Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bici parte dos (Ken)

I fixed my bicycle and headed out in a new direction today (Saturday). I went to Palermo and to the park next to the river across from Newberry Airport.

It is March now, and I find the weather this week to be similar to the beginning of September back home in Maryland. There was a strong breeze at my back on the way out that I had to contend with on my return, but it was a beautiful day to explore a different part of the city.

All along the Rio de la Plata, there were dozens of people fishing. I didn't see any actual fish, but I guess that is why it is called "fishing" and not "catching." (I heard that from a patient at the VA psych hospital where Helen worked. He was fishing at the time.) The fish in the river are not very attractive, I am told. The portero in my building told me upon my return, "Los pescos son feos." And the river is not really a river, but an estuary like the Chesapeake Bay back home. Wikipedia says The Rio de la Plata "is the estuary formed by the combination of the Uruguay River and the Paraná River. It is a funnel-shaped indentation on the southeastern coastline of South America, extending 290 km (180 miles) from the rivers' confluence to the Atlantic Ocean.

Where the rivers join, it is 48 km (30 miles) wide, and it runs to the southeast growing to 220 km (136 miles) wide where it opens on the Atlantic Ocean, making it the widest estuary in the world. It forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay, with the major ports and capital cities of Buenos Aires in the southwest and Montevideo in the northeast.
The basin drained by the main tributaries of the Río de la Plata (the Uruguay and Paraná, and the important Paraná tributary, the Paraguay) covers approximately one fifth of South America, including area in southeastern Bolivia, southern and central Brazil, the entire nation of Paraguay, most of Uruguay and northern Argentina. An estimated 57 million cubic metres (2 billion cubic feet) of silt is carried into the estuary each year, where the muddy waters are stirred up by winds and the tides."

The path along the river was a happy scene with Papa, Abuela, and the hijos together at the river. There are many food vendors and bait and tackle vendors. I stopped by a food stand in a pretty where families had set up for a day near on the river. I had a hamburger that was pretty close to the USA hamburger experience. Here, a haburgesa completa is a hamburger with a slice of ham and a fried egg on a bun with lettuce and tomato. I opted for la hamburgesa con lechuga y tomates.

I headed back through the Palermo parks where more families were out for the day near the pond beside the planetarium. They had it all set up for people to view this evening's Lunar Eclipse that was, unfortunately, upstaged by rain.

At one intersection there were three chicos juggling for cars stopped at the red light. They weren't having much success and saw me watching them. The light turned green and they ran over to me. I got out my camera and asked them if I could take their picture. They were all smiles because they knew that meant I was going to give them some money. The little one quickly took the money from me. As I rode away, he was figuring out how much each chico's cut was going to be.


Mia said...

Los "pescados" aren't bad at all, don't believe the portero, he most likely knows nothing about fish (Argentines eat very little seafood). Oh, and not all "hamburguesas completas" come with a fried egg.

The beautiful building seen in pic #2 and #3 is the "Club de pescadores," a national landmark, built by the French in the early 1900s. It has an aquarium and a nice restaurant, a great place to eat lunch.

Ken and Helen said...

I did not know that the Club de Pescadoras was open to the public. I actually have a better picture of it. I'll put it at the bottom of the posting.

I think the portero was referring to the ugly carp-like fish that are so often pulled up.

That fried egg, actually shows up in many unexpected places--my calzoni for example, and on top of steak, and on top of mashed potatoes.

Also, I just got off the phone where I had a conversation completely in Spanish. I did OK.

Mia said...

Felicitaciones, señor Ken! I knew you could do it. Feels great, doesn't it? :)

The "bife a caballo", is a (beloved) traditional dish consisting of a lovely currasco topped with a fried egg. It also comes with a side of papas fritas (which are not called "French fries" in the land of the Argies). If you want two eggs on top of the steak, order "doble caballo".

In Baires fried eggs and meat are "just like peas and carrots."

Jeremy said...

Ken and Helen, I just came across your blog; it's wonderful that you both found the courage to move to Argentina without much travel experience! I am actually moving to Buenos Aires in August with a good friend of mine. What resource did you use to locate an apartment? I have found several online but am hesitant to rely on them as i'm sure they cater primarily to foreigners...

Ken and Helen said...

It is a temporary move; we go back in July.

We were fortunate enough to find an appartment privatly through a friend-of-a-friend. If you hvae a yahoo ID you can join BAnewcommers at yahoogroups. You can search their archives for apartment help.

I also spent a lot of time looking at travel sur Argentina before I came here.


Chas said...

Hey, Ken... are you sure about that word "chicos?" A Guatemalan guy I work with said the Argentines don't use that word -- according to Marco, they say "pibes." (I THINK that's the word he said.) Help us out, Argentines: is Marco right?

Mia said...


Pibe (PEA-beh) is lunfardo for youth, used in the Río de la Plata (Argentina and Uruguay). Example: Me voy a jugar al fulbo con los pibes del barrio (I'm going to play soccer with the neighborhood kids.) Fulbo, another lunfardo word, meaning soccer.

Chico (CHEE-coh) is Spanish for youth, widely used in all Spanish speaking countries. Example: El chico de al lado me gusta mucho. (I like the boy/guy next door a lot.)

Muchacho (moo-CHAH-choh) and chico can be used interchangeably, depending on context. However, a girl is more likely to say "I'm going out with the chicos" than "I'm going out with the muchachos."

Learn more about lunfardo.

Mia said...

Sorry, I meant to include these examples in the previous comment:

Los pibes se comieron todo el helado. = The kids/boys ate all the ice cream.

Tengo dos chicos. = I have two children.

La plaza está llena de chiquitos. = The park is full of little children.

Esos chicos son amigos míos. = Those guys are friends of mine.

Me voy al hipódromo con los muchachos. = I'm going to the racetrack with the guys.

Mi yerno es un buen chico/muchacho. = My son-in-law is a nice guy.

Ken and Helen said...

Las profesoras at UBA say "chicos escuche" when they want us to pay attention--and the youngest peron there is 20.

Mia said...

That's right. She is saying "guys, pay attention!"

The examples I gave you in my last comment show that chico = kid/boy/guy, depending on the situation.

Chas said...

Ok, Mia... just went to the Wikipedia link for "lunfardo." I guess my man Marco runs with the criminal element.