Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hola de Argentina




In yet another attempt to learn a foreign language (French in high school, Spanish in college and graduate school) I landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina today (January 8th) to study Spanish for two weeks. I am no linguist with my old joke being -- "I speak two languages; British and American............" due to the nearly three years I spent living in London.

This is my first trip to South America and so far I like it very much. I was having some flashbacks to my 1997 trip to Costa Rica when I studied Spanish in San Jose. Surprisingly some Spanish is returning to my little brain which is encouraging since I am about to begin this intensive course for 10 days!

After a US$20 cab ride from the airport I arrived at the Sheraton Liberador Hotel, my home base for the next two weeks. I had a nice lunch of a salad and a mini-pizza at the "Forest Hills" wine bar/pizza cafe near my hotel. The pizza was very good especially since it reminded me of the "white crust pizza" at Davanni's , a local Minnesota favorite. I will rank Forest Hills with a "3" since its location did not provide the warm, homey feel such a restaurant needs. Less picture glass windows and add a fireplace to help the decor I say but it is 95 degrees F here so a fireplace is moot!!

Following lunch I had a nice 3 hour siesta followed by a walk around the neighborhood and a trip to the hotel gym which offers an excellent view of the city from the top floor of the hotel (22nd floor). While walking around the city after my post-gym shower I couldn't help but notice that signs of the recent Argentine peso crisis/economic crisis still exist with several people sorting through garbage bags for cans to recyle it appears.

One very interesting note of the free enterprise system working but I have to get this confirmed -- the city street signs appear to be sponsored by "Personal" the wireless communications network my Blackberry is working on currently. "Personal" has a little sign/logo at the top of each street sign such as "Personal , Avenida Cordoba" where my hotel is located. If this is the case I like the idea of government services paid for this this greedy capitalist interest trying to expand its market share via some creative advertising :)

I plan to post daily reports as I get to know the city better so I hope you stayed tuned.

Hasta luego,

Todd

4 comments:

TheBoss said...

Hi...
Im an argentinian living in Panama, if you need something, just ask.
I´ll be reading your blog to see how your trip is going on...
BTW, I didn´t been in my country since a year and a half...
Enjoy it for me, will you?

Todd said...

TheBoss,

Your countrymen are very nice people. It is raining here nearly every day but I am enjoying touring. I was in Panama's San Blas Islands in 2004 which was a very relaxing tour.

Gracias, Todd

TheBoss said...

Still raining? That´s a pitty, cause you can´t enjoy the little clothes argentinian women use by this time of the year...

Where have you been so far?

TheBoss said...

Still there?

How the trip is going?