sandisinba

Last year, I spent my summer living, studying and traveling in Buenos Aires, Argentina and around South America. Some of you wanted me to tell you all about my adventures.Some of you just wanted to see my pictures. And me. I just want to talk about the food.

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This blog is now done, but if you want, you can read about my summer below.

Esta blog se terminó, pero, si quieras, podés leer sobre mi verano abajo.

Well, this is my last post for this blog. Its really the end. Its over.

One week later, and I’m not sitting in a hostel, I’m not waiting for some stranger to finish up in the shower, I’m not walking around aimlessly trying to figure out where I am or what I’m about to eat. Strangely, I’m home.

Or am I?

No sé dondé está mi hogar. Quizás está acá, en los EEUU, en Texas.

Maybe its in Canada.

Or Buenos Aires.

Or in DC.

Or maybe I’ve come to realize that I’m the kind of person who makes my home in the moment, where I am at that very instant.

For me, people make my home. Which is why I think Argentina feels like one of my many homes. The people I met there (and yes, the food too) are why I’m sitting in my cozy bed, missing Argentina.

The people I met in Argentina changed my life. From the friends I made in my IFSA-Butler study abroad program, to all the people I met during my travels, each person helped me open my eyes to the world that is outside of my 600 square-foot dorm room in Washington, D.C.

Buenos Aires. Mendoza. Colón. Rosario. Tigre.

This is where I say thank you to everyone I met in all of these wonderful places.

Gracias a todas las personas que conocí durante este verano (o invierno jaja quizás esta palabra es mejor porque estamos charlando sobre suramerica, no?). En serio, (en las palabras de Che Guevara) “No soy yo.” Soy… una persona diferente.

La Sandi cambiada. Y pienso que es mejor. Y es porque ustedes me ayudan cambiar. Por lo mejor. Necesitaba cambiar. Y yo cambié. Mucho. Por lo menos, puedo hablar en castellano ahora, no?

Gracias a cada persona que tuvo la paciencia dejarme hablar en castellano (a veces, malo castellano) sobre cualquier cosa. Nunca voy a olvidarte, o nuestra conversación(es).

Por favor, charla conmigo en facebook, okey? Y, gracias a vos, puedo escribir eso en castellano ahora, mas o menos.

Thank you for people who made me go out dancing on a Thursday night (something a catholic school girl would never do in a million years). Thank you for people who told me to eat the extra ice cream scoop, buy the funky t-shirt and let me get them lost on the crazy Argentina bus system. For all the failed going out nights, and crazy boliche dance parties, I thank you for the funnest summer of my life.

Gracias a las personas que me ayudaron con direcciones en las calles. A el chico en el kiosco que me dijo probar Paso de Toros y Cachafaz alfajores. A todos los chicos que me dejaron sentarme en el subte y el colectivo.

Hay un montón de gente que necesito dar gracias a… pero… no hay suficiente tiempo.

Argentina was wonderful. My friends from there are wonderful. My host family was wonderful. , I miss the culture, the piropos en las calles, los alfajores, Fruitgran galletitas, Sedel champú... but that miss will go away after I re-adjust to living in America.

But the missing of people… I don’t think that will ever change.

Pienso que dije esto antes de ahora… pero, por alguna razón, siento re comóda en Argentina. Y no puedo decir por qué. There are few places that I have been where I feel so comfortable in the culture, with the people. And that is why I will go back.

I don’t really feel like its an option. Es la realidad. Después de mi carrera… voy a volver allá. Necesito volver.

Somehow, querida Argentina, you captured my heart. You changed my soul. You helped me grow.

Y quiero decir gracias.

Chau. Un beso. Dale. Chau Chau.

Yesterday was my last day in Buenos Aires, Argentina and South America.

Sadly, my plans to go out dancing the night before with Anna were a complete bust. We slept through the alarm I set to wake up after our post-dinner nap, which was a bit disappointing, seeing as I would’ve liked to spend my last night out on the town. But at least I’m well-rested for my journey back to the EE.UU.

During the day Anna and I went and had coffee with my host mom, Ivette, one more time in her little apartment in Palermo.

Fue raro parar mi, para despidir ella. A la ciudad. A castellano. A mi hostel…Not that I’m going to miss our hostel in Palermo. Let’s just say it was a bit unique. The wall paintings were definitely not my idea of interior decorating, and they had an in-house dog that had an unusual fettish for eating my shoes.

Esta me molesta un poquito, pero…

Ayer estaba tranqui. After coffee, Anna and I did a bit of last minute shopping, buying alfajores, postcards, etc. Then, I caught a cab to the airport con dos chicas de Francia.

And now, I’m sitting in the airport, I don’t think its truely hit me. That I’m actually done. I’m back in the land of English. I’m going back to the USA.

I’m not quite sure I’m ready for this, and tengo miedo… porque… me voy a extranar Argentina. En serio. No se que va a pasar. I’ve just grown to love everything. I’m accostumed to buying alfajores and Paso de Toro whenever I want. I like my cafe con dos azucares con tres medialunas. Me encanta bailar a la musica de reggaeton y salsa. Me encanta cantar rock nacional.

Some how, in the midst of this summer (or winter actually) I’ve fallen in love with Argentina. And I can’t really explain why. Es que… siento super comoda alla. Mas que en los EEUU o en Canada. Y no puedo decirte por que. No entiendo porque.

But anyway, enough reflection for now, I’m saving that for my last post.

In the meantime, I will continue to sit in the Miami airport, in denial, listening to rock nacional, pretending that I’m not actually leaving for good. But I’m not actually leaving for good right? I’m going back. Eventually.

And don’t worry Argentina, I’ve already cried for you in the Buenos Aires airport. Everyone looked at me and wondered what the hell was wrong with the rubia crying over her submarino en el rincon.

Besos.

Yesterday Anna and I spent the day in Tigre, a neighborhood on the river about 1.5 hours outside of Buenos Aires.

We took the #60 bus from Palermo all the way to Tigre, which was a bit of hike (90 minutes of travel time), but considering it only cost about 50 cents US (aka $2 pesos), it was worth the pain. We hung out in Tigre all day; strolling along the river, grabbing a tasty bite to eat and checking out the Mate Museum, which was increíble!

Obviously after the mate museum we decided to drink some mate too!

When it got dark, we headed back to Buenos Aires, and went for a delicious parilla (argentina bbq) dinner that was incredible. Word to the wise— don’t go to sleep after you eat asado. You won’t wake up, even if you set an alarm.

Packing for now.

Besos.

Right now, I’m sitting in our hostel in Palermo Soho en BsAs. Its a bit of a dejavu moment for me. I can’t believe that these are my last three days in suramerica… que raro.

Last night, despite the utmost effort to get dressed up and salir, Anna and I decided to stay in for the night, eat pizza, drink cafe y mate and chat with the two guys who are recepcionistas at our hostel, which turned out to be a very fun, chill night with alot of good Spanish practice.

Our bus back to Buenos Aires in the morning left at 7:15 a.m., and we slept the entire way back, or at least I did, I can’t really speak for Anna! Once we got into Buenos Aires, we checked into our hostel, changed and grabbed lunch at this delicious mexican food taqueria cerca del hostel, se llama La fabrica del Taco.

Now. Ladies and gents. For a Texan to say that these were good tacos… it means, they were good tacos. See, spicy DOES exist in Argentina!

After lunch, we hopped on the subte and headed to do some sightseeing in the Microcenter/San Telmo area. We stopped by the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada and the Cathedral Nacional. We also walked all around San Telmo and found my favorite graffitti phrase, "Y vos, que haces?," on some of the street walls. We also went to the Congreso building, but the magnificent fountian wasn’t working. Que triste.

Now, Anna is taking a nap, and I’m writing to you.

Today I was thinking about some of the weird things that Argentinians do, or rather some of the oddities I’ve noticed while being here. So I’ve decided to make a list.

1. No tirar el papel en el inodoro… really? Isn’t toilet paper designed to dissolve? I don’t get places that have this sign in thier bathrooms.

2. Lavar, secar, y perfume? My laundry really doesn’t need perfume smellyness. But thanks though?

3. Stray dogs and cats. Some people really like them. I just think they all have rabies.

4. Not eating on the go. See, I like this one, but God forbid I want to snack and walk. But with ice cream, its okay?

5. Girls with really REALLY long hair. REALLY long. And it looks so healthy too! I’m jealous.

6. Papas fritas are a go-to snack. With everything.

7. What, its 5? You want to leave the club? You’re tired? I still haven’t adjusted to staying up to party until 7am like the Argentinians do.

8. En Buenos Aires, the bus system is horrible. WHERE ARE THE STOPS?

9. Piropos. When I look nice, sure, okay. But when I’m rocking the sweats, please don’t tell me I look pretty.

10. In case you were wondering, roller blades have made a come-back in Argentina.

11. The Gap is always stylish here.

This picture pretty much sums it all up:

Besos!

Since the last time I wrote, Anna and I have gotten out and about to see a bunch of the different things the city of Rosario has to offer. Think food, coffee and ice cream :)

On Thursday (yesterday) we woke up, went for respective workouts and then grabbed some lunch. After lunch, we went to see the city’s Cathedral, Che Guevara’s birth home and the Monumento de La Bandera.

We paid $4 pesos to take an elevator up to the top of the monument, which gave us a sky-eye view of the wonderful city of Rosario. The river, buildings and parks were truly incredible from a few hundred feet in the air.

We came back to our awesome hostel, took a nap, and went and grabbed some dinner. Of course, we went out for the night, and everyone was strangely fascinated by our yankiness.

I think for some reason in Rosario they don’t see as many Americans as Buenos Aires. Or maybe its just because its not the high tourist season right now. I mean, it is the middle of the winter here, right?  Who knows. Que se yo?

Today, we slept, and slept, and slept! I woke up super sore from my intense circuit workout from yesterday, which made it a bit difficult to get out of bed.

Eventually we got our butts out of bed, grabbed some lunch, and went to see Rosario’s big park and one of the fútbol stadiums in the city. We’ve been super lucky with the weather here, en serio, el tiempo cada dia es lindo. Cerca de 15 degrados, seco… perfecto para turistas!

Despues de un camino en el parque, fuimos al museo de bellas artes, que, en realidad fue un museo de artes… raros. Interesante… pero no mi tipo de arte. At least it only costed about $1US dollar to enter!

After the museo, we stumbled upon an ice cream store that we had been looking for during our entire trip here! Buen Humor… que RICO! En serio, we had a banana split… and now, sitting here, I don’t think I need to eat dinner.

My impression of Rosario after spending 3 days here are all positive. The people are super nice. The food is… noms. I really enjoy being in a city that isn’t as massive as Buenos Aires.

I think that it really helps you get a better feel of what Argentina and argentines are actually like. It sorta of struck me the same way Mendoza did: smaller town and friendlier people.

The city definatley isn’t as poppin’ as Buenos Aires, but in its own right, Rosario has plenty to do.

I would definitely say, pasa tiempo aca si tengas el tiempo.

Anyways, I should go be productive. Or maybe not. Here, I’ve grown to appreciate not being productive for every moment of my life, and that’s something I will definitely bring back with me to the USA in a few days.

I can hardly believe that my trip here is coming to an end. We are going back to Buenos Aires tomorrow, spending Sunday in el Tigre, and I leave for the states on Monday night, late.

What happened to the time? No quiero volver a los estados (aunque tengo muchas ganas pasar tiempo con mis amigos y mi familia… SUPER emocionada hacer eso).

Por lo menos… tengo ganas de volver a Argentina.

But no more sad talk, I’m here for 3 more days. And voy a pasarlos super bien!

Besos.

Hola. From Rosario, Entre Rios.

After getting on our freakishly late bus (which left at 1:20 a.m from Colón) we arrivedin Rosario yesterday morning en la madrugada. The darkness of the morning didn’t give us an idea of what the city really looked like, and we were very tired despite sleeping all five hours on the bus, so we grabbed some medialunas and hustled over to our hostel to grab some shut-eye before starting our first day in the city.

Nuestra hostel se llama la comunidad hostel, y es increiiiible! Las pantallas son pintadas con colores increibles y, el mejor parte, nuestra cuarto es para 12 personas…. pero solamente hay nosotras dos!

The kitchen/bar is cute and the bathroom…. is CLEAN! Such a nice change! And, its only 45$ pesos a night, per person. Win. Victory. All of the above.

After checking in and sleeping until 10:30 (and eating breakfast #2) we went for a nice long run/workout to work off all some calories and t to know the city a bit better. We ran all along the waterfront, through the city, did a killer ab workout in a park and ran stairs.

Needless to say, hoy, me duele el cuerpo jaja. I think Anna is going to run again today… but our hostel has weights, so I think you know what I’m going to do.

During our run, we stopped by the Monumento de la Bandera, which is Argentina’s monument to thier flag. Its pretty… but at the same time quite ominous.

The Argentina flag designer, Belgrano, is also buried underneath… a bit morbid if you ask me. And yes, in the picture here, I KNOW I WAS WEARING A CHILE SHIRT, OKAY? Not my fault. Well, maybe a little bit.

After our run, we showered, ate lunch, and set out to walk around the city. This turned into shopping time though… But don’t worry, we were very frugal in our spending. After shopping we worked up an appetite, so we grabbed a snack of cafe con medialunas, went back for a cat nap and ate an incredible parilla (Argentine bbq) dinner.

We were super tired after all this… so we slept like babies. And today… who knows?

Chau. Besos.

Hola. Otra, otra vez.

Ahora, estamos esperando por nuestra bus a Rosario… pero no salimos hasta 1:20 a.m. Entonces, tengo tiempo escribir por un rato otra vez, pero esta tiempo es sobre nuestra tiempo aca en Colon.

If I could say one thing about Colón is that… I would LOVE to visit here in the summer. But because it is winter, because it is the off-season, and Argentine people have school, work and lives to tend to, the town is a bit slow. But I can imagine that during the summers, this sleepy little town is completely different.

Besides the fact that we are here during the off-season, its actually been a pretty plea sent day. A very nice slow down from the bustle of the busy Buenos Aires life to say the least.

Our bus left the Retiro terminal in Buenos Aires a las 7, pero estaba un poquito tarde. Pero no me importa, porque nuestras sillas fueron camas. Not semi camas, pero CAMAS!

Totally by accident. And when you’re paying $25US to go to a different town, and you’re expecting to be sardined into coach for 5 hours, and you recieve a CAMA… well… its just called travelling in style.

After 5 hours of beautiful, restful sleep in our camas, we arrived in Colón. Almost immediately after we got here though, we poked around and decided that one day here would be plenty, and bought our tickets to Rosario.

After finalizing our travel plans, we walked around the city in the gorgeous 70 degree weather, ate lunch, walked along the beach and took a long nap in the sun. It was a perfect day in the quiet.

We also stopped by to look at the town’s famous thermas, pero, porque no tenemos nuestras trajes de banos… no podemos entrar. Pero pienso que las termas fueron super lindas!

After our walking adventure, we parked in a cafe for a few hours to have a snack and catch up on emails from families and friends. And after that, we went for supper, where I’m sitting now.

All in all, it was a lovely day… but I’m ready to go back to a city.  Civilization!

Besos.

P.D. Happy Birthday to my dad, you are the best and I hope you are having a wonderful day!

Hola otra vez.

Okey. Entonces. Despues de mis padres salieron, el proxima dia, en la tarde… ANNA LLEGO ACA EN BUENOS AIRES!

I spent the whole day before she got here walking around, being bored and moving my things to a different hostel in Recoleta where we would be staying for a few days. Around 4 p.m., I hopped in a cab to go to the Ezieza airport (one of the two airports in Buenos Aires) to pick up Anna, who has been traveling around South America for the past few weeks.

Needless to day, we had a very loud, obnoxious reunion in the airport, which, I’m pretty sure, scared a bunch of people, but that doesn’t matter. Ratpack reunited. ><

At the baggage claim, Anna made a friend, Paúl (pa-oo-l) who is from Bolivia. Paúl was coming to Buenos Aires for a two-week course, and didn’t have a hostel reservation, so Anna and I decided to shared a cap to the city centro with Paúl and help him find a place to stay for the night.

 

After freshening up, we all decided to go for supper at an Italian place (YUM!) and then to see the famous Ateneo bookstore. Afterwards, we went to a bar in Palermo for drinks before going to a boliche se llama Lost (aka Club Arroaz).

The bar we went to after dinner had a really interesting atmostsphere, and a beer made of wheat, something I’d never had before, so that was delicious, interesting and new!

After the bar, we originally tried to get into a boliche called Crobar, but there was no line, just a giant group of people, and the bouncer was literally pushing the crowd (aka us) back and away from the doors with all of his body weight.

Entonces… encontramos un otro lugar para pasar nuestro noche. Y estuvo super divertido.

The next day (Saturday) we woke up, ate breakfast, and decided to go for a nice long run in the city. It was so beautiful and warm outside, which just added to the experience. After a run, we freshened up, went for lunch, and headed to la calle Florida to see if our friend Paúl could find a place to stay for the next few days. While we waited for Paúl, we walked along calle Florida and had an artisian convert a beautiful bracelet Anna bought for me into a necklace.

After strolling for a bit, and buying some cute shirts we went to the famous part of town called La Boca. This is the classic area of Buenos Aires that everyone thinks of with brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets.

We chilled around here for a bit, had a cafe and some empanadas, then headed back to the Recoleta Hostel to chill out, eat some meat and cheese and chit chat with other people staying in the hostel.

After this…. well…. we got hungry and went to Freddo and had icecream for dinner… oops?

It was Saturday, entonces, calories didn’t count… or at least thats what I’m telling myself.

After the icecream, we decided to go out dancing again, this time to a club called Bahrein, which used to be an old bank, complete with a vault and everything. We made friends with a group of Argentines and danced the night away to a mix of pop, reggeaton y música de los 80s.

El proximo dia, fuimos a tomar cafe y comer desayuno y despues a la feria en Recoleta para pasar tiempo caminando en el camino alla, donde hay tiendas de diferentes artistas.

I bought a few little trinkets to bring home and some pretty sweet jewerly, including a ring that is also bracelet. We also went to the famous cemetario in Recoleta where Eva Peron is buried.

After the fería we moved hostels, this time to one in San Telmo. Once we arrived, we ditched our stuff and ran to watch the final of the Copa America…. y Uraguay gano!

We watched the game in two different little cafes, which, in retrospective was nice because we got to talk to the people sitting around us.

After the game we went to have an amazing dinner with my host mom, Ivette. I cooked pasta and sauce for everyone and we chit-chatted in castellano together for hours! Then Anna and I hopped on the bus and sat downstairs in the hostel bar for a few hours making friends with some crazy Brazilians.

A lunes, we went shopping. And did we SHOP. Anna compró una campera de cuero y yo, botas con cierras y un vestido.

Then… we got caught in a horrible rainstorm and decided to wait it out eating ice cream and shopping for food for dinner.

Once the rain let up a bit, we went to the bus station to get our tickets to Colón. Despues, cociné cena para nosotras dos y comimos :) Fue super rico (por lo menos en mi opinion, no se que Anna penso jaja).

We ended up not going out last night… seeing as our bus this morning left at 7AM.

Entonces, esta fue Buenos Aires parte 1 con Anna.

Mas sobre colon en un ratito.

MUAAA.

Besos.

Hola. Its me. I’m alive, I swear.

Its been a long, long time since I’ve written, y es porque estabamos super ocupadas aca (y nosotras significa mi amiga Anna y yo).

Lets see, where did I leave off the last time I wrote?

I was with my parents and Nicki in Buenos Aires for four days, touring the city with them. We went to all the basic sites in the different barrios, and it was alot of fun, but it was incredibly chilly outside (and rainy for one of the days).

Its not exactly the best way to show off a city when its freezing and rainy and yo sentí un poquito mal porque a mi… Buenos Aires no es una ciudad con tiempo miserable con mucho frio y lluvia. Pero, you can’t really control the weather, so, ya pasó.

It was really nice to get to see my parents and my sister Nicki. Being here since May, its been a long time since I’ve gotten a true hug. Argentinians are big on the besitos, but when it comes to hugs, they don’t quite know how it works. Plus, after telling my mom and dad for weeks about how incredible Buenos Aires is, it was amazing to be able to show my mom and dad first-hand why I love the city.

I think my favorite thing I did with my parents and Nicki was the most touristy. I’m ashamed to say that, but its true. One night, we went for a cena and tango show at Cafe de los Angelitos. Not only was the food amazing, but the show was incredible. Tango is such a passionate dance. The costumes, the makeup, the music (live music) was incredible.

There was even this one dance where the stage curtain turned out to be a part of the dancer’s dress. Pretty cool.

I definitely think that if you come to Buenos Aires you need to get your butt to a Tango show. I know its touristy. I know you may think its cheezy, but tango is the one thing that is supremely Argentine.

My parents and Nicki (who I hope is having so much fun at Camp Champions right now!) left on Thursday night, leaving me to stay at a Hostel in San Telmo alone for the night, which, in retrospective, estaba perfecto, porque no tuve ganas de salir… entonces, yo fui a dormir super temprano…. un poco lame, pero no me importa.

Besos, Chau y Amor :)