Back on the airwaves - it has been quite an "experience" the last few days and difficult at best to connect. Before we get into details a few early observations:
SOCCERFOOTBALL. This is the national passion above all else. Every TV you see has it on. Our last cab driver called Diego Maradona nothing short of a saint, and any patch of dirt or grass large enough has iron posts at either end of it. The national AFA (Argentine Football Association for those who are a little slow on the uptake) has their national training facility along the main freeway heading to the airport so we have been able to observe it (extremely nice as you would expect) at warp speed from the freeway many more times than we should have already (will explain later). Needless to say the Argentinians have it figured out in this area - Americans take note!
DRIVING. This seems to be the only thing Argentinians do aggressively. Most carstrucks here are very small, so it is like turbo charged ants heading back to the ant hill. Very few roads in town have marked lanes although they may be the equivalent of 2-3 lanes across. This often times leads to 2 cars in one lane. The challenge is to find a small opening and get there before the sorry driver with slower reflexes. A little tap on the horn means watch out, either stay out of my way or let the game of chicken begin because that is my space. The best part about driving in downton Buenos Aires is that you don't really need to find a parking space because you get to create your own - that's right just pull up and park in a through lane next to the cars parked parallel along the curb. This adds to the jockeying and gamesmanship in getting through the obstacle course. Speed - I had no idea that subcompact cars with lawn mower tires carrying 4 people and a mass of luggage could go so fast. Carey left fingermarks in the door handles of most of the cabs she rode in to the airport.
MEAT. For the vegetarians this is not your country - please skip this paragraph. I am not sure how this happened but they seem to have missed the whole five food group program. Papa G and Bop this is your Nirvana - steak like nowhere else and very little in the way of vegetables respectively. I have never compared steak to butter, but it has happened on many occasions already here. Argentinians eat 3 times as much red meat as the typical American in a year. We will certainly need to detox with several hearty meals of salads, vegetables, etc. when we return, but for the time being this works - very well!
PEOPLE. Think slow food, think passion, think family. We need to take a few lessons from Argentinians. They great with a kiss on the cheek, are extroverted with their language, expressions and generall