Music plays an important part in all my memories. I was going through my Soundcloud likes and started listening to the mixes that I played during my entire Europe trip last year. So many positive vibes are remembered when I listen to these mixes and remember my trip.
For my future reference, I’m going to post them in once place.
Probably the mix I played the most during the trip. I specially remember listening to this on the way to Paris from Stuttgart. It was the end of the trip and I couldn’t help but smile the whole train ride.
Marc is from Berlin and was playing at a festival the day I got in there. I tried to find some tickets but didn’t get any response if there was any. I should have tied harder to get to the event and ask for tickets.
My favourite track from the entire mix, and probably year was:
Alberto Jossue & Alexandar Kojic – Cameron (Original Mix)
So much class in it. Starts off pretty sad and dark. Then the long break comes and we’re greeted with some uplifting melodies that play so well off each other.
I got to see Hisham play in New York a few months later. He’s been my favourite DJ for a couple of years now. This mix was played close to 20 times during my trip. So moody and emotional, a real trip.
I’ve been trying to put together another Chasing The Vibe mix but have been busy and kind of lazy at the same time. A few days ago I downloaded all the tracks but for some odd reason, they’re not in the folder I created.
This caused me to see if Beatport allowed you to download tracks again. Well you can, but they charge $.75 to do so. What was cool was I could go back and see all the tracks I’ve downloaded.
Over the course of 11 years, the number is 936. This was after I probably purchased in the neighbourhood of 200 vinyls. Let’s just say DJ’ing was an expensive hobby.
I hardly do it at all now. I sold my setup a few years back when I need the money. Now I mix using digital software which sucks. But it’s cheap and easy.
Anyways, back to all these tracks I’ve purchased from Beatport. I found a bunch of old tunes that still sound great to this day. For so many of the tracks I can remember using them for live or recorded mixes.
Back in 2010 I created a two mixes which I really enjoyed. But over the course of the last 6 years, I’ve lost them due to hard drive crashes and deleting the server they were hosted on.
I wanted to see if they were out there on the internet. So I searched my DJ name at the time (Tomassi) and one of the tracks. What did I find? An old Soundcloud file I uploaded to my GolfInstructionGuy.com account!!! I’ve downloaded it and re-uploaded it to my personal SoundCloud account. It’s below for your streaming and download pleasure.
Ferrack Dawn – Narcotics (Tundra’s Quiet Daze Mix)
Guy Gerber – The Hollywood in You
Eelke Kleijn – Theme For Nosey (Tigerskins Be And Me Remix)
Robbie Pardoel – Machines (Neil Quigley Remix)
Charlie & I – Grapefruit & Strawberries (Manuel Sofia’s Half In Barcelona Remix)
Silinder – Nil By Mouth
Neil Quigley & Clycon – Clear For Take Off (Neil Quigley Remix)
Henry Saiz – Rhimemaidens
Schadenfreude – The Road Leads East (Dyno Remix)
Peter Horrevorts – Bloody Hands (Marc Marzenit Monster Remix)
Hernan Cattaneo Feat Tomomi Ukumori – Cripsis (Quivver Remix)
Alex Dolby – Polarity (Tonnsaied Remix)
Chrisitian Fischer – Advanced Parnormal (Paul Nazca Remix)
Miquell Santos & Philip Michael Andersson – Endless (Guy J Remix)
So I’m sure by now you’re aware that I’m in Europe for the summer. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been over here a couple of times but during the winter months and only to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Southern France. Only eh?!
Since those two trips I’ve had a desire to visit the Scandinavian countries thanks to my interest in modern design and let’s be honest, beautiful women! Then from talking to many of my friends who are well travelled, cities like Praque, Istanbul, Budapest, Zurich, Berlin, Munich and Paris have been on my list.
I had found a great one way ticket to London back in January and decided to book it. This would give me a chance to meet up with Sophie and Nico, my Buenos Aires roommates last year. We’ve remained in touch over the last year through Whatsapp and I thought it would be awesome to see them again.
It would also give me a chance to visit just engaged Emma and James. James has been my closest friend since grade 1. I still remember us having huge crushes in grade 5 and writing their names on the insides of our hats!
James has been living in England for almost 10 years now. He met Emma while travelling in New Zealand back in 2004 I believe and they decided to move to England pretty much right after. They both came back here to visit in 2013 and 2014 which was awesome to see both of them again.
So these three factors made it easy for me to book this summer Europe trip. And the fact my dating has really hit the snide. I think it’s partly to do with my travel mentality. It’s hard to want to jump into a relationship when I want to be able to travel for 2-3 months a year. At least this is the major reason why I still think I’m single!
None the less, let’s get into my travels!
So I flew into London on June 16th. I’ll preface and say that London has never been high on my list of cities to travel. After a weekend there, it still isn’t. I wanted to see Sophie and Nico so this seemed like a logical spot since Sophie was living here.
Nico flew in late that same night but I was pretty tired and went to sleep before he arrived at Sophie’s. The next day we met up and went to see all the typical tourist things. The London Eye, Big Ben & Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the SoHo area.
More than anything I enjoyed the parks in London. I was staying at a hostel in Greenwich as it was close to Sophie’s place and Greenwich Park of course. The park is massive and has some nice rolling hills and beautiful trees. A great place to walk, run or just chill with friends.
At night, Greenwich Park has a green laser which shines to signal the point where East meets West. Pretty cool. But its the view at the top of the hill which is really something. We snuck into the park one night to enjoy some ciders and the view. It felt like I was 14 again growing up in Qualicum! It was something else during the evening with the sky all lit up.
On the last day together we all went into town once again as Nico and I didn’t get a chance to see Tower Bridge or the Tower Of London. So we did that, grabbed some food and chilled out by St Pauls Church before we said farewell to Nico.
It was great to see both of them and continue our friendship were it left off in Buenos Aires. The reason is thanks to Whatsapp and how we’ve managed to keep in touch over the last year.
I hope to catch up with Nico when I take this tour into Germany.
I knew nothing about Southern England outside of when James and Emma moved there a few years ago. They told me that some places in Cornwall are where people in London and Northern England vacation for the summer. So I had assumed it was a place that wasn’t grey and was warm.
My assumptions were right! I was pleasantly surprised with Cornwall and all of it’s little towns and villages. There was plenty of rolling hills and stunning views of the water.
The roads connecting these really small villages were so fricking tight. Many times when we were driving around we had to stop to allow a car to pass by as the width of the roads was only suitable for one car.
Even the roads wide enough for two cars was barley enough. The sides of cars become scratched because there are shrubs right off the side of the roads. These shrubs were growing over stone walls which guarded the roads but you couldn’t see them since the shrubs were so thick. It was a shame as the shrubs were so big that they obstructed many of the views.
Anyways, it was awesome to see James and Emma. I get along great with both of them and I’m obviosuly happy they’re getting married. They work really well together and from what I can see, they’ve both supported each other a lot over the years.
James and I have always got along but it seems as we mature, we actually become closer as we share a lot of the same interests in music, film, design and outlook on life. It was really fun chatting about films we had seen, or graphic design and music.
The first day, James and I decided to go for a bike road to see some of the old mines. Well we got lost quite fast and needed to get back on track. James sold this to me as a flat ride on trails that lead downhill toward the beach.
Yeah, not the case at all! We needed to work our way back on track which meant climbing a few steep hills. This turned into a hell of a workout in the end!
We got back on track and made it to a small village called Porthtowan and a small cafe/bar called Blue. It was a great spot to wash down a couple beers after our ride and to see the tide out while watching some surfers. No idea why I didn’t snap a photo but here’s a good shot. We chatted about a lot of things but I was interesting to hear about James and his experience in Graphic Design school.
One project of his stood out to me. It was a collaboration with a school in Germany. Outside of going to Germany and partying, there was a lot to do for this project. Just learning about the concept and then the execution was really interesting. It’s given me a greater appreciation for design and the creative process.
The next day Emma and James took me to St Ives. This is known as the village where everyone from London and North England takes their summer vacations. Although it wasn’t sunny, it was still packed. We walked around the village, peaked in a few shops and then grabbed some beer and cider and relaxed on the beach. Most of the pictures in the gallery below are from St Ives.
We also took a nice Kayak tour the following day. We were supposed to go on the Ocean and see some hidden caves but the on day we went the waves were too strong. So instead we took a tour down Fishermans Creek which has some pretty cool history which our guide relayed to us. I wasn’t expecting to see much but I was surprised at the land and terrain off in the distance.
After kayaking we grabbed some grub at the Ferry Boat Inn. With the sun baking down on us it was a nice way to relax. I had the Sausage and Mashed potatoes with some sort of green pee puree. Colin on Facebook said it looked like shit. Not sure about that but it was damn tasty!
I needed to get some much needed work done so James, Emma and their friend Clare ended up taking James and Emma’s dog Marley for a walk. They headed down to a pub called the Driftwood Spears after and started to tie one on drinking a cider known as Rattler. It’s easy to pound these back as they’re really tasty. I joined them a few hours later as Emma picked me up and grabbed some food Marley. On the way down she placed her Brexit vote which was quite the topic while I was there.
The pub was exactly what I had imagined for a small English village. Cozy, rich and with plenty of banter from everyone there to provide a nice ambience. It was a great way to wrap up my trip. We talked about meeting up in Jersey Island as they will be there during the end of August and early September. Hopefully I can as my plan was to fly out of Paris sometime mid August and Jersey is not that far away from Paris.
The last day there was of course the aftermath of the Brexit vote. A good time to leave the country me thinks! Onto Copenhagen!
I’ve now remembered from Argentina how hard it is to keep a blog going. There’s too much writing and uploading of pictures. So to save time, I’m going to record voice memos to and talk about some of the pictures in the galleries below.
Vibrations effect our mood. Sometimes there’s bad vibes and bad moods. But we try to stay away from them.
Instead, we’re trying to chase the the positive vibes. Music is a great way to chase positive thoughts, feelings and vibes. Doesn’t matter it’s it’s pop, country or electronic, it all has positive and happy elements. But for me, my brain is drawn to electronic and more specifically the deep, tech and progressive house genres.
Now I haven’t put a mix together in a couple of years. And even at that, I haven’t mixed on a regular basis in probably 6 years. I got away from. I didn’t have the time or desire. But I’ve been inspired by some amazing mixes and tracks over the last year that I wanted to pick up mixing again. This will be a regular mix series for the rest of this summer.
A common theme with all my mixes is melodies. And in terms of structure, I like to start with slow and chilled out deep house. Midway through I like to pick up the energy and move into darker tech house. The finishes are always comprised of uplighting progressive house.
Chasing The Vibe is no different. Overall this is my favourite mix to date. The mixing, the tracks and levels are bang on. Hope you enjoy!
1 – Turmstrasse – Der Tanz Der (Gluehwuermchen Kollektiv Turmstrasse Dirt Glow Remix)
2 – RJ – Nie
3 – Jacob Groening – Never End (Powel Remix)
4 – Pysh – Visions
5 – Of Norway – Spirit Lights (Lehar Remix)
6 – Aera – You Know Juno (The Drifter Remix)
7 – Vince Watson – Deja Vu
9 – Oliver Weiter – Takkie (Einmusik Remix).mp3
10 – Javier Portilla & Sotela ft. Emalaine Your Eyes (King Unique Remix)
11 – Alex Niggaman – Earth Symphony
12 – Cristoph – Slowly Burning feat Jem Cooke Dub
13 – Christian R Kasall – Senses
14 – Andre Sabota – Solaris (James Teej Saturn City Remix)
15 – Bastards Of Funk – Nitro Cannon (Matias Chilano Remix)
16 – Valer – Forgive (Dmitry Molosh Remix)
17 – Stas Drive – Dune
18 – Guy J – Nirvana
Now, I know very little about this women and I’m not sure where I was introduced to her. But I had never seen one of her video’s of heard her talk.
That was until the video above. After 30 seconds, something became very clear. She or Jenna Marbles jacked the other’s delivery. I’ve seen my fair share of Jenna Marbles videos over the years so I am guessing it’s Nicole.
And after one internet search for “Nicole Arbour Jenna Marbles” and coming across only this post, I see that I am not only in hearing the distinct similarty in Nicole’s delivery. This is so suprising to me as it’s clear as day that’s is the exact same.
I’ve been a firm believer in that there are hardly any new ideas out in the world and most are recycled. But when it comes to Nicole Arbour, she has pretty much stole Jenna Marbles delivery. But unlike the music industry, you can’t copywrite a delivery like you can a song and lyrics. However, more people should think about the fact that they’re are following someone who isn’t that original.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Is it just the video above the has the same delivery as Jenna Marbles? Do I need to watch more of her videos to be a better judge of this?
I haven’t blogged in probably almost a month. Why? Because I settled into Buenos Aires life and found myself “living” rather than exploring or travelling. More on this later.
This is all because as it turns out, living in a country 8000 kms away can actually be good for business. I’m reminded of Tim Ferriss’ “The Four Hour Work Week” book and how his first workcation was initially feared for that his business might fail. It was able to succeed and grow.
In many ways, so has mine thanks to….
Technology has allowed me to stay very connected to my clients. It’s also allowed me to contact any potential clients who have found my company website.
Skype is where it’s at if you are out of country and need a good long distance package. Your Skype phone uses your cell number so people you are calling from Skype see your cell number on their call display. The downfall is you need a stable internet connection. This won’t work if you are using data roaming when out and about on your cell.
For me I’ve been able to make calls from my apartment without paying Bell $3 a minute. Instead, Skype is charging me $.07 a minute. F*** Bell and Canadian communication companies out there.
Ok enough back story. I was going to title this post “Observations On Living In Buenos Aires & Argentina” but since I haven’t seen the rest of Argentina, I’ll keep it to BA. I’m going to get around to writing a full summary of my time in BA when I get motivated. For right now this post will do.
Here are my random observations.
A Crosswalk Mean Nothing To Drivers
So crosswalks down here are meaningless. In Canada and I’m sure just about every country out there, when you are walking and approaching a crosswalk, most cars will stop to let you cross the street. Not in Buenos Aires though!
I learnt that my first night here. Thankfully I was with a local who told me only to cross when no cars where near.
Keep your head in when walking in Buenos Aires
Two Lanes Means Three Lanes
While on driving, two lanes down here means three lanes. Thankfully I have not and will not drive down here. Because invisible lanes exist!
Many Drivers Honk Their Horns For The Hell Of It
If the light is red and 20 cars a stopped, you can bet 10 of those cars will start honking their horn. It all starts when one person honks then social proof kicks in and everyone else decides to honk their horn. When at a big intersection and the cross the street sign is green for pedestrians, you can bet there will be cars honking at the pedestrians walking across the street even when they are allowed to!
Dogs Bark Endlessly
I guess the owners also leave their dogs outside and alone for long periods of time because they’re non barking. Once one dog starts, more join in. Kind of like drivers honking! Anyways, it’s annoying and has woken me up early on few occasions. That’s the deal when you live in a big city where everyone is so close to eachother!
Dog Owners Hardly Clean Up Shit
I’m reminded of running across the street with Adam and Erin and Nice years ago. The grassy median was evidently meant “Dog bathroom”! It was never cut and you always had to dodge the crap but it was hard since the grass is long.
In Buenos Aires there are no grassy medians. Where’s a dog to shit then? In the street of course! Not many owners clean up the shit though.
Walk With Your Head Down
Outside of dog shit, the lack of maintenance to the sidewalks has really cut into my time looking at beautiful women. You must at all times keep your head down on you run the risk of a rolled ankle. Tape those ankles like basketball players before you head out!
Back To Future?! Girls wore these back in middle school. But they’re back and a huge fashion piece on 2015.
Parents Take Young Kids To Late Dinners & Drinks
A couple of weeks back my roomies and I went out for dinner and drinks. We ended up at bar call Soria. I ordered my drink and peeped my head around the corner and saw a baby girl (maybe 18 months old) sleeping in a stroller, unattended. This wasn’t an isolated occurrence. I’ve seen kids out at dinners sometimes until 1 AM.
Servers Don’t Keep Asking You If You “Want Another?”
Back home servers make their money on tips. The more the bill is, the more the tip. Alcohol is one way to build the bill and tip up. That doesn’t happen down here. If your drink is done, it’ll sit there until you ask for another. Because of this, I’ve yet to see someone extremely drunk at a restaurant or bar.
Enjoy Time After Dinner To Chat
When out eating dinner, once you are done it is common to sit around and chat. In many cases, you don’t get asked by the servers if you want dessert or another drink. So you sit there and enjoy the conversation. To me this seems like such a contradiction from they way they drive. Their in a hurry when on the road but not when their eating dinner.
Be Prepared To Wait For Table
Many restaurants don’t do resos. Fair enough. This means you show up and put your name down. But because of the above observation, be prepared to wait. And wait. And wait. Since the server isn’t politely telling you leave by putting the bill on the table, you can sit without feeling you have to order anything else. It’s their culture I know. But the business side of me can’t help but think the turn over ratio is too low.
Not Many Restaurants Can Cook Steak
For all the praise I’ve heard about the meat, they sure don’t know how to cook them. Out of the 10 steaks I’ve had, one has been what I asked for. Everything comes overcooked and dry. This has caused me to order lots of pasta and chicken. Tip of the hat to Campo Bravo in Las Canitas for their Pollo al Vino. Best meal I’ve had here.
Alcohol and Taxis Are Cheap
I could have six beers when out and take a 15 minute taxi home here for the equivalent of $40 CDN. A 15 minute cab back home is close to $40. For the record, I’ve only been drunk once and I wasn’t even that drunk, I swear!
Food Is Relatively Cheap
I can count on one hand the amount of dinners I made for myself. Why would I cook for myself when I can eat out for a cost of 30%-50% more? It’s that and I haven’t trusted the grocery stores with their produce or meat since I first got here. But most good meals have cost me $10 to $25 CDN. This is about 25%-50% cheaper than back home.
Clothes Are Not Cheap
I was planning on buying some shorts as it’s fall down here but clothes are not cheap. As an example, this pair of Nike’s at the Blue Dollar rate would be $160 Canadian. I paid $125 for the same pari but different color at MEC last September.
Towels Are Not Cheap
Due to a Volcano just Chile which blew a bunch of ash into Bariloche, my trip was cancelled. This forced me to stay in the place in Las Canitas as Nico had the room rented for the month but was in Brazil. The lady who we rented the room off cleaned his room and took all the towels. This forced me to find a towel and I spent 4 hours one day looking for one. As I was about to give up, I found one…..but for $360 Pesos or $36 Canadian! I gave up but on my way home I found one for $76 Pesos which as thin as paper.
People Are Addicted To Their Phones
Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t have data down here, but my face is not buried in my phone. This means I can observe and people watch. What I see is a that people down here (young and old) are addicted to their phones. At dinner or on the street, they are always looking at their phone. I would say it’s worse here than back home.
They Love Selfies
I was amazed at how obsessed with selfies they are. One day while walking through a park I observed a women who must have took 15 different selfies! They even have a mural with a women taking a selfie!
This must be the French culture of sister city Paris kicking in but lots of people smoke here. That and the fact that you can get 10 cigs for $3 CDN here.
The City Is Safe
I never once felt unsafe my entire time there. Any local I meet told me to watch myself no matter where I went. I’d tell them I had been to a few areas of the city at night and they would tell me not to go there again as it was unsafe. Obviously I didn’t walk down an sketchy streets in dark.
The city and building owners could care less about graffiti. It’s a shame because it really makes the city look less attractive and in ways unsafe despite what I said above. I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” in where he talks about how NYC was able to clean up it’s act and cut down on crime. He believes it was due to the clean up and graffiti so that the broken windows theory was no longer in play.
Street Police Are Everywhere
Ok not every street corner but they setup shop on foot at about every 3rd or 4th block. I did not see one altercation during my trip. This definitely mad me feel safe.
There Are Ice Cream Shops On Every Street Corner
Not only are Police on almost every corner, but they’re are also Ice Cream shops on almost every corner! I am not lying about! They love their Ice Cream is BsAs and that’s evident by the amount of chain and mom and pop shops. Thanks to Sophie who tipped me on this place in Belgrano which had the best flavor, Dulce De Leche Con Banada Split.
Parking Lots Have Warning Lots
Due to the mass amount of condo’s and apartments, there are a lot of parking lots. What’s cool is that they have warning lights and sounds when a car is pulling in our out of the lot.
Street Parking Is Free
Everywhere in the city, street parking is free but tough to come by!
Civilians Help You Finding Parking Spots
Because street parking is free and tough to come by, civilians can help divers finding parking speeds. These civilians have a name and they call then Torpedos. They will flag an open spot on a street and help you park. On bust nights the cops don’t care if you double park and the Torpedo’s will get you to put your can in neutral so they can roll your car if you are blocking someone from getting out.
There are a few chain grocery stores but all the small super markets are owned by Chinese. They don’t say hi, bye or thanks and could give a shit about you. It’s also different hearing Chinese speak in Spanish.
Bright City With LEDs
I love lighting. This is probably due to my time working at an electrical wholesaler. Buenos Aires has bight street lights powered by LED. This brightens the city up and night with a cool blue color.
Being a SEO guy, I’m trying to optimize this post for people who might be asking “Should I drink the water in Argentina”. Well, the answer is no!
If you read my week one and week two posts, you’ll know that my stomach was not pleased with being in Argentina. I had assumed it was the food. I was wrong as I so often am!
I’m positive I found the culprit! Well, not me but my new roommate.
Within a couple minutes after meeting him, I told him about my stomach issues. He asked me if I was drinking the tap water. I had been and he suggested that was probably the cause.
Surely enough I started buying and drinking bottle water and magically my stomach issues went away. Thanks Nico! After my stomach troubles went away I really started to enjoy myself.
Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here
That was my thought before I moved into this new apartment on St. Patties Day. I was so busy with work and not really enjoying my time here in BA. I needed to move out of my current place as I only booked for a week. There wasn’t much out there for me but I found a cool spot in an area of Buenos Aires that I really liked so I booked for a week. What was better was that it was priced very well but I was still had thought hard about leaving after the week was up.
One slight drawback is that it has a single bed but I didn’t know how small it was until I got there. I don’t think I’ve ever had a single bed before!
So I caught another cheap taxi (taxi’s are really, really cheap here) to my place. It was a three bedroom place and as my landlord walked me to my room, I asked if anyone else was living there. She said there was a German guy Nico and English girl Sophie.
Ok great I thought, they probably know some english! My Spanish sucks and being so busy with work, I’ve had little time to learn more.
I met Sophie briefly when I got there and she was really nice and friendly. But I had some work to get done so I retreated to my room.
I got sidetracked from work right away. An idea came into my head a day earlier and that was to cut my trip short in BA and head to Miami to check out the Miami Open Tennis Tournament and WMC Electronic Music Festival. I love tennis and electronic music. It would have been a chance to see my favorite tennis players and all the DJ’s who’s mixes I’ve listened to for the last six years in one week.
Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J on a boat cruise was the biggest reason for this. I have listened to their mixes and productions constantly for the last six years. Seeing them play on a boat cruise would be one the most amazing experiences I could think of right now.
So I went to work trying to make this happen.
Switching my flight was possible but for a cost of $700 though. Ok I said, I could deal with that. Next up was finding accommodations. I put the feeler out there with my good friend Graeme who I’ve connected with this past year and now lives in the Greater Miami area. He was going to be in town but wouldn’t have a room for me to stay.
To AirBnb I went looking for places under $60 a night in a 50km area outside of Miami. The results, very sad. These places make anything in Esquimalt look like 4 star hotels. There was really NOTHING out there. Even 2 star hotels in the area wanted close to $90 a night.
I had spent way too much time on possibly cost scenarios that my brain was pretty fried. So my dream of heading to Miami to watch world class Tennis and to see Hernan, Guy J and Nick Warren on a boat cruise fizzled. Seeing the pictures and videos on Facebook was crushing in some ways.
It’s funny because doing the Miami Tennis and WMC thing has always been a trip I’ve wanted to do. The moment this trip to Miami fizzled, I was filled with regret and pissed off I didn’t do that.
But I changed my thoughts around. I work for myself and I have the freedom to do those trips far more often then I had working for a company.
With that mindset, I was no longer pissed off and filled with regret. My mood also got better as I started to chat more with my new roommates.
My mother and I always talk about connection. Connecting with people is what both makes us feel alive and kicks starts the positive vibes. But we want to connect with people we know or don’t know on a deeper level.
For me I was excited about meeting my new roommates. I can be isolated at times and comfortable on my own. So basically an extrovert. But outside of meeting Pablo and a few other friends Gustavo introduced me, I was 10 000 miles away from any connection I have on this earth. Sure, I’ve used non verbal forms of communication to talk to some of you. It’s not the same though. I needed to feel connected.
For the first two weeks here, I was feeling flat and needing energy.
My vibe was getting better here after the first few days with my roommates. Although I had lots of work to do, I was able to chat with them a fair bit and knew they were open and easy to talk to. Sharing accommodations with two people you don’t know can be great or awkward. Thankfully it’s been great so far.
We’ve gone out for quite a few dinners and spent plenty of time in the apartment chatting. The topics have been diverse and we seem to share a lot of common interests and values. We had quite a long night on Friday where we went out for dinner and came back to the apartment and started talking about the media, world problems and how much we care about the Earth and are sad to see it being ruined by greed.
It’s been a really good experience for me and I’ve enjoyed their company a lot. I had only booked this apartment for another week as I wanted to leave my plans open. But I liked the vibe so much that on Tuesday I booked for another month.
Nico is probably leaving at the end of the month to travel around before heading home to Germany. Sophie is here until the middle of April which would leave me alone or with new roommates and if so, it’s been great connecting with them.
Location, Location, Location
This city is massive. What’s cool though is each neighbourhood feels like a city inside a city.
The other reason I booked for a full month was the location of this place. The 4th night here Pablo and I had dinner in an area called Los Canitas. I knew after one night this was the neighbourhood where I wanted to stay for a while if I wasn’t going to travel around. And here I am.
It’s close to Polo fields, lots of great restaurants and the Race Track so I can go Gamblor mode. Seriously, I’ve been there once and only spent $10. This neighbourhood is also a little more quiet and upscale so it’s safe.
Now is a good time to interrupt you with an empanadas count. I think I am at 28. They’re like a mini pizza pocket but with more options. I will likely break a 100 as Empanadas Gourmet is 50 steps from my front door and they have cheap empanadas.
What did I do this past week? Well last Tuesday was St Patricks Day and I spent that with Pablo at an Irish Bar in his neighbourhood of Belgrano. It was fun to see how much the locals support an event. Maybe it was the fact they could drink on a Tuesday until 2 Am, who knows. They had a great Irish band bearing the heat and playing some Irish tunes on bagpipes and drums.
The next night I met up with girl from Tinder who has from Colombia. We had a nice night and ate some Mexican at a great restaurant named Taco Box in Palermo. Once again this was another restaurant that had great ambience.
Not my photo but wanted to share what the inside looked like
The next few nights I joined my new roommates for some dinner and drinks.
Thursday night was Nico’s birthday. We had drinks at the apartment with a few of his friends from school. He had friends in the program from Holland, Wisconsin, Austria and here in Buenos Aires. We enjoyed some laughs and exchanging things about each others countries. Felt kind of like a hostel in a way.
At 1 AM we made the walk into Palermo to grab a beer. Not much was open but we made last call at this tacky place called the Tiki Bar. We chatted for a bit and we got on the topic of drinking and driving. The guy from Wisconsin, Herman, was only 20 and it came up that when he goes home, he can’t drink legally. But he’s been driving for 4 years now and I thought this should be implemented in Canada where you can’t drink until your 21 to give kids more time to mature before drinking so they now their limits better.
Friday night Nico, Sophie and myself try some Arabian cuisine. The meal was cheap and half decent.
Afterwards Nico and myself got the craving for some late night ice cream, very common here in BA, and headed for Persico. I got a Dulce De Leche Con Brownie. Dulce De Leche is a right caramel type syrup that the country is addicted to. Here’s some Google Images you can look at.
Afterwards we continued talking and our discussion turned to world problems. I mentioned to Nico the next morning that it was really great to stay up and chat on a deeper level like we did the night before.
We had such a good time Friday night we went out for dinner again on Saturday night just down from our place at a restaurant called La Colorada. With it’s high ceilings, red walls and chairs, it was a cool spot. Very loud and busy but enjoyable none the less.
The meals are very reasonably priced and extremely delicious! I’ll be heading back here again.
Sunday night I joined Pablo for some cerveza’s at this place called Anatares which is a chain of brew pubs. Monday and Tuesday were holidays here and the place was busy. Like every other restaurant or bar here it had a great ambience and nice lighting.
They had lots of photos and beer memorabilia including a Big Rock Brewery Grasshopper poster! None of it was on tab though.
The next day Pablo offered to drive me outside of the city to visit San Isidro and Tigre. The drive out was very nice and the area looks beautiful but expensive. Something cool they have out on the street lights is a timer letting the drivers know how long the light will stay green for.
One the drive we also came across this cathedral. The one thing I haven’t noticed in any cathedrals here which is much different than Europe where there tons of them.
Past San Isidro is a small city called Tigre which is supposed to be beautiful. We got there late in the afternoon and the city streets were packed. Since it was a holiday everyone had the idea to head out there. After 30 minutes of moving 1000 meters, we decided to head back in BA.
And that was week 3 down here! Not a lot of the adventure front but some good conversation and meals. had a couple of bigger work things which are virtual complete and I’ll have some free time to do some more exploring!
This past week wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Where I stayed last week wasn’t in the nicest neighbourhood and a ways out so I booked a place closer to the center of the city. It was another overpriced apartment on AirBnb but was closer to Palermo and all the action. I was getting tired of the long commutes into city to see things and meet up with people.
This new apartment wasn’t as nice as it looked in the pictures. The girl who I rented the room off was a photographer and let’s just say she did some things to make the place look bigger, brighter and newer than it actually was. It was marketing at it’s finest and similar to how fast food restaurants present their food.
But I only have myself to blame. I waited too long to book my next apartment so not much was available. The apartment owner did give me the option to look at the place before which I didn’t do. A couple of positives were that it was quiet and had a nice desk for me to work on as I got slammed with work. I’ve been able to get a lot more work done here as I have less of a social life down here so that’s great for business!
A Hermit Explores
In the end I wasn’t really able to enjoy much of the city but that is why I gave myself two months down here. With that much time I could work when I needed to and not feel rushed in having to see everything BA has to offer. However I was able to visit a few places.
First up was the Jardin Botanico Gardens in the center of the city late one evening. Talk about a wonderful place to unwind and get away from the busy city. I setup shop on a bench and chilled out as the sun started to make it’s decent which was really nice. This is a place I will visit a few more times to do the exact same thing.
Jardin Botanico Trees
The next day I went to exchange some US money for the cheaper blue dollar. I’ll write a post about the blue dollar later on. Anyways, it was pretty close to the north west of the city and was far away from where I was staying. On the way there I visited the El Ateneo bookstore which looks more like an opera house.
After exchanging my money I decided to walk through the northern part of the city along a wider main street to see what was up there. I stumbled across the Floralis Generica. Kind of cool to see but not all that exciting. Surprisingly no one was in the vicinity of the giant flower. For sure I thought I would see more tourists like me. Not the case.
As I kept on walking I came the beautiful Recoleta neighborhood. It’s more upscale than Palermo and seems where a lot of the old money is located. Recoleta has some really cool french architecture and of course nice trees!
Down the road a few more Km’s was another nice park with beautiful trees to shield me from the sun. Walking around on pavement really takes its toll so a rest was needed and this area was very chill. After this I headed home and proceeded to drink cheap vino and work my ass off!
The last area I got to explore this week was the cool and quaint neighborhood of Belgrano. This is where Pablo, Gustavo’s friend who I’ve connect with, lives. This is a really cool area that is very quit and feels like you are so far out of the city. There are more homes and tree lined streets in Belgrano and seems like a great place to raise a family. I could see myself living in a neighborhood like Belgrano.
House in Belgrano
I did mention that I didn’t get to see much of the city. What I did see I enjoyed and will no doubt be spending more time in the places I saw this past week
No Clubs For Old Man Jordo
Friday and Saturday night were supposed to be nights I was going to see a couple of DJ’s spin. Both DJ’s sets started at 2 AM and went until 5 AM. Of course I was super pumped to experience the music that I love live on a huge sound system. It’s probably been 7 years since I’ve seen seen a DJ play and that was Nick Warren in Vancouver back in 2008.
Old man Jordo go too tired though. Both nights I was dead at 12:30 AM and the thought of trying to stay up until 5 AM was too daunting. So I crawled into bed early both nights.
There are plenty of other great DJ’s coming into town so I’m not sad.
Where To Go Next?
I also spent most of the week trying to figure out where I should go. Last week I mentioned I was going to head to Bariloche which looks beautiful and a mix between a British Columbia’s coast and Switzerland’s mountain range. But the more and more I looked into, the less it appealed to me for a few reasons.
First of all, getting down there isn’t easy. It’s either a 3 hour plane road which is very expensive for non Argentinian’s or it’s a 22 hour cheap bus ride. The 10 hour flight from Dallas was enough and despite how comfortable I hear the bus seats are, I’m not going to get a lot of sleep no matter how many melotonins I pop. That means I’m left to fill the time with reading or staring out the window and getting lost in my thoughts. Doesn’t appeal to me right now.
Another reason was the cost of the accommodations. In retrospect $55 CAD taxes in is pretty cheap but I’d need to make this long journey worthwhile and it seemed like staying under a week wouldn’t be worth it. So at $385 for a week, that’s just a bit outside my range to head down to Bariloche. I’ve already spent $450 for two weeks on accommodations here in BA and don’t want to be spending too much cash while I am away. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for better rates over the next month as it still seems like the high season.
I looked into other areas I could go. I feel the need to get away from the big city of BA and relax in a quiet town for a week or two and just chill out. The beaches look really shitty here in Argentina but there are a couple of nice beach areas in Brazil. They’re too costly to get to and accommodation isn’t cheap. Plus I’d need to spend $200 on a Brazil Visa. Doesn’t seem worth it.
What has been interesting in my countless hours of researching where I want to go, I’ve stumbled across some great blogs of people who have travelled across South America. It’s fun reading about others adventures and what they thought about certain cities. However, it’s best to visit those cities yourself and get to get persuaded by the opinion of someone you don’t know.
Some of you know I am in Buenos Aires right now. I’ve been here for almost a week and I wanted to do a little summary of my thoughts so far. I promise you photos but you have to read or scroll to the very bottom! Do as you please, I won’t judge.
I’ve wanted to come here for sometime now. There are many reasons but the top three are weather, food and music. Funny enough, one of my favorite tracks is titled Buenos Aires.
Now that I am landed and settled in, here are some thoughts.
BIG BIG BIG
Do you remember those Lotto649 commercials? The one I am thinking of is similar to this but not as old.
The thing that strikes me right away is that this is a big city! If you know me, I hate big cities and lots of people. Not really knowing the scale of this city, I booked a cheaper AirBnB apartment outside of the downtown area for the first week to get situated. This would give me some time to choose the proper neighbourhood I wanted to stay in for the rest of my time in BA.
I thought it was within walking distance to most neighbourhoods. Boy was I wrong! Luckly the placed I booked is close to the Subte. The subway is hella cheap, about $.75 per ride and has 4 different lines with good connections. So getting anywhere in the city is easy and cheap.
One interesting thing that I’ve seen on the Subway is people who are trying to sell you stuff. They have a box of items like pens, notepads, used playing cards and gum. They will walk by everyone on the subway and drop whatever item their selling in your lap. If you want it, you get your cash out and pay the person before the next stop. I’m surprised the items are sold as much as they are. Surely there has to be better items you can sale on the subway? “What about some aqua because it’s a muggy 32 degrees down here” my inner self is saying. Anyways, it’s interesting and wonder if other cities have this happen on their subways.
I love food. I love all types of food including beef and pasta. Well, Argentina has plenty of that and I have had only a couple meals out at nice restaurants. The first place was Las Cabres in Palermo. This was the first night I got here. I met up with a friend of my squash pro Gustavo, Pablo who has been great so far.
Las Cabras had a great patio that was quiet when we walked by around 8:00 PM to grab a drink somewhere close by. We choose Negroni right across the street for a couple of happy hours drinks. Yeah, happy hour starts at 8 PM and goes to 10 PM.
Las Carbes started to fill up really fast after we sat down at Negroni. By the time we walked over to see about getting a table at 10, I didn’t think we’d get one. But we found a spot on the patio right away. It was a great spot as the patio had a large tree and dim lighting. I love sitting outside late at night when it’s warm out.
The meal was pretty good. We had a couple of Enpanada’s to start. I will eat many Enpanada’s on this trip. We then had some Chorizo which was ok but surprisingly more sweet than spicy. Another type of sausage we had I think was Morcilla. The inside was very soft and reminded me of stuffing in a way. The meal was topped off with ribs which were pretty average actually. They were not drenched in sauce and instead they gave us a side of some home made sauce which was pretty bland too.
The other night Pablo and myself went out was to a place on Baez Street called El Estanciero in Belgrano which is a neighbourhood just north of Palermo. Like Palmero though, this area has some great restaurants and the same vibe. El Estanciero was a mix of Italian and carnes or beef. We had some gnocchi and veal Milanese. The veal Milanese was topped with ham, mozza cheese and some tomato sauce. It reminded me a lot of Chicken Parmesan and was really good.
The grocery stores are pretty weak though. Especially when it comes to their produce. Everything seems to have been sitting on the shelf for a week two long. Also, they don’t store eggs in refrigerators at any grocery store.
Mom warned me about their food preparation and how it was much different. She bought some Dukaral and I was reluctant to take but I did. Her persistence and motherly care was smart as I am needing it! Without getting graphic, my stomach is not happy with the food down here dispute that it tastes good.
A few friends have been down here and didn’t mention much about needing to speak a lot of Spanish. Er,in and Sulley leant me their Rosetta Stone Spanish version. It’s been slow going and I am doing my best picking up what I can from everyone I talk to down here who knows english.
Regardless there is less english spoken here. I don’t know why I expected to hear locals speak in English. I was also expecting to be able to go into a restaurant or grocery store and try to communicate in English. But that hasn’t been the case.
This is holding me back a bit from heading South to Bariloche which looks a lot like Swiss town. I don’t want to go to an area which was little English spoken and try to survive for a week by using sign language!
But I have done it before with Sulley on our Europe travels and on my own when I cruised around Portugal for a few days after a golf trip in 2008.
So I think I will head down there in a week to escape the warm weather and large city BA has offered up.
One of my main reasons for coming here was because of the music. I’m a big deep and progressive house fan. Buenos Aires and Argentina is home to many producers and DJ’s I love. Also, many of my favortite international DJ’s play here frequently. I’m sad to see local Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J from Isreal, Henry Saiz from Spain and Eelke Kleijn from Holland are not going to be here when I am. They are the DJ’s I wanted to see most.
But there is still some other DJ’s I listen to playing here. This Friday Cid INC from Finland is here and John Digweed from the UK is playing Saturday with an opening set from local Martin Garcia.
I’m going to check those shows out then make the trek down to Bariloche next Tuesday.
Since I have been here I have done a fair bit of work for my clients. Partly because I haven’t been one to really venture out of this neighbourhood that I have been in. It’s not the nicest nor is there much too do. But it’s also to prove that I can work while resisting the temptation to treat this like a holiday and to relax or go exploring BA.
I’ve been able to actually to grow the business too. As of this writing I have three verbal agreements for new clients! Closing business abroad is pretty damn cool and something I wasn’t expecting.
I remember reading the chapter from the Four Hour Work Week in which Tim Ferriss talks about his first work vacation and how nervous he was. In the end things all worked out. Seems like that way for me and when you have the ability to connect to the internet, you can work from anywhere and communicate with anyone.
Although I may have a few extra minutes of my travel plan from. But it’s the cost of doing business and I will gladly pay Bell Mobility more money because we all know they need it!
Tom Doak & The Jockey Club
Originally I was going to bring my golf clubs and try to play. South America and Argentina are not hot beds for golf and there were only a few courses I wanted to play. In my research I contacted a golf architect Randy Thompson from Chile who suggested some places and has been a great help for me outside of golf courses.
Anyways, I asked him if we could connect if I made it to Santiago. He told me he was going to be doing a two week South American tour with one of my favorite architects Tom Doak. I’ve played three Doak courses and loved them all.
In conversations with Randy, he invited me to visit The Jockey Club with Tom and himself. The Jockey Club was designed in the 1930’s by Alistair Mackezine, the godfather or golf course architect and the man behind Augusta National and Royal Melbourne. I have looked at the Golf Club Atlas course profile of Jockey Club probably 50 times.
Obviously I jumped at the chance to go on this tour of a great course with Tom Doak! Randy wasn’t going to tell Tom though which could and was a bit awkward!
I showed up at the holiday yesterday morning at 8:00 AM and were were going to get breakfast and go from there. I figured this would be where I’d be introduced to Tom and Randy would tell him I am tagging along. When I got to their hotel lobby, Randy was there by himself and we chatted for a bit. Then we went up for breakfast. Tom had left to his room though. So we ate breakfast and when finished Randy went up to his room to grab some things. I went down to the lobby and saw Tom at the front desk.
So I sit down and so does Tom a few minutes later. I pull out of my phone and look busy. Since Randy hadn’t told him yet, I felt odd thinking about introducing myself and saw I am tagging along. We both sat there for a few minutes.
Finally Randy comes down but he doesn’t introduce me to Tom! And he didn’t until we were leaving out the door.
We shake hands and I say to Tom “Nice meeting, you don’t mind if I tag along?”. He says it’s fine and we’re off. I didn’t interact much with him as I didn’t want to come off as a fan boy and ask a bunch of questions. I interacted with the others who were on the tour though which was great to share some insights and love for classic golf architecture.
It was all a little awkward with Tom in the morning but in the end the tour was a great and I really hope to play the course as it looks like a lot of fun. Fairly wide open off the tee, a lot of long par 3’s and 4’s with some killer green complexes.
One thing you might not know about me is that photos don’t really mean much to me. I have never been one to take many photos on vacations. Even when I do I rarely look back at them. I always remember my trips and the many amazing sights I saw as they have been ingrained in my memory forever. Pictures just don’t do being their physically any justice.
With that said, he’s a small batch of BA.
Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Secretaria de Turismo
Another cool building in the Plaza De Mayo
Nice building, great European Architecture here
Some cool government building
Puerto Madero Bridge
The Argentinian Beer
I felt like it was 1990 all over again, rollerblading is big down here!