Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Today, May 1st, is a holiday widely recognized in many countries (including Argentina) as the Day of the Workers, aka Labor Day. I celebrated by working a couple hours this morning (blasphemy, I know, but I need the money), getting sick, and canceling my plans in favor of staying home watching a movie with my roommate and getting to bed early. Yep, that's where I'm headed after this blog post. I turned down a house party, a dinner invitation, and an opportunity to go salsa dancing (my favorite!!) all to stay home and allow myself to relax. It's something I don't do nearly enough. I get sucked into "social butterfly" mode too easily and don't always take care of myself. Today is a new day.

After all, I need to get up very early tomorrow! First thing in the morning (aka I have to get up at 6:30am), my friend Megan and I are heading to Colonia, Uruguay for the day for a little getaway and to get our visas renewed. Yep, I am living here on a tourist visa, which means that every time it expires (every 90 days) I need to leave the country and then re-enter, in order to get a new visa. Total pain, but it's an excuse to go do something different. I don't really have the money for the trip, but hey, I have to do it so I'm going to enjoy it! I think we will just wander around the town, do some exploring, have a very long lunch, and head back. If something super amazing happens, you, my dear blog readers, will be the first to know.

Lastly, I just took this picture while sitting here. It's probably not that interesting to you, but for me it is symbolic, so I'm posting anyway. It's the table next to my desk, in front of my bed. I spend a lot of time staring at it.

That piece of paper in the front on the left is my notice from the Correo Argentino that I received a package. I think it's from Dave. (Hi, Dave!) Unfortunately I still have not picked it up. I have to go all the way across town where I will need to wait in line for a couple hours and then BUY the package. I know, the system is so messed up. But I plan to do it next Wednesday, which is my next day off! I will get that package!! But anyway, this does remind me-- please don't send me a package unless it's like, super important. I learned this the hard way after spending $75 receiving my last 2 (amazing and greatly appreciated!) care packages (one from Ben and one from the Girl Posse! <3 <3). We can stick to cards. ;-)

The flower is a carnation that some random guy gave me on the street. I was walking through Puerto Madero and he tried to hand it to me, and of course my instinct was to assume he was trying to sell them to me and to say "no, gracias" and keep walking. And he was like, "no, it's free! it's a gift!" and just gave it to me. A lovely little random act of kindness. So it's current home is in my bottle of San Telmo Malbec. Yep, my awesome neighborhood even has a wine named after it. ;-)

Stacks of books.. most of which are unread because I spend all my "free" time planning lessons... the "Quilmes" cup I just had to buy for myself as a cheesy souvenir, which is a Quilmes beer can that an artist turned into a mug with a handle. My old broken cell phone that I really need to get rid of...

And of course, my mate. That's that gourd-looking thing with the metal straw thing poking out of it (known as the "bombilla"). The mate (pronounced "mah-tay") is what Argentines use to drink yerba mate, which is a strong, bitter tasting traditional tea. You fill the mate with the yerba, then fill it with hot water and drink it through the bombilla. You just keep refilling it with hot water and passing it around until it gets too weak to enjoy. Some people don't like it, but I absolutely love it. It's a wonderfully social, too-- you see people all over the city drinking mate with friends in parks and on benches. And it's also known to be incredibly good for you, stimulating the metabolism and enhancing mental clarity.

Last but not least is one of my favorite pictures ever of Kirsten, Ben, and Me! Ben mailed it to me (in aforementioned care package!), and I am so happy to have it. Reminds me of my amazing Boston friends every day. I'm having a great time down here and I'm so glad I came, BUT I miss yooooooo!!!!!!!


david levin said...

yay! I want to hear all about the trip when you get back to BA... or are you back already?

let me know when you pick up the package - I didn't realize they were gonna make you pay for the damn thing when I sent it. Woulda figured out a different method to get it to you ...