Saturday, June 27, 2009

Siga la Vaca

A lot of people have asked me why I named the blog "Siga la Vaca" so after entirely too long, here is the quick and dirty explanation...Siga la Vaca means follow the cow in spanish. The way "siga" is conjugated makes it a command, kind of like, "you must follow that cow".  My first week in Buenos Aires I went to a parrilla(argentine bbq) restaurant called Siga la Vaca that was nothing short of a gastronomic gauntlet.  It's what argentines call a  tenedor libre, which literally means "free fork" and is their version of an all-you-can-eat restaurant.  I think I was there for about 5 hours and I'm pretty sure I ate an entire cow (including intestines and coagulated blood formed into sausage).  As a wannabe foodie going to a country famous for its beef the name of this restaurant seemed like a fitting title for my blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feria de Mataderos

On Sunday, every neighborhood in Buenos Aires has a crafts fair and each one is slightly different,  San Telmo is a bit more antiquey while Recoleta is a bit more hippy.  After going to a few however I realized that they all have basically the same things; some jewelry, mate, a knit sweater or two.  But because I pride myself on being a crafts fair connoisseur, awhile back I decided to go to the mother of all fairs-Mataderos.  Mataderos is not for the faint of heart, it's about a 45 minute bus ride from the center of town, fortunately the bus costs the same amount(1.25 pesos = .35 USD) so you're really getting your bang for your buck.  After getting there, I found out that this is the street fair for Argentines. The day when people come in from the suburbs and the province to show their stuff; mates made right in front of you, folk dancing, artisanal cheeses and olive oil, even-dulce de leche stirred by hand!  

One of the biggest attractions of Mataderos though, is the gauchos.  Argentine cowboys who come to the capitals to show off their riding skills and test out new horses.  Seeing as we were in the middle of the city and there was no good place to ride these horses, they did what any sensible cowboys would do; blockade the street with their truck and cover the asphalt with sand.  Although I couldn't really tell who was the best rider or who had the best horse, Mataderos was one of my favorite fairs so far and it was well worth the bus ride.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


            The entrance of the University of Buenos Aires social sciences building.  

UBA is the completely free public university(sorry mom and dad still not free for foreigners) that has about 350,000 students.  In UBA there is no time table and because it's free, people stick around for years-seriously.  In each class, you have two years after the course's completion to take your final, in this lax atmosphere almost everyone in BsAs is an UBA 'student'.

UBA is famous for being a hotbed for political and social activism, often times when I try to go to class either the professors or the students are on strike.  Because of this uncertain environment the students took over the parking lot(above) to provide a space to have class and forums.  When the parking lot is full sometimes students just blockade the street with desks and chairs, pick up a bull horn and have class in the middle of the road...maybe I should try that at Barnard...