Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Come walk with me and see the world the way I see


It has been a good two weeks since my last time at the keyboard, typing away about my adventures here in the south. I have been reminding myself that life is meant to be lived first and written about second (or perhaps writing is somewhere farther along down on the list of "things to do" but regardless... now is the right time.)

I have been walking. A lot. It is the best (and not to mention cheapest and most readily available) method for getting to know the city. Buenos Aires (BsAs) and I have gone through moments of delight, fear, bliss, challenges and peace just as any relationship does. I am growing to appreciate how each calle has something to offer and the not so enjoyable details of my walk (see future note on dog feces and potholes) are now just part of the journey.

Graffiti gently reminding the passerby

Walking has become a form of mediatation for me. Starting in one place with a general goal of where I would like to end up, while remaining open to the ideas the universe has in store for me. One foot in front of the other, watch your step, breathe, and be present. Originally I held tightly onto my map, focusing more energy on street signs than my surroundings. Now I am comfortable and confident enough to get lost, or better yet, to find a different route. I take the opportunity to look at the aged buildings, children playing in the street, detailed door designs, and men standing in the frames of old houses that have recently been transformed into a tower of apartments. I am able to notice the little things. Like the trash thrown on the road as if in opposition to the very government that had brought it there and the woman waiting for the bus who really seems to be waiting for a change of circumstance.

Porteños. Sitting on the dock of the bay.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

nuevo hogar = nueva vida

I am currently typing from UNIVERSITY OF BELGRANO! Hoy es mi primer dia! A lot has happened over the past 4 days...
Feb 4th
 I moved into my new home. My Señora greeted me with a big smile and welcomed me in. I am living with an older woman, her 28 year old son (normal in argentina to live with fam until you get married) and another student just joined us on monday... so not really a family as in mom, dad and kids like I was expecting, but any group of people with some love mixed in makes a family! So it´s all good. Rosario (host mama) has had many exchange students, like 15 before me, so she knows how it goes. She too doesn't eat meat except at her son Diego´s big asados every sunday (like a big bbq with loads of meat).

All of BA, Recoleta is the dark part. Where I live.

We live in Recoleta which is the fanciest neighborhood in BA and our apartment building has a glass and gold door. The house as a whole is classy. Very white and clean with just the right amount of artsy knick knacks to make it stylish without going even close to that "clutter" border. Very simple.
We eat dinner together every night at 9pm and a lot of spanish is practiced at the table.

Veggie Tart: Veggies, eggs, some cheese and thats about it

My first day she took me out for some coffee and helped me find the nearby yoga studios and gyms. It´s a beautiful neighborhood, very close to the Recoleta Cemetery where Evita and almost all of Argentina´s elite are resting in peace.

I have a nice clean white room with a twin size bed and lots of closet space and a pretty sketch of an Asian woman framed on the wall. It is simple, but good for me. Feels nice to not be traveling and staying in hostels and hotels. This will become my place for the next few months. Definitely not the same as my Catalina home, but perfect for this time in my life. After unpacking all my things, I made the room feel more cozy by placing a rock I found at the glorious hike in Ushuaia on the nightstand, hanging my mom´s sarong over the door, putting a bag made by meg with pretty hand-stamped flowers on the coat rack, and laying out my favorite shawl from david and angela over the bed. Just a few little things to make it feel more like home.

Welcome to my humble abode

That night I went for a long stroll down Av Santa Fe which is lick shopping stores and restaurants galore. Fun to just walk around town and get comfortable navigating the streets. After returning home to dinner with Rosario I christened the room with some midnight yoga and fell sound asleep.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Me encanto los viejos.

All is well in the world.
Well, not entirely. Many issues we should all devote some of our love, time, energy and resources towards. Especially some positive thoughts for the 12 Education Abroad Students that they are trying to evacuate from Egypt right now.

What I mean to say is thank you. I feel so incredible blessed to be here, able to do what I am doing. So grateful to say all is well in my world.

Major transition point right now: free as I can be backpacker, leading wherever my heart desires to ...............ORIENTATION! Hello 75+ american-english speaking-fresh to argentina people. Bienvenidos.

but before we get there allow me to recap the closing days of "Ki. The Backpacker."

ps: finally some real life pictures of my real life. check out previous posts to see more.


Jan 29th
Last day in Calafate.
After waking we explored a nearby lake that was filled with glorious, bright pink, backward bending knees, flying (who knew they could fly?) FLAMINGOS! The national park was closed- we were an hour early- so... we hopped the fence! Fun to be a little illegal in a foreign country.
Huge fields decorated in wild daisies and horses, with a well rested sun rising over the horizon.
Nice start to the day. More energy than a cup of instant coffee could have offered :)

Laguna Niñez Natural Reserve

Then off to catch up on journaling in a nearby coffee shop.
The walls had no wallpaper: just pastries. Bottom to top, side-to-side, homemade, egg-white-washed, delicious jewels waiting to be savored. Mmm....

We then taxied to the airport and somehow ended up in FIRST CLASS! First time for me and I am sure it was one of those classic moves on behalf of the universe. Just reminding me to expect the unexpected.

We arrived in Ushuaia and stayed at the "Cruz del Sur" hostel. This Saturday became my Sunday and was devoted to rest and rejuvenation. Katie and I explored the city individually for the first time and it was great. I began to remember how important alone time is. In any relationship I think it is healthy, natural and necessary to nurture your individual life. Spend some time with yourself, doing what you personally love. It is usually best for all parties involved and gives you a chance to miss the other too.

We walked by a restaurant called Darwin’s and then a little old man popped out and lured us in with his bearded smile and dusty suave moves. We enjoyed a warm meal and the live music by the Fabio of Argentina. After dinner the sweet (would be creepy if he was 40 years younger, but his new age comes with new benefits...) old man pulled us in close and took a picture. Then he placed a big smooch on my cheek and Katie got one on the lips! La cena estaba muy rico...

Mr. Smooth