Happy New Year!

Julia at the New Years milonga, organised by Julia from Sueno Porteno held at Club Gricel for tonight.

31stDecember 2010.

I woke up at 1 pm and remembered I had to pick up my laundry, (oops). I picked them up, (I didn’t want to do any washing by hand). I grabbed my camera gear and went for a walk, I managed to get a few new photos of words I wanted, it seems to be getting harder to find new ones, the ones I saw online are a little too far away to get too.

I returned to relax before the new years’ eve party milonga tonight; I said happy New Year to “K” in a chat and then got ready. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be food tonight so I had a very light dinner. There was a small banquet when I arrived so I ate more, (there goes my figure).

I saw my friend and we sat down at a table, we were expecting to see the Germans tonight, (I hope he behaves). I saw an Argentinean friend and said hello, he didn’t recognise me all dressed up; (then again I don’t think my mother would have either). The night started off well lots of people good food and dancing. I danced with a foreign woman, it was a nice

New Years' milonga organised by Julia from Sueno Porteno held at Club Gricel for tonight.

dance and we spoke for a while during the tanda she complimented me on my English, I said “thanks, it helps that I am Australian” she seemed embarrassed and said she thought I was Argentinean, I was flattered.

Midnight came and we shared a few hugs and (fewer) kisses and I sent a few sms‘s off to friends. The night was good, the ex-host seemed to behave himself and we had many good and funny dances, it was nice to follow the dream on this occasion, the last time I was here I flew out of Argentina on new years’ eve. This time I was here for the celebrations, it was definitely better than on the plane.


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OOPs, I Forgot The Laundry.

The piano from El Afronte at San Telmo.

30th December 2010.

I got up first thing this morning, I had a mission, I had to get my laundry done, I have only enough until tonight (smelly thought). I went for a brisk walk to the Laundromat and dropped of my clothes, bought some groceries on the way back and then had breakfast.

I headed off in a different direction today as usual armed with my camera backpack, I had to find a post office to post a gift to a friend and then continue looking for potential subjects for photos. I walked down to the city along one of the main roads and then turned right for San Telmo; I figured that for some of these words I wanted I should look there because I was told some of the ones I wanted were old words that are not used often anymore. (How is that for logic, ha-ha)?

I found a few that I would never have thought of and that I never saw again after that time, ‘Pancheria’ (obvious isn’t it?), we make/sell hotdogs. I found one unexpected on in San Telmo, I was looking for a shoehorn (calzador) when I came across one in an antique store at the San Telmo markets, he wanted the equivalent of AU$20, I wasn’t prepared to pay that much yet but I wanted it, it also had an ‘ERIA’ word stamped on it, I kept it

A word I found during my search, it is stamped on a shoehorn.

in mind and kept looking, I found another shoehorn with a different word on it, they wanted less so I bought it. (Now, I have the photo and the shoehorn, OK I am a big kid).

It was getting late so I headed back, it was too late to collect my clothes, I hope they are open on New Years’ eve otherwise I may have to do some emergency washing by hand, (or smell like last weeks’ roast).

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Still Felt Knocked About.

A colourful window at La Boca.

29th December 2010.

Today was a bit of a ground hog day.  Slept in chatted and took more photos.

I chatted to “K” for a while before going out about my day and last night. I then went to El beso late for a dance. It was a nice night so I walked there; it wasn’t far maybe 10 minutes down the road. It was about 12 am when I arrived, I stood near the bar and relaxed, I did my best not to think about last night and just enjoy myself.

I was a very crowded night, I was told because this was the last Wednesday for this organisation for the year so it is almost a party. I bumped into ‘The student
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that returned from holidays’ he was now here in Buenos Aires on holidays, we had a chat and drank a beer together. It was about 1.30 am when the crowd started to thin out a little, I saw a friend in the distance, we said hi, had a quick chat and danced the next tanda. I was introduced to some of her friends and after a few more dances went home.

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Can You Smell The Burning Plastic? I Am Thinking.

The insides of a piano.

28th December 2010.

I woke up today wonder what I was doing and thinking about what I am doing all this for, sure I was having a holiday and new experiences but what else? The voices were asking questions I did not want them to ask and I had to justify myself, I believe I am doing this for more than fame and fortune (well that’s the line, I would like some fortune). I am doing this to change my life and do something I can feel a sense of worth doing, something rewarding to myself not just existing in a normal job struggling like normal people doing normal stuff because it is normal, but if you think about it really I am normal because as I get closure to my goals it will be normal on a different level so, I will be normal. (Normally now I would make a joke about being normal but that would be normally expected of me so I won’t be that normal). It is the sense of a fulfilling life and existence that I want, I guess like 3.9 billion other people.

A plaque outside the church at San Telmo.

I walked around the city as usual and exercised while snapping photos, this is a great time to take photos in Buenos Aires because it is fair quiet compared to normal.

I went to one of my favourite milonga tonight, it seemed to be busier than usual and there was no room left in this sardine can. I had 2 dances tonight and decided it would be better to leave. Tonight was the worst night I have had at a milonga for being hit and pushed, no matter what I did, weather I moved or stood stillI had people hitting me from all sides and the ones reversing were really bad, I did not enjoy it at all. Tonight I wished my Spanish was fluent so I could say something to these peoplebut I guess it was safer that I did not. So a stare had to suffice.

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I Am So Lazy.

A milonga.

27th December 2010.

I slept all day, I had closed the shutters and there was very little street noise as they were still deserted. I crawled out of bed around 4 pm and have a late lunch went to my room and considered sleeping again.

I went for a walk to continue taking photos for my projects, this has been taking me to parts of the city I would not have normally have been to, I have been looking for names of places online that I want to photograph and going on little adventure.

I went to a milonga that night, had a few good dances and called it a night.

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A Different Night Out.

Curch alter.

26th December 2010.

I woke up late this morning after a nice night out. I lazed around my room emailing friends and chatting to “K” about Christmas. I worked on some photos and went back to bed.

I decided to go and do something a little different tonight, I took myself to dinner, I walked along the street looking for somewhere to catch my eye and found a small restaurant, I realised from the menu and then the décor that it was a Peruvian restaurant. I ordered dinner and reminisced about my time in Cusco, meeting my sponsored child and ‘the stairs’.

I went to a dance night tonight, I was going to visit a friend that was a waitress there and experience a different night at somewhere new. It was on the other side of the freeway near the city, I have been told to be careful on this side of the freeway; even the taxi driver reminded me as I paid for the ride.

I said hi to the waitress, was given a good table and sat down to experience the night, it was a nice venue, the size and ambience were nice. I listened to tango while people were still coming in and watching people. It was a very old club hall from what I could understand on the walls and the organiser looked like he may have actually been there when it was first opened, he was having fun walking around holding a microphone and talking now and again.

Pipe organ.

The night started about normal with a few tandas of tango and vals, people were sitting back and relaxing, chatting to their friends and others were dancing. I noticed that the people were wearing normal street shoes even platforms while dancing, (hmm, very relaxed), then the music changed they played tandas of Cumbia and then Merengue, more Tango and then more Cumbia, it seems that the people love the Cumbia and most got up for a dance, I imagined how this would have been a street dance or party years ago and the people went out to have fun with friends and socialise while enjoying their company, the only thing missing were the cobblestones.

There was one man asking people women to dance all night, he just wouldn’t stop, (he was like a kid on red cordial). Then the rock and roll came on, at least six men got into character, they unbuttoned their shirts to their navels and went wild on the dance floor, it was amazing to see the energy and stamina these men had (I hope I have half as much when I am there). I went home after this and had a good night sleep.

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Merry Christmas.

A well know land mark in Buenos Aires has been decorated for the season.

25th December 2010.

Merry Christmas!

After getting home I sent a few emails and messages to friends then I lay in bed for a while and listened to the celebrations. I sort of missed a few people I knew, this is the first time for me, I rarely miss anyone, maybe older age is making me soft (or even worse I am maturing). By the way, Abasto was closed this evening. I was enjoying the time alone though, it was nice to watch others having a good time and seeing how people that appear to be a little less fortunate celebrate and share with their families and friends. It is a little humbling to think about this, (I am enjoying the night with all the sounds and voices of imaginary friends), and then finally dosed off.

Decorations on the tree.

I woke up early, I checked my mail and found some seasons greeting from friends near and far, I had a local friend that said ‘you are not spending Christmas alone (but I love it, it is the 1 day of the year where you can be in peace and quiet), I will pick you up at 12.30 pm’ and then asked for the address. This was very lovely I was not expecting to be with people until later this evening. My friend “G” picked me up out the front and took me to her place to join her family for lunch, I had a great time, the family was welcoming and we sort of chatted in Spanglish, I had a good afternoon. “G” took me for a drive in her local area and showed me a few places and then drove me home. We stopped a few times for me to take photos of a few signs for my project.

The tree at Galerias Pacifico.

I walked into my apartment and found Santa Claus had been, I had electricity again and water too. That was a nice gift (can’t wait for a hot shower). I relaxed for a few hours and chatted to “K” and then went out for the night and danced.
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Christmas Eve.

Abasto shopping centre.

24th December 2010.

Good morning, after another steamy night (No! get your mind out of the gutter), OK, there is still no power. I am a little surprised, this is the longest black out I have seen before and to make things more challenging we ran out of water last night. The landlord had been busy bringing buckets of water up 3 flights of stairs from down stairs (I wonder if he has been to Machu Picchu?), he said that the electricity company will have the power by the end of Christmas day, we hope they are correct. (Any longer and I will smell like the roast that left over after the day), back to camping days and wash from a bucket.

I use up my batteries on the PC chatting to “K” and having a giggle and
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then go for a coffee again to charge my batteries. I am getting used to this but it would be more fun with a friend. I thought about Christmas, would it be the same as the last time I was here? Back then I was amazed that at 3am on Christmas morning there were long lines in Abasto shopping centre of people lining up for gifts and fireworks were going off all night from dusk until about 2 days later.

I went for what has become my daily exercise, my little project has kept me actively walking around the city, learning new words and also exercising. “K” finds this very amusing but she does say she sees I am learning and also the fun in, learning should be fun most of the time, look at politicians there are a great example of this. It does pay off, they pretend to be educated and good at whatever field they have chosen, they pretend to care and do the best for the community and then because something agrees with the opposition or is against their policy they ignore it, they play with our money and make mistakes like playing Monopoly in real life. To top it off they get a pat on the back and a pension. (I wish my ex-employers where so generous, Oh, they have a choice).

More 'eria' words.

I return to my room and sleep for a while, I chat to “K” and say Merry Christmas and decide to not go to a milonga tonight, and (I smell like the left over roast). I waited until 11pm and went for a walk around the city and them back to my apartment up one of the main avenues; it was fun to see families and friends celebrating Christmas. There were fireworks going off everywhere; some shooting upwards and others slithering along the ground (oops), others were being thrown from buildings and I did have to be careful when walking around corners. There were a few cars pulled up onto the curb with the boot lid up and music blaring loud and the alcohol just inside, (the only thing missing was that Australian invention, the Esky).


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2 Days Before Christmas.

More 'eria' words.

23rd December 2010.

Hello! Still no power, the fan doesn’t work and the days are hot and the nights are sticky, (not to mention stinky). I get up late and send a few emails, check out what’s happening in the world of Facebook and have some breakfast, coffee and the local equivalent of Kellogg’s Frosties.

I work on a few photos and write a little then decide to go Abasto the local shopping mall to look for a power out let. I couldn’t find one here available to the public so I went to McDonalds for a burger and fries and (support the charity) to use their internet café. I still needed to recharge my computer and the phone was a little low, so I went for a walk to take photos and see where I could stop to charge up., I have been a little more discrete while taking photosI am not freaking as many people out.

The crowds were a little busier today. I keep forgetting that Christmas is only 2 days away and that people are buying gifts and supplies. There are some decorations around but I have not really noticed them, it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, maybe because I have been on holidays for so long. I think about a few small knick knack gifts to buy for local friends and the few things I thought about for when I return home will not be there until the end of January.Ebay Powerseller

I return to my room to be told the electricity is expected to be on soon but also there was a no promise thrown it with it, see what happens, now to wait for the next update or lights to come on.

I later went to a milonga to cool off, I am glad this one has air-conditioning.

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Another Day In Buenos Aires.

Signs I have been photographing.

22th December 2010.

Today was a normal day; no power in my section of the building, the landlord states the obvious and says the electricity company will fix it as soon as possible. I used what charge I had in my laptop last night and was starting to feel disconnected, I had to find a café to have a break and also to recharge my batteries, I don’t want the phone  to also go dead.

I found a café around the corner that let me plug my PC in so I could work on photos while enjoying a small pizza and a coffee. I worked on photos from the last few weeks while waiting for the batteries to charge up, never realised how hard it is to make a coffee go for an hour and a half. My battery was at 99% so I went back to my room and quickly got connected, sent some messages and then turned it off.

I went out for a walk to continue taking photos for my projects and also to enjoy the exercise, (yes exercise, why so surprised?) and the sunny and warm weather. I walked about 4 kilometres today, I was feeling hot and tired but otherwise full of energy, (this exercise thing may be good for me).  I went and lay down for a few hours, got up and worked on some photos and went for a dance after chatting to some people.

I hope the power is on tomorrow, I don’t know if I can stretch coffee out for 2 hours tomorrow, HA-HA.

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