Sunday, November 30, 2008

I never thought I would say this...

...but I actually kinda miss the Seattle winter. Or maybe it's just throwing my senses off to have two summers in a row. Or maybe it's just some homesickness kicking in. Either way, for some reason this looks appealing to me:

(photo not by me. via here)

Am I just crazy?

The rain here.

The rain here is so different.

It's never the Seattle gray.
It's never the Seattle drizzle.
It doesn't stay for weeks on end.

It comes-It dumps-It leaves.

And there's been a lot of lightning and thunder for the past few days.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things I'm still not used to. (part 1)

So this being my first time outside of the US not involving Canada, there are a lot of things that still catch me off guard about Buenos Aires, even after three weeks now. Here is my first installment:

Things I'm Still Not Used To
  1. Everything coming in plastic bags (Detergent, mayonnaise, milk, etc.)
  2. Sidewalks covered in dog crap
  3. Kissing guys I don't know on the cheek
  4. Every male under the age of 40 having a mullet
  5. Everything in this city dripping (I think I'm going to do a whole post on this)
  6. The voices of cartoon characters when they're dubbed in Spanish
  7. Not being able to tell whether a girl is 14 or 40 (plastic surgery is popular with everybody here)
  8. That coins are virtually non-existent but required to ride the bus, which results in everybody trying to scam everybody else out of coins
  9. Being able to get a large pizza and 1.5L soda for $7.50
  10. Bidets in every bathroom
I'll probably have more next week.


Wow. I'm not off to a great start here, but I'll try to be better. I'm calling in sick of going out so I thought I would take this Saturday night to catch up.

So I need to back up about three weeks to one of the first really cool things I got to do down here. Since it is spring down here, it's music festival season again. Creamfields is an international electronic music festival that happens to have a franchise (or whatever) in Buenos Aires. It starts at 3 PM and goes until 7 AM. Yep. This city loves to party all night.

So one shady bus ride out into the shady nether regions of BA later and we're at the Autodromo. I don't think we got there until about 8 PM and we went straight to watch the Gorillaz Soundsystem (which is not quite the Gorillaz, but it was still pretty good).

Other people who we got to see (for those who care):
Simian Mobile Disco
Crystal Castles (more on this in a second)
Eric Morillo
New Young Pony Club (thought this was a show and it was just a DJ set
Boys Noize

And it only cost about $50.


The story with Crystal Castles:::

It already wasn't looking too good when they were about 15 minutes late starting their set. Then finally Ethan the keyboard/programmer dude walks out onto stage and every body starts clapping and he just keeps walking all the way across the stage to talk to the sound guy. It looked like they were having issues with the synthesizers. Finally they get it worked out and Alice Glass (the singer) and the drummer comes out. They start playing and Alice's mic is not working at all. The finish the song and the sound guys come out and start messing with stuff. The band walks off stage and the break DJ comes back out and it looks like they might just be leaving. After about 5 more minutes the band comes back out. Alice's mic still isn't really working but she's still running around the stage. At one point she goes off the front of the stage onto a table that has a couple turntables on it and the sound guys run out there and start trying to pull her off of the expensive equipment. Then she just jumps out into the crowd and everybody goes crazy. But unfortunately it doesn't look like her mic cable is long enough and so the sound guys are trying to keep it from getting tangled and security is trying to pull her back out of the crowd. Then either a sound guy or a security guy pulls the pic away from her in the middle of the song and she flips out and shoves the guy. Then Ethan jumps off stage and starts fighting with the security guys that are trying to hold Alice and they end up dragging him off stage.

One and a half songs- game over.

Here's a vid:

At least it gave us a chance to go see Simian Mobile Disco.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The trip down.

So I realize I'm a little late since I've been down here for a week and half, but better late than never, right?

So my trip started out with my mom coming with me to the airport. She had been staying with me for my last few days in Seattle and was flying back to the Tri-Cities at the same time I was leaving. It was nice having her there to see me off. It's a little bit easier to leave your entire life behind when you have your mom to hug you right before you get on the plane like like you're heading off to your first day of kindergarten. :)

From SeaTac I had a pretty quick flight down to LA.


Then the crazy 14 hour flight to São Paulo. It could have been way worse but Korean Air knows how to treat you. They had this great personal entertainment system where you could watch movies on demand or listen to radio or whatever else you wanted. I didn't get a picture of it because I would have felt pretty fobby taking a picture of of my coach seat.

They also hooked us all up with toothbrushes and toothpaste, eye masks, extra socks so your feet wouldn't get cold, and two meals which weren't half bad. It was also nice having 8 feet between my seat and the partition for Business Class (exit row) and nobody in the seat behind me so I could recline all the way and not feel guilty. I know I sound geeked about this, but I'm used to being crammed into a middle seat with two fat people and given a dixie cup full of Coke so being treating with the slightest amount of courtesy was very remarkable.

Airport in São Paulo

From São Paulo to Buenos Aires was actually pretty quick and easy. I had a pretty quick layover and then I was back on a plane. I ended up sitting next to an Argentine guy named Julian and we talked for most of the flight. The flight attendants keep trying to talk to me in Spanish and so he helped clear some things up for me with regards to paper work for customs etc. After we landed and got through customs we found out we were both taking the same bus up into the city (the airport is outside the city like SeaTac). So he showed me where to to get tickets and helped me find a place to change my money over. He was a very nice guy and my first 30 minutes in Buenos Aires could have been a lot more stressful than they were if it wasn't for him.

Once we got into the city he caught a shuttle and I had to go catch a cab to a different part of the city where I'm staying (called Palermo). I think the taxi driver took the longest way possible to get there, but I guess that's to be expected when you get into a cab with a bunch of crap and a thick accent.

This is a beautiful city in a couple different ways and I noticed in just in the ride out to Palermo. I'll go back and catch up on everything else that has happened in the last week and half as I can.

Thanks for reading...