Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is like *that* girl in your high school, you know, the one who was so good at so many things and made them look so easy - to top it off, she was also annoyingly beautiful and popular. We consider ourselves lucky to have befriended with it.


It took my stomach a week to get used to the meat-heavy diet, which explained the lack of postings, by the way. You can’t walk a block without spotting one or two parrillas (restaurants specialized in grilled meat). Unlike Asian cuisines, spices are used sparely so you are a lot more exposed to the juicy and fresh taste of the meat itself. 


Above: locro soup


Above: The best Japanese I have ever tasted in my life!P1010594P1010630



Dancing to Buenos Aires is like fog to London except a lot more pleasant. We have had constant run-ins with it. We even tried out tango ourselves through a city-organized free event. By the way, isn’t it always the case that you come out of a lesson feeling so confident and ready, only to find yourself mesmerized by how wonderfully others just glide on the dance floor?



Art is everywhere in Buenos Aires. It covers wide range of topics and makes the city colorful, fascinating and stimulating.



From old colonial style buildings, to busy shopping malls, to vendors selling food, flowers and newspapers, to all sorts and sizes of protests, the streets in Buenos Aires are nothing but lively.




In addition to enjoying Buenos Aires so much, we got Casa back last week – YAY! So we are getting ready to starting travelling again this weekend. Tearing ourselves away from the comfort of BA will hard and sad, but on the other hand, I am sure the rest of Argentina and South America will continue to impress.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Little Things of Buenos Aires

Just as we got comfortable after a month in Europe, where things are fairly straight-forward and well-organized, we find ourselves in South America. Buenos Aires is so refreshingly different, and by that, I mean a whole new world different. Just about everything makes us tick, particularly the little things!

Getting from Airport to Accommodation

There are generally two ways for tourists to get from the Buenos Aires airport into the city: by public bus or by taxi, and there is big difference between the options. Okay, we didn’t quite draw this table for comparison, but it is one way of looking at them.

  Bus Taxi
Cost 4 pesos (1 USD) 140 pesos (35 USD)
Travel Time 1.5 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty (to locate/follow) ********************************** *

Guess what we chose?


(Okay, we had those crazy eye looks because it was a long trip and late at night!)

Getting Coins

There is a funny situation with small changes in Buenos Aires. Basically coins are hard to find, so much that there is a black market selling/buying them. Apparently it is common practice for grocery shops to use candies, and pharmacies aspirin instead.

Problem is that we need coins for riding buses, which only take coins.

Thanks to all the money research, we were able to exchange for the right amount of Argentinean pesos at the airport, which gave us some precious 7.50 pesos in coins! (By the way, we saw exchange rates different by 15% at different exchange counters.)

After a security guard pointed out to me where the bus shelter was, he asked the first Spanish sentence that I understood fully, “Tiene monedas?” - (Do you) have small change? “Si!” I answered proudly and walked away with a big smile – great success!

Finding SIM Cards

After a good night sleep at our host’s place, we woke up with a list of things to purchase, including telephone SIM cards. Usually it would be easy because telecomm shops are all over the place, but today is Sunday and as we found out, most of the shops are closed on Sundays. Our host suggested to try one of the malls. Tried and no luck. As we wandered down one of the main shopping streets, our hope of getting SIM cards today was getting dimmer as the street empty.

Our host also suggested that Chinatown should be good to visit today, so we did. Guess what we found?

People buzzing all over the place. Line-ups in front of restaurants and queues at supermarkets. And best of all, we found SIM cards – among many other goodies!!


YAY, I found Chinese instant noodles. :D

Taking the Subway

Subte is the name for subway system in Buenos Aires. It was fun, convenient and easy to use. An added bonus is that we get 90 cents change back every time when we purchase single-trip passes. Read: COINS!


Q standing in front of subway station name sign post that says “9th of July”.

Buenos Aires, 24 hours and such a fabulous adventure already! …We haven’t even got to the amazing food yet! ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quick Update from Rio de Janeiro

As Q mentioned in previous post, we are finally on the road again – YAY! After two days in London, where we dropped off our beloved Casa at a cargo depot, we have boarded the plane to South America! Thanks to a twelve-hour layover, we are getting a pretty dramatic view of Rio de Janeiro with dark rainy clouds rolling by.


Buenos Aires, here we come!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bye bye Holland...

UK here we come!

After having been in mainland Europe for 'slightly' longer than we had hoped for, it's off by boat, on our way to the UK. Only for two days before we drop the bike and take a plane ourselves to our next destination: South America! And it won't be quiet, we've already got our Spanish lessons lined up starting on Monday!

Our extended stay in Europe gave us extra time to meet up with friends, we loved every moment of it! It was great seeing your new house/meeting your new girlfriend/seeing your son/daughter for the first time/(other, elaborate) (cross out whatever is not applicable to your situation;). And thanks to everyone for their support of our big trip! Yes, I know, we will try to write on the blog more often :)

(and if you happen to be in London these coming days, drop us a line! we'll meet up for a drink!)