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Random Observations: Week 4

Random Observations: Week 4

  • Argentines love to socialize. At merienda, which is basically a late afternoon snack eaten between lunch and dinner, people will sit for hours with a single cup of coffee or espresso and pastry and talk.  Our gym even has a cafe in the front of it that is usually pretty busy with people talking after their workout.  We still very much have the New Yorker attitude and have not been able to slow down to this level yet.
  • We have heard that petty crime is a problem here (shoplifting, bag snatching, pickpockets, muggings) but luckily we have not run across it yet. However there are definite measures of caution that many places take. Many stores only buzz in customers. Larger stores have lockers or seal any bags that you bring in. Any decent restaurant will have private security guards standing out front. And, if you look at the picture on the right, one restaurant even installed clips on the back of chairs to secure your purse while dining.
  • Sidewalks here are maintained by the building owners and not the city, so as you walk down a block, the sidewalk can change over and over. Some are made up of small tile, some are large tile, some are concrete, etc.  Some people maintain their sidewalk well, some don’t.  The thought of a lawsuit for slipping on someone’s broken sidewalk is nonexistent unlike in the U.S. I also learned to be careful of stepping on loose tiles in the morning after they’re hosed down or after a rain storm – they tend to spray water up through the cracks onto your shoes and pants.
  • Things we have not been able to find down here: true dill pickles (they’re all sweet); decent aluminum foil or plastic wrap; salad dressing (that isn’t horrible); red onions; fresh tuna; good sushi; an American breakfast (omelets, pancakes, maple syrup); and decent, cheap Chinese food!
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