Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday musings

Hola from Buenos Aires mes amigos!
It is hard to believe that already one week is over on the vacation. I am really not too sure of where to start but I think I will comment on the news briefly and then a little about the week that was for us here.
News is very limited here in B.A. Obviously the majority of stations are in Spanish and since my Spanish is limited, I am forced to rely on three English speaking channels. One is CNN International-from London. The second is BBC International from London and the third is Al Jezeera from -you guessed it, London.
All three present a limited view of the world news. Indeed I am able to gather more from my home city in Canada than I can from them. It seems that events in Syria are coming to a boil and the United Nations is stymied in any efforts at all in terms of issuing condemnation statements- tell me again how this will help the civilians being shot again?- by both Russian and Chinese veto’s. Something tells me that when the dust settles, that the survivors will remember how the world ignored them.
There was a serious set of riots at 2 soccer games in Egypt with 70 some killed and more in the riots that followed. Some say the military set this up but I think it probably was done by militants determined to reshape the country into their vision of Egypt and to the devil with other peoples opinions.
Over in Russia it seems that Mr. Putin is headed for re-election as President but there is a more vocal opposition now and they do not seem hesitant to voice their opposition to him and his policies. Perhaps he will not have such an unopposed control over the government as before and will be more accountable to the people, and that is a good thing.
OK, enough for the world, let us talk about Buenos Aires.
My wife and I agree that this city reminds us of Paris but without the snotty people that live there. The people here are great to deal with. They are unfailingly polite and try their best to understand our fractured Spanish. I had my first steak dinner tonight and oh boy, wow is the only word that can describe it. This was followed by a portion of ice cream that was made the proper way- with real cream, I could feel the waistline expanding.
I am attaching a couple of photos just to give a glimpse of a small part of what we have seen so far.

The top one shows the view of our street as you come out of the front doors of the apartment building. The second is the grill at the restaurant where I had my steak- this is the unit where the meat is done on. Indoors and over blocks of wood. You can see on the left a slab of lamb, then in the middle are sausages, and the right are chunks of meat.
Oh yes, the weather has been great with the temperature in the day reaching plus 31c (plus 42c with the humidity) and clear skies. Except of course the one night when we went out for supper (around 8 is the norm here) and were sitting outside having our first course when the heavens opened and the streets were flooded within minutes. I saw one of those pylons used for traffic direction float merrily along a newly created stream in the street beside our table. The storm lasted for 2 hours and the 25 minute walk back to our apartment was like taking a very warm shower. All that was missing was some soap and a towel!
Well, that is it for this week, I apologize for a short column but there is a cold drink (Coca Cola that is) waiting for me on the balcony and my wife and I will be sitting there watching the busy foot traffic go by for a while. Until next week,

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