now that you know the very basics about me i can do a mini dive into what the first week of being plopped into a country that seems to be stuck somewhere between 1965 and 2001 (read: platform shoes are the style here) is like. i’ve been able to take in the city a bit after 8 days and a few things i believe are worth discussing. i’ll start with one of my favs: fernet.
if you don’t know much about fernet it’s a a digestive/apartif beverage that really is only popular in a few places: italy, argentina, and in the minds of united states bartenders (looking at you moises). it’s a type of amaro made from herbs which are macerated with liquor made from grapes and then aged in oak barrels. there are two types of people in the fernet world: I/O. in argentina we’ve been consuming it like 18 year olds housing jager (kind of a similar family - cue gag reflex) and it’s commonly mixed with coca-cola (fernet y coca). so if you want to get a taste (swidt?) of argentina go grab a bottle (small one).
of course alcohol is awesome and the wine country here is amazing - stay tuned for a the mendoza post - but one thing i’v been able to truly appreciate since getting my bearings is the amazing architecture which ranges from elaborate gothic cathedrals of the 16th century to the super modern cultural center. The structures are scattered throughout the city and stick out like a beautiful sore thumb which you keep injuring so you can’t not notice it. smack dab in the center of nueva córdoba is a massive castle-esque structure which you assume to be a museaum of modern art by it’s eclectic advertising and bright lights, but instead this castle is a mall. alright i guess that makes sense, but while i’m still on this topic - the rest of córdoba, the parts that aren’t awe-inspiring look sad, like a seasoned war vet that’s ‘seen some shit’ but is too stubborn to change. still beautiful, in a rugged way.
that’s just what’s on the outside, the real character is what’s inside these beautiful disasters. now, living arrangements, i’d say i’m living pretty comfortable - 1000sqft 2 bedroom apartment with a 300sqft patio… this is bigger than any apartment i’ve had in dc and it’s air-conditioned. i’m living like a king, but the bathroom does flood whenever i shower because the there’s a drain in the center of it and in the shower and they’re connected and clogged. so, ya know, there’s that. butt we do have a bidet which is awesome :grinnin_face:.
i’m not spending much time inside except for when i’m trying to have some time alone (accompanying by 75ish people takes a toll even if they’re pretty rad), but at our coworking space i dedicate at least 8 hours. this space is, literally close enough for me to throw a
my view every morning and i am definitely going to appreciate every second i can while i’m here :upside_down_face: it isn’t, however, without flaws - power fluctuates often so you feeeeeel like you’re roughin’ it, wifi networks (even with a million) pop in and out so it’s like a game of roulette, and construction sounds are somewhate of your white noise, but i’m not complaining .
where i’m trying to spend more and more time is not around 4 walls, but wandering around the city which can be a little tough when i’m also trying to be productive at the same time.just 1km away thre is a very popular park which has a strange broken down ferris wheel, awesome cheap food, a 1km track which has more potholes than i’d care to worry about, it’s like an extra challenge, and so many stray dogs that only want to love you - them and all their ticks. i got a first hand experience (not with ticks, i think) with the dog attachment on our first day here, when i gave a brief head gesture to one of the cute pups and then it followed us for 3 hours. that’s all it took ): sad really - i’m pretty sure i can bring him with me the rest of the trip.
of all the things i have to to get used to this is the best:
$1 usd == $15.5 arg peso. this ratio, as recently as 3 months, was actually 1:7 and the argentine government heard we were coming and removed the fix they had on the exchange rate, so now i’m able to go out and buy things like:
- 1 litre of beer - $1.80 (compare at ~$8)
- steak dinner with a bottle of wine - $20 (compare at, lol you can’t even compare)
- americano -$1.25 (compare at $4 - i still love you compass)
- gym membership for a month - $28
what i’m surprised i haven’t done is go crazy buying shit because of the cheap it is, mostly because it’s all consumable things which are inexpensive, and i have been pretty good about not overindulging. that was stressed more than any than anything else by the remote year cohorts which already have experience: find a healthy work/life balance. a year is a very long time. i cannot go a year without a routine and i’ve found a healthy grove to stick with for a while… until i get uprooted in a month to start again. @_____@
i swear, i’m almost done and i promise to not wait another week before i write again so as to not bore you with the longest thing i’ve written since college. but lets talk about galerías, something that should catch on in the states because they’re a ton of fun, feel super comfortable, and safe. the galerías of argentina, córdoba specifically, are mostly found in an area close by le cañada (water retention canal) and look like a small to medium size doorway which extend super far back into the block which they’re on. within the corridor are shops, restaurants, performers, art galleries, etc. some are open during the day, but it really starts to get bumpin’ in the evenings (because this city doesn’t start until 9pm and doesn’t sleep until 7am) and are filled with córdoba’s most valuable attribute: it’s people.
i hope that every place i visit this year their people are even half as pleasant to be around while i struggle to learn their language, adopt their culture, and conform to their way of life.
i leave you with this: platform shoes are still a thing here, people!