We returned yesterday from a five-day trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had a good time visiting what some call the “Paris of South America.” We were most impressed by the architecture and generally affordable and excellent quality of life we saw. Perhaps our perspectives have been influenced by living 11 months in nearby Paraguay, but it still struck me as a good place to live. I can see why Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) are proud of their city.
Buenos Aires is a no doubt world-class city. However, I was struck by its lack of diversity. This city with approximately 12 million residents seemed overwhelmingly of European descent with a dearth of other races, including immigrants from Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Our difficulty finding ethnic cuisine confirmed this. There are no Greek, Indian, or Thai restaurants in Paraguay, and we searched from throughout Buenos Aires to find these cuisines. I finally found restaurants for each cuisine, but it was a bit of an undertaking. Each offered excellent food at moderately expensive prices (by Argentine standards). Here they are:
Mykonos Greek Restaurant, Olleros 1752, Buenos Aires. For reservations, call (54-11) 4779-9000 or visit http://www.mykonostaso.com.ar/
Kathmandu Indian Restaurant, Av. Cordoba 3547, Buenos Aires. For reservations, call (54-11) 4963-1122.
Empire Thai Restaurant, Tres Sargeantos 427, Retiro, Buenos Aires. For reservations, call (54-11) 4312-5706 or visit http://www.empirethai.net/
If we had had more time, we also would have liked to have eaten Japanese and American food. The good news is that as a large city, Buenos Aires has a wide variety of restaurants. In fact, Empire Thai restaurant owner Kevin Rodriguez — an American from New Jersey — told us that Empire Thai is one of the only Thai restaurants in Latin America. Amidst all of the “Parrilla (grill), pasta, and pizza” — as he put it — you can find a great selection of cuisine in Buenos Aires.
We had a wonderful Christmas. We were very busy, and the time passed by too quickly, as you can probably tell from the delay in blog postings. My cousin Wade came for a visit, so I didn’t have much time to spend on the computer. He’s a saint for helping me rebuilding my computer. I upgraded the hard drive, RAM, and the power supply, so it now performs as it should have all along. It turns out that the culprit was the power supply. When I last updated about 3 years ago I did not change the power supply. I upgraded from a 550MB Duron microprocessor to a 2.4GHz P4 chip, but I didn’t change out the power supply. It never did run right. Now it does, thanks to cuz’.
While Wade was here we visited the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center located next to Dulles International Airport. It’s an extension of the Air & Space Museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. We also went down to the National Mall and visited the Museum of American History, the National Archives, and the Air & Space Museum. I had never visited the first two museums, so it was a treat for me to see them for the first time (I never tour the Mall anymore). We also did a “Lord of the Rings” marathon, watching most of the extended versions of all three LOTR movies. It’s absolutely mind numbing after about 8 hours. If you sit and watch all three movies, it will take you about 12 hours to do it. Definitely not for the faint of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it though because I consider the trilogy three of the finest movies ever produced. They are masterpieces.
On Christmas Eve we searched frantically for dinner. We arrived home too late to cook and decided to order take-out food. I contacted at least 5 restaurants until I found a Thai restaurant open. Lesson learned–don’t try to go out to eat after 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve! The selection is grim. We spent Christmas day with Wade’s Aunt Joann, whom I’ve also adopted as my aunt. She prepared a delicious Christmas dinner and decorated her home for the holidays, putting us all in a festive mood. Our son was the hit of the party though as we spent much of the time following him around, making sure that he didn’t break anything or fall down the stairs. We usually spend Christmas with my parents, but because our short time in the Washington, D.C. area we weren’t able to make it home for the holidays. We have no Christmas or decorations at home other than a single stocking that holds the Christmas cards we receive. Not too festive, methinks. Still, it’s nice to have a chance to take a break from the rigamarole of Korean class and briefly enjoy the holidays.