November Overview

It seems that I have been slacking a little this month in the blog department.  Maybe it’s the nice weather, or the fact that I started working (yippie!)that’s kept me away from my blog, but here is a quick recap of what I’ve been up to the past few days…

Update:  The loft bedroom is actually quite similar to living in an oven…well it was like living in an oven.  The day after my room swap, a lovely heat wave decided to grace Buenos Aires with its presence.  It was in the mid to upper nineties  for most of the week, and I literally thought I was going to lose my mind.  One morning I woke up drenched in sweat at 6:45am (NOT my preferred time to arise) and could not fall back asleep…I ended up rearranging the furniture in my room and finding a few mango smoothie recipes (this and this) that I tried later that day.  The smoothie was good but a little on the thick side (my smoothie attempts since then have also been pretty thick, so its still a work in progress).  The heat finally broke after a torrential downpour later in the week…I never though I ‘d be so excited for a thunderstorm in my life.  The temperature is back to normal and my room is very comfortable…aside from the large mosquito population that has been feasting on my body (even my face).

After a few nights of training, the boys and I are now officially members of The Buenos Aires Pub Crawl team!  I’m so glad that we decided to do this job since it has allowed us to meet so many new people from all over the world.  It’s a lot of fun too and I’m happy we’ve gotten to explore other neighborhoods…my favorite night is San Telmo Saturdays since I can go to La Poesia for an Irish coffee before work.

Along with working for BAPC, I have started teaching a few English classes during the day and working as an Au Pair at night.  This past Thursday marked my first actual day of working in Buenos Aires, which started with a one-on-one lesson with an engineer named Oscar.  Oscar wants to improve his listening and conversation skills, so we spent most of the lesson chatting and getting to know one another…he enjoys cycling and Woody Allen movies, so I think it’s safe to say we’ll be buds.  After that I had a meeting about another class that I will be teaching twice a week to two young business people that work for Coca-Cola…I had some time to kill after, so I stopped at Cafe Arenales to relax and read.  I ended a busy day of traveling all over the city at my Au Pair job in Retiro.  I watch two children, Manuela (who goes by ‘Manu’) and Pedro.  They are wonderful children and I could not have asked for a better family to work for.  We played soccer, goofed around with Photo Booth, and I helped Manu put some new decorative stickers on the wall in her bedroom.  It was a really great first day with the Manes family (they even made me dinner!), and I am very excited to spend more time with them.

American Burger

After the past few nights training for our pub crawl job, the boys and I have tried to grab pancakes and milkshakes from two places close to our apartment.  Each attempt has ended in heartbreak, since both establishments have been closed by the time we’ve gotten there…so naturally I have been craving everything from waffles to malted shakes to greasy cheeseburgers.  Since it was election day yesterday, I thought it would be a nice reminder of home and America to order a juicy burger from Brands Burgers and Pancakes.  The burger was really good (a beef burger with bacon, cheddar, BBQ sauce, lettuce, and tomato) and came with onion rings on the side.  It definitely hit the spot (the only thing missing was a chocolate shake!) and I’m excited to go back to Brands and try their pancakes (and proud to be an American!).

Pistachio Man

Now that it has officially become (very) hot in Buenos Aires, I have been thinking of things I would do when I was younger to stay cool before the days of central air and backyard swimming pools. When I was little, I remember waiting for my dad to bring home giant tubs of Ralph’s Italian Ice or making a trip to the original shop on Staten Island.  It is still one of my favorite summer treats, and I almost always go for a fruity flavor, while my dad either orders a cherry-lemon combo (two of Ralph’s originals), or a cone with pistachio ice cream.  I never understood how pistachio ice cream could be refreshing, or even delicious, but I see why it has been one of my dad’s favorites for so many years.  After a wonderful dinner at our friends’ place in Palermo, we stopped at Via Varese for some gelato.   I took an abnormally long time reading the menu (they have so many flavors!), but decided on a small cup with chocolate and pistachio gelato.  It was delicious and immediately reminded me of my dad, which made it that much more enjoyable.  I’m glad that simple things like icy treats have done the trick for me (along with massive bottles of water), and getting gelato to stay cool gives me an excuse to try as many combinations as possible from Via Varese.  My next pair?…mocha and super dulce de leche.

Room Swap

After an extra rainy October, it has really started to feel like springtime.  It seems like the temperature changed overnight and is now very humid…and apparently it is only going to get more unbearably hot and humid as summer approaches.  After a few cool air-conditioned nights in my princess suite of a room (AC/ceiling fan, TV, my own phone, a bathroom, and a big closet) here in Buenos Aires, I felt a little bad for my roommate (who was probably experiencing a heat stroke every night), and decided to offer a room swap.  I was unsure if I had made the right decision (especially as I was moving in and out of the oasis that was my old room), but I have to say I am really enjoying my new space.  I’m loving the yellow and green walls, and my new little reading corner.  I am currently listening to my neighbor’s polka/Spanish music, which is actually pretty good, and I like the fact that I can hear the city bustling on the streets below my window.  I think the swap was a success (I got to keep eighty percent of the closet!), so hopefully I survive my first night in my new room…fingers crossed!