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Monday, May 27, 2013

A Close Brush with Horse Steak

The early bird catches the worm. I would learn the full meaning of that as I was strolling through downtown Santiago towards the presidential palace, right in time for the changing of the guards. I had read about the event of trip advisor, that it happens around 10am on some days.  And that day happened to be my lucky day. To my delight I was able to capture a portion of the ceremony on video.

As you'll see in the video, there are white fences all around. Normally non-diplomats cannot get beyond the white fences. But for the changing of the guard they allow tourist and visitors to be on the front lawns to witness the ceremony. After the ceremony we were all politely ushered off the lawns. I feel really privileged to be able to have gotten as close to the presidential place as I was able to that day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Encounter with the Andes

Coming from North American society we are instilled with the idea that faster is better. And in the world of travel, for the most part it is true. If one can cut their travel time in half, then why not?  However there are times when there are hidden gems to be discovered if you are willing to take a slower unconventional path. Like taking a bus from Buenos Aires to Chile instead of flying into Santiago. It may have been a 20 hr ride but that bus ticket gave me a front row seat to see the famed Andes mountain range.

The bus starts from Buenos Aires and then goes to Mendoza Argentina. From Mendoza, the coach takes you directly through the middle of the Andes mountains.   I have heard that the Andes mountains is very diverse but I didn't realize how diverse it was until I sat there glue to the seat my eyes fixated as the sights flashing before my eyes.

The landscape literally changes about every 10 mins. It would go from massive rock formations to seeing snow capped mountains and then to lakes and rivers. The scenery would go from crevices to jagged edges in the blink of an eye.  There is nothing like it in the world.  Seeing the Andes upclose was better than any onboard movie you could ever watch....

Click here to view the full album:

Andes Mountain pics

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Monday, May 13, 2013

From One Small Step to One Giant Leap

I've mentioned in previous post the increasing difficulty of living in Buenos Aires due to radical changes that took place after Cristina Fernandez Kirchner was re-elected.  Within the past yr and a half the abuse of political power, inflation, peso devaluation resulted in a large exodus of expats from the country back to their homelands or other places in the world.

Life here is like hanging onto a mechanical bull. The one where you have to cling on to it for dear life as it gets faster and faster until you get flung off involuntarily or you choose to hang your hat and surrender to force of gravity. For many expats, it was a combination of both. They voluntarily left simply because they knew if they were on the verge of being flung off.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Inner Beauty....Outer Beauty and Everything in Between

Luisana Lopilato @ Ele Multiespacio
Luisana Lopilato @ Ele Multiespacio (Photo credit: Bruno Belcastro)

While spending time at the house of my friend on New Years day, an interesting conversation burst forth about weight, clothes, and what beauty means in different cultures.  My friend was born with dark hair, and like me she has a belly, a bust, and a roundish face.  She is the farthest thing from the stereotyped idea of what Argentine women look like.

And she has the same problem as me here in this culture buying clothing is a nightmare for her. Most clothing shops have clothes for sizes 2-6. Recently the gov't passed a law saying that all clothing shops are supposed to carry a variety of sizes. But walking into any one of those clothing shops and you'll realize that the law and its impact is one big joke.  Katie Alley of Seashells and Sunflowers tackles this subject on this article she wrote on her blog:  On Being Fat in Argentina

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas