I like symmetry so I would have preferred to write posts on my 3, 6 and 9 month “anniversaries”, but I’ll settle for five (read about it here) and eight. I am celebrating my eight months in Argentina with a self-diagnosed sinus infection and a lovely fever. So if this seems incoherent, well, it’s because it is. I rarely get a fever and I rarely get colds but have been knocked out all week. After a third night of poor sleep because of intense head and sinus pain, I decided to take advantage of something that I am completely against: the possibility to buy antibiotics without a prescription. I googled “best antibiotic for sinus infection”, google told me Amoxicillin, 500mg twice a day for ten days, and I simply asked my co-worker to pick some up. Voila! Then I called my mom and sister to get their health care approval and swallowed the first pill.
I am too lazy/out of it to show sources, but we all know that resistance to antibiotics is a big problem, including in Latin America, and that lax laws on how to obtain said antibiotics contribute to this problem. People end up taking them when they don’t have an infection, or only buy a few pills, or not finish a prescribed course, or pop a few pills they have left over from a previous illness. Not good! Yet, I knew that if I went to the doctor they would not take any tests or do any cultures, so I decided to self-diagnose and self-medicate. Hope I did the right thing!
So, eight months. I have yet to do the things I wrote in March that I would do, like traveling. I have now been here for a looong time and not seen anything apart from Cañuelas and Buenos Aires! Not good. But I do know the city much better, and love exploring new parts of it. I am a much better driver now, and can even drive in the city. I have more friends, including a nice group of friends that I do slightly more intellectual things with, like seeing foreign films, going to museums and discussing politics, when I need a break from the countryside. We’ve had some lovely people in the hotel, including a fantastic group from Air France/KLM that took the whole hotel for a few days earlier in the month.
I still need to keep up with the news better. Yes, I read the news online and enjoy reading them on paper with a breakfast of medialunas in a nice cafe, but I want to really be on top of what is happening – although it is not easy here! I would like to write more about politics and economics, not just snapshots of food.
The peso has weakened considerably since I came, both on the official and black markets. The official rate has gone from 4.7 til 5.4 and the black market or blue dollar from 6 to 10 and down to 8 or so. You notice the inflation in constant price increases.
I have become great at taking the bus around Buenos Aires – the bus system is vast and cheap and a wonderful way to move around. Very subsidized still, and the mayor’s effort at rising the prices are always met with vehement opposition from the president.
Oh well, this was quite the mix of stuff but I will write something more coherent when I feel better!