Friday, December 28, 2007

In South American Fashion...

I'm running a little late, wrapping up the odds and ends of my trip, updating my blog, organizing my life, now that I'm home for the Holidays.

I blame Chile. If an event in Chile is scheduled to start at 7, it would be in terribly poor fashion to actually show up at 7. 7 would actually mean 8, and even then, it would be wiser to show up at 8:30.

But who am I kidding? In Chile, nothing would start that early. We're talking more like 10 or 11. And a stone's throw away from Chile, the Argentines don't waste any time wasting time. In Buenos Aires, it's totally appropriate to have a full evening's worth of events, just waiting for the nightlife to begin. It is completely out of fashion to go out before 1 a.m. in Buenos Aires.

So in preparation for an Argentine-style night out, we went to see a Tango show at Cafe Tortoni, a famous 180 year old Cafe where writers, artists and intellectuals used to hang out during the 19th century. More than the famed night life, the Tango show was the ultimate Buenos Aires experience, and as promised, here are some video clips from the show, which at 50 Argentine pesos per person (about $17 USD), I would highly recommend to anyone.


This was so cool:

One more. The end of the show:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I´m Famous

If anyone was wondering about the English Opens Doors teaching program I did here in Chile, here is a documentary filmed by the Chilean Ministry of Education. If you don´t care much about the program but just want to see me looking ridiculously awkward on camera, it´s a good watch as well:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Summer in the City

The Patagonia springtime could not have prepared me for how very nice it would feel to be in the sunshine... real sunshine. The kind that requires the wearing of skirts and flip flops and sunglasses, and calls for frequent trips to beaches and swimming pools.

After 4 months in the cold, can you blame me for not having written much about my action-packed 3-week vacation between Santiago and Viña del Mar/Valparaiso in Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina?

Well, just a short update-- I will be home in Baltimore, MD on December 21st, for those of you eagerly awaiting me :)

I am currently in Santiago just back from a fabulous week in Buenos Aires. And excuse my lack of eloquence when I say that the Tango is fucking awesome. Videos to come soon. Dulce de Leche ice cream receives the same high marks as the Tango, as well as the Shopping in Buenos Aires. Plenty of Argentine wine was had by all as well. See my pics on facebook

As for Viña del Mar, the beaches are beautiful and the cool breeze off the pacific ocean is actually agreeable when you`re not living at the southernmost tip of South America.

In Santiago I have been hanging out with some good Chilean friends, and today am going to a wine tasting at some Chilean vineyards.

So Christmas at home is exciting and all, but not sure if I´ll ever be ready to leave this South America summer.

Friday, December 7, 2007

"If you weren´t so pretty, I´d hit you..."

So lastnight I arrived to Buenos Aires. Just a two hour flight from Santiago, and yet worlds apart. The tango capital is alive with a late-night cafe culture and a night life that apparently never ends. I will find out tonight whether that reputation lives up to its standards when I hit the town to party.

In this city filled with chatty waiters, taxi drivers, hotel-clerks and friendly citizens, it´s proven hard not to get sidetracked in conversation with just about everyone. Especially for my equally chatty travel companion, Moira, who decided to respond to a rather sketchy looking lady working a fruit stand who stopped us to ask us who the president of our country was.

Moira corrected the woman, who seemed ready to pounce, saying that Canada had a Prime Minister, not a president.

Slightly defeated, the woman backed down and said, "Oh, you´re from Canada..."

So Moira says, "Yes, but my friend, Meri, here is from the United States."

Which fired the woman right back up. Getting up close to my face as I´m innocently peeling my orange, wondering why Moira indulged this woman in conversation, she glares at me and says, "If you weren´t so pretty I´d hit you." Followed by a speech about her arab descent, her hatred for George Bush and how many arabs he´s killed, and basically just looking for a reason to actually hit me.

I continued peeling my orange, looking down at my feet and waiting for Moira to talk our way back out of the situation. After about 10 "You´re absolutely right, señora, you´re absolutely right," she left us alone.

Phew, from now on I´m going to be from Canada too.

Ok, just a short message from Palermo neighborhood in Bs.As. before heading out for some Argentina-style shopping (aka fashion on the cheap!)