Tango, Vino and Solo Adventures

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read my next blog about what’s going on here in Buenos Aires.

The last couple of days have been awesome and less chaotic. Just as tiring, however. On Thursday, I learned how to tango with my study abroad group. We went to La Viruta de Solanas where instructors taught us the basic steps, and we danced tango for an hour. Although I won’t be trying out for Dancing with the Stars any time soon, I had a lot of fun learning how to do this classic Argentinian dance.

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After tango class, we decided to hit up a parrilla (steakhouse). I, being the wine connoisseur that I am thanks to my mom, was in charge of ordering the wine. I got us a bottle of malbec and a bottle of the restaurant’s house white. Neither were the greatest wine ever, but we had no issue emptying the bottles.  Here’s a picture of the red wine, which I liked much more than the white, as the white was too floral and sweet.

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It is really nice to be able to go out to eat and not feel like you’ve spent your entire life savings on a meal. The asada I got cost 220 pesos, which is about $12. In the U.S., when I order a steak, it usually costs at least $18. Three long slabs of steak sat on my plate along with papas fritas (fries) and ensalada (salad, which I didn’t eat). 20170202_205522

Here’s some pizza that was very delicious as well. It’s no steak, but it was pretty great.

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I am realizing how easy it is to become addicted to coffee in Buenos Aires. I had gotten over my caffeine addiction after my last semester at Ohio University ended, but on Friday I had about five cups of coffee throughout the day. Argentines don’t eat a lot for breakfast. A typical breakfast is coffee or tea with toast, fruit or a biscuit. On Friday I had coffee and an orange, then on my way to school stopped at a cafe to pick up a sandwich for lunch later. The cafe didn’t have any sandwiches yet and I felt stupid coming in without buying anything, so I bought a cappuccino. Cappuccinos are amazing in Argentina. For lunch, I went to another cafe, thinking they served lunch as well, but unfortunately they only had breakfast stuff. Because we only have a 30-minute break for lunch, my friends and I decided to stay there anyway and have coffee and medialunas. Which was totally worth it, because it was delicious.

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During the same day, I got another coffee with a friend and then had coffee with my host mother when I got home. Depending on the time these blogs are written, I might sound a little crazy and hyper. Although that might be due to the excitement of being in this city and not just the caffeine.

After school I went to the plaza near my house and read my book Of Mice and Men in Spanish. It was more work than I thought and ended up reading only three pages. Later that night, I went to my first biloche with some friends, and it was a lot of fun! A biloche is a discoteca, or a club. I stand by my belief that Latin music is the best to dance to.

Today, Saturday, my friends and I were supposed to go on a Pope Francis tour and see all the important places he has been. Unfortunately, nobody woke up early enough to go, so I decided I’d set off on my own for the day. It turned out to be great.

I rode public transportation by myself, making me feel like an adult. I figured out how to put more money on my transportation card, using Word Reference to translate words I didn’t know on the machine.

I first visited a church near my house called Iglesias Jubilar.

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As you might imagine, the inside is just as beautiful as the front.

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Next, I walked to the subte (subway) and stopped at a few bookstores along the way. After I got off the subte about half an hour later, I found a nice pizza place to stop at and eat. It is kind of weird drinking wine and eating pizza by yourself in a foreign city on the other end of the world, but I found it really liberating.

Argentinian fun fact: They’re super into green olives. It’s in a bunch of different dishes I’ve had.

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After about two hours out, I finally made it to my destination, El Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts). It was really interesting to see different art from Argentina, and I think I learned a lot. Here’s a few pictures of artwork I found interesting.

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This one below is like a paint-inception. I just pictured a guy sitting there painting a guy painting a girl.

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I found the picture below interesting because the artist was known for bringing issues he saw to light. Painters were basically the journalists of their time. This picture is called Juanito Laguno Aprende a Leer (Juanito Laguno Learns to Read). It gives off a creepy Coraline vibe, in my opinion.

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Finally, this last work of art really portrayed how I felt at the end of the day.

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After the Museo de Bellos Artes, I explored a little more and stumbled into a cultural center where I saw pictures of famous Argentinians who I wish I actually knew.

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I also found a church called Del Pilar that is next to the Recoleta Cemetery, and paid a dollar to walk through its museum and see the famous cemetery from above.

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After I left the museum, I was exhausted. I felt like that statue of Abel. After an hour, I made it back to my house and took a nap! It was an exciting day, and I was glad I had the opportunity to explore a little bit by myself.

Although the nap refreshed me, I had a long dinner with my host mother and her niece, nephew, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and her sister-in-law. It was a lot of Spanish. I mostly listened to them talk and tried to pick up on everything. I got the basic gist of the conversations. For instance, crocs are very popular here, but some Argentinians don’t like the looks of crocs and thinks they’re inappropriate. Also, I think my host mother’s niece and nephew are painting their house, and they were talking a lot about fair prices. The night was a lot to take in, and I’m glad to be in my room getting ready to go to bed.

Anyway, if you made it to the end of this long, rambling narration of my day, I really appreciate it. Today was a great day in which I learned a lot, and I can’t wait for more!

Before you leave, check out some random pictures I took of Buenos Aires streets!

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Thanks again, and adios!

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