Thursday, January 28, 2010

another great weekend

This past weekend was another one of those that really makes me appreciate Argentina and the way of life here—filled with good friends, beautiful weather, delicious food, and buena onda. And yes, I realize it is now Thursday and another weekend is about to start, but oh well. It was still fun and it’s my blog so I can do what I want, damn it!

On Friday night Eli and I decided to go out for dinner since the hot weather doesn’t lend itself so much to cooking. We got dressed up and headed out to Palermo to wander around—I actually wore heels for the first time in 6 months, since I knew we wouldn’t be doing anything but eating dinner…I miss heels, but since I tower over the majority of men here without them, it’s hard for me to justify wearing them. Dang Lohr genes. We got some empanadas on the way to the restaurant, just because we came across this place Pekin that I had heard had amazing empanadas and so of course we had to try them. They were actually pretty delicious, especially the pancetta y ciruela (bacon and plum).

The resto we decided on was called El Gardelito, a little parilla place on Nicaragua and Thames, I think. We split mollejas, matambre, a small salad, and a giant pitcher of clericot. Clericot is kind of like sangria, but with white wine and lots of fresh fruit…it was amazingggggg! There was also an adorable kitten named Homero, after the Simpsons (98% of Argentines are obsessed with that show). There was much cooing and loving, since after all we are cat people now.

The next day I played soccer with the regular group in plus 100 degree heat, then ended up going up to San Isidro for the night with Eli and some of my guy friends who have an uncle with a house out there. We had a delicious asado, one of the best I’ve ever had actually, and lots of Chilean pisco. After limited sleep due to monster mosquitos and insufferable heat, I woke up early on Sunday and headed outside to take advantage of the sun and the pool. There is really nothing like an icy cold pool after 10 minutes under a blistering sun (10 minutes was all I could manage at a time...too much sweating!)

I was supposed to be playing soccer again at 3 pm, so Eli and I caught the afternoon train back to the city. At Retiro I met up with Juan, a friend from the Couchsurfing group and we went over to this park near the Costanera where we were going to meet up with everybody else. Unfortunately, the park was full and they weren’t letting any more people in—apparently all Argentines still in the city flock to the parks on the weekends in massive numbers. So Juan, Fabi, Erica, and I went instead to Parque Norte where we met up with some of Fabi’s friends. The day was beautiful with lots of sun, and even though we couldn’t get into the pool (they were only letting members in due to overcrowding) we hung out in the park area and had a great time. Later on we played a half-hearted game of soccer, in which I participated minimally being both exhausted from lack of sleep and slightly delirious from too much sun. After the game, we snuck into the pool as it was closing and jumped in for about half an hour—the perfect ending to a sweaty day.

After wandering around Belgrano for a while Juan, Fabi, Erica and I jumped in a taxi and came back to the North Hood (Barrio Norte) for some pizza and beer at Bakano (highly recommended, btw…delicious food and tranquilo atmosphere). And that was my weekend! Better late than never, eh? I feel like this weekend will be just as good too…I’ve got some fiestas planned, fútbol of course, and lots more sun and pool!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Temazo Tuesday

Oops! Forgot again. My bad. Being unemployed is so tough, I'm just so busy running around and doing important things. Like getting up at 7 to go to migraciones, forgetting my passport, having to come all the way home to get it, and then trekking back to Retiro. In the heat of the morning. Yeah.

Anyway, temazo. Today's temazo is by an Argentine band called Babasonicos and is called "Microdancing." It's catchy, and Babasonicos are/were huge here in Argie-land so one of their songs is always appropriate. The video features some interesting dance moves in an appliance store. I know. I don't get it either. It's fun though. And now I am going to sweat some more and die slowly in the late evening heat. Hasta luego.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Retiro: Picking Up a Package Part 2

Ok, here’s the second part of how to pick up a package at Correo Internacional. It’s less fun than the first part—not that the first part was fun—but at the end at least you get your package!

To edit the previous post, there is definitely a big blue Correo Argentina sign on the building, and the door you want is located to the left of the sign. Once you arrive, find the machine that gives you your number (right inside the door) and take the little slip. If your number has three digits, disregard the first digit. This is because the digital screen that displays the numbers only goes from 0 to 99, at which point it starts over again. So if you have 355, disregard the 3 because only 55 will show up on the screen. Important- if there are a lot of people waiting, someone might have the same number but with a different first digit (ie 255 to your 355). If 55 comes up on the screen, approach the counter anyway!! The other boludo might have gone for a sandwich or gotten distracted, so you could jump ahead in line…the counter people don’t care. If the other person shows up with a lower number, just say “Disculpame” and silently curse them.

The other number on the screen will be the counter/caja number (there are 4 or 5 I think). When your number is close to being called, move to the front of the group and be prepared because these people move quickly. Once your number appears on the screen, go to the booth indicated. Hand the employee your (second) notice, along with some form of identification like a copy of your passport your original passport--my roommate Eli went to pick up a package today with just a copy of her passport, was told she needed the original, and had to come alllllll the way home to get it. If you are picking up the package within 4 days of receiving the second notice, you won’t have to pay anything. After the fourth day, you will have to pay 2 pesos per day you didn’t pick it up (there is also an expiration date on the package of 30 days, after which all hell breaks loose and the contents of your treasured package are divided like booty among the CI employees).

Anyway, pay if you have to, then the booth guy will do lots of stamping, tear off a part of your notice, and give it back to you. The little piece of paper that he gives back to you will have a number on the bottom, either 5 or 6 digits, and you will have to sign off again that you received it. Then proceed to the next room, which the employee should point out to you.

Here is where it gets a little bit difficult for non-Spanish-speakers. In earlier instances, the number was displayed on a screen so you could read it and approach when called. In this room, the number is read aloud over a speaker, and you have to listen very carefully for your exact number. They will read all 6 digits, and to make it even harder, different people read the numbers every time, some of who speak ridiculously quickly and apparently with their mouths full of cotton. It’s rough. If your Spanish is a little rusty/nonexistent, I would recommend going with someone who does speak Spanish so they can help you.

*Alternatively, you could cheat a little and just get up whenever, go through the door at the front of the room to where they hand out the packages, and show them your slip saying “No español” or something. I know people who have done this and they get their packages right away. It’s up to you.

If you decide to wait it out or if you speak Spanish, they will call your number eventually and you will go through the little unassuming door at the front of the room. Hand the person your slip and they will give you your package or direct you down to the other end of the room to pick it up. Once you have it in hand, you can head out, signing for the thing one more time on the way out.

And that’s it! Yay package! Again, be careful when heading home, especially in Retiro—a foreigner with an awkward package to carry makes a good target, so keep an eye on your stuff. I have another good Retiro how-to coming up, for those of us who have been here for a while and need to make the dreaded Migraciones trip for an extension of the tourist visa—I went today and it was an experience. Retiro and I are now BFF and I get 90 more days in la Argentina, score.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Retiro: Picking Up a Package

Hi! So, I recently got a sweet comment from someone complimenting me on the blog and saying that my how-to stuff on colectivos/paying bills was really helpful, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Then I went and took a cold shower because warm and fuzzy isn’t the ideal state to be in on 37 degree days (that’s Celsius people aka 98.6 degrees F). Anyway, it also kind of made me feel bad, because I haven’t posted anything similar recently and I should—almost every day I do something new or have some novel experience that might help others who are planning to come here for extended stays.

One of the more important things I learned during the past few months is how to pick up international packages at Retiro, because who doesn’t love packages?! Yes, the holidays are over now so it’s a little less relevant, but I’ll post about it anyway, just because I can. So there.

First, to get a package, you must have someone send you a package. I recommend emailing or calling all family members and dedicated friends and whining about how you miss peanut butter or how the candy bars here just aren’t the same as a good old Reese’s PB cup. Hopefully they’ll get the hint. If not, don’t be afraid to just come out and demand that they send something—after all, you’re the one who moved all the way to South America, alone, broke, and looking for adventure!

Once said package is en route, you can expect to wait anywhere from a few days to forever (unfortunately) for your package to arrive. In general, unless it gets lost in the mail or detained at customs, you should receive a notice saying that you have a package within two or three weeks. This notice will be a little square of paper slipped under your door or left with the porter and will tell you that you have to go to the nearest post office location to pick up (retirar) your package. It should list the post office that’s closest to your house--Argentina is helpful like that.

However, this notice is a lie! Well, sometimes. Depending on the size of your package, they might actually have it waiting for you at the post office, but if your package is decently sized, it will have gone to the Correo Internacional. Take your notice to the post office location listed, and look for an area that says “Para retirar encomiendas/paquetes” or something similar (if you don’t see any obvious signs, just ask someone using the same phrase above). Depending on the location, the place for picking up packages will be separate from the main area where people are sending letters, etc. At my post office on Puerreydon (between Santa Fe and Charcas) the place for picking up packages is on the left hand side as you walk in. You will have to take a number and wait until it is called or appears on a little digital screen. Oh, and get used to those screens, there’s more where this one comes from.

When your number is called, approach the window and hand your notice to the lovely Correo employee, who will do lots of stamping, etc, then hopefully disappear and return with your package. However, the odds of this happening are slim. More than likely you will receive another piece of paper saying that your package is being held for you at the Correo Internacional in Retiro, and that you must go there and get it if you want to see it alive. The Correo employee will have you sign off that you got the new notice and then you’re good to go.

Unfortunately, the Correo Internacional is only open between 10 and 5 Monday through Friday, which makes it hard for people who have regular jobs. The address is on the new notice you will receive (Letonia y Avenida Antartida), which to be honest doesn’t really help because the streets in that part of Retiro are, as we would say in Castellano, jodidas. Unless you can take a taxi there, going by bus or Subte is the best way.

Using your handy Guia-T you can find a bus that will take you to Retiro—there are tons of them. Or, take the Subte (C-line) towards Retiro. If you take the Subte, get off the train and walk out to the main area, following the hordes of people because believe me, there will be hordes. Take the staircase farthest to the right (next to the shady food place) to go up and out of the station, and then keep walking straight for about 4 blocks. You will pass the train station and then the microbus station on your left. Keep your hand on your bag and walk with a purpose—Retiro is notorious as a place for getting robbed. When you come to the end of the main drag, you will be facing Avenida Antartida, a wide street that runs diagonally. Cross the street and head to the right.

You’ll see two or three buildings on your left, and I’m pretty sure one says Correo Internacional on it. If not, aim for the middle of the buildings, pass through a little gate, and you should see a line/mass of people waiting outside a door. This is Correo Internacional.

I’ll post the second part of this tomorrow—I didn’t realize it was going to be such a long post, but picking up a package definitely takes some explaining. It’s worth it though, especially if the sender really loves you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Update on My Life

I've been a bad blogger. I haven't updated in forever. After receiving a helpful reminder from dear mother to update my damn blog already (thanks mama), I feel bad. Life has just been so hectic lately, I haven't had the time to write anything, let alone think any deep thoughts. But still, no excuses. So here's a brief overview of my life for those who are dying to know!

First, job scene = jobless AGAIN. I knew when I went into this job (doing marketing for a software company) that it was a trial period, because the company currently has no marketing whatsoever and my boss wanted to be sure I could do the things he needed done. Needless to say, I had my reservations. I have no marketing background, no experience, and no training in marketing, formal or otherwise. So, I decided I would give it my best shot and see what happened. Last thursday I got the axe, although in the nicest way possible, which was a pleasant change compared to the completely immature and a-hole way my previous employer dealt with the situation. My boss called me in and said that while he thought I was very inteligent and capable, he wanted someone with actual marketing experience in the position--quite understandably. He went on to say that he really liked me and still wanted me to work for the company, but that there were no open positions that he could give me at the moment. So, when a position opens up, he is going to call me, to which  I said I would be glad to come back and work for him.

In the meantime, I applied to a few things, and went on an interview today with a really nice girl, so we'll see how that goes. At this point going home is even less of an option--I have a new life here, new friends...I have a cat for goodness sake! I'm enjoying every minute of living here, and I'm learning so much about myself and about the world as I go. For example, yesterday I learned that cats have a body temperature of about 102 degrees, and when said animal is draped around your neck in 95 degree heat and 100 percent humidity, my patience hits an all time low.

In other news, the city is still empty...everyone is on vacation for the next two months, and the streets are strangely quiet (ish...I don't think BA will ever be "quiet"). I am playing soccer three times a week now with the boys--there's a pretty solid group of regulars at this point, and new people always show up, so that's super fun. I didn't know how much I missed playing until I started again, and now I can't get enough! We've been trying to get a group together to play on a big field outside, instead of the smaller indoor 6v6 we usually play on, so we'll see how that goes...I might collapse from exhaustion! Although, I am definitely getting in shape again--it's hard not to when playing soccer three times a week and not eating in an effort to save money! I also bought some fresh new kicks to play in, the running shoes weren't cutting it. Oh, and my legs are covered in bruises and scrapes from the violent chicos...they know who they are!

I am excitedly awaiting my mom's trip down here at the end of February...I can't wait to show her my city and let her see exactly why I love it so much here. I am currently arming a list of everything I need her to bring down for me, including more of my clothes and shoes, electronics, bakeware, and of course, peanut butter! Before then I want to visit Benja (old roommate/owner of the apartment) down south in Esquél when he gets some time off from giving fly-fishing tours, and I'm also planning on visiting my current roommate Eli at the beach (Villa Gesell) sometime in February as well. Unless I find a job, of course, in which case it's back to work!

The cat is fine, still meowing insufferably at inopportune hours and pouncing on anything that moves. But his little face is too cute, and he sleeps curled up at my feet, so we have so far refrained from hurling him off the balcony.

So, in sum, life is still good! There have been some ups and downs, but honestly, even the downs don't seem like downs. They're more like tiny clouds in an otherwise perfectly blue sky. Shine on, BA, shine on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Temazo Tuesday

I loooove Third Eye Blind. Yes, that old band from the 90's. They are AWESOME! I've been listening to them a lot recently, and 5 of their songs are in my Top 50 Most Played on iTunes so it was just a matter of time before they made it onto Tuesday Temazo. Some of their songs are pretty well-known, but there are so many more that never got any radio airtime and that are sooooo good! I'll put two up today, one that's more popular and another one that's less so, but both are great. Awesome chill-out music and interesting lyrics, I highly recommend 3EB. Enjoy!

"Semi-Charmed Life"

"Slow Motion"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small Town

Yesterday on the way home from work two boys got on my bus. I remember them because they were both holding stacks of hot pink brochures, probably for a "massage parlor" or something equally enticing, and one of them was wearing a hat that had gold dollar signs printed all over it. Yeah, it was ballin. Anyway, I saw them again today! I was on the bus on the way to work, and saw the guy wearing the money hat and holding the pink slips of paper walking down this random street. It was weird, and I kind of wanted to yell out the window and be like “Che, I remember you! I stared at your hat for about 10 minutes wondering where such a ghettolicious object could be purchased and trying to see what you were handing out that required such obnoxiously pink paper!” But I didn’t.

Also, I’m starting to know the drivers of the 106 colectivo, my trusty ride to and from work every day--lovely bus, white with red, blue, and green stripes; big-ass 106 on the front so you can actually read it, not like some other ones (ahem 62 with your damn neon light number that no one can read until you’re 10 feet away). Today I got on at my usual stop and the driver asked me if lived in Flores. I said no, but that I worked out there and he said that he thought he had seen me out there before. At first I thought it was blatant chamuyo (classic Argentine sweet-talking), but then he proceeded to name the streets of the stop where I wait every day after work. Again, WEIRD. I guess taking the same bus day after day means I’m bound to see some of the same drivers every once in a while.

And now for a cat update. I feel like this blog has degenerated into the Cat Chronicles…I’ll work on that, I promise. He doesn’t have herpes, phew, but the vet (conveniently located 5 doors down from me) gave us some drops to put in his eye to clear it up. So hopefully that works because I’m tired of looking at his crusty face, and I’m sure he’s tired of me constantly sticking my finger in his eye. In other news, he still cries, still chews my hair, still leans off the balcony, still wakes me up in the morning (although its more like 6 am now) by pouncing on my feet and biting my big toe. He has figured out how to open the trashcan, enjoys sitting on my bedside table and swatting things off of it, and scratches my mattress. Oh, and an awesome new trick he learned is opening the broiler to the oven and sitting inside it. One of these days someone’s going to accidentally cook the little brat…it’s all fun and games until someone broils my kitten.

*Note: I wrote this at work to post tonight, and on the bus home, I SAW DOLLAR BILLZ HAT KID AGAIN! Either he's stalking me or he really really likes the 106.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Temazo: Speaking of hot...

Oh Jim Morrison. The hair. The voice. The talent. Can you say SEXY? I can. The Doors are great, of course, and Jim just adds to the sweet sweet music with his ridiculous sex appeal. Thus I present "Touch Me" by The Doors. Great sax at the end, excellent organ as always, hot lyrics, and Jim with maracas. It's love. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

So. Damn. Hot.

I’ve figured out why Argentines stay out so late at night: it’s too damn hot to do anything during the day besides lay in front of a fan and moan pitifully. Unless you have aircon (and most people, including myself, do not), it’s just unbearable. Thus, night becomes THE time to do things. After about 10 or 11 pm, it finally cools off a bit and you can breathe without feeling like you’re being smothered by a hot, wet blanket. Sitting outside on a terrace or going for a walk is infinitely more pleasurable at 1 am than at 1 pm. When most people in other countries would be going to bed, Argentines are still doing their normal activities--going to the gym, playing f'útbol, walking the dog, having a cup of coffee.

After being here for almost 6 months, I’ve completely adjusted to this schedule. On a normal weekday I can’t fall asleep before 1 or 2 am, and on the weekends a good night will end at 7 or 8 am. To think that some people in the States (hi Dad!) go to sleep at 8 pm is insane…I don’t even get off work until 8 pm!

In other news, I think my cat has herpes. Cat herpes is apparently very common in young gatitos, and I think Traguito’s got it. He has gross stuff in one eye and he when he squints up at me it’s the saddest thing. Then he opens his mouth and starts meowing, and all sense of sympathy goes out the window. Loud-ass cat. Might throw him out the window. Just kidding! It's all love, I swear. Anyway, I've just been told off for not playing with him, so I'm off to placate the monster with some shiny ribbon or my ankles.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Resto Review: Hsiang Ting Tang

Despite my previous dining experience in Barrio Chino that was less than stellar (see here), I went back last weekend for another try. This time, success! Maybe the key is actually getting Chinese food in Barrio Chino as opposed to Thai food. Makes sense.

On Saturday night I went with Eli and her friend Beth to a restaurant called Hsiang Ting Tang (Arribeños 2245) for dinner, for no special reason. We wandered around the ‘hood for a little while looking at different places, and chose this one based on the “onda” it appeared to have…it’s a cute place with typical Chinese resto decorations (bamboo, ink paintings, paper lanterns), but the ambience is nice and it’s pretty spacious.

To start we got an order of steamed dumplings, which were very good and came with two sauces, a soy sauce and a spicy sauce that was actually spicy…you could even see the red pepper flakes that made it hot. Then we decided to just order three dishes and share them, so we could try lots of different things. After much deliberation we decided on General Tso’s chicken (which here is actually more of a sweet and sour chicken), vegetable chow mein, and a tofu dish. They were all really good, especially the noodles and the chicken—we managed to polish off all three pretty quickly, despite the portions being quite hefty! For drinks we split a bottle of white wine, which was also delicious and much-needed after a long and hot day.

The prices are a little high for basic Chinese food, but nothing ridiculous…about 28-50 for a main dish depending on what you get, and 8-20 for an appetizer, of which they had quite a few. For some reason they didn’t bring out the exact wine we ordered, but at least they got the type right. The service was good, and our waitress was very pleasant. All in all I would say a nice place to go for a good meal: great food, reasonable prices, nice space. I recommend it! (Guia Oleo review here)

After dinner we walked to the Persicco in Las Cañitas, aka the best ice cream place ever! Actually, I’m not sure if it’s the best place ever, since I haven’t been to all the ice cream places in the city (although I’m working on it…), but it’s the best I’ve had so far. Chocolate amargo y dulce de leche casera con brownie YUM!

And now here’s a picture of Traguito, in one of his favorite places: between my comforter and the comforter cover. He likes to get in there and thrash around, I have no idea why. Strange cat.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Temazo Tuesday

Today's Temazo was a tough choice. There are so many things going on right now that are potential Temazo themes: the holidays, a new year, my roommate Eli's birthday, a new kitten. I considered a Christmas song for a while, and then I thought about going the cat route and doing "Mean-Eyed Cat" by Johnny Cash (great song). We gonna party like it's ya birfday was a serious contender in honor of Eli's big day, but in the end I chose something classic, timeless, and epicly appropriate. I present:

"Summer in the City" by Lovin' Spoonful, one of my all-time favorite groups. "HOT TOWN summer in the city, back of my neck gettin dirty n gritty"...couldn't have said it better myself. It is sweltering here. As a bonus, check out the mutton-chops on the don't see those every day!!

Monday, January 4, 2010


Meet the newest member of my Argentine family! Full name Fernet, Trago Nacional aka Tragito. He joined our household last night, and he’s here to stay, provided he doesn’t fall off the balcony.

I wish I could say that after a long and thought out process of deliberation, I finally decided to get a cat. However, life doesn’t quite work out that smoothly. Yesterday evening my roommate Eli informed me that someone had posted on BAExpats that they had drunkenly picked up a cat outside the bar Sugar and taken him home. Said borracho soon realized upon sobering up that having a cat was not ideal and began looking for someone to take him. I had been considering getting a cat, but always with a “Well, I’ll think about it some more and then decide” kind of attitude.

Well, Eli set up a meeting for us with the cat-nabber that very night. We showed up at the apartment and met Kitty, and OH MY GOODNESS was he cute!!! He’s all black, but with a little salt n peppa action going on. Green eyes, HUGE ears, and gangly legs…swoon! We made the appropriate inquiries (male, no apparent fleas, probably 12-16 weeks old), and then Eli and I went to discuss names over drinks at Casa Bar and dinner at Cumaná (review coming soon!)


On our way home we called Sir Cat Snatcher and told him we’d take him!! He came down to our cab with little Gatito in hand, plus some food and litter, plonked him on my lap, and then we were off! We made it back to the apartment with no problems, and Tragito promptly began exploring every corner of the place with typical kittenish curiosity, including the balcony (immediate heart attack on my part: 5th floor balcony plus silly kitten = disaster).

Bottom line: he is very adorable. He is also very friendly, which for me is a huge must, because I’ve had bad experiences with mean cats. I don’t think I could handle a cat that wasn’t affectionate (I take it personally), but luckily Tragito is possibly the nicest cat in the history of the world. I mean, he was yanked off the street by a drunk person, transported in a taxi to one apartment, then shipped off again to another apartment, all without use of a carrier, treats, etc, and he remains completely unfazed by it all.

He spent last night spazzing around the apartment with various ribbons and balls of newspaper, then at bedtime settled down on my bed for about 4 hours. At 4 am he woke up, decided it was playtime again and started chewing on my knee, at which point I profaned and flung him off the bed with my sheet. After that I don’t know where he went, until 7 am when he reappeared, leaping onto the bed about 6 inches from my face and scaring the mierda out of me. Seriously, I don’t think my heart has ever beat that loudly or quickly in my life. 

His attention span is about 2.4 seconds, and chews anything that moves including shoelaces, dresses, hair, ribbons, comforters, curtains, tiny Christmas tree ornaments. Apparently he slept all day today while I was at work, which is comforting…he won’t always be skitzing out and chewing my hair.

Anyway, Eli and I are very happy to have him in the apartment, and I’m glad we got to give a home to a little kitty that needed one. He isn’t super photogenic, but I’ll try to get some more shots of him that convey his lanky cuteness!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Drinking in BA

"Vamos a tomar algo?" It's the phrase you hear all the time here in BA, the ubiquitous and seemingly innocent suggestion that covers oh so many sins, and that translates loosely to "Shall we go for a drink?"

Yesterday on the bus home I heard someone say it, and it got me thinking (because thinking is just something you do on buses, along with sweating and staring)...Argentines have weird drinking habits. For example, drinking beer, or anything really, out of jars instead of cups. Also, drinking red wine with Coke (called "jote"). What is THAT all about?

Then we have milk in a bag. (Not to be confused with yogurt in a bag.) And there's mate, which is a perfectly normal, traditional drink, enjoyed by most Argentines and many other people as well, including myself. Totally understandable. A little less understandable is the continued mate obsession into the hot summer months. Scalding hot drink on a hundred degree day? Sure, why not!

But along with the weird habits are some pretty delicious ones, Gancia being one, Fernet being another. Fresh squeezed orange juice from street vendors. Una cervecita bien fría. Malbec, Torrontes, Syrah. Café, in every shape and form. SUBMARINOS (hot milk into which you submerge a bar of chocolate until it melts, good lord I want one NOW). Grapefruit everything. Tap water you can actually drink (can't say the same about Delaware!) Old men toting thermoses everywhere they go, just in case the mood for a mate should strike them. Enjoying a liter of Stella in Plaza Serrano, or a bottle of red at an asado in Pilar...

Now I'm thirsty :-)