school, parks and entertainment
21.02.2014 - 29.03.2014
Thomas and I left Calgary just over five weeks ago now! It is increadible how fast that time has flown by. Friday was our last day of classes at Vamos Spanish Academy, which was a bitter-sweet moment for both of us. Although our school and classes were great and we had a teacher that was so great, we both feel as though we need a little time away from school to really absorb everything that we learned and start really pushing ourselves to use everything that we have learned. Taking 4-5 hours a day, five days a week of a new language was slightly overwhelming! It was also really difficult to balace wanting to go out and explore the city and spend time with the people we met and really taking these classes seriously and studying. But I think overall we did a pretty good job at keeping the balance. I think we are both very interested in taking more lessons farther along in our trip!
Overall, we had a great time being in Buenos Aires! It is a very beautiful city with a lot going on all the time. We were living in Retiro and going to school in Palermo, which are both located within the main city center. We honestly never even left the centre. El centro is so large that we would have no real reason to venture out because everything that is going on and all the main attractions are here.Thomas and I were able to do more things in a month in Buenos Aires than we could afford to do in a year back home. We got to go to three big shows: 'Priscilla' the musical, 'Stravaganza' (a sort of comedy acrobatic show - that we barely understood) and the beautiful ballet 'Swan Lake'. We were also introduced to an amazing pizza place where we encountered the best pizza either of us had ever had. I got to experience a 'black waxing' which was an extremely interesting and mildly unhygienic ordeal. We met some great people at school that we spent a fair amount of time with.
One of them came with us to a little town in Uruguay for the weekend, which was a really relaxing time.
It was also nice to just insert ourselves right into this new routine in a completely new place where we only knew each other. Although it was hard at times, with the language barrier not being any help, it was really cool to see how far we had come along in the past weeks.
But our time in Buenos Aires is dwindling down - we are getting kicked out of our apartment on the 4th of April (happy birthday) and not looking back! We just booked bus tickets to Iquazu Falls in the Province of Misiones. It is supposed to be one of the most magical waterfalls in the world. And it had better be because it is going to take us over 17 hours to get there. We are going to be taking a pretty nice bus over night - they give us food and beverage, there are TVs, and our seats lay down to 160 degrees. Should be a good time! We still have almost a week until we leave though. Tomorrow we are going to go to the Antiques fair in the San Telmo barrio; Monday and Tuesday we have Lollopalooza, which is a huge music festival with 50 artists - from North and South America; then Wednesday will consist of packing and cleaning (yay...) and then we just have to find somewhere to chill on Thursday until our bus leaves in the evening.
Things that I liked about Buenos Aires:
- Their croissants/baking in general were amazing! and cheap! 4 pesos for a fractura (stuffed croissant) which is about 40 cents.
- The public transit here is so intricate and costs pennies. One subway ticket was 5 pesos! Or you could hop on a bus and only pay 2.5 pesos if you weren't going far!
- You can get a litre of beer at the supermarket for the equivalent of about $1...
- There is so much green space in this city! You couldn't walk 5 blocks without finding one.
- The people were so nice - if you tried to talk to them in spanish they would usually pick up that it was your second language and then try to speak to you in English (which most people could, at least a little).
-there are so many things going on. people everywhere, crafts fairs, street music, homelessness and blatent decadece, all going on all the time. though we spent a fair amount of travel fund being here, it was was worth it.
we went to a very expensive resturant by argentine standards, but we used a groupon which spared the cost. at this dinner we bought a bottle of wine, one of the most expesive bottles of wine on the list (which was rather extensive). the wine was like something that we never really had before, and will not likely have many again. However, since the argentina is cheaper than canada, we got this delicious smooth and light red wine for... 50 dollors. its crazy how cheap liquer is here.
Things that I didn't quite appreciate about Buenos Aires:
- Their sweets were too sweet - and that is a lot coming from me. They are crazy about their dulce de leche (basically caramel) and it just didn't do much for me.
- It is a very loud city that never sleeps. A typical Argentine would eat dinner around 10-11pm and then not going to bed until like 2, unless it was a weekend or if they were going out, and then they wouldn't go to bed until after 6am! It is truly mind blowing. I definitely prefer to be productive during daylight hours.
- I felt as though as took a step back in time with the amount of smokers there are here. I feel as though I haven't had a whiff of fresh air since I got here (except when we went to Colonia, Uruguay for the weekend)
- The water is brown. Being such a large river basin, all of the river sediments turn the water brown. We are just excited to see actual ocean.
We miss all of your back home and think of your often. Hopefully it will not take us five weeks to write out next post! I think Thomas and I are going to alternate writing them so you get to hear from both of us.