El Teatro Colon

Yesterday I was lucky to see the amazing teatro colon… at the price of an Argentine resident! ;) It’s crazy to note that the discrepancy between the costs for an Argentine and for a tourist is about tripled … How unfair! :( 

Most beautiful theatre I had ever laid eyes on…. But onto the more fun part: The FOOD I got to eat!!! mwahahahah :)

Yes, if you’re Korean, you probably can recognize that that is Sulungtang!!! With my new Argentine-Korean friend, I was FINALLY able to try Korean food over the weekend!!! Let me just say, I thank God many times that I live in LA and have access to REAL Korean food… haha okay, maybe that’s slightly exaggerating… but it definitely did not par up  with Hanbat’s sulungtang on Western Avenue… 

On another note: I miss my best friend :(

Can’t wait to reunite with my friends and family from back home and be where sunshine and smiles are!! ^__^ 

The irony of a beautiful cemetery

As much as I’m terrified of cemeteries and anything related to caskets, rotting bodies, death, etc., I was so shocked to have encountered such a beautiful cemetery. It’s one of the most famous cemeteries located in Buenos Aires, and being the tourist I am, I swallowed my fear and persuaded myself to go. Here are some pictures! :)

That last picture is Eva Peron’s grave, which is another reason why so many tourists come visit this monumental cemetery. Did my pictures prove to you that a cemetery can be beautiful? :p Nonetheless, I still don’t like cemeteries.

Appreciation for Art

Today I went to the famous MALBA, a contemporary art museum in BuenosAires. It was so much fun, and super cheap. (less than $5!!) I love going to the LACMA back home, and being at the MALBA really brought back nostalgic memories. I think people need to take advantage of the fact that there are so many wonderful and inexpensive museums out there for us to enjoy. Even if you don’t understand the concepts behind the artworks, because trust me I don’t either, I still think it’s an excellent way to take a look at things from different perspectives. It’s also very fun to interpret every single piece, because they are all open to your own interpretation…and I feel that’s the fun of it! But really, I decided when I go back to San Diego, I am going to try to visit all the museums there are! :)

Eating Everything in My Path

Not sure if its the frosty winter cold or because Argentina has the best sweets in the world, but today was the day the monster inside of me became alive and consumed a bunch of goodies at once. Right after school, I was just planning on taking my laundry to the lavanderia and then taking a nap because I was so tired, but my roommate Claudia and I took a detour to Freddos. The dulce de leche and banana split flavors were calling my name.. and so I couldn’t resist! :( But let me tell you, Argentine ice cream is hands down, best ice cream ever!!!! A little creamier than gelato, but not too creamy like American ice cream… right in between! :p Picture below:

I thought this would be my only indulgence for the day, but then Claudia and I passed the Confiteria…. and we couldn’t help it for our feet took us right inside! I was good as I limited myself to only two pastries…. but I gobbled everything I had bought within minutes! :( 

And it didn’t even end here, because I ended up going to the market afterwards to buy some chips to eat because I needed something salty to cancel out all the sweetness in my mouth! 

As you can safely deduce, I was a big fatty today!!! Hence, my other classmate Mariela and I decided to gym (which also happened to be my first gym experience in another country!) I had a decent workout, but not having been able to work out for almost 3 whole weeks, I definitely felt out of shape and it was a difficult session today :( I ended up buying a 15 day membership so that I can come back to America not looking like a polar bear. 

An unforgettable Weekend in Iguazu

I had an unforgettable encounter with Mother Nature this past weekend. Pictures below will probably better explain what I had seen with my own eyes, but they don’t serve justice on what I had felt from actually being there and witnessing the Falls in person. The mixture of both fear and awe as I took in the beautiful scenery was definitely life changing this past weekend. Here ya go :)

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***LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE***

Day 10 - More epiphanies

Today was a day when I had so many epiphanies in one day that my brain literally felt like it was hurting from all my pensive thoughts! I’m just so glad and thankful that I got to experience all that has happened to me thus far. 

Thanks to my friend Belen from UCSD, I got to meet her cousin who lives in Buenos Aires. He helped me tremendously today, as he bought me a delicious lunch, and drove me all the way to a VERY dangerous neighborhood called Villa Lugano, where my Fedex package was unfortunately located. Because my debit card had gotten stolen, I was literally a broke little Asian girl with no money, and have been relying on this other debit card that got lost at the Fedex. Every time I would mentioned “Villa Lugano,” where the Fedex was located at, I would see reactions of fear and horror. I later learned after entering the neighborhood with much fear, that it was essentially one of the slums of Buenos Aires. I had never imagined or even been prepared for what I had seen, as the GPS consistently would repeat in Spanish “You are now entering a dangerous zone, caution.” 

It was quite a frightening experience. The area was scattered with drug addicts, homeless people, policeman & police cars everywhere, stray dogs, trash all over the grounds, and endless rows of shacks, which were supposedly homes. Actually entering the Fedex was a completely different story. The whole Fedex was gated, and the only way to enter was by providing proper documentation. It felt like I was trying to get into the president’s White House, as the security was top-notch. As soon as I received my package, I bolted for the car and made sure the doors were locked. I wish I had taken some pictures to depict the frightening city, but I was too scared to even take my camera out of my pocket! :( 

But before all this, I did have a wonderful lunch. Here are the pictures :) 

My favorito chocotorta!!! :D

Overall, I just had so many epiphanies after today’s stressful journey en route to receive my debit card… and I just felt extremely homesick as well :( I miss all the privileges/things I had taken for granted back home, and it is a sad reality, that only through the absence of something, do you truly appreciate it. I just wanted to end with Kurt Vonnegut’s “Sunscreen” speech as some food for thought:

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ‘98: Wear sunscreen. 

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. 

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. 

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday. 

Do one thing every day that scares you. 

Sing. 

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. 

Floss. 

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. 

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. 

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. 

Stretch. 

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t. 

Get plenty of calcium. 

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone. 

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s. 

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. 

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. 

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. 

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. 

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. 

Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. 

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. 

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. 

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. 

Travel. 

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. 

Respect your elders. 

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. 

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85. 

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. 

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Day 9 - With the Horsies

Today was such a wonderful day, and definitely a day to remember forever. My friends and I took a bus to an Estancia (ranch) somewhere north of Buenos Aires. It was just a fun-filled day full of food, wine, riding horses, watching tango dances and other musicians perform, and a day filled with much smiles and laughter. Here are pictures below, as they say one photo is worth a thousand words :) 

Running away with el gaucho!

Endless amounts of all kinds of meat!!! ;P

They fed us endless amounts of wine and empanadas too!! :D 

My favorite kitty!!!

I love this little girl!!

Petting horsies~~

I loved this boy too!!! 

The parilla slow roasting by spitfire…

Overall, today was a marvelous day !!! 

Day 8 

Today was a wonderful day, when my friends and I explored a brand new, BEAUTIFUL city called Bartolomete (i think that’s how to say it…) We took a train to this city, and it was apparent by its grand architectures, abundance of greenery and trees, and immaculate cobblestone streets, that we were in a wealthy area. One of my classmates suggested we go watch a rugby game, and supposedly rugby is pretty big here in Argentina. I normally never really watch sports, so it very exciting watching today’s fiercely violent game! Here are some pictures:

And a picture from a mucho divertido night!!:

Buenos Aires is getting better and better!! :)

Day 7

Today was an amazing day full of shopping and buying gifts NOT FOR MYSELF, but for friends and family :) I was amazed at my wonderful self-control, because I saw so many amazing things today while in Palermo Hollywood!! :(

First, my housemate, Claudia, and I had gone to the leather goods section. Argentina is very known for their leather products because of its excellent quality. I had bought most of my friend’s souvenirs from there today ;) 

After, we explored Palermo Hollywood area, where there are numerous boutiques everywhere in a beautiful area. Here are pictures below: enjoy~

PLUS, I saw a homeless man watching TV on the side of the street… 

a very different world they live in, no? :p

Day 6

Sorry for not updating yesterday!! I got too lazy, but I realize now I have to write 2 posts today… :( Next time I’ll be sure to never miss a post! Because all that I’ll be writing in today’s post happened yesterday, I’ll be writing in the past tense :)

One highlighted memory from yesterday was lunch time, when a group of my friends and I went to a deli to order a sandwich. My dad had consistently been telling me to eat a “Mortadella” sandwich, which is basically a type of Italian salami on bread with cheese… I ordered a sandwich called “morcipan” thinking it was that. Here is what came to my table:

Looked fairly decent.. until I took the first bite… It tasted mushy/squishy and plain WEIRD. I almost spit out the first bite, but I wanted to be polite and reluctantly swallowed it. I couldn’t eat any more of the meaty part, so I ended up just eating the bread and the cheese with the veggies :( 

I later went to my school and asked the teacher what on earth I had just eaten… and he told me it was a blood sausage with chopped tendons/tripe .. =_= I felt sick :( NEVER AGAIN will I be trying the moricella again!!!!

After lunch, I had class, and then I met up with a new girl, who was introduced to me through another girl I knew from UC San Diego. The girl that I know, Belen, was born in Buenos Aires as well, and she introduced some of her close friends from back home. I had a wonderful time catching up with my new friend, Maive, who was just amazing and inspring in so many ways. Although she was only 20 years old, she had already traveled to Africa, U.S., Italy, France, and Switzerland. Her first language is Spanish, and she can speak English, Korean, and is now learning French. She was just so wise and mature and I really had a wonderful, deep conversation on life with her. I feel that it’s hard to have these kinds of conversations with just anyone… but I was so amazed I was able to have such a meaningful conversation with a new friend!! 

And lastly, to end the night, a group of friends and I went out to an underground bar called The Spot! It was a wonderful night, and very different from American bars… People would actually be dancing the Salsa.. while Americans definitely don’t do that. Haha, a very new experience~ Here is all of us! :)