Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Month of Firsts

Had My First Mate

133453442_427a32e998Photo by AV4TAR

It is a true right of passage for an expat here to be offered mate. Mate is a big deal. You see porteƱos erverywhere in the parks and plazas with their mate gourd and thermoses of hot water.

The hot beverage is passed around similar to how the bong used to get passed around at the frat house. I think it started as a gaucho cowboy thing but is enjoyed by city folk of all walks of life. In fact, our local Jumbo store has a whole isle dedicated the "Yerba Mate" (mate weed).

The taste? A lot like drinking a cigarette mixed with green tea. It's very bitter, but after a few sips it starts to mellow out.

Kissed My First Man


Greetings and goodbyes are not done lightly in Argentina. A simple wave and "Bye, it was nice to meet you" won't do. You have to get in and close the deal with a simple kiss on the cheek.

In a place like Buenos Aires with all these beautiful women, this custom can be a very good thing indeed. Unfortunately, it is not restricted to us guys greeting women. Regular guys also kiss each other when greeting or saying farewell. Up till now, I have been restricting this custom to the opposite sex (despite what Diva says).

Well, the other day on one of my Flickr outings, we were all saying goodbye and there was no avoiding it. One of other guys shook my hand and then pulled me in before I knew what was happening.

After one guy did it, I would of offended the others if I refused their pecks too. So there I was kissing a group full of guys goodbye. Oh well, at least I held out for a month on this one.

Stepped in My First Pile of Dog Shit


Buenos Aires is a Dog city. Everyone has dogs. Big dogs. Big dogs have big droppings. And no one seems to mind their dog's by-products littering the city sidewalks. You have to be very careful navigating this city by foot, keeping one eye on the sidewalk at all times. The other day I stepped off the curb and felt a slight squishing give way under my foot.

I guess this means the honeymoon is over.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Buenos Aires / Argentina! :)

You will get used to mate, but watch out, it becomes addictive.


Unknown said... mean the kissing is not addictive?

As for the droppings there are actually many people that are bothered by it, it´s just that some dog owners could care less.

Oh, and you will get pretty good at scanning ahead while you walk.

Nancy (aka Dalila) said...

Hi. I've just found your blog via Will Bonner's. I love your photos. Welcome to BA.

Longhorn Dave said...

Pablo... thanks for the warning.

Frank... I stepped in a big smelly pile again the other night. We had to walk around another thirty minutes to find enough door mats to wipe it all off. Note to self: Don't wear deep grooved soles in the city!

Nancy... Thanks!

Anonymous said... you left the dog stuff in other people's doormats? How's that for being a considerate fellow!

b said...

This is a great blog and this is a great post, but yeah, man, what's with "giving it back to the people"? :)

Longhorn Dave said...

You guys are right. I felt bad about rubbing it off on other's doormats.

However, we were a long ways away from our neighborhood and no cab was going to let me in smelling like that.

I rubbed most off on grates and just needed the bristly mat things to get the deep grooved stuff out.

Don't worry, I just left a small amount on each door mat.

Anonymous said...

"...just needed the bristly mat things to get the deep grooved stuff out"

I'm not convinced. When it happens to me I look for twigs and water puddles by the kerb

Luis said...

Hello and welcome to BA!
I find your blog very interesting, because it makes me see my own city from another perspective.
Thank you for your excellent pictures and comments!

By the way, I am one of those who get really, really angry at those dog owners who don´t care about their dogs poo.
Anyway, you´ll get very good at avoiding them. I haven´t stepped into any poop for the last two years, and I´ve been living in one of the most mined places in town (the limit between Belgrano and Belgrano R).
People there seem to like having Great Danes and Napolitan Mastins, so you can imagine...