Thursday, February 01, 2007


Just in case anyone is still checking this blog after a month of no new posts, check out my new blog that my roommates and I are all contributing to. It will have all of the crazy adventures of the Shell Shack girls.

Monday, December 11, 2006

BA on TV

Another BA blogger posted about Buenos Aires's popularity as a filming site for commericials, and the main reason I am copy his post is because on the first video is a commercial that I saw all the time at home and loved, yet would never have noticed that it is BA until he pointed it, and the last two videos have a great shot of my beloved colectivos in the background, as well as the ubiquituous kioskos of BA.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My kindergardners!

Aren't they cute?

Holiday Cheer

Because everyone here is getting ready for the summer vacation and the weather is 85 degrees and humid, it is hard to remember that it is December and Christmas is just around the corner. I also realized that the most wonderful time of the year will be half over when I get home, so I have been trying to get in the Christmas spirit here in sunny BA by downloading 2 hours worth of Christmas songs on my iPod. I also stumbled across this little jewel, guaranteed to give hours of fun to all. Click on Elf April for an exciting suprise.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My name is April, and I am a blogaholic

So, I admit: I am addicted to blogging. Not just my own, but to reading others. Prior to having my own, my experience to blogs was limited to reading my pastor's, and giving my friend Christion a hard time about his (sorry about that, Christion - Fuzzboard is WAY cool!). But since I have started my own (and I realize I am bit behind the times getting on the blogging bandwagon), I have realized there is a bunch of really interesting blogs out there. For example, there is an entire ex-pat blogging community here in Buenos Aires, and some of them are semi-celebrities, and they all know each other. I sort of want to be a part of their group. But, my favorite blog is written by these really cool twentysomething-year olds, Claire and Lara, that are traveling around the world and blogging about it their experiences. I have spent hours when I should have been doing lots of other things, like posting on my own blog or sleeping, reading their archives. I am pretty sure that if they met me I would be their new best friend. Check out their blog at TrippingOnWords. But be forewarned: reading it may give you the desire to quit your present job, get a website, and hop on the next plane to Africa.

Monday, December 04, 2006

All Things Gaucho

This weekend was a gaucho (the Argentine version of a cowboy) themed weekend with a little beach thrown in, and since I am 3/4 country girl and 1/3 beach bum, I was quite content. Friday we headed up the river to the closest thing to a beach Buenos Aires has, even though it is considered a port town. On Saturday Emily and I went to San Antonio de Areco, which is the epicenter of gaucho lore. It is a very quaint, quiet, and picturesque town, with a charming plaza, cobbled streets, more kids on bikes than actual traffic, and a park with a swimming hole, where half the town was cooling off from the 85 degree weather. We toured an replica of an estancia, or estate, where my favorite part was the pulperia, or general store or tavern. During the 19th century, the pulperias were gathering places for gauchos to rest and tomar algo, or have a drink. However, the pulperia owners would only let gauchos the owners knew into the main part of the bar, and that theme was carried out outside with the horses, where only the horses of the gauchos that were friends of the pulperia could drink at the water trough inside the pulperia's yard, and the rest had to drink at the water trough on the other side of the fence. We also went horseback riding!Sunday we went to the Feria de Mataderos, a weekly rural-style festival in one of the barrios of BA. We got to see actual gauchos strutting their stuff: country and folkloric dances, vendors selling productos del campo, and even a gymkhana-esque game where they hang a small ring from a pole and a mounted gaucho gallops at full speed while holding a pen-like instrument and spears the ring. I was ready to try it if only they would have given me a horse!

Below is a video of their game, with some unintentional commentary by myself. Sam and Grandpa, if you read this, I think we could get Wats and Cally to do this no problem!

And, no experience in Buenos Aires would be complete without an adventure on the colectivo. I confidently guided my friend Jackey onto the 55 to get us home, not realizing that we were going the wrong direction until a half hour later, making a hour trip home a two hour tour of Buenos Aires.

You Know You are a Porteno when...

- At any time of the day, a café con leche and 2 medialunas can be considered a square meal
- You can, at all times, find a heladería within 3 blocks
- You would much rather be a bostero xeneise than a maldita gallina, and you know what that means
- In your barrio, there are more people on the streets at 3 am than 3 pm
- ¿Qué sé yo?
- Nothing is good anymore, it's "bárbaro"
- You have learned how to get across Avenida Libertador without getting run over, before the pedestrian light even turns green
- You have accepted the fact that you cannot successfully walk across 9 de Julio before the lights turn red, because everyone KNOWS it's the widest avenue in the WORLD
- You instinctively cross yourself everytime you pass a church, even when riding on the bus
- Your guía T is old and falling apart, but you still won't leave home without it
- You can walk the entire length of Florida without being heckled once by a money-changer or flyer distributor
- $80 is far too much to pay for anything, unless, of course, it is an unbreakable maté thermos
- You can estafar, zafar, and continue to the farra with all the other porteños
- You have any idea what the last line means
- You actually know the historical figures the streets are named after
- You start to give false directions to tourists
- You consider both superpanchos and choripan to be hearty meals
- Based on taste alone, you can pick out a Terrabusi alfajor in a double-blind test
- You complain about everything while in Buenos Aires, but as soon as you leave, you begin to miss it
- Upon getting into a taxi, instead of stating your destination, you give a series of turns and street names, entering into a battle of wits over who knows the grid best
- You generally communicate better in gestures than actually conversing
- You know the attractive women all over Palermo Hollywood are really men, but that's OK
- You think nothing of hopping on a bus for 15 hours to get away for the weekend
- You don't find it surprising that 2 of these hours are spent leaving the city
- No matter how hectic life gets, you can always find time to matear
- Nothing is cool anymore, it's re canchero. You and your friends, (who are all capos and copados, obvio) are re chochos because you just saw a recital that was piola.
- You have forgotten your name and now only answer to a string of epithets, such as che, maestro, flaco, papá, pibe, etc.
- You don't coges el bus, you subís el bondi
- You don't go out to comer, you morfar
- You have come to accept the fact that Buenos Aires sometimes huele a mar, even though it's a five hour drive to the ocean
- Fito Paez just passed by on the street and nobody seemed to notice
- A bar at a car wash, a Kosher McDonald's, and a Museo del Jamón all seem to make sense, somehow
- You know where to see the movies for 2 mangos, but still go to Village Recoleta because it's "top"
- You know that a disco is not a place to dance or a genre of music, but a place to buy food
- You eat sandwiches without crusts, pizza with a knife and fork and empanadas with your fingers
- You find yourself eating ñoquis on the 29th of each month, and not really knowing why
- You stay out till 6 am at a boliche but are still fresh as a daisy for your class at 9
- You mix ketchup and mayo, slather the beastly concoction on everything, and have the audacity to call it "salsa golf"
- You begin to wonder how Washington D.C. got off copying the obelisco, why London stole Buenos Aires' phone booths and letter boxes, and why Milan’s La Scala operahouse had to steal the blueprints for Teatro Colón
- You get used to the fact that though you live in a port city, you rarely, if ever, see the waterfront.
- You don't find it at all confusing thatthere are streets called Peña, Rodríguez Peña, Luis Saenz Peña and Roque Saenz Peña, all in fairly close proximity. Nor that there are an Yrigoyen and Irigoyen that intersect, despite their different spellings.
- It makes perfect sense that the seediest redlight bars are directly alongside Recoleta cemetery, where the Argentine aristocracy is buried
- “Spice” is no longer a condiment to be put on food, but a television channel replete with B-grade SciFi films
- You are nostalgic for the bygone days of Carlos Gardel, or of Evita's Casa Rosada speeches, or even Maradonna's "hand of God" goal, even though you never saw any of them
- It doesn't seem to bother you that a "drugstore" sells anything but
- You can get everything delivered to your departamento...from munchies to mariachis
- You consider it rude when you throw a party and people show up on time, while you are still making preparations, obvio...
- You feel comfortable wearing alpargatas just about anywhere
- You can't imagine drinking coffee without briskly following it with a shot glass of mineral water
- You know all the parts of a cow and you're not a butcher or a veterinarian
- You have ever considered growing out a mullet
- You get mugged and ask for your wallet back
- You refer to everything outside the capital as the "interior" of the country
- You realise that Neuquen is a palindrome, Salta a command and Buenos Aires a cruel joke, given the level of air pollution
- No weekend feels complete without a trip to the feria
- You are a self-made expert on EVERYTHING
- Your favourite thing to do is fiaca, the special action of not doing anything
- You drink your mate amargo but eat dulce de leche on everything
- You realise that when there is a superclasico, everything halts for el fútbol
- You can find Evita’s grave blindfolded, and know that Carlos Gardel is buried in Chacarita, even though nobody knows for sure where he was born
- Your swear words include colourful descriptions of the birthing process and the private parts of a parrot
- Everything is a quilombo
- It seems normal that professional dog walkers are dragged around by up to 20 canines, and that there is a bus to cart dogs around the city to the parks

Okay, this might not be funny to everyone except those living in BA, but I found it and thought it was hilarious!