Tag Archives: Buenos Aires 2009


Ciao a tutti! Hello everybody!

I have arrived in South America. YEAH!

To embrace this continent starting with a visit in Buenos Aires was a good move indeed.
Not that I had hell of a lot of options from South Africa, hey?
I have figured out that when you live at the end of the world, there are not many affordable destinations to fly to.

So, here I am with a super excited mind, trapped in a jet-legged body. For now.

I have decided to write stories about this trip and how life is treating me.

I have chosen you to be my reader. You as a friend or student of mine or as someone I met in the last few years I have connected with.

I have the feeling that all of you could possibly benefit from my writing. Even you, complete stranger, if you found me online searching for things.

I would love you to follow me in my adventures, keep me company, since I am here by myself and hopefully comment.

Here we start….

I have been here for only 3 days and I feel as if I already belong to this place.

It´s somehow like going back to Italy but without actually doing it. It is a crazy and disturbing feeling.

Certain things are so European, and specifically very Italian, which bring up strong memories from my childhood, like the wooden blinds in this old and partially dirty apartment I am sharing with 2 other girls.

We used to have them in the kitchen in our house in Italy, but then we replaced them with fabric curtains in the 80´s. I still recall the sound of it when the wooden blinds were coming down at night to create a thick protection against light and crime.

And now they are back in Argentina, forcing me to return home.

I have the feeling that people here do not necessarily want to move on. The pattern of the tiles, the door skirting, the broken pavements in the street, the old faded colors in the facades of the houses, the long queues at the bank (when people could use the internet to make payments) they are all signs of a comfort zone, which is not too uncomfortable to me.
The very first thing I did when I arrived, after sleeping for 18 hours, was to go to the bank and change some dollars.
I have no phone nor watch with me and I have decided to do things naturally during this holiday. So, I didn’t know what the time was.

When I get to the bank and I try to open the door and it’s closed, I ask a woman at what time it opens.

“Ahora!”…she says…. Just now*

Great… it was almost 10 am… how laid back are these people? And I thought the Africans were quite chilled.
She made sure I understood I cannot just ¨get in¨ but I have to queue up and she showed me the direction of it… Holly Molly…. more than 40 people were moving like a restless snake around the block waiting to get in.

As a matter of curiosity I went to the end of the line to see if the mood was the same as at the beginning. The same resigned looks and the same fictitious calm.
I packed up laughing so loudly and I thought to myself ¨welcome to South America!”.

Once we all got in, the illusion of a system took place, managed by an armed guardian, who is there just to intimate the public. It didn’t take too long before the first woman started screaming at another woman in the queue because she unethically skipped it with a flimsy excuse. It was hysterical to look at.
One of the bank managers briefly came out to create order but only temporarily.

Unfortunately it didn’t turn into a riot! It would have been a great story to tell about my first day in Argentina.

The heat and the humidity stroke all of us and made us very temperamental and therefore very Latin. And why were they all so patient outside the bank in the queue? – I was thinking.

After being slightly mishandled in a few counters, I got my dollars and my power to conquer the city, financially.

I can tell already on day 1 that I have to get used to the people here especially taxi drivers who have a tendency to be real crooks.

The one who drove me to my new flat from the airport, tried everything to rip me off and if it wasn’t that I spoke the language, I would haven’t got out of it immune.

A part from that… what can I say?
It is full of men here and probably they are not ALL gay.

Living in Cape Town, it is indeed a strange feeling to acknowledge the miraculous possibility that someone could find me attractive. Wow! Shall I start matching underwear?

The man at the bench, while having his solitary lunch and the man on the bicycle, while having his usual exploration, were both very pleasant and informative and transmitted me a feeling of sexiness.
In fact, is there anything sexier than a man who, generously reports historical facts, dates and names of former generals or presidents and explains very easily how the country has been run in the last 10 years, over a quick chat in the street?
I was freaking impressed, guys, by the knowledge of average people in the street or I am simply fascinated because I know the men are not all gay and on top of it they know so much. YEAH!!

I’d better read my Lonely Planet guide more intensely to stimulate my next encounter.

What else?
My Spanish is doing great. I have surprised myself. I am so happy I can speak this language and I still wonder where I learnt it since I seriously don´t remember studying it as much as the other languages I know.

I remember one day in Torremolinos (Spain) in 2008 struggling with the past tense and then one day later in 2009 in Cape Town, it clicked, just like that and now I feel blessed by the result and by the fact that I have already dreamt in Spanish and spoke the language to people for the last 3 days.

So my dear students, there is a possibility for you too.

Have I told you that I am HAPPY already?
Yes I am because this city reminds me of Italy when I was a child and in a way I feel I am going back to my childhood with an adult brain. It is very cool!

I also feel free, curious, safe and ready to explore the city on foot.
The weather is nice but the heat and humidity will have to make me lose weight to make it worth it for me.
To be used to living in a small city like Cape Town and get thrown onto a big metropolis like Buenos Aires is quite a thing.

Hundreds of people crossing the street at the same, time within a few minutes, remind me of the synchronicity of fish.

Traffic represents exactly what the word means.

Patience is not the Nation´s quality.

There are so many MC Donald’s that they could easily be used as a unit to measure distance,
(4 MC Donald’ s later, turn right!).

Tube stations are as ordinary as the smelly armpit of the man next to you at peak hour.

I took the ¨sightseeing tour bus¨ yesterday to get a general idea of how the city works and I did it twice just in case I missed the name of some monuments on the first round.
Anyway, on the second trip I expressly chose to sit downstairs because of the air conditioning and being the only one  – all tourists want to be on the upper deck and get baked in the sun –

I offered to look after a 6 years old chubby Nicaraguan child, whose father belonged to the lovers of the sun upstairs.

My job was to make sure this kid was fine. Why did I offer in the first place anyway?

I think it was the idea of having access to those soft and deep cheeks (most of you should know by now about my obsession towards human skin) and also the wish to be entertained by the colorful point of view of a young Nicaraguan boy here on holiday.

I loved every single moment of our conversation. He was genuinely adorable and I could have easily ¨rented him¨ for a weekend and happily returned him to his parents on Monday, in order to continue my free life in the city.

It is public holiday today. Being the 8th of December, they celebrate ‘Festa della Madonna” – Celebration of the Virgin Mary – like we do in Italy.

My morning “LATTEY” together with the Italian movie at the cinema I will watch just now ((Cosa voglio di piu´ by Silvio Soldini) are making me feel very Italian here and see my South African home like a guesthouse where I cheaply lived for many years.

I will leave you today with a quote by Helen Rowland:

“Home” is any four walls that enclose the right person.


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Dear friends,

Another day has gone by in this beautiful and charming city, where I feel more and more part of it.

I found a way to strengthen my bond with this place – to have my morning “caffelatte”, while I read the top news on the local newspaper online.

I feel more prepared just in case anyone complaints about any recent news on the tube.

Can you believe that they have a section with the top 10 things to know before you leave your home, clever hey?

On the way to the tube station, another local newspaper is handed out to the passengers for free and later it gets collected at the exit of the station, in order to circulate it more or to recycle it. Both options are quite clever again.

I have never seen as many pharmacies in my life as here. I swear it, almost at every 2 “cuadras” (local word for a block of houses) and full of customers.
I fear these Porteños (that is how the citizens of Buenos Aires are called) are a little bit too hypochondriac,  without them knowing it, obviously. I really hope they also sell milk.

In my process of observation of people and life, which is one of the main reasons why I am here, I dedicated time to see how shop assistants operate in general and I have been surprised by certain attitudes.

I have noticed a lot of them eating or drinking while they try to sell.

In Italy they put the sign (TORNO SUBITO – I will be back soon) and off they go to have an espresso or a “tramezzino” at the bar in the area.

Here, I saw a lady in a clothing shop, drinking “her mate” (the typical Argentinean tea not  “her friend” hahaha) from the “mate tea cup” which looks like a “poitje * pot to me with a kind of pipe in it.

It didn’t look very sophisticated to me at all but surely it is a cultural thing and I need to get used to it.

Another one was confident enough to have a full-on brunch while she was trying to get me to buy some very expensive leather bags…one bite with oily lips and one pitch with bad taste.

To get me spend that kind of money, I would have wanted to share at least the crunchy croissant she was having and get offered a cappuccino too!

Another thing that caught my attention was the fact that in some shops, especially the ones selling leather items, the owners choose to place 1 or 2 “caballeros” i.e. gentlemen, in their 50´s or 60´s, all dressed up in linen suits, outside the shop to attract you in, of course, neglecting to invest in an English crash course.

These guys cannot speak English man!

When one of them asked me how I was and I said “great”, he just replied:


What is that? It is such an unusual answer from a man who is trying to get you to spend money. I only wanted to hug him actually.

Once I arrived at the end of the Avenida (thank God it eventually ended) I got to a park at Plaza San Martin where I had to meet those 2 policemen.

I have a love –hate relationship towards uniforms and officers. I am scared of them fundamentally but I am enormously intrigued by the fact I am so petrified.

Crazy, isn’t it?

These ones were too lovely and good looking to be left unattended and I really wanted to find a way to get a photo on that quad of theirs.

By the way, have you ever seen police driving those bulky quads up and down a park?

It was insanely hysterical. Last time I was on one of these quads was in the dunes out of Cape Town and I was certainly not chasing criminals.

I totally love these machines, they are absolutely cool! Pity they didn’t allow me to sit on them but I did take my picture and once again the officer shared his informative knowledge about the city with me, the most curious tourist in town at the moment.

My plan for the day was to go window shopping in the main shopping streets in town ( Avenida Florida and Avenida Santa Fe´) , which are the Argentinean versions of Oxford Street in London, it looks like.

Considering my disturbing attraction towards bargains, I knew I would have approached the till more than the window but something extremely unusual happened to me:

I felt uninterested and I didn’t have fever.

I have never rejected shopping in my life. I have always found a few items to harmoniously match something I already have in my cupboard.

And now I am disappointed. I was expecting a crowd of items screaming at me:

” Take me home with you Fede, irrationally”.

Just to make sure my credit card worked I did take home one or 2 sad, lonely items from the shelf but generally speaking I think most of the things I saw, got here via China and if they stopped in South Africa before, it would have been easier and cheaper for me to access them.

Anyway, the moral of the story is:

I could have spent more money if things were of better quality and of a better price.

The red dress and the Spanish high heels shoes I bought, are ready for some wild nights to come!

Talking about it, on Saturday it is DIA DEL TANGO i.e. Tango Day and I have the strong feeling that I will somehow be involved in some passionate mementos with this exact new outfit.

So after all, it was worth going shopping today!

And now its time for me to say “buenas noches y hasta pronto” to all of you but I will leave you with this beautiful word on the door of my bedroom cupboard, written by hand by Veronica, the bohemian photographer who gave me her room while she is on holiday.

The word, in its striking turquoise says:



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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Hello friends!

If all of you could have the least idea of what is really happening here…

It is getting out of control. Every single freaking day something super interesting-fascinating- amazing is happening to me.

I m not too sure if it is this place or maybe it is me who attracts the most unusual episodes, which make me wonder If I will ever go to the airport again.

Thanks to all of you for the interest shown on the red dress and its possible use. I will keep you well informed.

And now back to men, a recurrent subject like Tango, it seems.

If they only knew how much I am talking about them and the “pobrecitas mujeres” (the poor women), never the main characters of my stories. Shame!

If you have maternal breasts, an African bum (like I do), if you straighten your vertebra a bit and imagine you are carrying 5 kilos of books on your head, you are in for a compliment, ALLA GRANDE! (BIG TIME)

I find the whole thing amusing but at the same time embarrassing.

It wasn´t easy for me today to experience a bus driver, with a full audience at the back, hooting and smiling at me at a busy intersection, just like that, followed by 2 scooter drivers hooting and gesticulating at me, after a shop owner stuck his head out of the shop while I was passing by.

As my Texan friend used to say when she was flabbergasted with things:


The ironic thing in all this, is:

If I were actually a beautiful woman (in the real sense of it) these men would not even notice the difference, funny hey?

What bothers me though is when they are too forward and class collapses like a child after a day at the fun fair.

I need to let you know that I am a bit off Argentinean men, after today´s episode.

During a pouring but not boring day, this guy approached me in the rain.

Nothing wrong with that since the combo rain and men, made a few people fall in love in many movies.

I have spoken to so many guys in the last five days that one more cannot hurt, I thought.

I was getting shelter in one of the shop tent while buckets of water, coming down from the sky, made me wonder why God was so angry and why I refused to buy an umbrella.

The nationality and geographic questions popped out, as usual and I found myself going through my CV again, perfectly knowing I was not getting a promotion.

On the contrary, what I got was a big slimy and unexpected suggestion:

to go to my apartment for sex.

Just like that, as direct as a banana. I was shocked.

He took me completely off guard. I didn’t know what to say.

I wish I could say VAFFANCULO* to people. I never really said it to someone directly.

I love swearing, don’t get me wrong,  but more for fun than for solving problems.

The only words that came out my mouth were something like:

” it is not the way I do things” .

I thought his reaction to it was crazy.

Instead of respecting my point of view, he started doubting me and he asked if I ACTUALLY LIKE MEN.

Can you believe it?

As if the possibility of him not being my type was not an option. His ego must have been as big as a hot air balloon and, when he bumped into my rejection, his conviction of being a sex symbol left him flabbergasted

Out of this world!

OMG. I am going to have to take a big step back from now on.

If I want info, I will approach women first or I have to improve my interactions with weirdoes.

I really need to go to bed now. This day has been as rich as a fatty cheesecake with fresh cream on top.

……..1 day later…….

The Argentinean red dressed lingo learning globetrotter  – as my friend Lee is calling me nowadays – has woken up and already laughing at the comments received from you about the ” weirdo encounter in the rain”.

It’s a pity nobody was playing blues in the background to make it more ¨ Hollywood recipe gone wrong … cake flop (again quoted by Lee – you crack me up man!)

Anyway I was so knackered last night that I forgot to share part of my “Rain Man story”, which could almost forgive the dude.

Just before the unexpected encounter and proposal, I was busy finishing my “almuerzo”  `(lovely word to mean lunch) in one of those local bars, where locals really go.

On my way out, I paid a visit to the loo and I also paid attention to the formal sign by the sink, which says:


I would have imagined it in a barrio (area) with lots of nocturnal affairs and clubs, where young crowds mingle under the full moon light and think tomorrow is too late to get satisfied.

I didn’t expect that note in a bar where office people or pensioners go for a reassuring lunch.

Maybe in the night, the street vibe changes but to see that sign in the day it was like seeing a strong red lipstick on a school teacher, who is secretly a pole dancer.

But then, after my encounter with the weirdo, it all added up. He was probably a vampire with jet leg.

Tomorrow it is DIA DEL TANGO but for me it is VOCABULARY DAY.

It has been too long. I seriously need to share the most hilarious and fascinating words I have learnt so far.

A la proxima, gringos!

I will leave you today with a quote by Oscar Wilde:

“ A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her”


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Hola todos (hello everybody for the subtitles lovers)

Here I am, lost in translations, entangled in adjectives and in love with metaphors.

It is the perfect day to talk to you about language.

I have created categories to make it easier for you. Enjoy the sound, the meaning and the intention of course!

My favorite names for restaurants so far

– La parolaccia = the swear word

–  Il vero spirito italiano = the true italian spirit

–  Capisci = Do you understand?

–  Ippopotamo = Hippo

–  Los immortales = the immortals

and my favourite  ever, which says it all about the exaggerated devotion to the Virgin Mary is:

– Salvame Maria = Rescue me Mary

Isn’t it adorable?

I went to an art gallery where an unusual exhibition was held. Besides some “human suits” hung on the walls with the hanger, representing naked bodies of men and women -photographed and then turned into fabric, I was also intrigued by a photo exhibition where faces of ordinary people were shown together with an adjective the public would use to describe them in a form of discrimination.

Here are the words I learnt. i am not too sure if the translation is right.

– trolo = slang for gays

– trava = abbreviation for trans

– torta = slang for female gay

– chongo = apparently a man maintained by another man

– nena = here meant as young effeminate man

And here I also have to add the following saying I saw somewhere else but it fits in perfectly:



My favorite signs in public places

– the one about condoms I sent yesterday and this one:

“Baños esclusivos para clientes (NO INSISTA)”  

Bathrooms only for clients (PLEASE DONT INSIST!)  Hilarious!

and then the one at the cinema. I forgot to write the Spanish version but it was basically inviting the public to use the fan only to dry hands and not any other parts of the body.


My favorite new slang word used by young people but surely also by older people (that is in fact what I need here RIGHT NOW) is:

AMIGOVIO, as a merge of the words  “AMIGO” (male friend) and “NOVIO” (boyfriend).

They also call it AMIGO CON DERECHOS (friend with rights) but we say in English “friends with benefits” and we all know what that means.

I will leave today with a quote by Michael Garett Marino, which reminds me so much of my ex boyfriend:

“ A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak”


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Buenos Dias people!

Once again thanks guys for being there for me and commenting on my trip.

Your participation keeps me company and keeps my writing going.

You don’t have to dream of Buenos Aires though like some of you did.

I know there is a bit of expectation about the TANGO DAY. I can only SAY that IT WENT OK.

The weather was not on my side or I would rather say it didn’t lead me to the Avenida de MAYO where the ecstatic crowd was celebrating.

I did though wear my lavish red dress and the new high heels shoes to honor “Carlos Bardel” for the day.

I even put make up on, sprayed a touch of my new  “BEACH by Bobby Brown” (Thanks Nicole for that), loosened my hair, (huge effort for a ponytail woman like me) borrowed a necklace and a matching bag from Pia, la Cantante (my wonderful housemate) and hit the road, feeling sexy and beautiful no matter where I was going.

It was only early afternoon and I once I arrived at Plaza Italia, I saw there was an “international Handicraft exhibition” happening for a few days only at the local Convention Centre and I got in, extremely curious to see what this country is up to when it comes to handcraft.

I thoroughly loved it!

Very different from our small attempts of internationalism we have n Cape Town.

Sorry Mother City but this one really ROCKS!

I saw terrific, extraordinary and divine fashion jewelry (one of my weaknesses in life and during this holiday) and unexpectedly lots of dolls in the shape of gnomes or fairy tale characters.

The most interesting material used at this Fair, which really impressed me for the versatility of its use, is FELT.

I “felt” in love with felt (excuse the pun!) and I know we use it in South African too but not at this level. Gorgeous clothing, necklaces, scarves, brooches.

O DIOS MIO (OMG) I am in Heaven!

Do you know that fairs here ONLY open at 3 pm but they stay open until 22h00? Interesting, hey? I am glad I am not an early bird as I arrived just 10 minutes before the opening.

Anyway, I had serious complications to get back home due to some major blisters developed on my feet (the worst part of buying new shoes, right?) and due the floods closing the tube station for half a day.

So weather plus pain equal no tango celebration in the square.

LO SIENTO CHICOS (I am sorry guys). I am sure I will have time to get involved in some Tango at some stage.

Did I tell you that I am not planning to go anywhere different from Buenos Aires?

I want to stay here. Every morning I wake up, I feel I can only handle this, a lot of this but just this.
The heat is helping me out too, to feel more casual, more relaxed and more local.

I will take a break from being a tourist and mingle softly and sweetly with the locals, for a change.

I will leave you today with a quote by Jorge Luis Borges:

” I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library”


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Good morning people!

It doesn’t take long in a big city to figure out that high heels shoes will not take you very far.

For my city exploration yesterday, I cleverly wore flat shoes and a big hat for sun or rain (trick or treat?) and spent something like 11 hours at the magnetic SAN TELMO market.

This market is really SOMETHING. Every single tourist should go there and as a matter of fact he/she will probably go since it is one of the major attractions recommended in every guidebook.

I walked for hours… I stopped…I touched… I smiled…. I took…. I dropped…. I bought… I left..

I met.. I spoke ..I wrote… I watched… I ate ….I lived and enjoyed LIFE! Thoroughly!

No wonder I could never go home.

Would you also NOT LEAVE when all the 5 senses get so busy? I felt inebriated.

I had a chat about urban life with an American family from San Francisco.

I had a “choripan” (sandwich with a the Argentinean sausage) with some Italians from Bologna.

I spoke Spanglish to help a Brazilian tourist.

I shared opinions about fabric hearts with a French couple.

And I ended up spending the evening with a Peruvian photographer.


Something horrible also happened to me.

I found a shop where I would have bought 96.8 % of the goods on sale, if I were rich and lived in a mansion.

It is horrible news for me, to come to terms with my materialistic side, to lose myself in a necklace just like that, to keep on having to say to the shop assistant:

It is sooo beautiful… it is soooo creative… I love it soooo much!


What kind of childhood someone has to have had to salivate in front of OBJECTS?

I cannot help it though. When I see these kinds of creations, when I see artistic minds producing beauty using plastic, felt, leather, silver, I have contradictory feelings:  of course an humongous percentage of appreciation towards these  ”genii (yes it is the plural of genius – I did my research!!) but also a portion of envy because I wish I were the one coming up with these brilliant ideas (Sorry for being a bit presumptuous here) and at last some regret-sadness towards myself that I am not spending enough time “making” my own beauties.

Do you understand now how tiring my mind gets in the evening?

but obviously not enough to reject the Peruvian photographer´s invitation for some fun together.

I am leaving you today with a clever quote by JORGE LUIS BORGES, an Argentinean poet

“The truth is that we live out our lives putting off all that can be put off; perhaps we all know deep down that we are immortal and that sooner or later all men will do and know all things”

Un beso


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Hola queridos ( hello dear ones)

My second week’s journey has begun and I find myself having to cope with tiredness from happiness.

I never realized how tiring it is to be happy and hold a smile for 24 hours (probably it is stuck on my face during the sleep too).

Things still come out of the Magician’s box looking like beautiful doves and I still feel in a circus here.

I know there has been a hint of feminine curiosity about the Peruvian photographer.

Women are indeed very predictable sometimes.

Anyway, the Peruvian photographer happens to have a name, a nickname and crooked teeth like mine, which make him look relaxed and familiar, especially when he laughs.

Born as Alberto, has been called Beto by his friends for many years. We have plenty of Albertos in Italy too but we prefer cutting the name at the beginning and not at the end otherwise my nickname would be Rica instead of Fede.

Beto is a pleasant man with no English knowledge but a very proper castellan accent (from Spain and not from Argentina) , which is quite refreshing to me since the very reason I have chosen to learn Spanish in the first place, is for the 2 specific Spanish sounds that have been unfortunately  ”murdered” in the Argentinean Spanish, which are the  double LL and the  C.

What a cheek!

I still continue speaking with my castellan accent and I am refusing to adopt the VOS to address people as they do here, because I haven´t been sold on it yet.

It is also said that Peruvians use the language in a very sophisticated way and love expanding the use of vocabulary through metaphors, which is

PANE PER I MIEI DENTI (bread for my teeth)  as I would say in Italian.

It is such an appropriate expression, which loses its value when translated with ” MY CUP OF TEA”.

Moral of the story, Beto, the photographer, has been diligently correcting my Spanish and generously enlarging synonyms mixed with compliments at no cost.

He only presented the humble request of me teaching him English in return.


I can see there is lot of work to be done here and if the result he wants to achieve is to be able to have business negotiations with his customers, I think I should extend my stay for another 6 months, which is not the case, as I have a fully renovated school and enthusiastic students waiting for me, together with a bunch of friends who, hopefully will come to the airport with a huge banner saying:


If I improve Beto’s English (he seems to need the skeleton of the language first, before the fleshy parts)
I would also help him out with his business. He works in a very casual and rustic way.

I have seen him delivering artworks in dirty shorts and shoving the big frames inside dodgy taxis, where one of the passengers, holding the photo, was me.

Once we arrived at the hotel where the guest commissioned the job, Beto only had a piece of paper with a room number. No phone, no email, no first name. Not to mention no price ready. He didn’t even think of the price and he does not have a mailing list with a database with all his clients. I was shocked I must say.

Despite all this lack of organization, the job itself he does, is really different and lovely. He puts hundreds of photos of people together creating an overall image. Only when you get very close to the photo, you can see that that object chosen (a tiger or a house or a motorbike) is made out of people’s faces.
It is a type of modern TROMPE l’OEIL as the French call it (DECEIVE THE EYE) which is one of my favorite concepts ever.

All my life, I have always loved things, which look something else. It is a source of visual happiness for me.

So well done Beto, for thinking different.

I will leave you today with a fun quote by Gustave Flaubert:

” Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work”


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Hello passionate readers,

Back to the city, where I have been soaking up a bit of color, culture, beauty and sun, I have to reiterate here that this place is phenomenal!

I started my day today with the real intention of concentrating on other things than jewelry, bags and clothing.

I left home aiming to be overindulged with ”DOMES, TOWERS, FACADES and PORTALS spiced up with a clove of NEO-CLASSIC and a drop of RENAISSANCE. Yummy!

To make my friend Werner very happy I paid a visit at the TEATRO COLON as my first destination, followed by the visit at the TEATRO CERVANTES and a brief but intense visit at a PASTELERIA (bakery) and think of him during my encounter with one of those mouth watering POSTRES (PASTRIES)

I was actually looking forward to marking my territory at the most famous and classy opera house in Argentina, where ballet and classical recitals are also played but when I approached the entrance and I was given the bold news that :

IT IS CLOSED until March sorry!

I was firstly a bit taken back but then after several rejected attempts of co-operation from the staff members I decided that I HAD TO GET TO THIS BLOODY THEATRE no matter what, especially because every five minutes there was someone getting in and it wasn´t me.

Who are these people then? –  if it is really closed. The tired employee was hiding excitement by informing me, with a frustrating monotone voice, that they were people working in the theatre.

BOHHHHHH*. I would say in Italian, as the national sound of puzzlement.

“Never talk to the plebs!” I have learnt from experience in my life. ” Go straight to the top!”.

Obviously the guards were pretty obedient by following the orders given from above, but my job in fact was to wait for the ABOVE to rock up and schmooze him nicely and sneak in.

That´s what happened to Fede.

I must be honest, I felt a bit “Mafiosa” on the way to achieve my goal, since I had to call the snazzy mustached striped suit man in charge of the place, on the side , and beg him to “maak ´n´plan (for my Afrikaans readers) for me.

He arranged an appointment at 3pm sharp tomorrow at the main entrance and I have to ask for him specifically, Trimarco Enrique and I CANNOT be LATE and hopefully there are no drugs involved. It sounds like a obscure-dodgy deal.

Werner, the theatre, better be good, my friend!

Once I got to the other TEATRO (CERVANTES) I knew already how to operate. I took my sunglasses off, put the camera and the guide in the bag, put on and Argentinean face and got in, mingling with 3 ladies with a badge.

I saw the Valencia tiles, the Madrid textiles, the Seville glassware and the red Tarragon flagstones as per my guidebook.

After that, I entered a “pasteleria” (bakery) and had my “postre” (pastry) as planned (membrillo with crema pastelera) and jumped back onto the vibrant cobbled streets of this postcard -friendly city, which feels MINE for the time being.

……..the following day……

Buongiorno Argentina,

I still have a lot to unfold here and updates to be delivered to my fervent readers.

The 3 pm SHARP appointment with “el Señor Enrique Trimanco” at the main entrance of the TEATRO COLON DID happen, despite a few complications.

I was 5 minutes late due to my lingering at the gracious park of LAVALLE where I was enjoying observing life in the slow lane without time concerning me.

I also waited for him at the wrong entrance and when he eventually arrived , after having to be called by the security (yes I did move the world to get inside this iconic theatre) he showed nervousness and a bit of impatience since he planned the whole “operation” in detail including my reaction if caught out.

I would have had to say that I was there for an interview.

ROBA DA MATTI I as my first reaction in Italian. Out of this world.

I had no idea that this guy was risking so much to let me in. WHY was he doing it for me?

Do Argentinean men like putting themselves at risk for the sake of being polite? Or just for the sake of accompanying an exuberant Italian woman meandering in the most famous Porteño theatre?

POR FAVOR. (please).

I forgot my pepper spray at home but I was confident that Enrique Trimarco was not like the “RAIN MAN WEIRDO” from the other day and he was doing all that just because I AM A WOMAN and I simply ASKED KINDLY. Finish and Klaar! *.

The visit was short but superb. I could see a strong resemblance with the TEATRO LA SCALA in Milan and it will be a precious memory of my Argentina trip.

Thanks Enrique. You have been a good man and I wish you to reconnect one day to the residual part of your Italian ancestors from the Trimarco family in Torino.

And I will leave you tonight with an EVITA PERON quote

“To convince oneself that one has the right to live decently takes time”

Hasta prontissimo (see you soon)


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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Buen Dia! (The Argentinean version of Buenos Dias)

Here I am, almost punctual in my writing habits: an email every 2 days cheers you up always.

I’m glad to hear that some of you are waking up with my stories, some dream of them, some translate them into other languages for friends, some share them with their partner, some are planning their next holiday here.

It is all good! Nothing wrong with that!

Your comments and your feedback are ALWAYS welcome. I feel we are a team now and please DO NOT DROP ME over XMAS. I need your support then!

9 days to go and I am DREADING IT. I hate Xmas and New Year´s Eve. They seem to regularly connect me to the 2 looming-haunting subjects of my life: LOVE and FAMILY.

My yearly plan is to take a pill on the 24th December and wake up on the 2nd of January but it never works out for some reason. I always get distracted and forget about it and now more than ever. How can I pass out for 6 days in Argentina?

I MEAN, REALLY! That would be pending on the border of stupidity and regret.

Today I want to talk to you about the origin of these Portenos.

Can you believe that half of the people I met so far in this town, own an Italian surname but they don´t speak the language and neither know where exactly they are from?

I would have nightmares if it happened to me.

For me, due to my job and my origins, it is indeed a piece of a very sad news.

My imagination of hearing some Italian in the street, taking turns with Argentinean and mixing them beautifully in my head like an “Italianish” lingo is unfortunately not going to happen.

Even though the millions of Italian immigrants did not leave their language here, I am glad they left at least some “lekker” food, some astonishing buildings, expressive statues, bull terrier temperament, uncontrollable passion, dark skin and dark hair and proper fashion of course.

We cannot have it all!

I have to give up finding the most gorgeous and sexy Afro-Argentinean man then.

Yes I would love to hear softly spoken Spanish out of the voluptuous lips of a strong African origin man. Phew, I am getting hot flushes already!

YES black people speaking Spanish exist but there is a mysterious twist to this rumor.

Listen to this!

In the second half of the eighteenth century demand for labor led to the importation of black slaves in the city and already by the early nineteenth century around a third (YES you heard correctly!) of the population of Buenos Aires was Afro-Argentine.

Nowadays the city is considered one of the “most white” of all world capitals to the point that, after all my attentive expeditions through this city, I only have seen 2 black people around and they were Afro American tourists.

Can you believe it? And just for Lee, sorry guys I have to do that :Can you apple it? *

What happened to all these people still astonish the most adamant historians and me of course, who has to put up with another NO-GO reality when it comes to men.

I am glad though that they also managed to leave some cultural heritage with the Nation like the Tango (another YES on your surprised faces) and carnival celebrations.

Shall I leave you with a MARADONA quote today? Since he is from here?

“The Lord helps those who help themselves”

hasta la proxima


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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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I wish I could sing…like PIA LA CANTANTE, the harmonious and gentle woman I live with, who represents my solid Argentinean landmark, together with Pepe The Florist, with whom I exchange opinions every day on the way to the “subte”.

Pia Sicardi (yes of course another person with an Italian surname here) works from home and she has no idea that one of her common habits has been adding value to my holiday, day by day, building up memories for me.

She sings.

Before I say anything about her, I need to inform all of you that I was born with no gift for music.
To top it up, I was not given enough memory to remember any song lyrics at all. I spent my entire teenage era, to envy my gang friends who could remember an entire song of our favorite Italian singer Claudio Baglioni. If I could remember 1 line of the song, it was a lot.

So to meet someone who can sing and remembers the words, it is something extremely sensational to me.

She does it naturally, not only when she sits at the computer and she practices for her concerts but also when she cleans the bathroom, when she does her washing, when she looks for a skirt in the cupboard and when she spreads butter on her toast.

How cool is that?

It is not something that you can add to a holiday package at the travel agency, indeed.

Good morning Ma’am! ! – I would like to book a return ticket to Buenos Aires, a rental car, accommodation for 2 weeks and someone who sings for me every day please.

Can you imagine? Simply priceless.

Pia comes from a family of singers and musicians and she has become who she was supposed to become.

I come from a family who used to place stockings in the kitchen drawer and school books in the broken freezer and I have become whom I am.

Another aspect of her nature, which fascinates me enormously, is the fact that she can live with less technology than me, and a bunch of westernized people.

She has found her own way to get around with things, in the old way.

If she wants to watch a video using the TV, she has to connect the TV to the computer and to the stereo.
The computer is V 80 (slang for very eighties) and the hard drive box is as big as my stove at home.
In order to hear the sound, she has to put on a headset and sit very close to the TV, since the cable is quite short, and do some abs in the process, because as soon you sit straight, the cable jumps out.

I know it is unreal and it is not over.

When she does the washing, she has to place a strong wooden chair, stuck onto the machine to stop the broken door from opening and creating another inundation like the usual ones at the tube stations , preventing everybody from having access to the kitchen until the load is finished.

The best historical-hysterical item in the kitchen stays the old metal toaster, a piece of metal that you place on the old school gas stove, after lying your slices of bread on it and counting till 10. If you are late, your bread burns.

And now you can laugh until you cannot breath. I have done it too when I saw all those things in action.

Bless her and her acceptance to limited means.

I’m leaving you today with a fragment of a song, which PIA´s band is singing in the lounge, as we speak.

How surprising and delightful it is to wake up with a full-on band in the lounge practicing for an upcoming concert?

The words I briefly caught on the way to the kitchen are:

“Va cantando…y una copla sigue a la luna buscando la mañana “

(Go singing and a (folk) song is following the moon searching for the morning

Fede or Rica

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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Buenos Aires 2009


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