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July 17, 2007

New and better Idiots...

10 years ago, Alvaro Vargas Llosa and a couple of other Latin American writers wrote a book titled Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot which attributed the region's failure to the politics of resentment, strong-man populism, corruption, anti-Americanism, and Marxism. Though things seemed to be improving for awhile, Llosa writes that nothing has changed: Return of the Idiot.

June 16, 2005

There was a request for photos?

At the risk of turning this blog into the Buenos Aires society page, I offer you this account of the wedding of Jimena DeLeon and Andrew Barden last weekend. Regular whinging about the obtuseness of the Canadian government will resume shortly.

Andrew is Canadian and Jimena is Argentine, and they met in Mexico City a few years ago. The difficulties of a long distance relationship drove Andrew to get a transfer to B.A., and after a couple of years they've finally gotten hitched. And in such great style! Continue for way too many photos...

Continue reading "There was a request for photos?" »

June 14, 2005

Jiggity-jig

Home again finally after an exhausting flight. The plane was like an icebox and I got no sleep. Unpacking, catching up on sleep, and returning to the home routine will prevent blogging for a couple of days. But it's very wonderful to see Max and Talia again.

June 13, 2005

Too busy to blog

The wedding was amazing, and I don't have time to write about it right now. We leave today, and still have a zillion things to do. I was pretty foolish thinking I'd be able to blog coherently while here with all that was going on. Maybe when I'm home in the quiet presence of my children I'll be able to make the clever observations and photo montages I'd planned -- but maybe not.

Anyways, here's one shot from the wedding party. More to come.

June 09, 2005

Briefing

Things are a whirlwind here. The Coles Notes summary:

Yesterday: Over to Palermo Viejo for some shoe shopping and just to look around. It was pretty dead -- turns out it doesn't wake up 'til later in the afternoon. Funky little neighborhood though. Boutiques, cool restos and bars abound. Michelle bought two jackets and a spiffy pair of pants. But not the elusive shoes she needed for the wedding...

Yesterday evening: The big football match between Argentina and Brazil. It was a World Cup qualifying game that didn't really mean anything (because both teams are sure to qualify), but determined who would be 1st place in the South American standings. So national pride was at stake, and the whole country stopped everything to watch the game. Someone in our crowd figured we would be able to stroll into a sports bar two minutes before the game and get a table for fifteen. After that brilliant plan failed, we wandered Recoleta for twenty minutes until we found a bar that would let us in. We only missed the first Argentine goal. Argentina won, 3 - 1.

This morning: Last minute shopping for shoes, stockings and a tie.

This afternoon: Andrew and Jimena's Wedding! Well, the civil wedding. In Argentina you have to get married by a judge before you can get married by a priest. But hey! It's a wedding! Let's throw rice at the happy couple!

Congratulations, you two! All the best for the future!

Afterwards, we headed to Jimena's parents' place for a reception. Seven hours of eating, drinking and talking later, we left. I must have drank at least a bottle of wine all by myself, but because of the steady stream of hors d'ouvres that poured out of the kitchen, I barely felt it. Quite a wonderful party.

Tonight: We need to start get used to staying up late (to get ready for the real wedding), so we're going to try to hit some of Buenos Aires' famous nightclubs. We're meeting at Mundo Bizarro at midnight, and from there, who knows...

June 08, 2005

Quick update

My wife has arrived to share the splendors of Argentina with me. We were at an estancia in the Pampas for a couple of days where we added riding horses to our regular eating beef and drinking wine activities.

Today we have major, major shopping to do, and the next few days look even busier, so there may not be an update for a while. But I'll try.

June 05, 2005

Meat me in Buenos Aires

The night of my birthday we went to a real Argentine parrilla for some real meat. Apparently all the other meat we'd been eating had just been for practice. Continue to the extended entry only if you are not shocked by the sight of hardcore meat-p0rn.

Continue reading "Meat me in Buenos Aires" »

June 04, 2005

Finally connected

I've finally located an internet café with free wireless access. My laptop has reconnected with the world (and downloaded 130 emails, mostly spam posts to the blog.) Unfortunately, it seems that Argentina has more than one type of power socket, and I have an adapter for the other one. So I'm running on batteries and will have to post the meat-porn pictures later today.

June 03, 2005

Birthday Walk

Today I turned -- hmmm, lemme figure this out -- forty! Man, time flies. I think I'm doing pretty well for my age: all my original hair in the original colour, no glasses, still thin, limbs intact, no chronic illnesses. I can't complain about the hand I've been dealt. But is there a mid-life brewing? Oh maybe, but who cares. Here's some shots of my lone walk to San Telmo this morning.

This is a detail from a monument to the Battle of Maip in 1817 that broke Spanish rule in the Southern half of South America. An angel picking placing her hands on a soldier is a way of relating how bloody the battle was.

Continue reading "Birthday Walk" »

June 02, 2005

Recoleta Cemetary

A friend and I went on an epic hike today from Retiro to Recoleta to Palermo Chico and almost all the way to Palermo Viejo. I say almost because around 4:30 our legs gave out and we grabbed a cab home. And today was not a pleasantly cool Argentine winter day, either, it was brutally hot and humid. The weather has been coming from Brazil in the North rather than from Antartica as usual. Things should be back to normal by next week.

Aside from the Recoleta cemetery and the MALBA art museum, I didn't see too much worth reporting on, so I won't. It's late, so I'll just slap some pictures up of the cemetery (now that I've figured out how) and get into bed and let my digestive system work.

(Click on the extended entry for more photos...)

Continue reading "Recoleta Cemetary" »

Dispatch

I have just a few minutes to write before I head out for an epic hike around town. My laptop is still isolated from the internet, but I have my buddy's computer, so at least I don't have to enter a grubby locotario. But I can't post pictures because I forgot to write down the password for my internet server. Grr.

Blogging is likely to be light for a time as things are pretty busy around here. There's always somewhere to go, people to see, and people to go somewhere with. Today we're hitting the Recoleta. Maybe I'll have a bit of time tonight...

June 01, 2005

Welcome to Argentina

So this isn�t starting as well as well as I thought it would. I figured my two weeks here would feature exciting photos and stories from the streets of Buenos Aires, written from a wireless internet café or the wireless connection at my hotel. But I haven�t found any internet cafés yet and since I�m staying at my friends for a few days before hitting the hotel, I�m writing this from a hot, humid internet �locotario� tucked into a shopfront. The computer I�m working on has a wonky Spanish keyboard and a crappy 800X600 monitor that warps on the edges. And I think they�d frown on me crawling around the back of the desk to attach my camera to the USB port, so there�s no pictures for now. I really gotta get out of this place, they�re blaring this horrible, horrible pop music and I�m getting a headache. I think it�s U2. Perhaps things will turn around tomorrow.

I�m down here to attend the wedding of my buddy the Latin American Correspondent and his beautiful fianceé Jimena on June 11th. My wife Michelle isn�t here yet, but will be joining me on Monday. Max and Talia -- very, very unfortunately -- will not be coming down but will be cared for by their very brave Aunt Cléo. Two weeks holiday! Wine and beef and shopping! I�m looking forward to it.

Okay, that�s it, I�m bugging out. Hopefully I�ll be able to update this tonight.