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Life in the Southern Cone

a travel blog by zachel



The summer is almost gone and the school year is breathing down our necks. Rachel and I decided to get our CELTA certification and head down to good ole' Argentina for the next couple of months and see if we can't get work down there after completing our certification at the beginning of October. Were getting to Buenos Aires a bit early to find an apartment and chill before the workload gets to be too much. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to check out Montevideo as well, or go to Patagonia or Tierra Del Fuego. I probably won't have much of a chance to write many blog posts but I'll try to keep up and I know Rachel will be snapping pics!

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New York, United States




permalink written by  zachel on August 19, 2009 from New York, United States
from the travel blog: Life in the Southern Cone
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Mexico, Mexico




permalink written by  zachel on August 19, 2009 from Mexico, Mexico
from the travel blog: Life in the Southern Cone
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We made it!

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Argentina



Into the Den, of the Lion. At least that's how I feel right now as were flying into Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the height of the swine flu epidemic. This past April, news channels started to cover an outbreak of a new kind of flu called the H1N1 virus, now known around the world as swine flu. Apparently, scientists found that in the early 1970's the disease was first contracted but failed to spread and wreak havoc. Now almost 40 years later the virus has manifested and the news outlets are perpetuating the sickness in the 24 news cycle. Hopefully, all goes well while were here. The good news is that winter is ending which should put an eventual end to the spreading of the flu.
Our first day was spent relaxing, hanging around our hotel, recooperating from the 48 hours of travel it took to get here. For some reason we were talked into taking a cab from a persistant portano (a person from Buenos Aires) that took a financial liking to us in the airport after we just claimed our bags. Even though Rachel and I made a sacred pact to never take an unofficial taxi from the airport, we relented. I don't know why exactly. I think it was just because we were too tired to wave off his persistent behavior. He was crazy, but harmless, although he did talk us into taking us to El Centro, the center of town, to a hotel that he got a cut from. It turned out to be a good decision. The hotel is an old mansion built near the end of the 19th century, with a spiral staircase, high ceilings, and a beautiful common area just outside our room. Like I said, we relaxed and made our way downstairs to get a bite to eat. We took a walk around our hotel a couple of blocks and then decided to eat at a pizzeria next door. The pizzeria was bad ass. The cheese was fresh but they put too many yangpa (onions) underneath the cheese. Anyway, we were impressed. Rachel told me that the main Argentinian fare was based off Italian food. Pizzerias litter practically every street corner. They are also known for their empanadas. An emapanada is stuffed bread with a variety of different fillings that range from beef, chicken, veggies or cheese. We tried one today for the first time and it was amazing. The wine is also dirt cheap here. Move over two buck chuck because Argentina sells their bottles of wine for around 3 US dollars, which is nice.
We were exhausted from the trip so we came back and finished watching a movie called "My Dinner with Andre," which Rachel and I both recommend. It is a great movie that is based around two eccentric old friends that simply sit down at a restaurant and have an engaging conversation that mainly deals with social norms. It's worth watching.
This morning we arose early, eager to check and see if any of our apartment searching had come to fruition. We had a couple of replies but not neccessarily what we were looking for. Eager to tramp around the city we left our hotel close to ten and had breakfast across from the Argentinian Parliament. I became flustered when the waitress was taking my order and accidentally ordered dessert for breakfast. Now I know that tortas is Spanish for cake.
We took off for a stroll and ended up on a 5 hour walking tour of the city center. It is beautiful. Very European with lots of green space. Huge European buildings grace the city which made Raquel feel like she was back in Europe. I asked her over our main meal of the day what the differences were between Europe and Argentina. Her reply was that the only superficial differences are that it is cheaper and less safe. We headed west towards the bay area. We came across Argentina's version of Tienamen square. Here protestors were still reminding anyone watching about Argentina's dirty war that started in 1976. The Argentinian dictatorship that came to power in 76' sought to quell the leftist rebellion influenced by Argentina's favorite son. Unfortunately, Che's values did not carry over to the men behind the coup. The fascists rounded up and killed anywhere from 20-30,000 people by conservative estimates. For the most part the portenos took it and tried not to get murdered during the dictatorships tenure. The people that caused the most ruckus were a group of women that would dress in black and stand in the plaza with pictures of their missing children. Unable to kill the old women, the dictatorship let them protest. They were eventually ousted after going to battle with Britain and losing decisively. I don't know the exact details but that was the end of the dictatorship.
That pretty much sums up our last couple of days here in Argentina. We're in our hotel now reading and writing. We think we might be able to move into our apartment that we reserved tomorrow.....we'll see. Were waiting to hear back from the middle man that is in charge of advertising the apartment. No big deal though. We like our guest house and are having a great time. We love Argentina!


permalink written by  zachel on August 21, 2009 from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Argentina
from the travel blog: Life in the Southern Cone
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We moved into an apartment

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Argentina


Here's the view:


permalink written by  zachel on August 24, 2009 from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Argentina
from the travel blog: Life in the Southern Cone
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