Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires

It started out as a sunny 75 degree spring day here, strange for me to experience the traditional North American cold holidays as hot here.

I was planning on making my granny's sweet potato pudding for the potluck Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Wendy LP's apartment in Las Canitas, but gave up after not being able to find buttermilk here in Buenos Aires. Sometimes, simple ingredients that we as expats take for granted are elusive.....sometimes found under obscure strange names or just plain unavailable.
However, our friend Terry was able to locate a turkey from Brazil through his restaurant supplier. Terry is the owner of the fantastically hipster restaurant 647 in San Telmo area.
If you are visiting Buenos Aires and you get bored with the usual Argentine suspects of bife de lomo, milanesa, and pasta....try his most eclectic menu that rotates every season.

Anyway, I digress....back to T-Day....we had about 20 ex pats in total attending the soiree and it was lovely with a nice touch of home and everyone contributed. I ended up spending 2.5 hours cutting fruit up to make a fresh fruit salad that everyone loved. Of course we didn't have the requisite football games to fall asleep in from of the TV, but the ladies at the party did make the men-children wait for dessert. Someone has to be the mother, I guess....he he.

Our hostess has recently announced that she will be returning to the U.S. now that her husband has his green card as has the green light from Homeland Security. We will be sad to see her leave in February likely as she has become part of the fabric of our expat community here. She will be sorely missed, but I imagine she will be back often to visit her in-laws.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tourist high season, Spanish anyone?

As the flowers and trees bloom here in Buenos Aires, I am reminded of the beginning of the tourist season here in Buenos Aires. This November has been relatively cold compared with last year, with the air this evening almost like a winter night. I was having dinner with a friend this evening in one of our favorite parrillas, Rio Alba. There was the familar maitre 'd welcoming us and the usual Palermo Nuevo crowd having dinner. The next table was a middle aged German couple having a dinner and speaking very rapidly in a strange dialect, perhaps from Switzerland.
I have noticed recently walking on the streets a lot of foreign languages being spoken. I am sure by the time our hot February comes along, I will long for the damp, cold weather and Spanish only being spoken in the streets. When I first moved to Buenos Aires and I heard people speaking native English, I often wanted to engage them in conversation. Perhaps I was suffering from a mild case of homesickness? Now I find that when I hear English, I want to pretend that I don't understand. I do feel like I am losing some of my English, as I often forget certain words that use to comes easily. As one Argentine friend explained, I am becoming Argentizado or Argentinized quickly!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cristina Kirchner wins presidential election

Politically, I think it was a good strategy on the part of Los Kircher to put Cristina up for election. They are riding the wave of economic recovery here in Argentina and are a charismatic couple. I am told by my Argentine friends that election time in Argentina can be somewhat volatile, with various trade unions, lobby groups, and politicians all pushing to be in the frontline of attention. During these times, transportation can be disrupted by the transportation workers unions effectively crippling the city from a commuting stand point. This apparently occurred a bit during October in the run up to the election....just a way for the trade unions to let government know they still exercise power. Overall, I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to witness some raw democracy in action....but there seemed to be a lackadaisical or lethargic attitude in general. There have been many parallels drawn between the Perons and the Kirchners, but I find that is generally from the foreign press. The Peronism of the Kirchners doesn't really reflect that of its founders, but is more flexible and adaptable to public opinion (true politicians!!). Time judges effectiveness of all politicians. Vamos a ver, as they say here. Buen dia, amigos.