On Sundays we don’t get the pleasure of eating Elda’s fabulous cooking, so the three of us took initiative & went on a search for breakfast. This was somewhat problematic as it was about 12:30 in the afternoon & everyone was out eating lunch.. and every place we walked past was a bar. Luckily a nice camarero at a restaurant called Sullivan’s informed us that they sold coffee when we asked where the closest cafetería would be. There we got our first typical Argentine breakfast of medialunas (croissants) and coffee. Delicious! We think the restaurant purposely sent over its English-speaking waitress because she walked up and asked, “English?” We informed her (in Spanish) that it didn’t matter to us, so she asked what we’d like (in Spanish), and we ordered (in Spanish). We got our original waiter after that.
There was an open-air market-type thing with a lot of artisan booths. People were selling crocheted shirts, big jewelry, leather purses & sandals, mate gourds & straws, hand-painted signs, and about everything else you could think of making! We were too cheap & overwhelmed to buy anything, but don’t worry, everyone will get the souvenirs they deserve upon our return.
There was a celebration in Belgrano (the same neighborhood our university is located) for the Chinese new year that everyone wanted to check out. As most people are still terrified of attempting to use the bus system, we opted to go via subte (subway) even though it was a longer walk. In the spirit of promoting Argentina, we have to mention the locals that saved us from potentially getting jumped. Since we were all being touristy by staring at maps & taking pictures of graffiti on the walls, we didn’t notice the run-down abandoned train station that was on our side of the street filled with sketchy people hanging out, but thankfully a group of people on the other side got our attention & told us to cross the street. Whoever you were, gracias!
The Chinese festival was pretty cool, but none of us are actually sure about that because it was PACKED. I mean, we heard it was a popular celebration, but this was ridiculous. We could hardly walk, let alone see what people were selling.
That fact added to everyone’s near starvation led us into a restaurant called Dragón Porteño for some yummy & extremely non-Argentine Chinese food.
When everyone got back from their various trips to the Chinese new year celebration, we had a birthday dinner for one of the girls in the house. Elda went and bought a “Happy Birthday” sign on short notice so we could decorate for an impromptu Sunday dinner of leftover pizza & homemade graham cracker & dulce de leche cake covered in chocolate. Elda’s food has already been bragged about, but really, the noises that come out of people’s mouths when they ate this cake were almost inappropriate.
While everyone was sitting around after dinner, some of the guys that live here were having problems with our front door. When Elda couldn’t get it open either, Geoff, the kid that was outside, ended up coming through the backup door (aka the dining room window).
That was easy enough until Pamela showed up with Dantón and a friend who’s staying with her. Dantón wasn’t very happy about being tossed between people through the window, but he made it just fine and got over his anger pretty quickly when he found a toy.
Now most of the people in the house are sitting around the TV watching the Super Bowl with Spanish commentary. Definitely an interesting mix of cultures. It seems we’ll have to catch all of the Super Bowl commercials online tomorrow because the first one that came up was for chocolate pudding for a brand that most likely couldn’t afford advertising space in the US during the Super Bowl.
Tomorrow, we have our first visit to our University and have to get placed into our intensive Spanish classes!
To satisfy some persistent requests, here are more pictures of our house:
-Abi, Alexa, and Maddy