Sorry for not writing more often, but this combination of intense Spanish lit classes and crazy Buenos Aires nightlife (the Argentines I go out with are always surprised to see me yawning at 5 am after 4 hours of dancing) has been keeping me pretty busy. I actually have an oral presentation due tomorrow on three cuentos de horror (horror stories), but feel like procrastinating, so it's blog time!
Life is good here in the Southern hemisphere. I'm finally getting used to the whole kissing strangers on the cheek thing, can find my way home from school without getting too lost, and my Spanish is getting better every day. But my favorite Buenos Aires pasttime so far is going out to eat! I love the food here, and the only reason I haven't been packing on the pounds is because I have a good 2+ mile walk to the train station every day. Some of my favorites are:
-alfajores - I know I touched on these last time, but my brief description didn't do these incredible snacks justice! They are pretty much the national cookie of Argentina, and every kiosco (corner stores that sell drinks, candy, magazines etc) has a staggering array of any variety of alfajor. They come plain, covered in chocolate, coconut or meringue, filled with dulce de leche or chocolate creme, plain or chocolate cookies, one or two layers...etc. I average about 2 a day - they're irresistible!
-of course I couldn't write about Argentinean food without mentioning beef, and it's famous for a reason! It's everywhere, and surprisingly cheap. You can get an excellent steak for about $4 American in an average restaurant, and I'm not one to let that opportunity go by. Amazing.
-ice cream. Due to a huge influx of Italian immigrants in the 19th century, Italian food is everywhere here. Argentine ice cream is really more similar to gelato than American ice cream - it's really thick and creamy and, obviously, delicious. My personal favorite flavor so far is Super Dulce de Leche!
-empanadas, which are sort of like little meat pies with flaky pastry crusts. They come fried or baked, and filled with beef, chicken, vegetables, cheese, etc. Four or five of them makes for a delicious lunch or dinner. We had empanadas for dinner a couple of nights ago, and I tried to make one - it looked kind of sad and crooked next to Vivi's (she's a girl my age from Paraguay who works here), but she is going to teach me the recipe, so I can practice making them in the US!
I'm keeping busy lately with school and wandering around town after my classes are over, discovering new restaurants, panaderias, heladerias and shops with some of the other students in my program. One unfortunate downside to living in India for a year is that now whenever I visit other countries, I'm still in a 35-rupees-equals-one-dollar mode, which means that I'm spending money a little too freely here! I have to remind myself every day that despite the 3-to-1 exchange rate, the peso is not Monopoly money!
Ok, I'm off to analyze some literature - hard enough in English, and quite a struggle in Spanish...