WEEK 1 - BAÑOS
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Today I moved into my apartment in San Telmo off of
Today I moved into the residencia about a week after moving into the apartment. It is okay. It is the typical dorm style rooms, however I got lucky and got a bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink connected to my room. It is a really modern sink with nice fittings and fixtures, a nicer toilet, and a very small shower (just big enough to stand-up in, but no moving around). The bathrooms outside our room are a little bit larger. They have the same toilet and sink, but a slightly larger shower, and a bidet. I am curious to why none of the bathrooms have a bath tub, but maybe this is because it is dorm style, and those are just more expensive and harder to clean.
Today I visited my friend Leonardo and Gisela´s apartment. It is out in the provinces so that it can be a bit cheaper, and it was incredible. It had all modern appliances, really nice flooring, modern furniture, large rooms, and an incredible bathroom. It was a typical very modern bathroom like in the states but it also had a large bath tub and a bidet.
The matter of the bidet is curious to me. This is supposed to be a third world country, but many places have bidets when I wouldn´t expect them. I don´t even expect them in the
Today I was walking around the city during the dark and I saw man people rummaging through the garbage on the side of the road. I asked some of my friends about this and they told me they were carteneros. They aren´t like the homeless we have in the United States that look for food or anything like that. The carteneros work during the night and it is like a job or even a lifestyle to them. Going through the garbage is seen as acceptable to them were it would be disgusting to most. The entire family participates. The children do not go to school, and their lifestyle permits them to only be able to become carteneros. They live outside the metro area and come into the city via train, trucks, etc. Some have carts that are pulled by horses/mules, and others have carts that they pull or push around themselves. A large flat bed truck drops them and their cart off around the city and provinces. Then by almost day break they are picked up to go to the center with their loads.
There is a big issue facing the carteneros currently. They are unionized, but they still get paid very little by the state that they do such a great service to. By going through the garbage they sort out anything that can be sold, food, and any cartons or cardboard. This is helpful to the state because it is a form of recycling and reduces the trash placed in landfills so that Argentina´s lifestyle will be better. The traditional garbage company (that has large trucks as we do in the states) complains about the carteneros. This is because the garbage company gets paid based on the weight of the trash they pick up, so by the carteneros reducing the weight the traditional garbage company gets paid less. Personally I believe the carteneros should be paid more since they are doing a great service overall to the state.
I made the mistake once of tipping around 13% at a café/restaurant near school. We were in a large group (of blatant Americans), and the waitress was extremely nice to make sure that we had everything we needed and were happy. She was very nice to the people that didn´t speak or understand any English to make sure that they understood what they were ordering. At the end when I tipped her she handed me back all of my tip and told me that she could not take that much. I told her that it was for being so understanding and nice to us, but she would still not accept it. The only place that I have tipped more than 10% was the very first night when I ate at a restaurant with a large group in a ritzy place in Porto Madero. Since this was a parrilla style place and the bill was a bit more expensive than normal due to location of the restaurant, it was acceptable to tip 15%. I feel odd not tipping people that are extremely considerate more than 10%, but I do not want offend them or show them disrespect. Sometimes excessive tipping is not seen as just people being uneducated but being rude to the point where you are saying those people waiting on you need your money to live. Lastly, another important thing to note is that you do not tip taxis either. You give them their fee in as close of change as you have, and do not expect them to take any bill over 20 pesos. The only times you would tip them (and we are just talking an extra peso or two) is if you ask them to drive really well and they do, or they are very helpful into getting you to places where you don´t know where they are, or you ask them about places of things to do around the city and they are very helpful.
I went to the BOCA Jrs. soccer game on May 14th and man was it AWESOME! They played a team called Club. This experience was only increased by a video we watched during class about the history of soccer. The players are seen as Gods in South and
One of the most amazing things at this game, that is not even at any other games in any other country, is player number 12. This is an entire section of the stadium that is filled with the most extreme fans. They are seen as part of the team. They are the ones that start all of the chants/songs that go one during the game and they are never quiet. They also pull out big banners, almost the size of their entire stands, with different chants or protests, etc. You will also see fireworks going off in this area or fires started. This group is an entire other show in itself.
Another thing I found interesting was the fencing they had to put up around the field and within the stands. This fencing is to protect people on the field by not having fans come at them or debris thrown at them. This does not always work however, and there are other measures they try to take to keep all futbol participants as far away from fans as possible. Besides the fencing on the field they also supply a large police force. You would never see this in the states with the extreme fencing, but you would have police incase anyone got onto the field. The fencing within the stands is also bizarre too. There are police that usually line these fences to keep people even a further distance away from them. These fences protect the people between them. I would never want to be an opponent at a Latin American soccer game, especially a BOCA Jrs. one. I have never had more fun at any sports game, and I hope I can see more when I come back to BsAs. Go
Path dependency theorists believe that once down a particular development path, there are considerable costs to go back and change the path, hence we can trace political dynamics in a country to events and decisions made in the past. Evaluate the contemporary differences and similarities between the USA and Argentina based ont he different patterns of colinization.
This information was initially posted on D-Rock´s Blogs.
In a very informal "interview" Derek spoke with a fellow residencia resident Pancho (Francisco) about the differences in development between Latin America and North America. Some of the main points of Pancho's argument include emotional opinions heavily weighted towards the positive aspects of North American development. He says that "stupid, drunk Spaniards" colonized Latin America, and that Spain's goal was to rob resources that would be brought back to its country, not reinvested or used for local consumption - that Spain didn't need its colonies for anything other than a source of primary resources (what we touched on during lecture). He believes that smarter people colonized North America, and that they interacted better with indigenous populations (compared with Spanish who killed almost all).
Our group does not entirely agree with Pancho, though his opinions provide valuable insight about how Argentine citizens view their history. As far as the smart/stupid argument, we can’t agree. It’s true that the Spanish came to collect resources and return home, but this only means that their mindset, not their intelligence was any different than the settlers of the
This vested interest spurred development and industry, while the Spanish colonies stagnated, stuck in an exploitive situation that hindered development. As a result,
The cattle ranching industry and resulting gaucho culture contributed to the economic realities that currently separate the
That the North American colonies treated its native populations better, encouraging trade and enlightening their own development (Pancho’s argument), is hard to believe. Both situations are equally horrifying. Both were extremely cruel with intentions of annihilation. To compare them and believe one was better than the other is more than a stretch. We treated our native populations just as badly without trying to incorporate them into society, and pushed them out of areas we wanted to be in.
Pancho also commented that early development in North America included an ability to form intelligent, smart society in
Then we spoke with David about corruption in Latin America and its prevalence here in comparison to the
So now the
During the BOCA Jr. game there was a huge flag that said "NO A LAS PAPELERAS, SI A LA VIDA". This represents one of the most serious regional political battles in a long time, the battle over the pulp mills. Why is the pulp mill battle so dangerous? Which side is right? and who is right, Uruguay or Argentina? Blog group represents Hague Court, and must decide whether the pulp mills continue or are stopped.
This information was initially posted on D-Rock´s Blogs.
We asked Adel for her opinions about the current spat between
We asked Derek’s roommate Mauricio (Ecuador, 30) his thoughts about the Uruguay-Argentina Papeleras conflict: he more or less said that he couldn’t decide black or white which country was “in the right.” For ecological reasons, he believed
It is possible to disagree with Mauricio’s diagnosis. For Uruguay to have the “right,” it would need to take extra precautions to ensure that pollution would not affect Argnetina’s side of the river; and then also have a back-up plan of what to do if (more likely, when) the pollution managed to affect the other side - not only clean-up measures, but also possibly monetary compensation; or maybe Argentina should opt for a share of the profits from the start and allow a specific, quantifiable amount of pollution on its side of the river.
Both presidents are under tremendous public pressure. Vasquez has been portrayed by the media as backing down and giving in to
One view of the current issue-hype is that Kirchner, in order to gain momentum and support in his bid for reelection next year, intentionally turned this issue from a local one that concerned only Gualeguaychu into a national one with strong public opinion and nationalist sentiment.
The Argentine-government is seriously at fault in not removing its citizens from the bridge blockade that is delaying the transport of construction materials for the mills.
Our opinion of what the International Court of Justice should decide:
Our plan was approved by a local Argentine - Leo from last week’s asado. He gave us his own version that essentially agreed with our decision to halt construction until a third-party evaluation is completed.