Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Afternoon at the Post Office

If you're in Buenos Aires for any length of time, you might have to pick up a package at the international post office. You'll hand over your claim form and your passport and pay the post office's fee for housing your package, then be sent to wait in a big room for your particular six-digit number to be called, in Spanish, of course, over a loudspeaker that is not unlike the PA system in most NYC-subway cars. In other words, unintelligible.

And when you do find yourself in this particular predicament, here's a tip: Wait for a few rounds of numbers to be called, then go to the counter and explain in your bestest Spanish that you couldn't understand the numbers (note: this will not be a lie). The very nice post office employee will probably ask you where you're from, tell you that you speak Spanish well, and say something else that you might not understand. Then he'll call specially for your package.

As you walk out of the post office, package in hand, you'll be filled with pride that you have accomplished this daunting task, and you might feel a bit like a kid on Christmas morning. You may even be tempted to open that package while you're walking to the bus stop. (It's OK. I did.) If you're lucky, it will contain some food item or other that's hard to find here in Argentina. (Last year I retrieved from the post office more chocolate chips than should ever be in my possession at the same time.)

And if you're really, super lucky, that package will be full of surprises that will make you smile for the rest of the day.

Thanks, Mersal!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scenes From A Brunch: Ølsen (And Other Miscellany)

On Sunday, Norma and I went to Ølsen in Palermo Hollywood. The grilled veggies were especially tasty, but sadly, the Bloody Mary wasn't quite as good as its counterpart at Home Hotel--I like my breakfast-vodka nice and spicy. The company was excellent, as always.

The brunch soundtrack at Ølsen was Lady Gaga. It may come as a surprise to some of you that until very recently I hadn't listened to any Lady Gaga. I'm not sure why, exactly, considering my musical tastes.*

After all, this: isn't exactly a far cry from these:

Anyway, I'm now planning a Lady Gaga dance party with LFar, natch, in our underwear. And I'm going to teach this boy all the words to "Boys Boys Boys".

In other news, last week we had dinner with some friends and mentioned to them that we'd never tried chocotorta, a kind of ice-box cake that's practically the national dessert of Argentina. A week later one of them made us our very own chocotorta and I have not been able to keep my face out of it since it arrived. It kind of tastes like a McCain chocolate cake (the dessert of my childhood), only better, because it's made with dulce de leche.

Also, there WILL be Deep 'n Delicious at the Lady Gaga Underwear Dance Party.

* At one point not long after Ken and I started dating, I started to apologize for subjecting him to so much white-girl music, then stopped myself, because, hey, I AM a white girl. "It's true," he replied, "it's not false advertising."

P.S. HI LEE AND JEN! If you're not Lee and Jen, allow me to explain: Lee(roy) was my roommate for five gloriously formative months, back when I was oh-so-young and impressionable. He's the coolest, for reals, with the only possible exception being his grrlfriend, Jen. I'd been thinking about these guys a lot lately, and then they leave a comment right here on Ultra Fine Flair! Strange, only not really, because this is how the Universe gets things done.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scenes From A Brunch: Mercado Amenabar

Breakfast in Argentina is traditionally coffee and a pastry - café con leche y medialunas, anyone? - and after living and traveling abroad for almost a year (!), a pile of bacon and eggs and various baked goods slathered in maple syrup is among the things I miss the most, not to mention the rejeuvenating effect of a bottomless cup of coffee.

A recent article in Oh La Lá! magazine highlighted a few of the brunch options in Buenos Aires, and I started making dates to satisfy my Sunday-morning cravings. We started at Home Hotel, a boutique hotel in Palermo Hollywood where the huevos rancheros left us wanting more. I could easily have whiled away the afternoon sipping their very satisfying Bloody Marys poolside.

This past weekend marked a trip with a good friend to Mercado Amenabar, also in Palermo Hollywood. We shared scrambled eggs with toast and bacon, a proscuitto and Brie sandwich, and enough ideas and inspiration to last us at least until next Sunday's brunch date.