Suitcase on wheels     stuck in the snow   sniffer dog

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

61. Christmas & New Year (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Summer in BA is stinking hot. And humid. Without air conditioning lately we've been sleeping on the floor of my girlfriend's room as the tiles are slightly cooler than a mattress - albeit a bit more uncomfortable. Maybe I should at least buy a desk fan - it's just that hopefully we're only here a bit longer before heading South to Ushuaia again, where we definitely won't need a fan.

Navidad Concierto - 01 - Marcela Morelo
Random pic: Marcela Morelo during a free Christmas concert

I've been busy the last couple of weeks running around the city trying to wade through the bureaucracy needed to start a small business here - and that's just in my own name, I'm not even going to start a company. Don't ask me what type of business as I'm not going to say until I'm certain it'll go through - but it's something to do with tourism.

Here in Argentina they celebrate Christmas slightly different to us in NZ. In the week leading up to the day the constant noise of firecrackers (what we used to call "bangers" before they were banned) echo through the streets as kids let them off one at a time at annoyingly random intervals. Christmas Eve is spent with family, where they have a big Christmas Eve dinner, toast at midnight, and let off some fireworks. Then they'll begin opening the presents that night. I'm not sure when Papa Noel (Santa Claus) delivers the presents.

Christmas Day is usually pretty boring as everything's closed, so you'll meet up with your friends and compare presents etc.

Christmas - 01 - Matt Santa
Me with the drunkest Santa Claus in Argentina

Since I don't have any family here and my girlfriend doesn't either, we had Christmas Eve dinner together once we'd finally found an open restaurant. Then we toasted Christmas on the roof of our building as we watched the fireworks the neighbours set off around us.

On Christmas Day we tried to escape the heat and the boredom by going to a public swimming pool, but the two we went to were both closed, being a public holiday. So we sat by the river drinking mate in the shade all day, enjoying the breeze. Come sunset the river looked quite nice, the sunset lending it a bluish shade in place of it's true light brown. That night it was another famous asado at Juan's house, although we had to settle for hamburger patties as all the supermarkets were closed so we couldn't buy any meat.

Christmas - 07 - River Fishing
Fishing rods line a jetty along the Rio de La Plata

The week leading up to New Year is again filled with the sound of firecrackers during the day. Some f*cker threw two at me when I was at the bus station, they exploded either side of me leaving me deaf for about 10 seconds, while I ranted and raved looking for the culprit. My ears were ringing for about an hour. And just now, some ass threw one into the ciber cafe I'm sitting in typing this, sending us all jumping in our seats.
December 30 and 31 see the streets of downtown filled with torn up bits of paper, as office workers celebrate the end of the year by tearing up all those confidential documents they no longer need and throwing them out the window. Schoolkids around the country do the same thing around December 1 with their exercise books. Who cares who has to clean it up?

New Year's Eve here seems to be the same as back home, and again me and my girlfriend toasted midnight on the roof of our building, watched the fireworks the neighbours set off, before meeting friends at a nightclub and dancing until the morning.

I've never actually posted my girlfriend's picture or written her name here as I've always been mindful of her privacy, but we've been together almost 10 months now so she's overdue a proper introduction. Ruth's her name, as you know she's Argentine, and and she's probably the only Argentine with such an English name.

Edit: pictures removed due to the same anonymous fuckwit repeatedly writing inappropriate comments in a mix of bad Spanish and English.

Update: I forgot to mention that here they also celebrate Reyes (Kings) on January 6, which is another gift-giving excuse. It's something to do with 3 Magic Kings who gave Jesus presents or something, it could be the 3 Wise Men, I'm not sure. But it's another excuse for kids to ask for presents. They also have Día del Niño (Kid's Day) in August, which is like Mother's or Father's Day in our world. Add birthdays, and kids here get gifts 4 times a year!


  • God bless you for this article! XD
    It was very helpful for my assignment...

    Happy holidays :)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:51 AM  

  • God bless you for this article! XD
    It was very helpful for my assignment...

    Happy holidays :)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 AM  

  • What was that restaurant you found on christmas day - my girlfriend and I are headed to the same fate ....

    By Blogger o2te, at 12:43 AM  

  • We ended up wandering around San Telmo and found a restaurant in the Plaza Dorrego that was open. No reservations necessary because eating out on Christmas Day isn't common.

    By Blogger mattyboy, at 12:30 PM  

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