Friday, August 22, 2008

My Cup of Tea

Since my arrival to Buenos Aires, I have been longing for the teas at Intelligensia, Argo, Dullop, and Café Neo. Surrounded in this city of plain tea, I miss the jasmine tea with honey and soy milk from Intelligensia. I crave a soy chai latte with gingerbread from Argo, especially on the cold winter days in Chicago. As for the summer days in Chicago, the iced chai was just the perfect drink. Finally though, thanks to Tina, Jackson and I have a place in Buenos Aires where we can drink great tea.

On Friday Jackson and I went to El Último Beso, a cute little café in Palermo, set apart from the busier, touristy streets in the neighborhood. The ambiance was relaxing, warm, and bright, definitely a unique place. They had an assortment of tea, all named after famous movies, like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Cinema Paradiso, to name a few. Of course with names like those, the tea could only be phenomenal. Overall, the entire place was phenomenal. I especially fell in love with the decor, white walls and furniture with a splash of colorful lamps and chairs. Definitely a place my mom would enjoy and not only because of the name. The café says "Ana" in every corner. Hopefully one day she can have her taste of El Último Beso.

The entrance to El Último Beso. I love the black and white contrast. The black iron, against the tall windows, not to mention the white benches.

Jackson posing in front of our new favorite café.

From chandeliers to tall, white doors... victorian china to... a white leather sofa.

Me and Jackson on the white, leather sofa.

What I like to call the Red Room. Again I love the contrasting colors. In this case, the red and the white.

Jackson thinking "We must come here again"

I had to include this picture for Sophia. Fia, I saw this massive add while walking to El Último Beso. Of course, I thought of you instantly and knew you would like to see your name in all its glory.

Ahh little sis, all we need is your face in this magazine:) I miss you you...besos

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Laundry Woes

After taking Zoe for a walk in the park, I decided to try out the autoservicio laundry. I gathered my laundry and lugged it to the laundry that's maybe four blocks away, give or take. To my dismay, the laundry wasn't allowing self-service laundry today, due to some kind of water problem. So disappointedly, I lugged my laundry back home. Ahh, I'm having such a hard time doing a load of laundry in Buenos Aires. Right now, "laundry" and I are not getting along. We'll see if I'm able to do laundry tomorrow. One can only hope:)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun, Family and Friends

Aside from starting my job hunt, I've been hanging out with expat friends, walking the streets of Buenos Aires on my own, visiting family, and relaxing. Here are a few pictures of how my weekend went.
Here, I'm walking down Avenida Cordoba, coming from Lotus and La Esquina de las Flores. At both places, I ended up buying seitan, empanadas, and a very healthy brownie...yum

Friday night, Jackson and I and a few expat friends had dinner at Kathmandu, followed by dancing at Rumi.

Jackson dancing the night away with his eyes closed.

Zoe and I taking a catnap, before meeting Jackson for tea and medialunas at Ristretto.

My cousin Inés, my uncle Aldo and I at a birthday party in the provincia (outside of Buenos Aires)

In order: Jackson, Damian (Inés' boyfriend), Inés, and me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to Reality

I've been feeling fidgety lately and I think it's because it's time for me to join the working world. I'm a little reluctant and scared to do so though because this will be my first time working outside the USA. Actually I'm a lot scared. I have no idea what to apply for here in Buenos Aires. Do I apply for a nursing position, even though I don't know if a hospital will accept my nursing license? Do I apply at some telemarketing company, knowing that I really don't want to answer phone calls and be yelled at? Should I teach English, even though I have no teaching experience? Or should I answer a few random ads on craigslist? AHH!!! Every time I sit in front of the computer, ready to start my job search, I get bummed and overwhelmed. What do I do if all I know is nursing? I know I'm super qualified for any nursing position in an Argentine hospital, but all the legalities might get in the way of me actually working as a nurse here. However, this is not my only concern. When I quit my job two months ago, I questioned whether I even wanted to be a nurse in the first place. Okay to be completely honest, I had no intention of returning to the nursing profession. Like most nurses, I've reached boiling point, and I am completely and utterly burned out. Don't get me wrong, I love the profession and I love the kids. I simply CANNOT take the hospital politics anymore. This topic, however, can be a separate entry. Sometime in the future, I will have to write about the woes of nursing and what I want to do instead of it...a little hint, it involves school.
Back to what I was talking about, before I went off on a nursing politic tangent. Even though before I came to Buenos Aires, I no longer want to practice nursing, I still vacillate between wanting and not wanting to work here as a nurse. Reasons being, I've never had to work in an environment where Spanish was the spoken language. Yes, I'm fluent in Spanish, but Argentine Spanish is very different. Secondly, I'm screwed in regards to medical terminology. Despite these facts though, I bravely started setting foot in reality and submitted my first CV to el Hospital Británico. I know this is the first submission out of a bunch, but at least I have officially started traveling back to reality.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My New Best Friend

I admit it, I'm behind in the world of YouTube. I've always heard about it and even checked YouTube out a couple of times in the past, never understanding what all the fuss was about of course. Now that I'm in Argentina though, I think YouTube is the next best thing! To my disappointment when I arrived in Buenos Aires, I discovered that I cannot watch some TV shows outside the USA. The channels will simply not allow for international viewing...I know, bummer. Here is where YouTube comes into play. To satisfy my laziness and need for American television, I've relied on what else but YouTube. It has been a great source in connecting with home. I've watched Chicago news, clips from America's Best Dance Crew (no laughing at my TV selection please), episodes from Ugly Betty, and even a documentary on Evita. While I'm currently unemployed, I've found YouTube to be quite entertaining, allowing time to fly by. I should really get my ass off the sofa and go outside, but it's hard to not give into this addictive drug. Maybe just one more hour of my new best friend, before I get dressed and head out the door.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My, How the Table has Turned

I know, it has been a little over a week since my last blog entry. I've been spending a lot of time by myself this past week. Reason being, Jackson started working last Monday. He pretty much works all day, and I don't see him until 8:00 pm. However, I do meet up with him in the afternoon, whenever he has 4 hours to kill in between classes.

It has definitely been a nice change from working to not working. I have gladly taken on the role of stay at home mom, preparing meals, doing laundry, walking Zoe, reading, messing around on the internet, all fun things of course. Cooking, primarily, has been the most fun as well as a great learning experience. I've always known how to cook but it always included chicken or some kind of meat. Since becoming vegetarian/near vegan, Jackson has always been the one preparing the meals because of my lack of experience in vegetarian cooking. So, now that I've been the one staying home, I look through our Veganomicon cookbook for some tasty recipes. Last Monday, I prepared cholent which is basically beef stew, minus the beef. The meat is substituted with soy meat which we were lucky to find at Lotus, a health food store/restuarant on avenida Cordoba. I've also learned how to prepare spinach empanadas and pizza. So far, all my cooking has been a success. Even though Jackson misses being in the kitchen, he's delighted that he is trying out some new vegan dishes.

Aside from cooking, I've been replacing my non-existent running with walking. I walk EVERYWHERE. Last week I walked to El Ateneo, a huge, majestic bookstore on Avenida Santa Fe. This bookstore is beyond words. It is by far the most beautiful bookstore I have ever seen. The bookstore is located in a restored old theater which totally blew me away when I walked in. The balconies were reading areas for customers, and the stage was converted into a café. This place is a must see, even if you're not into books.

At Ristretto Café last Thursday, Jackson and I met up with a very nice chica, whom we met online. Anne is a delightful photographer from London, who's here for tango. The three of us spent hours in the café talking about everything from health care to collectivos to politics. Anne came to our apartment for dinner and tea. She also met Zoe, who was very fond of her. Since Jackson and I had such a great time with Anne, we met up with her again the following day at Olsen. This time, however, a whole bunch of other expats joined us. We met a lady from Lebanon, another lady from Singapore, a student from Bolivia, a couple from New Zealand and Finland, a lady from Poland, and a couple of New Yorkers. The night was fabulous! Everyone was interesting, and we all got along well. Once Olsen kicked us out, a few of us went to a pricey Italian restaurant for dinner. Afterwards, we went to Nicole's apartment drinks. What an evening!! I had a blast!! Sometime in the next couple of weeks, we are all going to a tango show. I can't wait!

This past week in Buenos Aires has been great. I'm coming out of my shell and exploring the city on my own. I'm meeting interesting people, who I'd like to keep in touch with. I'm enjoying all my free time. Not working is not only fantastic but it rejuvenates your soul. Working as a nurse for five years really took a toll on my body and mind. I'm catching up on some over due sleep and finding myself less stressed out than before. It's nice to wake up whenever my body feels good and ready to do so. Even though I'm enjoying doing absolutely nothing, I'm going to start applying for some jobs. Jackson can't be the only one bringing home the bread. I think it's funny though how he's the one waking up early now, while I wake up whenever and do whatever. My, how the tables have turned.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Buenos Aires Brings Cold Aires

In my two weeks in Buenos Aires, today has been the coldest. Of course, the 39-45 degree weather that I experienced today is something I can totally handle being a Chicagoan used to 10 degrees below zero. Being Chicagoans, Jackson and I have been able to determine when the weather has reached 40 degrees by simply being able to see our breath, one of our many talents. And today being one of those days, Jackson and I were able to see our breath while walking to a cafe on avenida Santa Fe. I know, why on earth am I talking about cold weather and being able to see my breath? Well, the cold weather allows me to connect with two cities. The cold air in Buenos Aires takes me to Chicago. It takes me to mid-November when the the leafs have fallen and when people on the streets walk around with coffee cups from Argo Tea, mine being chai soy latte.....yum. Cold weather is something I know all too well, 27 years of knowing. So, I appreciated the cold air in Buenos Aires today. Instead of the chai soy latte, Jackson and I enjoyed some tea with a medialuna, a evening tradition we've picked up rather fast. So, I had a nice winter evening in the city of "Good Airs."