Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fin de Semana

I've found a place with a solid Internet signal!  Rejoice, rejoice!  I'm in this little study room down the hall from my bedroom. 

 I  was a little nervous going into this weekend.  I didn't know how to fill the time without class and tours and all the other things we've been doing all week.  I mean, we have a few assignments, but they aren't that difficult and I knew they wouldn't take that long.  Plus, Maria and I wanted to go out and do something.  We decided that Saturday, whenever we woke up, we would head to San Telmo for the weekly street fair.  I woke up early for a long-overdue Skype date with my parents, but by the time Maria was up it was gray, cold, and threatening to rain.  We decided we weren't in the mood for the street fair, and it's there every weekend, so why not wait until there's some sun?  We went out walking around the neighborhood and stopped in a little coffeehouse called Casa de Gretha to have submarinos and alfajores.  Since you probably don't know what those are, it is with great relish that I will describe them.  Submarinos are hot chocolate drinks.  Think of the richest, most delicious hot chocolate you've had.  This is better.  They serve you a cup of steaming hot milk and hand you a little chocolate candy bar that you drop into the cup.  The chocolate melts, creating a rich milky drink that warms you all the way through.  Then the alfajores.  We had alfajores grandes, so they were almost the size of a tea saucer.  They're made up of two cookies-- shortbread, I guess-- stuck together with dulce de leche (like caramel) and coated in chocolate.  So that was our afternoon: sitting in a cozy tea-house consuming two of the best chocolate treats available in Buenos Aires, people-watching and chatting (mostly in English, which was lazy of us but kind of a nice break).

Since the Residencia doesn't offer lunch and dinner on the weekends unless you ask ahead of time, we had to go out again for dinner.  A few blocks away we found a little pizzeria called Amelia's and got a small plain pizza.  It was excellent, and being in the pizzeria reminded me of the one where I work back at school, which brought on a pleasant sort of nostalgia.  We went back there again for lunch today, but had empanadas, which were also very good.  This weekend has been full of good food: last night after our pizza some of the girls invited us to join them to get ice cream at McDonald's.  Now, I know what you're thinking:  "McDonald's again?  Why did you go halfway across the world if you're just going to eat at a crummy chain you have at home?"  ...Or something like that.  But listen.  You can get McFlurrys here with dulce de leche.  And the ice cream they use is so much better somehow.  It was delicious!  Then we chatted with some of the girls for a while before heading to bed.

Yesterday we actually spent a lot of time chatting with the girls in the Residencia.  We sat and talked with a girl from my floor, Lucina, for a long time about all kinds of things.  She attends UBA (University of Buenos Aires, a free public college) and studies translation and law, so her English is very good and she is very patient and helpful with us when we speak Spanish.  She even offered to read over any papers we have to hand in for classes.  We were also invited to go out this coming weekend for a birthday celebration for one of the girls.  I'm pretty excited to see the nightlife, which is apparently more subdued and not as overtly indulgent and drunk as college nightlife at home.

We just got back from the grocery store, and now we've both got to finish our assignments.  Hopefully next weekend we'll actually make it to San Telmo and I'll have some more interesting pictures and things to write about.

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