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Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Beginning of the Tren de la Costa

Maipu Station, the beginning / end of the Tren de la Costa which runs back and forth between B.A. and the Tigre Delta, where the Rio de la Plata runs into the ocean. For 8 pesos, one can buy a return ticket that allows you to get on and off at any of the stations along the way, which is great as there are nice cafes, market areas, and rich neighborhoods to check out. We did this last Saturday, the day before Easter.
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A Lot of Oranges to Sell and No One Buying

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Don't Touch My Bottle Again

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Busy Waterway

I was surprised by the amount of boat traffic on the river. There were the larger tourist boats (like the one I was on, and the one at the back of this line) as well as the smaller brown tourist boats in the foreground. There were also motorboats and jet skis and waterskiers, as well as a few brave canoers. At times the waves sent out in the wakes of the boat spilled over the walls lining the river, and I wonder how much erosion occurs each year.

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Maybe Someday

One of the many nice homes and/or clubs lining the delta area in Tigre.
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Wreckage

We passed a lot of wonderful homes along the way. We passed by an equal number of burned out, rusted old boats.
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More Wreckage, and a Ferris Wheel

The view as we pulled into dock after our boat trip around Tigre.
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Roller Coaster

A glimpse of the amusement park in Tigre, which is just behind a huge casino.
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Golden Cathedral

A photo of the Cathedral in San Isidro, one of the stops along the Tren de la Costa. There is a market in a park just outside the church, and a neighborhood of million dollar homes all around it.

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Golden Cathedral, 2

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Preparing for Easter

This was taken inside the Cathedral in San Isidro the day before Easter, just after a man finished using a mob with a long handle to polish the Christ above the altar.
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Las Violetas

Las Violetas is an old-style European cafe not far from Natalia's house. They have a shop selling cakes and tortas, as well as a large cafe. We visited on Easter Sunday to get some cake for dessert. The pictures that follow do not show how truly crowded it was, esp. the bakery.

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Las Violetas, 2

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Las Violetas, 3

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Las Violetas, 4

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Counting Time

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Waiting at the Laundry

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Wisp

For my digital photography class, we had to take photos of the same subject at different times throughout the day. The next to show the difference between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. In between was a clear blue sky.
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Ripple

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La Esquina (mid-afternoon)

This is another example of early day/late afternoon changes.
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La Esquina (With Clouds)

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Most Recent Visitors

I have a bad habit of looking at my stat counter all the time to see how many people have come to my site on any given day...I've referred to this before (and padded my stats a bit in the process). I also like to see where the visits are coming from, and just now, when I checked, this is what I found. Last ten visits:
Plano, Texas
Rensselaer, IN (hello Padre?)
Cincinnati, OH - no surprise
Buenos Aires, AR (me)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Vejle, Denmark (hello Joost?) - Note, Joost actually lives in Brighton and is from Amsterdam. I had just been talking to a kid about Denmark and somehow Netherlands/Denmark got mixed up in my head. Never mind that the guy is in Brighton. Im getting old.
Sofia, Bulgaria,
South Korea,
Osaka, Japan
North Acton, England, UK

That's just cool. I also have some steady visits from a few places in Africa, and occasional stop ins from the Middle East. I am wondering if I should make some profound statement about the fact that this blog or any blog could reach such a farflung audience, but it doesnt seem necessary. Its just cool, esp. for someone like me whose life and whose blog revolves so much around the idea of introducing people to life in various parts of the world.

Buenos Aires - Pet Peeves

On this rainy, windy day I need to vent about a few pet peeves in Buenos Aires, in part because one of them just soaked my shoe and the lower half of my pants leg. There are many danger on the sidewalks here - first and foremost in the minds of most dog crap (or caca as it is known here) and thieves. There are also uneven spots and heaps of trash to be found, but one that I really hate, esp. on days like today, are the loose slabs of concrete. You don't know they are there unless you are really paying attention, or unless you step on one and drop a few inches. There are often hidden caches of water underneath these, which burst out as they are displaced by the weight of the sinking concrete. Natalia hates these, too. Mostly because I am the one who steps on them and a lot of times the water will spray on her, too.

A veces, yo pienso que necesito escribir en español acca, porque es una oportunidad para practicar mi español. Tambien aparece que unos de la gente que visiten esta pagina son latinoamericanos. Pero, no tengo pacience para encontrar las palabras que no se todavia.
Quizas es mejor que escriba en la lengua de china. Tengo miedo que voy a olvidar todo de lo que aprendia en Taiwan y China. Ese tambien es una problema.

Back to English now. I don't know what made me dive into that Spanish digression, but I was thinking today...for my wedding here, I am going to need to prepare speeches in Chinese, Spanish, and English. Natalia told me a few days ago that the vows will be in Spanish, but I am thinking about the reception when I will have to stand up in front of everybody and showoff/embarrass myself with what Ive learned in the last year and a half. This isn't a Buenos Aires pet peeve...just a randon thought before I post this and go do my homework.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Dangers of Turning 30

Actually, this happened to me when I was 22, as well. I was in the freezer at the convenience store I worked at in Cincinnati, stacking cases of beer. I bent down to pick one up and as I started to lift, I got stuck. My lower back just blew up. I had to have a friend help straighten me out. Awful.

Sunday, Natalia and I started doing salsa lessons with a friend who is willing to teach us. We made it through the lesson and I didnt step on Natalia too much or otherwise humiliate myself. It was even fun. But then, in the heady aftermoment, as we nibbled on factura (a variety of pastries) and chatted, I bent down to pick something up off the floor and pop. There went the lower back. For the last two and a half days now Ive been moving around like I might break. My Spanish teacher and classmate even laughed at me yesterday as I eased into my chair, careful not to move anything the wrong way, and rather limited in my mobility.

So much for thirty not really being that old.

In other news, it has been quite fun measuring people's surprise in relation to news of my impending nuptials. A few people wrote asking about a stray reference to wedding dresses a few days ago. I sort of let that slip before announcing to people that Natalia and I are getting married in August. Well, it is true. We are getting married in August, and it is starting to feel very real, the thought that we are doing this. We have a salon rented and catering arranged for. We are going through the list of things still to do and moving right along. Natalia is anyway. I'm just the point man for the few people from the US planning to come down.

It might be kind of fun, this getting married thing. We have one wedding here in BA, followed (I am hoping) by a nice month+ long honeymoon in Argentina and Chile. Then it is a bit likely we will get married sometime next year in the US for all the family and friends who couldn't get down here. Then there are several people asking for a wedding in Taiwan. As I wrote in a group email to some friends in Cincinnati, maybe we will just put together a wedding world tour. I suppose it wouldnt be as popular or as profitable as the Rolling Stones world tour, but I am wondering: is there a record for most weddings done in different countries?

No, that is one record I dont think I want to shoot for. I'm just hoping to make it through this one.

Actually, now that I look at the title of this post, and the general theme, the way it has shifted from the pain in my back to the concept of me getting married...I wonder if that is some subconscious thing. The real danger of turning 30, if you are still single, is feeling pressure to take the leap into marriage kind of thing. No, no...not what I mean at all. I promise.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hitting a Milestone

Wow. I just checked to my little counter thing at the bottom of the page and discovered that I have now had more than 10,000 visitors. I can only wonder how many of those 10,000 visits were me checking to see how many people had visited. Half maybe?

10,000 is a pretty big number, I suppose. Then I consider that this is over the span of 13 or 14 months (seems a lot longer) and the number doesn't seem so high. Esp. when one considers that there are plenty of sites that get that many hits in a day or in a month. Oh well. There is always something better, isn't there?

So, to everyone who has helped me reach the 10,000 mark, thank you for your readership and picture-looking ship. Or thank you for your unplanned stop-overs as you flash through the next blog function at the top of your own blog page. I appreciate you spending a second or two on checking out how things are going in my life.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Photos

If you browse down a bit, you will find a bunch of pictures from my visa trip to Colonia, Uruguay. There are also a few of B.A. mixed in, as well as life on the boat.

For anyone in the area, Colonia is worth a trip, esp. considering you can buy a one day round trip ticket for as cheap as 79 pesos- that for a slow boat which requires about 6 hours of boat time and offers about 5 hours of walking and sitting at a cafe in Colonia's Unesco protected old town listening to music or staring at scantily clad dancers coming round advertising for shows.

It was a bit strange. I was walking around the town thinking, hmm..this could be a place to retire in, or, if I were retired and living in BA to have a place to retreat to. Then I remembered that Im 30, have no job and getting married soon. I think it might be a bit too early to think about retirement.

Giraffes and Snakes in Buenos Aires

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Monet by Night in Buenos Aires

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Tree-line to the coast

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Boy on a Bike

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