Before the arrival of the crazy bearded yugo known as Kozi, i thought i would describe a typical day at 2901 Arenales. The day starts late since at night it gets dark at about 10:00 pm and we go to bed around 2:00am. Everyone is out quite late keeping hours typical to Spain. School is still out and everyone makes the most of the summer break, so the cafes are full of families and teenagers well into the night. Open the doors to the balcony- shower-turn on computer-breakfast-coffee. There is a bakery down the street and so we often pick up a few mini sweet glazed croissants, called medialunas, some bread for lunch, and sweeter confections for afternoon tea. In the mornings we work on the Utah project. Currently we are detailing these large 20 foot sliding doors on either side of the dining room. When open the dining room will truly feel as one with the wetland. This goes on for about 4 hours. Phone calls to the manufacturer are made on skype and essentially free.
Lunch is sandwiches. There is a meat and cheese shop with delicious proscuitto; tomatoes and lettuce come from a local supermercado. Hisako makes the sandwiches and we have them with mate tea. Mate, which the locals drink constantly, tastes somewhere between asian green tea and english black tea. It is very nice. Mate is bitter if mixed with very hot water and so the water is tepid. Without the hot requirement you can sip and sip mate all day long adding water when you feel like it. The tea leaf takes a very long time to loose potency. The locals just pour the loose leaf into a gourd of warm water, sipping through a metal straw with a perforated end shaped like a fat spoon. Someone described it as an Argentine iron lung, which i thought was funny and accurate to its shape and importance within the culture. During the afternoon we work on developing our business, which right now means designing and posting things to the website. We are interested in so many things it is difficult to represent them without seeming crazy. But its getting there.
In the late afternoon, when it is not so hot we pick a destination on the map and just start walking through Retiro or along Sante Fe to some place like Puerto Madero or San Telmo. We can cover a pretty large distance and it is good training for our planned camping trip in Patagonia. While Buenos Aires is a huge city, the places that we would want to go are not that far- maybe the size of Manhattan. Along the way we talk and roam occasionally taking a photo (mostly of holes in the ground-Chako's Dimple-Pimples). Buenos Aires has amazing Dimple-Pimples by the way- they must be constantly putting up and and taking out poles (check out Chako's blog).
Before it gets dark we meander back to our house. Sometimes we go out to eat, other times we will make pasta at home. Argentinian wine is very good and i particularly like their pinot noirs from Patagonia, which has a similar microclimate to Oregon and the Burgundy coast. There is a wine shop with a very friendly and talkative owner, who looks lot like Paul Giamatti, and recommends this and that. If we eat at home we will visit him. If we eat out the restaurants begin to fill up around 10:00pm and it is fun to be part of the late night summer dinner rush. The local parilla (grilled/smoked meat restaurant) is always good. Other options include a very cheap pasta place, an expensive pasta place, pizza/empanada's and other parillas. Actually the food options where we live are not so diverse. But they are tasty and nothing is really that expensive. If we eat out then the entire day i described is about $35 for the two of us. Staying in is substantially less.
Maybe around 1:00 am we will go for an ice cream and a cafe before reading some, or studing some Spanish, then going to bed.
February 26, 2008