31 March 2008

A Heart Breaking Work of Staggering Stupidity

Here's a list of some stupid things we've done since getting here:
  • Justin leaving a check card in an ATM machine on the second day
  • Forgetting an ID to pay with a card at a bar (though awesomely using a business card instead)
  • Me leaving my check card in an ATM machine on the third day (though awesomely running back and having the guard hand it to me)
  • Forgetting the address of our boss' new apartment (though awesomely going up and down Santa Fe buzzing every building with a 10A apartment until we found it)
  • Me leaving my check card in an ATM machine on the tenth day (nothing really awesome bout that)

I guess the moral of the story is that there is something about the ATMs down here.

Anyways, it was a wonderful weekend down here. Walked around the Recoleta Cemetery which I have to say is one of the cooler cemeteries I've been in. Instead of a big grassy field, its a couple of city blocks full of really ornate tombs and crypts with stained glass, statutes, trees, and all sorts of stuff that the dead people must really appreciate. And mom you'll appreciate this, I took about nine hundred photos of the doors though no wooden ones in stone.

Also checked out the Tres de Febrero park, which celebrates overthrowing somebody (I think). Its a huge park with a big blocked off street that goes around a big lake with tons of trees. There were like 2,000 people hanging out, playing soccer, jogging, biking and rollerblading (yeah, apparently they still rollerblade here).

Perhaps the best news is today we found a really cool apartment to rent right down in Recoleta. Its close to parks, cafes, bars, the cemetery and not too far from the office. We'll move in the next day or two and I can finally unpack my bags.

Hasta la vista

27 March 2008

Remember the Alamo

Shoeless Joe's Alamo Restaurant and Pub in Buenos Aires that is. The Alamo is a nice little bar that caters to ex-pats and study abroad kids by offering English speaking bartenders (lame) and the NCAA Tournament and other American shows on TV via a SlingBox (awesome). Insert obligatory Colleen Box joke. So we've gone there twice already, met some interesting characters and felt really old by giving college kids advice about studying abroad and getting jobs.

This weekend was the Semana Santa or Holy Week or Easter Week or Purim depending on what religion/nationality you are. Down here, that means a FIVE day weekend which unfortunately we didn't really get but it did make the streets much more managable for our Saturday afternoon bike tour (we got Friday off, but it was kinda a waste after a night at the alamo). The bike tour was great, went down to Puero Madera (BA's answer to Darling Harbor), a big ecological park, the big touristy festival / market / tangorade in La Boca and then the historical sites like the presidents house (the pink house??) and the national cathedral.

Puerto Madera

Tango Dancers in La Boca (Spanish for The Boca)

Sunday we had a fun Easter brunch at the manager's (Abe) wife's family's house which was really nice. She has a pretty big family here, they all speak varying degrees of English (and we all speak varying degrees of Spanish) and are all very very nice and pretty funny. Had homemade tiramisu (theres is a huge Italian influence here), drank Mate and told some guy studying to be a preacher that I was Jewish. All in all a successful day.

Things are getting a bit busier at work, we're starting to get a routine and (more importantly) some responses back to the requests we had sent out. We're still looking for a permanent place to live (which has gotten more pressing since they moved me and the other consultant into the same room - to which the ADP manager said 'at least you are finally roughing it') and have some promising options. The weather has been absolutely goregous, we've stumbled upon a festival or a protest every day and just went out for drinks with a really cool girl from the office who said (and I start my posting of cheesy quotes) "I like to be surprised by life".


God at the Recoleta Cemetery

21 March 2008


Here are a few photos to enjoy. Luckily none of me last night screaming at my laptop watching the Duke game but unfortunatly not any of the (other) two hunger Americans (also) saying "fuuuuuck" when they (also) found out the California Burrito Company was closed.

A tree lined street in Palermo Soho

View across one of the many parks

Bs As architecture is really cool, there are huge apartment towers next to gothic churches next to ornate old buildings like this, the water treatment facility...

20 March 2008

36 Hours in BA

So I've been in BA for about trenta y seis horas and so far I'm very impressed. Its a huge city full of restaurants, bars, markets, trendy looking shops, restaurants, bars, parks, trees, cool looking buildings and some restaurants and bars. It seems like a really easy place walk around and a great place to get lost in, we've seen a bit of recoleta/retiro (where we are staying - for now), palermo and plaza san martin (where the office is).

Turns out it was not a really easy place to fly into. After getting into Atlanta, I settled into my Delta flight down to BA. I was talking to the college girl next to me when I heard the reasurring/exciting sound of the engines revving as we started to take off. Then the slightly less reasurring/exicting sound of the engines stopping, the plane pulling to the side and the pilot saying "everyone stay in your seat, everything is fine". Guess what that means? Everything is NOT fine. Turns out our compressor stalled on the left engine (jury is still out as to whether the engine was actually engulfed in flames) and that makes a plane pretty inoperable.

So back to the gate, waited three hours, got on the new plane, took off, popped an ambien. Woke up with like two hours to go, watched juno, landed, waited half an hour for them to take off someone who came down with some mysterious illness in the air (i'm just as confused about it as you are), got my bags, cleared customs, found the guy with the accenture sign and got to the apart-hotel.

They say half the fun is getting there, so the other half would be walking into my manager's hotel room after that trip to find babies and grandmothers and aunts - oh my. But thats a story for another day. I'll put up some pictures manana.


12 March 2008

The 13th Apostle

So apparently Argentina has this silly idea that they want to tax me for the income I earn working in their country, which means I need to get a work visa. And to get a work visa, I need to get a background check. And then I need to get that apostled.

Ok, not that type of apostle. This is actually "apostilling" documents which, besides being something that no one has ever heard of, is some sort of fancy international notary so countries will accept other countries legal documents. Our good friends at the Hague created this idea in 1961 Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents which should have been called Convention for Creating Beauracracy and Promoting Silly Certificates.

So here's the streamlined process for getting my background check signed, sealed and delivered to me in BA:

  1. Get fingerprints taken by very unhappy woman at the office
  2. Get my credit card payment slip notarized (just good ole regular notary)
  3. Send request to FBI
  4. Wait 3-4 weeks
  5. Have FBI send background check to my parents (thanks mom and dad)
  6. Calm my parents after they read my background check
  7. Have parents send the background check to the Department of State
  8. Wait 2-3 weeks
  9. Have the Department of State send the apostilled background check to my parents
  10. Have my parents send it down to me in BA!

There, ten simple steps that only has to be repeated once more for my birth certificates!