Q: What’s the proper way to greet family you’ve never met before?
A: In Argentina: with kisses, warmth — and a heck of a lot of steak.
Earlier this year, with a visit to relatives in Argentina only days away, I received my first email in Spanish from my grandmother. This may not sound noteworthy, but the fact that she wrote it in her mother tongue transformed it for me from a simple letter into a welcome to a part of my family I hadn’t known before: the Argentine side.
Author’s note: Our visit to Argentina was months ago, so why am I writing about this now? With the holidays coming, I began to reflect on tradition, family and what it means to be “far away.” Continue Reading »
When we poked around Buenos Aires earlier this year, our food quests were focused not only on understanding Argentine cuisine but also seeking out various ethnic cuisines that we hadn’t encountered much while traveling the Andes and Paraguay. A couple of times a week, we’d head out with a restaurant recommendation, a gigantic map of the city, and scribbled notes as to our bus route.
We often got lost. We always ate. And we discovered something.
Continue Reading »
So their eyes are growing hazy ‘cos they wanna turn it on, so their minds are soft and lazy. Well, hey, give ‘em what they want.
– Natalie Merchant (10,000 Maniacs) in “Candy Everybody Wants”
Have you ever come across a photo in a magazine or on another website and thought, “Hey, that’s my photo!”?
We were poking around BBC Travel the other day and came across an article about a tango festival in Argentina. I looked at the lead photo and thought, “Hey, that’s our photo!!”
Ha! That’s everyone’s photo. Continue Reading »
You took the San Martin city train? Foreigners usually just take taxis here.
– A local porteño, eyes wide, expresses shock at our opting to take one of Buenos Aires’ grittier public transport lines during our first week in town.
Taxi cabs are easy: they get you from point A to B directly and with relative efficiency. In a taxi you don’t have to deal with people leaning on you and accidentally hitting your head with a shopping bag; there are no unnecessary pauses, no large-crowd odor issues, and no long waits at stops.
But inter-city public transport does have its advantages. More often than not, we choose it over taxis whenever we have the chance.
We confess: we have a love affair with public transport. And here’s why. Continue Reading »
When you come to a fork in the road….Take it.
— Yogi Berra
When it comes to lifestyle, it’s not what you choose, but rather how you choose it. Continue Reading »
Things move more slowly in Latin America.
We tended to believe this. That is, until we were urged to inhale a three-course meal in ten minutes, courtesy of our first long-distance bus trip in Argentina. Continue Reading »