It’s officially spring in Buenos Aires and this city does not have air conditioning. Not on the buses, not at the gym, not in most buildings, not in my apartment. It’s also really not an environment where people wear shorts and even a skirt without tights attracts more unwanted attention than usual. So we are soldiering on, sweating a lot…
These past few days have been lots of fun and full of some very special events.
Friday was a quiet day after such a busy week so I had some coffeeshop working time, went to the gym and ran some errands. I went out that night to a brewery/bar which must have been one of the only times I’ve had beer so far in this country. It kind of reminded me of Dock Street/Tap house back home and was a nice change of pace.
Saturday, my grandparents landed in Buenos Aires! They’re here for almost two weeks on a tour that includes a visit to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on Earth, some parts of Patagonia in Chile, and it all started in BA! They had the brutal overnight flight so were very tired but I hung out with them a bit at their hotel and they gave me the all important deliveries of peanut butter, back issues of the New Yorker, a note from my mom and a hanukkah present that I can open next month. Such wonderful comforting things. I immediately broke into the New Yorker stash as you can see above. The rest of the day was pretty quiet because literally everyone left the city this weekend since it was a three day weekend for Dia de la Raza, the refashioned Columbus day that now allegedly celebrates cultural diversity.
Luckily, I had some fun plans for sunday! Brunch with Olivia and Odille, two of my friends who go to Vassar. (I have two friends named Olivia, for anyone keeping track at home). We went to Cafe Crespin, home of the pretty fruit plate, which is right down the block from me. I had never had their brunch and Omg it was fabulous. French toast with 2% real maple syrup (you can’t have everything), some of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had with chives, a cinnamon roll to split (somehow not too sweet because of a teeny bit of lemon in it), coffee, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Not bad, not bad. In classic BA fashions, we were some of the first customers when it opened at noon. Up and at ’em is not how they roll.
We stayed at brunch for hours and then Olivia and I walked to Palermo to get some work done. We wound up working for like an hour and then read the New Yorker and drank wine. Viva la vida.
Monday was my full day with my grandparents and we had a fabulous time. They spent sunday on a tour of BA by bus so we looked to do things you couldn’t do on a bus, even though lots of things were closed.
We then took a walk to the Ateneo, the converted theater that’s now a bookstore and then had a little rest at the hotel. Before dinner, we did something super luxurious that is great for anytime someone wants to feel like royalty in BA: we had drinks at the Park Hyatt, a gorgeous luxury hotel that’s a converted mansion. The drinks are expensive, yes, but the views are fabulous and we sat outside and soaked them in. It was so special and just made me hope that someday I’ll be married to someone for 50 years and in good enough health to visit my grandkids in whatever countries or planets they live in/on and buy them drinks.
We finished off the day with dinner at an elegant steakhouse on the water in Puerto Madero. It was lovely and delicious and we drank malbec and homemade limoncello and sat outside. It was just fabulous and I’m so thankful for all of it.
Yesterday, I was back to normal. I had a meeting to hopefully set up some volunteer work at a school here (more on that next week) and went to class and had dinner with Rita.
Today, I went to the gym, ran errands, and went to class. Then I went to the mall to buy plane tickets for an end of semester trip to Patagonia. Except this kiosk didn’t take cash so we decided to wait till tomorrow. But YAY Patagonia, I’m so excited to go! Since we were already at the mall, four of us channeled our middle school selves and got froyo, which was pretty good. Nora and I bought bus tickets too because we’re going to Cordoba this weekend! Yay!
I went straight from the mall to Belgrano to visit Buenos Aires’ Hillel for the first time. I wasn’t exactly sure how to go but I guiaTed it for the first time in a while and got there just fine which felt great. My friend Emily visited Hillel last week and she told me to come along. Every wednesday they have a conversation club where you speak half the time in spanish and half the time in english based on a topic. This week was all about relationships and there were three native english speakers (Emily, myself, and a boy from London who is working here for the semester) and five Argentines in their 20s. We talked about topics like friends with benefits, living in college dorms and sharing food, telos (the hourly hotels they have here), PDA and why it’s so acceptable here and lots of interesting stuff. The club is every week and I definitely want to keep going. There was even talk of cooking together to share dishes from our countries which would be amazing. This is like the millionth jewish thing I’ve tried in BA and I really like it. I hope this remains good motivation to just not stop trying to find communities that work for me wherever I am.
I’m about to go to bed but I also just got an email that one of my classes is canceled tomorrow because UBA has been taken over by protesters! Viva la democracia!