Posadas and the Jesuit Missions

the day before I left I took a stroll over to San Telmo (the long route through the botanical gardens) amazing street art going on, if you wanna check out the album, it’s here. I LOVED that I got some snaps of these kids

But my fav pic that day is of the little guy that lives in our house:

¡¡QUE CUTE!!

Anyway, I left Buenos Aires late at night and woke up the next morning to a sunrise and an itch to write. I had my journal with me, so the rest of this will be unedited from the pages of my journal (unless I choose to leave something out…) I’ll use [brackets] for when I add a note, and the italics indicate when I wrote in cursive:

“17/2/11 7AM On the bus headed to Posadas to see the Jesuit Missions. I am humbled by the modesty and simple grace of the ‘frontier.’ To the left I see a short forest of trees in, what seem to be, defiant straight lines. The sun rose fast and orange over a small town with ruins of ruins, sketches of sketchiness and untamed wilderness strewn with shacks of goods. I saw a sign for Budweiser and found myself wondering about the similarities in all our lives. I feel rich, But who is truly richer? I have never felt so detached from the gray metropolis or the blue seasides that I can familiarize with a concept of home. It reminds me of when [my sister] and I were driving through South Dakota and Colorado. The sense of awe at just how big our world is. And the feeling in your belly button when you realize that it isn’t even it. Once there is more, there is more… and then more and more until your mind stretches out so far that your womb aches and snaps you back. We truly weren’t meant to understand ‘all this.’ We think we are humans but we are really just cattle, no… grass. Once our blip exits the screen, there will be no one to interpret our primitive scratchings. We will only finally refuel the universe in a smaller amount than we took once our foolish graves dissolve and feed back. I wonder if I will ever be famous… and if so, will it ever matter? And now a few words on bus travel. It’s as bad as I thought it would be. Not better or worse. The bus station in Retiro was strange and chaotically efficient. My bus showed up right on time but there was no announcement until (literally) one minute before. The bus isn’t packed, which is nice, normal amount of talky toddlers, but none screamy. As we pulled out of the station a woman one seat ahead and to the left started freaking out. Not too loudly, but noticeably. I didn’t understand a made a ‘that bitch is crazy’ face. Which I still regret [even now re-typing this into a blog] because as she begun to cry I heard the words ‘abuelo’ and ‘murio’… I’m SO SORRY! I’d be a wreck if I found out Abuelito had died. When that day comes… I will not be ready. ooof I can’t even write about Abuelita. It makes me too sad. I wish I had charged my iPod more… it was VERY cold on the bus all night. I’m so glad I brought mom’s/my cardigan at the last second, and these pj pants. I just saw a very skinny cow. Flaca vaca… hahahaha. The cucumber I brought is gross. I can’t believe they served us a meal. It wasn’t great… makes me think twice about complaining about plane food. Also everyone got a Pepsi. No choices, which sucked cause I didn’t want caffeine. Just passed by another smattering of buildings all I saw was ‘bar’ y ‘carneceria.’ [guess that’s all that any city needs really] These must be the ‘saltine crumble cities’ I saw from the plane on the flight to BA. As we ate a movie starring Hillary Duff came on. I literally thought of seven different ways to kill myself with various things I had packed. I tried to sleep but there were two people on the bus snoring loudly. One is behind me and the other one IS BEHIND ME [this was underlined]. Really? REALLY?! You snore like clockwork the whole way and your wife snores like some foley artists’ dream?!! Then I thought of seven ways to stop them from snoring (or breathing) using only the things I packed. I chose #7, loud Daft Punk and finally found some peace. The man across the aisle and one seat back is watching a video with his headphones in and is unaware (or a jerk) that his headphones ARE NOT working. Surprise! Now we all have to listen to that sappy crap. I hope he is embarrassed by his music selection. Why is this country obsessed with the dulce? Everyone eats cookies and drinks Pepsi or café w/loads of sugar. Even that Hillary Duff move movie was syrupy….

Friday: wow wow wowiw wow. I loved Posadas and the surrounding mission area. It was so beautiful. Orange streets, sweet smoke, glitter sea, tranquil faces, maté sipping gentle green trees hills and bush. [This sounds prettier in Español… Calles de naranja, el humo dulce, el mar brillo, se enfrenta a tranquilo, tomandomate suaves colinas verdes árboles y arbustos.] Posadas reminded me a bit of el Centro or Ensenada. But San Ignacio was so simple, but beautiful. It’s as if I visited a jungle city in the clouds, like I was in a movie about visiting the ruins, not like I was actually there. Everyone looked healthy, happy and peaceful. There were horses and dogs running freely through the town. And motorcycles everywhere. Never in my life have I wanted to ride a motorcycle. But seeing those bikes breach the crest of a hill with clouded backdrop and descend down a red clay road passing pink shacks and yellow flowers into the golden purple sunset…well. It was stunning. [This sounds prettier in Español tambien… Pero al ver las bicicletas incumplimiento de la cresta de una colina con telón de fondo nublado y descender por un camino de arcilla roja que pasa chozasde rosa y flores amarillo en la puesta de sol de oro púrpura … bueno. Fue impresionante.] The Mission was about what I expected. Learning about the Jesuit and Guaraní lives and how the town worked was really interesting. The rocks glowed orange blood red, well more like sand on fire. Or burnt skin but less pink. Anyway, I kept sneezing the whole time… allergies. So I was actually glad to leave. But I think the journey there was more important. It was a grand feeling. Walking along the side of the highway, alone, not sure where the bus station was. Completely free, but safe, knowing that I did it all on my own w/o agenda but with only curiosity and my intelligence. The moon shone bright with a mustache as I walked along the river/port in Posadas. Everyone was out jogging, literally everyone. And everyone was enjoying a maté w/friends. It was very enchanting. I had dinner at an ‘Arabian Mexican’ place… very extraño. I had a gyro type thing w/steak, tomatos, [yes I spelled tomatoes wrong twice] corn and cabbage… the tomatos and cabbage seemed like they’d been soaking in vinegar, kinda like the asparagus I had @ Las Violets café en BA. (That sandwich was weird…) But I ate all my Arabian Mexican gyro, it wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad… drinking a bottle of wine helped. I walked back to La Vuela de Pez hostel and passed out. I slept pretty well and this morning woke up and caught the bus to Iguazú where I am now. Things are going well! Strangely, I find myself missing ****** often. I’m gonna miss Posadas, but it deff was a ‘one day town’ the crazy hills, the  resteraunt [restaurant] with the friendly waiters. The dark lit streets and that crazy dark market with all the maté. I deff need to try it out when I get back to BA.

Saturday?? [Insert weird dream here, I will include this part about me and this ugly baby I had] I tell everyone the baby saved my life and some woman on the street said, ‘you best not be buying any nice furniture o theyz be takin’ pictures of that and not the baby!’ everyone laughs as we get into a pink square taxi. [There’s more, but back to reality] weird weird dreams………… ANYWHO I’m on the bus now heading home to BA. (Weird saying ‘home’) I smell like wet dog but am very happy with my weekend excursion. Why do my ankles look so god damn fat!? And what is this scratch on my arm 😦 I have the worst skin. I hate you skin. So I wanted to write about las cataratas [waterfalls] but what is there to say really? They put Niagara to shame. It was an eerily beautiful day, like lightning in the air or like a storm was coming… and it did. I had just walked to the bottom of one of the falls and gotten all wet. On the way back I stopped to eat my sandwich and BOOM rain and thunder and sun. I packed my camera in plastic and napkins and continued on. After a few mins it stopped and I did the rest of the paseo superior. Luckily my camera died right as I left the park. Oh I forgot! My unplanned extra day. Friday I got to puerto Iguazú too late to see the falls so I had to stay the night in a hostel. THANK GOD FOR EXTRA UNDIES. [mom was right] I have never been so grungy in my life and I’m so proud that I figured this all out on my own w/only a backpack and a few torn pages out of Lonely Planet. The hostel was cool, I slept in a 10 person room and just chilled at the hostel all night. I didn’t really fell like exploring, plus they had a BBQ that night so I didn’t have to go looking for a resteraunt. [yes, spelled wrong again] It was really good and I got to chat w/a bunch of people from all over the world. This one guy Tav, from London or UK, really buddied up to me and expected to go see the falls w/me the next day but I politely told him I wanted to do it alone.. I’m glad I did. I like doing things at my own pace. I’m really glad I came here on my own. It’s so much easier to get around! I’m on a nicer bus this time. Blankets! Whiskey! I smell terrible but whatever. I’m drinking my maté and I absolutely love my new cup and straw. I ate WAY too much delicious meat at the hostel… tummy ache now. I need to start doing sit ups. Three more hours to go. I’m glad I was able to sleep last night. AND I got to watch Prince of Persia. It was actually pretty cool, plus my boyfriend Jake G. is such a hottie. Armed officials came onto the bus twice this trip to check our passports which is weird cause they didn’t check at all on the way to Posadas.”

That’s all she wrote!

“recoleta-cha-cha-cha” or “how many puns can viv make in one blog?”

So I dragged my corpse out of bed early one cold dead morning and hauled my bones to the Recoleta Cemetery. A grave feeling settled over me and dug right down to my skeleton. The death everywhere gave me a feeling of my own mortality and gripped my heart till it turned stone cold.

The extravagance scared the life out of me, it was like a cryptic plot to bury one’s feelings with stone, gold, flowers and boxes. It was quiet as a tomb ‘cept for the tourists laughing themselves to death over the various funny names they encountered. I thought their grim humor would soon decompose as I walked the ground, wishing my feet weren’t killing me. I almost died when the sight of (what I thought was) a living angel popped out of the ground through the crack in a tomb’s door, it had me sputtering and coffin‘ for sure. My life was rotting away in the heat and it was time to terminate my visit to the reaper’s playground. I followed the tourists to Evita’s grave, then said bye bye to the death museum.

24! BOOM… all time pun bog record?? Me thinks so.

In no way am I trying to make fun of the long passed, I just think puns are fun. Plus, Recoleta was ALL about not letting the dead be forgotten.. so why not remember them with some humor too?

Check out all the pictures here.

5am nightmare

It began with dinner with ****, I never see his face only the grafitti on the wall next to our table on my right, it is a bunch of small geometric shaped faces. In the background is the diner out of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, **** is standing at the window.

A flash and I see all reds greens yellows blues and purples.

Then my bike is broken, a pink bike broken clean in half. My sister tells me that I am the one who broke it. I have a cut on my head, this is the first time I blacked out from drinking. She tells me the story in our poor apartment with gritty drug den walls and a mattress n the floor.

I am sleeping in the park outside, pillow under my head and the blanket from my childhood covering me. It was my favorite one, until I left it outside under my plum tree one day. It had the alphabet on it with mickey mouse and his friends.

A dark man walks up and takes my blanket, I let him have it and don’t put up a fight hoping he will go away. But he doesn’t and I can’t fight him (this happens in dreams a lot, I am literally unable to punch or kick people) Suddenly, after some light slaps I manage to hit him in the groin

I run

I hide under table, I ask a woman with red dyed hair to be quiet as I hide. There is lots of jewelry hanging under the flimsy gray cardtable.

The next day I look for the other half of my bike. A man with a gray hat, like in film noir, gives me a number saying he knows where it is, he also gives me one gold coin to make the phone call with.

Suddenly, someone takes me away.

tattered clothes

raped in car?

I am in a den of girls, 18 – 30 years old, all with battered faces and smeared doll makeup. All sitting on the floor. They assure me everything will be ok. The walls are gray, the carpet is old and gray. I am dirty, dirty, dirty and scared.

The man with the hat comes in, the girls crawl towards him, hands out to receive colored scarves. Most are gray, some are gold… only one is red. One girl gasps, “I’m gold today!?” she seems excited and thankful. Like when a dog is thankful when it’s master stops beating it.

I get the red scarf, it has sequins.

messy

torn

The girls fix me as I am broken tired dirty, one paints my toenails with a paintbrush, purple gray.

They go to the other rooms, as designated by their scarf colors, for rounds of god knows what.

There are many men, lost boys… newsies hats cheap suits, film noir.

I am the leader’s, no one knows which one he is.

I escape in the building, he dies near the elevator.

I run into an apt for help, I am in a kitchen with a family. I am wearing my torn black pajama pants and a sad thin grayish purple cloth hangs torn around my waist.

flashes

Some of the girls float away down a river inside a cave, there is a large jump over a waterfall. I am too scared to go (“It’s the only way!” they shout) but the girls who try, holding hands, die along with many others.

I wake up in the back of a movie theater where there are cartoons playing, felix the cat. I try to turn the show off so no one realizes my dream is actually the next cartoon.

I steal candy, can’t decide between gummy bears or chocolate.

My parents are at the theater, they want to get sushi and I don’t tell them what happened to me. I am ashamed.

It’s ****’s movie, and I might love him. The movie is Housesitter with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. I am inside the movie and talk with Steve Martin. It becomes dangerously windy outside the house in the movie. AN old man warns that if we don’t leave the house then we’ll die. We all leave to go to a shelter.

The movie turns grainy, then a crappy godzilla like clay creature catches a human in his mouth and flies away.

An animated woman cathces her baby off of a swing, the sun comes out and they are smiling without any faces.

I am watching the movie again.

dust and dreams or how I breached national security

Wednesday was good. I woke up and headed to the city museum. A cute old museum with few but important things. Not historically, but they displayed the life that the citizens once had in a way that was new and exciting to me. I saw patterns, toys, pictures… very cool. But I’ll just show you all I saw that day. On the way I managed to get some snaps along the way. This city is one big museum, there’s no entrance or exit, you just have to be looking instead of just seeing.

And now, How Vivian Breached National Security. A short play in 3 Acts.

Act One.

So I was walking around Casa Rosada and I saw el Banco de la Nacion Argentina. The light reflecting on the tarnished copper of the front doors was very inviting, so I walked up the steps to take some pictures and look at my map. I tried to go inside but there was a sign saying something about it being closed for security reasons and to use the door on a different street. So I walked around to find the other entrance.

Act. Two.

I found the other door.

Act Three.

So I go inside, walking by a security guard with my camera out (my camera is gigantic…) and find myself in a very old long hallway with people bustling about. There were business men smoking and walking around harumphing about this and that and people exchanging money. But I was more interested in how to get to the large domed area I had seen through the front door. I found a beautiful staircase and went down. Nothing down there but a weird old trophy case so I went back up then up one more while stopping to take pictures.

 

Beautiful staircase right? It reminded me of a vanilla cone at McDonald’s. Finally, success! I take the last step up the ice cream steps and find myself in the large domed area I saw before. There were more security guards up here and I saw no photography signs, so I clicked off my camera and slung it over my shoulder. I walked through the giant room and found a small gallery of art by the entrance. I love that this city squeezes art into every open space available. The artist’s name is Edgardo Manry and I can’t really seem to find him anywhere online. His bright art spoke using themes of floklore, and the mystic creation of life. They were very happy, beautiful pieces and each one made me smile. here’s what it said in the program, “Manry selecciona elementos tomados de la naturaleza y los elabora con el propósito de crear una fantasía casí de cuentos de hadas. Manry selects items from nature and produces with the aim of creating a fantasy about fairy tales.” It sounds so beautiful en Español. As I walked by the last photo two security guards who were sitting and chatting finally decided to notice me and yelled, “A donde sos?” I didn’t quite understand so I said, “California, los Estados Unidos.” They looked at each other and laughed then he asked me, “No, where did you come in here? How are you here? The bank closes at 3pm and no tourists allowed.” I apologized and told them how I came inside and showed them that my camera was off, “I haven’t taken any pictures in here,” I pointed to the big dome so I wasn’t totally lying ’cause the staircase wasn’t a part of the larger room. One was wearing a security uniform with bright gold buttons, the other had on a faded grey janitor kind of outfit with large abuelo glasses. The walkie talkie squaked on the belt of the younger one and he said something very fast (most likely, “Sin ella es sólo un turista tonto, no hay problemas aquí. Ella no es un terroristay no ha violado ninguna forma de seguridad nacional … pero mantener un ojoen ella. No she is just some dumb tourist, no problems here. She is not a terrorist and has not breached any form of nation security… but keep an eye on her.”) and then began to walk me out of the room, “You cannot be here. I don know how you get in but go now and no photo. The cameras everywhere see you.” He pointed up and around at the ceiling. For a split second I wondered whether I should tell him about the staircase photos I took but then he said, “Take this door, go down las escaleras. Stairs, entiendes?” I nodded and walked quickly back the way I had come in.

Haha, whoops.

Here is the full set of photos.

monday monday (da da, du dada)

first of all… my dreams have been absolutely NUTS since I’ve been here. In one, I was eating a shit load of candy with all of my comedy sportz friends. One of them, Reuben, and I were stacking purple candies and when I told him about it he busted this sweet rhyme:

MC Jellybean rockin the spot, with DJ Viv who keeps the chocolate hot. Were so damn sweet, we could give you diabetes but then we’d find a cure since we smart like Archimedes. So I wrote this part: “he’s got sweet lids an I got sour patch kids. I’ll take em home to bed and eat a lemonhead” I guess it’s a little dirty, but I mean… it’s no neck back pussy crack ridiculousness!

Anyway, I woke up on Monday and it was raining! Sigh, I wanted to go to la bomba de tiempo but I didn’t want to get all wet… plus it’s every Monday so no rush. No sun + homesick = unhappy viv, so I decided to get myself outta the house and out into BA. I took the bus to the Galerías Pacífico for a look into the fashion they’ve got going on here and to get some exercise by walking around. I would walk, look, eat dinner then return home to write and relax. I even updated my “novel ideas” (HYUCK) list.

I arrived at the mall without any problems thanks to my lucky compass, which points south here… super cool. It was exactly like any nice mall you’d find anywhere in the world except for two things…

1. Not only was there an amazing glass chandelier thing going on in the high domed ceiling in the center, there was an art installation directly below it that used the reflection of the glass on the painted dome ceiling to make for some very interesting visual art.

2. There were several galleries on the second floor!

Que suerte! Guess I’d get to see some cool shit anyway… I walked around looking at all the installations and was almost herded into a touristy looking tango show. On the way out of the mall I snapped some fashion photos from my ladies in the fashion game back in LA.

The report is thus: BA’s fashion is as mixed as it’s people. It takes from the cowboy culture, the country peasant, folk art influences and various cultural patterns that make up the city. There was lace and leather, beads and feathers, zips and snaps and riding hats, knits and shoes and flowers and booze lol. Yes, you can drink in the mall… pretty sweet.

After the mall I went to a hole in the wall place and had a small dinner and a beer for about $4USD… man I love it here. I began walking home despite the rain. I was getting pretty wet so I decided to look for a place to stop and get a drink. But instead, I crashed into a kiwi.

A nice New Zealander actually, haha. He was coming out of his hostel and we bumped into one another. He said hello, I asked if he spoke English, he asked what I as up to, I told him I was going to get a drink and he asked to join. I was so excited to have a friend to talk to. We walked around for a bit looking for this stupid bar that turned out to be closed… very wet we decided to to the next place we saw. A nice place, very quiet and bright. We had a bottle of wine and talked politics etc. it ended when he accidentally knocked his glass of wine onto me and my journal AND my guidebook. Ay dios! My guidebook is still totally wine stained. Luckily I was wearing a black sweater so it didn’t stain. He was really embarrassed, but then he paid so all was well. He’s lucky I’m a forgiving person… I’m just glad I didn’t spill wine on him, haha. We went to another bar and had another bottle of wine and talked until early in the morning.

I was supposed to meet him the next day to go to Recoletta cemetery but I slept through my alarm and was very hungover when I got up. I’m sad I didn’t meet up with him, but it was a bad day for picture taking anyway… wherever you are kiwi man. I wonder if you missed me that day. I hope you didn’t wait to long at the front gate for me, and I hope you think of me fondly. I deff think of you everytime I pull out my wine soaked guidebook.

Here are the pictures from the day.

major/minor fail sunday

Saturday wasn’t very exciting, I wrote some thoughts I had on feminism (feminism being an umbrella term which I’m currently using rather than going into details right now.)  But I’ll post those thoughts separately when I’ve fleshed them out a bit more.

SUNDAY: I was still having trouble adjusting to the time difference and woke up at 4pm, whoops. Most of you who know me probably aren’t surprised that I woke up so late, however before I came here I had adjusted back to a normal sleeping schedule. I swear! So I grumbled, got up, took a shower, ate some food, played “how do I get you outta my room” with the cat for a few minutes and ventured into the emerging twilight to check out the San Telmo sunday market. I took the “subte” part of the way. The cool thing about the subway in Buenos Aires is that it’s the 3rd oldest system in the world, and the ONLY one with the original cars from 1913 still running on the track. I didn’t get a good picture (I didn’t want to scream tourist) but here’s one online. I got off and happened to walk down a street with some outstanding examples of the enchanting street art here in BA. Que suerte! This is the whole album, and here are two of my favorites:

absolutely gorgeous… and literally everywhere. The porteños have no qualms when it comes to where they’ll put their graff. Some monuments are respected and kept clean, but most aren’t. I was astonished at first and thought it was really disrespectful, but when you take a look back, even 7 years, into the history of Buenos Aires you see why it is such a beautiful thing in theory. Insubordinate would be a more appropriate word… each splash of paint across a monument represents a day of struggle. Their freedom of expression is more important than their past leaders, I get that now. However, I will say that obviously not all of the graff is poetic and metaphorical, some of it’s just trash; but there’s a dark and a light to everything.

I finally made it to San Telmo but, mal suerte… the market was closing up. But! As the sun set, tango dancers flooded the plaza dorrego.

Tough to get a pic in focus with the dim light, but there’s a video. This is what I wrote in my journal, “The plz filled with dancers of all backgrounds and levels of experience. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. The tiny yet integral and intense steps, the small movements with huge volume and intention, the improvised rhythm with no rhyme… que preciosa.” I had a stupid grin plastered on my face the entire time I was shyly snapping photos.

I sighed and wished I had a tango partner but then straightened up and began looking for something much more realistic… a snack. All that walking had made me hungry. So I checked my guide and found a café close by. Bar el Federal was only a few blocks away so I headed there, but something stopped me.

A long forgotten string attached to my heart suddenly became taut and jerked me towards the closest collective primal expression of life. I could only describe it as soul. Which made me think, perhaps none of us have a soul… but there is one large soul that we are all connected to. Be it karma or soul or ideas or rhythm or ether… it connects us all together. You borrow from it and give back to it throughout your life and when you die, your energy feeds back into that large group in order to shoulder the burden of those who need to take when they cannot give. It’s the space between the space, the feeling that someone is looking at you and the reason you laugh. When you hear music like I heard… you can’t help but feel the need be part of the bigger collection. I was pulled to the sound out of some unconscious thirst… or maybe I’m just a curious Latina. Either way, with only the map of my heart, I found a street plugged with people dancing in praise of our collective soul. I couldn’t have left the sound even if I had wanted to. We danced, baby, abuelo, chica, wretch and tourist- there was no color age or nation, only the need to be. Once again, the pictures are kinda crap (plus I put my camera away after about a minute so I could raise my hands up to the moon) so here is a video.

Finally I was sated (soul-wise) and headed to snack town. I was REALLY hungry at this point. I sat down and wrote this in my journal, “I’m at a café called Bar el Federal, apparently it’s famous and I’ve yet to see a waiter. I guess they don’t come outside. ok I moved inside, I think it’s ok to sit wherever. The waitress just smiled! I’m in! …I think I just ordered a turkey sandwich… OMG I’m so hungry bring me some bread!!! The people here are mixed together in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s quite extraordinary. I cant tell the tourists from los porteños. The table next to me just got a shit load of food, I wished we lived in a world where it was acceptable for me to ask if I could possibly eat the rest of their bread or, better yet, that they would find a need to be as compassionate as we’re all supposed to be and fe give me their extra bread out of fear of being rude, that’s be nice. True communism I guess. A society in which you were punished or shunned socially if you aren’t crazy actively compassionate and conservative with your materialism (GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING BREAD!!) Why don’t I get some bread?! Perhaps it’s because she can assume from my outfit that I don’t like bread- or maybe this is some kind of secret ‘we don’t give bread to fatties’ thing. All I know is that I could be nommin’ some bread right now and am (w/o reason) offended by this outrageous secret bread law. To top it all off, the table next to me just got ANOTHER basket of bread and are stuffing their faces with it. QUE PASANDO AQUI!?!” …I stopped writing there because I got my sandwich. I was pretty hungry, lol.

So onto my next fail, trying to attend the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Buenos Aires’ small Chinatown. I took a cab because I couldn’t find the right bus and found myself at the end of a long day of festivities. I was upset and tired so I returned home, read some more of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and slowly fell asleep in the orange glow of the street light outside my window.

For all the pictures from my day, please click here.

what’s new, Buenos Aires!?

Ok, so I’m here… this shit is for REAL.

(pic on the right is my room)

So far my impressions are thus:

-this place is gritty as fuck

-the spanish is very mushy and some key words are very different, for example “chorizo” is steak here!

-the pizza has no sauce, wtf

-I am the tallest person in BA

-this is deff a fight or flight city, you gotta learn fast or else get pushed off the bus by a woman with two kids screaming for “paletas”

-the sidewalks are crap, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve almost broken my ankle… and I’ve only been here two days!

The people here (portenos) are intense, I feel as if the city is about to become one big riot. I’ve never seen the homeless and poor mixed so blatantly into the bourgeois of a city. The decadence of the past is crumbling into piles which the poor placidly sift through in front of cafes. It represents a future that Los Angeles could definitely find itself in. Do people see each other here? Do they see the the graffiti written on every wall, statue and poster, or has it become the backdrop to their city? I’m not sure but I’ll continue to observe.

Thankfully, the coffee, wine and carne is amazing. Most of you who know that I recently became an honorary vegetarian, however, here in Buenos Aires I have been eating meat most of the time. Veggie options are few and far between here and I have yet to scout out the veg locations. In the meantime, I’m not denying myself the tasty tasty meat they have here. Life’s too short to give yourself limitations.

As for where I live. I am staying in a house called “Casa Los Angelitos.” It is a very old house in the barrio of Congreso. This area isn’t the richest of barrios, nor the poorest. I like it, it makes me feel like I’m in some sort of London Mexico hybrid with mushy language and great vino.

On the way here from the airport I saw my first illegal protest. A group of workers blocked the highway so we decided to drive on the grass, just to the side of the highway. Muy extrano…

Here’s some pix of the protest and La Casa: