to some Deathcab for Cutie last night. Sometimes it's nice to hear old, familiar tunes that put you back somewhere else; somewhere comfortable but not nearly as wonderful as your life has become and will be. Soundtracks to life.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I keep meaning to post about this:

On July 4, I was walking down the street and this totally homeless looking, wild-eyed guy was walking toward me, muttering to himself. When he passed me, he looked up at me and exclaimed "ZAH-RAH PAH-LEEN!!!!?!!!" and kept walking. I was like, "what the?" I thought about what he said, and as I often have to do, in my head I translated the phonetic sound to the corresponding Spanish letters to spell out what he said.

The result?

Sarah Palin.

Seriously, what the???? When I got home, I told Neil about this strange encounter. He didn't miss a beat, and looked at me and said, "it's because of your glasses."

I'm too lazy to take a new picture, but these are the glasses I was wearing:

And, in case you needed a visual (this is the ONLY time you will EVER see this woman's mug on my blog):

What do you think? Yeah, me neither.