Saturday, April 29, 2006

29 April 2006 Buenos Aires

Happy birthday, Tom! Today is our last day in Buenos Aires and our last day together for a long time. Ellen flies back to Seattle, Tom to Guayaquil and the boat, and Amy stays in this grand city until July. Tom plans to keep up the blog so stay tuned for more.
Buenos Aires is huge.
We have been staying in an apartment three blocks from Amy, walking, eating great food, staying out very late every night like the portenos, and enjoying beautiful fall weather. The leaves in the tree lined boulevards are turning gold and the goods for sale are dark colors, sweaters and wool. The city is very European, and it reminds me of the Manhattan of my grandparents which I remember well growing up. Lots of noise and unbelievable amounts of entertainment and stimulation.
It has been great to have Amy as a guide to her experiences including learning facilities that are more like strike headquarters than anything else, dulce de leche, yerba mate and Frenet and Coke. (local drinks). We keep trying parillada (the famed Argentinian beef) hoping that it will be the greatest thing ever but it´s not - usually the grilled vegetables Amy orders are better. We have also met up with some family friends who live in BA and it has been very interesting to meet and talk to them.
After many Spanish speaking countries we can only conclude that the language is significantly different in each country. Some Mexican vocabulary is taboo in South America and some is just not understood. The accent here is very distinctive, lots of sh sounds where there are ll and y sounds in other countries. So we leave with months of Spanish under our belts feeling more confused than when we started out. Amy says it just takes time. Oh well.
Last week we were in Bolivia which I loved. Partly, the sun came out and stayed. Lake Titicaca at close to 14000 feet was spectacular. And La Paz located in a steep ravine about 15oo feet below the Altiplano, was beautiful. White capped mountains you can almost touch. Clear skies. A capital city where about the half the population is in indigenous dress featuring women wearing bowler hats. The taller the hat, the richer the lady. If the hat is tilted, it means she is single. We had a lot of help understanding all this from a young man named Paul who works in the French Embassy. Tom met him last year while sailing in Mexico.
So I close out, headed home. Thanks for staying tuned.

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