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Monday, February 08, 2010

It's a Jungle Out There!!!!!

this is a post that I forgot to put in earlier. This blog is about my first Sat in Buenos Aires, 2 days after I landed.....

Sat, Sept 12/09

I woke up in the middle of the night with a burning feeling in my legs. No, don't start to get worried, there is nothing wrong with me. The feeling of soreness results from when from the miles and miles of walking that I've had to do in the last 2 days that my feet are not accustomed to. But it is a good sign because it means that new muscles are developing in these legs of mine.

Normally on a Sat, I would be doing a lesson with Gladys but she had to work today. The lessons are going very well and she's already beginning to put simple sentences together. I decided the very next lesson we should do should be on the names of animals in English. Usually I would be resorting to showing her pictures of the different animals

from a book and the repeating what the name of those are in english. That's what I would be doing, if Buenos Aires didn't have such a fantastic zoo that I could take a day trip to snap photos of our furry friends.

I had discussed this with Gladys last night and she thought it was a great idea if I went to take pictures of the animals and then used them to do a lesson with her. So I grabbed my bag and counted my money and found an interesting surprise. It's been 2 days and I've spent about 200 pesos. This amounts to $50 CDN. And you need to realize that I've been spending on taxi rides, meals, subway tickets, fees for activating a phone#. And I've only spent $50 canadian. What other city in the world can $50 get you this much? OK, now who wants to immigrate to BA with me? LOL

After a quick breakfast, my adventure commenced. I took the sub to an area called Palermo and got off at the Plaza Italiana. Locals are always helpful in this city and they quickly pointed me in the direction of the zoo. There, I had a close encounter with lions, bears, snakes, crocodiles and some other animals native to South America that there is no english name for. After a good hour, I has fine collection of photos for our very next lesson.

Walking around the zoo trying to get the perfect shot sure worked up an appetite so I got back on the sub and headed off to another part of Palermo to try a restaurant with a parilla (Argentinian grill) that I had heard about. After arriving at my location, I had to walk about 10 blocks more to get to the restaurant. Finally I got to my destination, sat down and after a brief consultation, I made my order. Today's meal would be steaks grilled Argentinean style, a glass of Malbec (Argentinean red wine) and Morcilla (blood sausage).

In less that 20 mins, my food came and after the food was placed down in front of me, I was seconds away from having a taste of food from a Parilla. Without further hesitation, I ceremoniously cut off a tiny piece of meat and let my taste buds do the rest. All I can say is that the moment the food entered my mouth, heaven must have kissed earth.

Never in my life have I tasted anything that compares with Argentine beef. It's texture is extremely soft, like that of a marshmallow. The taste is strong and meaty with a hint of sweetness. And after the meat goes into your belly, you don't have that "bloated" heavy feeling that you usually get when you eat steak. It was definitely worth walking 10 blocks for.

The even better part was when I got the bill. All in all, I ended up paying 60 pesos. To find out what that is worth in CDN money, all you have to do is calculate what 25% of 60 pesos is. And 25% of 60 is $15 dollars. Red wine, a huge sausage, and two steaks each the size of two small bread dishes. It doesn't get any better than this.

Feeling incredibly content, I began walking slowly back to the Subte for my very next adventure. Now, I'm thinking that I probably had more wine than what was good for me because pretty soon none of the streets or landmarks looked familiar. My feet were getting tired so at one point I stopped and took a rest on a bench.

I wasn't there too long before an senior who was walking her dog, stopped to have a chat with me. I couldn't understand everything that she was saying but I did understand enough to know that she was pointing out that my cheeks were really red. I later explained to her that when Chinese people drink red wine, it makes our cheeks really red. I'll do it for you guys some time and you'll see what I mean.

After a brief chat, I asked her where the subte was and she told me she would accompany me to the station. She beckoned me to follow her so I did. She first went back to her home and there she introduced me to her husband and said that I

was here to teach english for 6 months. He thought that was great. I chatted with her husband briefly while she disappeared for a moment. When she returned, she had written a piece of paper her name and number for me.

Then we bid her husband good bye and she began to lead me down streets and sidewalks. All the while we chatted about many things. Even if I didn't understand everything, I did get the gist of the conversation. After turning down a number of streets, a subte station was in sight. I thanked her for taking me here and she told me that it was such a pleasure to talk to me and if I am ever in the area, to give her a call and we can have a nice chat.

Now that I was back on track and ready for the next leg of my journey to "Museo Evita". A museum dedicated to the life of Argentina's beloved first lady, Eva Peron. Within minutes, I found myself getting off the subte and once more i was in the middle of Plaza Italiana. With the help of my map and some directions from the locals, it wasn't before long that I found myself in front of the museum.

Once inside I paid the admission fee and my journey began. It was a story that was told through video, artifacts and clippings and other various means of media. My time there resulted in yet another history lesson and I came out with a greater understanding of who this woman was, her significance, her contributions to Argentine society. Oh how the people would throng her! Like Diana, she truly was the people's princess in life and remained the people's princess even in death.......

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas