For nordmenn i Buenos Aires som titter innom bloggen, eller andre som er interesserte i å feire 17. mai: Det arrangeres 17. mai-feiring i Den nordiske kirken (Azopardo 1422, 1107 Buenos Aires) sondag 18. mai klokken 11:30. Arrangementet er åpent for alle og begynner med gudstjeneste etterfulgt av lunsj og underholdning for barn og voksne.
Para noruegos en Buenos Aires, u otros que quieren celebrar el 17 de mayo (día de la constitución noruega y cuando nos liberamos de los daneses), se celebra domingo 18 de mayo en la Iglesia nórdica (Azopardo 1422, 1107 Buenos Aires). Arranca a las 11:30 y está abierto al público.
There are certain tourist spots that are a must, but not somewhere one would return to over and over. Caminito in La Boca is one of those places – it was really fun to see the first time, it was fine to see the second time (last year when a Norwegian friend was visiting) and then just OK this time, when I went with some friends from Ecuador who were visiting. La Boca is one of the 48 neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires and is located in the south-east part of the city; to me it always seems a little remote from where I usually hang out, and it was especially so when we were returning during rush hour. (You can get there easily on the 152 bus.) It is of course maybe most famous for being the home of the football team Boca Juniors, and their stadium La Bombonera.
Caminito is a pedestrian street in La Boca with colorful houses, souvenir shops, restaurants and tango shows. It is cute but definitely not my favorite part of the city, I don’t even think it would be on my top ten touristy things to do in Buenos Aires. But still, always nice to just hang out being a tourist.
Many foreigners living in Argentina will at some point complain about Argentinian pizza. And I am one of them. I LOVE a nice Italian pizza so I am not a fan of most pizzas here – they have thick, doughy crust, way too much cheese, and are generally just soggy and not very interesting. There are plenty of other good things to eat here, so it really isn’t too much of a problem, but I had been wanting to check out Siamo nel forno in Palermo Hollywood (Costa Rica 5886) and I finally did! (Check out the blog Pick Up the Fork and its review of the place, and the loooong comment section where people discuss Argentine pizza – at least I am not that bad.)
Siamo nel forno means “we are in the oven” and basically a translation of the Argentine expression “Estamos en el horno”, “we’re in trouble.” People use it ALL the time so I think the name is really cute. And YES the pizza was great! Actually, I loved the place as soon as I walked in and saw people drinking Spritz Aperol, one of my favorite drinks. The pizza was delicious – thin crust with fluffy bubbly edges, nice cheese, great flavors. Hooray! (Sorry for the bad photo of a half eaten pizza but I was busy devouring it!)
Wow, what a month! March has flown by and been extremely busy. In February we had a little bit of downtime because of all the rain, but March has been all sunshine and a full house from beginning to end. I call it a good week if I work less than 70 hours, and finishing at 20:00 is a real treat! Today I had half a day off, which really meant 4.5 hours off – from 10 to 14:30 I stayed at home reading, cleaning, doing my nails and then doing nothing – ah! I had no day off last week (going back and fourth to BsAs for a doctor’s appointment really doesn’t count) and I won’t really have one this week either, so those hours were bliss. (If I have one more person tell me that I must be so much more relaxed working here than at the IDB, I might strangle them!)
There were two weddings this month, both of which took most or all of the hotel, which meant two or three intense days. But both groups were really nice luckily! Then there were two holiday weekends (Carnaval and Día de la Memoria, which was today), which means lots of people, and a variety of groups on weekdays and weekends alike. My favorite group came from Switzerland and was part of a real estate association book club. Interesting combo, but great people! We also had lots of polo to catch up on after the rains in February. Puh!
I guess I have to admit that I am pretty easily annoyed… And I will often start a sentence with “Lo que me da bronca es que…” or, “What really annoys me is…”. Here are a few of the things on my grouchy list:
- Argentine drivers. Sorry guys, I will lump you all into one big group of annoying drivers with no compassion for your fellow man. Today was the end of a holiday weekend so there was lots of traffic on the roads around Cañuelas. I was not going on the highway, but nobody seemed to want to let me cross, even though they were all snailing along to get on the ramp and could surely let me go through. I know I have written about this before but it really, really gets to me!
- Travel agencies. Agency bookings only constitute about 15% of our total bookings, of course they are important, and I understand why they exist, but sometimes they really annoy me. With hotels, the agency usually gets 20% commission. Fair enough, since they can reach people we may not be able to reach. (In most cases, this means 10% to the agency in Argentina and 10% to the agency in the sending country.) You’d think that this percentage would be enough, but some agencies add on a lot more on top of that. And the problem with that is that it makes our product seem much more expensive than it really is. Of course I think we offer something wonderful, but I think the actual price is the right price, and if people are paying much more, they might think “Is this all I am getting?” One example: Our Country Day is priced at USD 85 per person – this gets you a full day at the estancia with a big asado, afternoon tea, unlimited water and softdrinks, horseback riding, bikes, pool, and access to all polo games. Not a bad deal – but I have heard of agencies charging as much as USD 150 for this, and that is a lot! I also prefer the direct contact with the guests before they come – I always feel much better prepared, their expectations are managed correctly, and there are fewer surprises.
- People who tell me “You have lost weight. It suits you.” WTF? First of all, I only lost a couple of kilos from not eating meat anymore, and secondly, my previous weight was totally fine and what I have been most of my adult life. Reminds me of how at the IDB, random women I did not know would, in the bathroom, tell me I had lost weight and looked good. So weird! Personally I think complementing someone’s weight loss is only OK if you know they were actively trying to lose weight.
- The list is probably much longer but it feels pretty good having said all of this! :)
In some previous posts I wrote about Argentinos en Noruega and how there is not a whole lot of information about Norway for people from Argentina, in any language. I mentioned a blog written by an Argentinian woman in Norway, but it is no longer active. Anyway, just a day or two ago I got a comment on my blog from a women from here who has spent quite a bit of time in Norway, and who is learning Norwegian! So I have officially found my counterpart, la agentina en Noruega. Her name is Aymará and her blog is El diario de Aymará. Check it out! It is in Spanish. I especially enjoyed her post about learning Norwegian. She has a great attitude about it and it is not easy, especially since most people speak English and it is quite popular to learn Spanish right now, so there are probably people who want to practice their Spanish with.
We have already decided that we will do cross posts on our respective countries!
I wanted to write a little update on my Meatless Monday post, which I wrote after two meat free weeks in late January/early February. It has been surprisingly easy to keep going, I have mainly had meat (usually chicken) once a week, except once when I went two weeks without eating any. The non-sugar thing has been harder, but I have pretty good at that too (although a returning Belgian guest brought me some beautiful chocolates from Antwerp and I couldn’t resist eating some of them.) I have not seen any amazing increase in energy levels or the best skin of my life, but I did drop 2-3 kilos without trying at all; it was not planned but I am happy with it. I am having lots of salads, lots of avocados, a good amount of lentils, beans and chick peas/garbanzos, whole grain bread (home made and store bought, even though the one from the store really isn’t that great), some white bread, grilled and roasted vegetables, some pasta and risotto, fruits… It is hard not to eat any of the desserts when I spend 6 days a week in a hotel, but I am doing good!
It is harder when I have my day off and go to the city, so that is usually where I will have my weekly chicken, although many places have a variety of non-meat option. I stumbled upon a vegetarian restaurant in Villa Crespo with a friend, Almacen Purista, which was a nice find.
I definitely don’t consider myself vegetarian, but it has been a really good experience to cut down on meat, diary and eggs and I will continue it for as long as I am comfortable with it.
Photo from the Almacen Purista website