One month ago today…

…I was stuck in customs in the Ezeiza airport, tired, bewildered, in desperate need of a shower, but so very excited to be in Buenos Aires!  It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month; it seems like so much and so little at the same time.

Apologies for the lack of posts since my grammar epiphany earlier this week.  I’ve been feeling a little homesick and not in the greatest of moods, but I’m feeling much better today.  This week I got my mind rocked by the subjunctive tense, wandered around Palermo Soho with my lovely roommate Sally in search of the perfect boots (no luck), went on an excursion with my program, celebrated my housemate Casey’s twenty-second birthday, and welcomed a good friend from Cornell into the city for the weekend!

Palermo is one of Buenos Aires’ more hip neighborhoods, and Palermo Soho is even more hip(ster).  Lots of good shopping to be had, if you can afford it—sadly, Sally and I could not.  I have no problem paying more for clothing that is well-made and will last a long time, but a lot of what we found wasn’t very high-quality (kudos to my mom for teaching me how to inspect a T-shirt for quality construction before buying it).  Still, Sally and I had a lot of fun peeking in all the different stores!

On Thursday night we met up with some other students from our program at El Ateneo, a bookstore that used to be a theater!  I’m a big fan of smaller, dingier, hole-in-the-wall-type bookstores, but the structure of this building was still really cool!

Beautiful interior! What used to be the stage is now a café.

We then proceeded on to a strange little mall of tattoo/piercing places.  At first I wasn’t quite sure why our program would take us to a place like that, but then I realized that it’s probably better to show us a place that they know is legitimate rather than risk someone catching an infection from someplace sketchy.

Crazy graffiti-covered escalator

Nifty retro neon sign

 

Sixteen-year-old me would have been all about the punk/street decorating scheme here.

(Still gotta work on this whole picture layout thing. Bear with me.)

After that, we walked a few blocks to a pizza place called El Cuartito.  Pizza here in Argentina is really different from what I’m used to: a lot more cheese, way less sauce (if any at all), and a more floury crust.  Plain mozzarella pizza is really popular, as is mozzarella and onion.  Often, the pizza comes with an awkward handful of whole olives that look like they’ve just been plopped onto the center of the pizza, which really amuses me for some reason.

On Friday afternoon, Diego, a friend from Cornell who is completing an internship in Uruguay this semester, came into the city for the weekend!  It was so good to see a familiar face and catch up on news from home.  We met up for lunch and then headed to the Recoleta Cemetery, which is something I’ve been really wanting to see.  It’s a giant labyrinth/mausoleum where lots of important Argentine historical figures and their families are buried.  The tombs cover a wide range of sizes and styles, from low grave markers only a few feet high to buildings as tall as small trees, and from stark, clean lines to wildly ornate classical detailing.  We could not have picked a better day for it—the weather was warm and sunny, perfect for wandering around outside and losing all track of time.

Detail of the interior of the church adjoining the cemetery

Looking back toward the entrance.

There was a lady at the entrance to the cemetery selling maps without which we most definitely would have gotten lost, so I sprang for one.  At first she gave us the standard welcome spiel in English—then asked us slyly (skeptically!) if we understood Spanish and was very pleased when we understood her perfectly.  (Side note: Her English had a noticeable British accent, as does my host father’s. It’s so interesting to listen to!)

The cemetery was incredible.  Diego and I just wandered around aimlessly, which was awesome, but I really want to go back again and scout out some specific graves before I leave Buenos Aires.  We took a ton of pictures—highlights follow below.

 

One of the older markers we saw---for a Polish count!

Looks like somebody escaped for a little stroll...

What a perfect backdrop.

Stained glass detailing like this was a common feature.

Classic Buenos Aires---historical cemetery juxtaposed with the modern skyscraper.

In some places the cemetery felt eerily like an abandoned town.

Every once in a while we spotted a brick tomb among all the marble and granite ones.

The grave of Eva Perón (her maiden name was Duarte). It was tucked away in one of the smaller side avenues---nowhere near as prominent or complicated as some of the others we saw.

Looking in and down through the bars on the door of one of the tombs.

Stark, but with such fine detail in the mosaic.

To give you some idea of the scale...

After we’d soaked up all the architecture we could handle, we headed over to Plaza de Mayo so Diego could see the Casa Rosada and the May Pyramid.

Cornellians in Buenos Aires!

Then it was a ridiculously long bus ride back home for me (I wasn’t feeling brave enough to tackle the subway by myself, though it would have been a lot faster) and a delicious asado with the family for Casey’s birthday!

Back: Cristina, Martín (who prepared the asado), Carlos, and a good friend of Cristina's. Front: me, Leah, and Casey.

Sally, me, Leah, and Casey!

That about wraps it up for this week!  Hopefully another post on Monday or Tuesday.🙂

4 thoughts on “One month ago today…

  1. looks like you’re having fun!🙂

    palermo sounds fun, as does that bookstore!!! and i wish i could have gone to that piercing/tattoo mall… haha just imagine us in there, “kim! get your belly button pierced! do it! it’ll be awesome!!”😄

  2. Katie Heikens says:

    I wondered if you would get a homesickness bug soon….it doesn’t help that you weren’t feeling well at the time. Hope this is a great week for you!!

  3. Holly Morris says:

    Gracias, hermana, por las fotos del cementerio…especialmente la de la familia Duarte…me dio lagrimas que te acordaste y fuiste a ver…
    Qué bueno que compartes tu experiencia :0)

  4. Laura Taylor-Lloyd says:

    Your theme composition is first rate – love the juxtaposition of the tattoo parlor and the cemetery! A little homesickness is okay… I hope it reminds you that there are lots of folks back home who love you and are cheering for you on this big adventure!🙂

    Aunt Laura

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