note: these argentina throwback posts are migrated from an old blog. please ignore all the formatting issues that may have occurred. i don’t want to go through and fix them all. 🙂
Yeah! I figured out how to load pictures…just needed to downsize the file size. So…
This week has been filled with mini-adventures.
Sunday: The neighborhood Recoleta has a market on the weekends which is amazing. There are many stands for jewelry and leather and food and clothing and such. It is located right outside the famous Recoleta Cemetery where Evita is buried. It was a gorgeous day and lots of people were laying in the plaza and enjoying the surroundings. My friend Nora and I plopped down just in time to watch a Capoeira show, an art form that is a combination of dance, fighting, and acrobatics. There were flips and kicks…it was very impressive. Maybe I will take a class while I am down here. I did not tour the cemetery, but don’t worry, it is on the list. It is surrounded by big brick walls and the tombs are small buildings with beautiful architecture. A must see photo stop.
Monday: We visited the Obelisco, which is a large fallic monument much like the one in Washington D.C. It is the symbol for the nation and for Buenos Aires. There is a small plaza surrounding it with plaques displaying the provinces of Argentina. Nothing too special, although we had to fill out this worksheet by asking the locals walking by, and one man told me that the Obelisco was the symbol for the masculinity of the city. “Look at it, can’t you tell.”
Tuesday: Our orientation Spanish class take a trip to Plaza San Martín, a beautiful park overlooking Argentina’s own Big Ben, or el torre de los ingles (the tower from the English). San Martín was the general for the Argentine army during the war over the Malvinas islands with the English. The plaza has many benches and monuments and beautiful, sunny areas to relax. There is also a memorial for the soldiers that died. It is guarded by two guards at all times, sort of like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the US. The Plaza also has a special area fenced in just for dogs. Dogs are EVERYWHERE here. In the mornings, there are dog walkers with about 12-15. A great sight to behold. Although, this also means lots of dog poop on the sidewalks. You definitely walk with your eyes down here, unless you have a good nose. Plaza San Martín also has great trash cans! There are made of recycled bottles and papers.
Wednesday: I visited the two Argentine universities that I will be attending, IUNA-Danza and IUNA-Artes. I will be taking painting at the art school and jazz at the dance school. The students seem very chill, and it felt great to be around people who share my passions. The art school is an hour bus ride away to the neighborhood of La Boca, which is supposed to be pretty dangerous on some streets after dark, but I am told we will be fine because the bus stop is right outside the school. The dance school is about 30 minutes away on the Subte A line, which is the only subway line that still has historical wooden railcars. Classes do not begin at these places until the end of March/beginning of April though, so I will just have to wait!
Thursday: Today was the LAST day of orientation. We took our Spanish placement exam. I will find out how that went tomorrow when I go to register for classes, BUT to celebrate, my program took us to an estancia or to the farmlands in the outskirts of BA. It was an hour bus ride, and then we arrived at luxury. It was like an Argentine country club. There were two pools and lots of delicious food, including 5 different entrees of meat that kept coming. Steak, then chicken, then ribs, then the traditional asado, then something else that I could not eat because I was WAY too full. After the ridiculous lunch, I spent the day sunning and hanging with my friends. We played on the playground, rode wild horses, saw llamas and sheep and cows and ostriches, played volleyball and fútbol (soccer), and had an amazing day! The bus ride home was full of sleep, mainly because sun and the Argentine favorite, Fernet, are not a good mix. I will post pictures of El Campo Rodizio (la estancia) later in the week when I load them onto my computer.
Now I must pack for the beach. This weekend some friends and I are hitting Mar del Plata, a five hour bus ride from Buenos Aires, to spend the last weekend before classes start chilling on the beach. Ciao.