Sunday, April 22, 2012

los barrios of buenos aires, some random shots

again, i take the map, the wife takes the camera, we cruise the neighborhoods and this happens...

turns out, some of the best alfajores in town are right around the corner! palermo, buenos aires, argentina.

ford falcon wagon, these things are everywhere in buenos aires. they produced them here for years (thanks chris!).

Friday, April 13, 2012

los colectivos de buenos aires. or, i feel like a freaking genius!

that's right, this is an entire post devoted to figuring out a form of public transport. 

one of my most favorite things to do in this world is to figure out how to get from point a to point b and full-time travel provides that opportunity in a big way.

a sample of "los colectivos" in buenos aires taken from our bus stop in el barrio de palermo.

the wife is good at research, very good in fact, and loves to make lists. this is where the team effort comes in and just one of the many reasons why we travel together so well. she makes a list of the places she would like to visit, hands said list to me and says "get me here." i smile, find map, and off we go...

we added it up and figured out we've taken some form of public transportation in 23 countries.

linea a, buenos aires metro system.
we're now in buenos aires and it has a subway system with, as they will proudly tell you over and over and over again, "the oldest underground line in the southern hemisphere, linea a." it's really quite cool, in fact. sure it's a bit gritty but it gets us some places and it gets us there in style. they've preserved the old cars and stations; check out the seats and lamps. during a particularly brutal rush hour we also experienced our first attempted pickpocket here. fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

to buenos aires, an open apology

we've been in buenos aires for three weeks and we've lost count of how many times we've spoken the single most useful piece of spanish we know, "lo siento por nuestra espanol." "sorry for our spanish."

needs no translation.
sure, it's a weak ploy to elicit someone's empathy where they then speak to us like children, but that's the point! and it works, too. :) however, we learned today that although it's correct to say it in other spanish speaking countries, in argentina it's typically used ironically. oh, that's just great!

we've taken spanish classes for 20 hours, diligently done our homework, conversed with our teacher, studiously read signs around town and tried to interpret them, and asked questions to others in lines. we often get shrugs but sometimes we get a "conversation." each day, in the privacy of our apartment of course, we attempt to have entire conversations with each other solely in spanish and if locals were listening in i'm sure they would think we were mentally deficient or they would just roll around laughing.

but then, then we step out on to the street and it sometimes seems like we've learned nothing. we take the bus everywhere with conversations being the soundtrack around us. and buenos aires presents a very fast and quirky kind of spanish, too, almost italian sounding, which adds a certain amount of, oh i'd like to say spice, but it really is more of "what the freak did he just say? i mean, i heard 'tambien,' and 'bebida,' so has something to do with drinking also..." that's our internal dialog. then, just as suddenly, the next sentence is completely lost.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

buenos aires first impressions

the argentinian flag, buenos aires.
the jet-lag has started to lift. after a 28 hour travel time across 12 time zones from kuala lumpur, malaysia to buenos aires, argentina we were slammed. we're happy to report that we're now falling asleep and waking up at normal hours, like normal human beings.

it's autumn in south america but the sun is shining in buenos aires. yesterday it reached 80 degrees. that's some autumn.

first impressions: this city is HUGE! there's a ton of people, a lot of cars, a lot of meat, a whole lot of red wine, lots of statues, very long streets and the spanish spoken here is fast, quirky and almost italian sounding. we like a lot of those things.

luckily, we have an apartment ten floors above the traffic and the streets with big windows and lots of light.

Monday, April 2, 2012

so long southeast asia, it's been a great ride!

way back in november of 2011 while walking around istanbul in our "these were never meant for cold wind and rain" kind of clothes, we looked at each other and said "it's time." that day, we booked a flight to thailand and landed where any sane, reasonable human would like to start a trip through southeast asia, a tropical island in the andaman sea.

bai sao, phu quoc, vietnam

it's been four and a half months and five countries, not counting a 36 hour layover in kuala lumpur. if you're the kind that counts passport stamps, i guess that would make six countries.

bayon, angkor thom, siem reap, cambodia

southeast asia has been rewarding beyond anything either of us expected. before arriving, we knew the most about thailand, of course, as thailand's a very well-worn traveler's route. but we had no idea of what we'd find in laos or cambodia, and just a little bit about vietnam. and what we knew absolutely nothing about was myanmar (burma). in fact, we were surprised to learn that we were allowed to even enter the country at all. the u.s. fear machine, being what it is, makes it seem a place like myanmar is the most dangerous, forbidden territory on the globe. well it's not, and we loved it.

but we're saying goodbye to all these incredible places and saying hello to south america.

buenos aires!

this is a short post because we're packing as we type and we're stoked to get going. we're not so stoked about the 3:30am flight departure time and the 28 hours in the air, however, but it was the best deal we could find and we're willing to bear it for the pleasure of argentina where we have an apartment rented for the month of april. muy bien!

adios, we'll report back.

this is clearly NOT vietnam. kuala lumpur, malaysia.