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.