Will restaurants ever start using metal straws?

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Day 114 / Thu 29.11.2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) Because I have had a left foot (half-sided) 'asleep' for a week, we drive to the northern district to see a German osteopath, whose name we found on the website of the German Embassy. (After consulting our family doctor in Hembach and my physiotherapist in Schwabach, that seems to be a good solution at first. One suspects a blockage in the lumbar vertebra area.) The address leads us to the north of Buenos Aires, over 49 (!!!) Bus stops from the metro terminus. Counting is made more difficult by the fact that the bus simply races past unsolicited stops that can hardly be made out. Fortunately, Google Maps helps.
When we get out, we are greeted by the scent of linden trees and heavenly peace, but also high hedges and many surveillance cameras, often three at a garden gate. Everything is very well maintained, here and there you can see a private security guard. This is where the wealthy live who can afford a gardener and other domestic workers. The Río de la Plata is also around the corner; After the treatment we go to the river and find out that there is a wide range of leisure activities: Lots of (kite) surfing, even stand-up paddling, is offered in courses or in rental. Real beach life, many small (beach) restaurants, meadows right up to the banks of the brown river. Aha, that's how you can live in Buenos Aires!


Day 115 / Fri 30.11.2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) G20 summit in BA - we have 'summit-free' and decided to use the time to rest. We are also advancing the blog and working on the texts and photos about Madrid. A short relaxation on the balcony, dinner in a very original restaurant ("La Hormiga", the ant), and we are already sitting on the sofa and watching the spectacle in honor of the G20 guests in the Teatro Colón: Lots of dancers, an amazing Light show and the most positive of all pictures of a happy, progressive and yet tradition-conscious Argentina. Very interesting self-image, with gaucho and tango, indio and hip-hop.


Day 116 / Sat 1.12.2018 / Buenos Aires
Household day with washing and cleaning - yes, of course you can't get rid of these activities completely in the sabbatical year ... Something else I've been putting off for at least three weeks: I have to go to the hairdresser. Tom is kind enough to come with me.
While I have to wait a little longer and leaf through a magazine that tells me about Prince Harry - the same nonsense as in BUNTE ... - Tom gets his haircut very quickly. I should first choose between 'gorra' (hm, I knew the word) and 'papeles' (little paper), choose 'gorra' because I think it's a brush. Far from it, I am put on a kind of plastic bathing cap that is even fastened under my chin. For God's sake what happened to me?
As I am just getting into the situation, a huge face appears next to my left ear (I don't have my glasses on, so everything is out of focus) and the hairdresser, who is about to tamper with me, gives me a kiss Jaw. O - kay ... Now he pricks the plastic skin one by one - ouch, it often really hurts - and pulls the hair underneath upwards. When he's done with it after about an hour, he applies some paint (wasn't discussed), then pulls the plastic cape up. Wrapped up like this, I look a bit like a nun ... Phew, will it work out? I decline the Argentinean BUNTE with thanks and prefer to continue reading my novel until another hairdresser shows up and picks me up to wash. Next experience, if not to say the next time at the mercy: With force and force he presses my neck against the edge of the sink and with verve and worked muscles my scalp through. Help, my hair has never been washed so brutally! Survived ... Another hairdresser appears again to cut her hair. Ultimately, the total work of art succeeds, and my head is still stuck when I leave the shop.
By the way, on Saturdays, as during the week, it is open until 8 p.m., on Sundays as well, but only from midday. Typical of Latin America is the high number of employees who tend to have little to do; we conclude that they are not paid very much for their work. (It reminds me a bit of scenes in Poland in the 80s: five men put up a parasol - three do nothing, one creates, one works.)


Day 118 / Mon 3.12.2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) Graciela, our landlady, is changing the bed linen. She also has German ancestry and is called Holzman, but has been without the second 'n' in her name for two generations. At 12 o'clock we have to be at the heladero (ice cream maker) in the Flores district; Incidentally, Pope Francis was born there.
At exactly 12 o'clock the small door in the large grille is also open and we slip inside the ice cream parlor. Mariano has his hair up, he wraps his long beard around his neck and then tucks it under his T-shirt. He is actually a sculptor and photographer, but has also been Heladero since 2015. The ice cream parlor is tiny, but has lots of freezers. You don't see the ice creams open, only many of the classic aluminum-colored lids with a knob. The names of the types of ice cream on the wall do not match the 60 (!) Types of ice cream actually available, but only denote a fraction. After a theoretical introduction (announced for 10 minutes, ready after 60 minutes) to basic knowledge about types of milk, emulsifiers, stabilizers, colorants and food regulations in Argentina, he briefly (really briefly) explains to us the huge ice cream machine, in which you can prepare two types of ice cream at the same time , each 11 kilograms. He suggests the varieties of the day: lemon with mint and ginger, banana split, dulce de leche (THE typical variety in Argentina) and chocolate. I Agree! We are allowed to weigh ingredients (it is very important to adhere EXACTLY to the respective quantities); he adds dextrose, milk powder, emulsifiers or cream. He actually does almost everything himself (but it's also just pouring it together according to a recipe) and tells us which types of ice cream the Argentines particularly love (e.g. Crema Americano with Oreos or Kinder (chocolate) and - of course! - Dulce de leche (a kind of caramel ) with - who would have thought? - Dulce de leche mixed in in its pure form. When the first ice cream oozes thickly from the machine (at -16 degrees), we can hold the spoon under it. Mmh, creamy-fresh, very tasty lemon ice cream. Even Tom the variety tastes even though he doesn't particularly like mint or ginger. Then we try around 40 types of ice cream, always a heaping (ice) spoon full. At some point, we both want pickles ... we can't anymore. Not only the stomach is ice-cold, but we have also been standing in the icy wind of the air conditioning for 5 hours. Mariano also wants to buy us an ice cream with our favorite variety - helado de Malbec (red wine!) - but we can't do anything more r. Rien ne va plus! Frozen inside and out, we step outside and thaw at 27 degrees.
In the evening we are again at “Notorious” and listen to Brazilian jazz with a lot of bossa nova and samba: a guitar / voice, a ukulele, a trombone, a saxophone and three percussionists. FeelWell Jazz, the group is well established; Brazilian Portuguese is a language of its own again - completely incomprehensible, we don't even understand a single word of the announcements ...


Day 119 / Tue 4.12.2018 / Tigre
(Cornelia) The first thing in the morning is to order an eBook from an Argentine provider. Done!
Tigre, our destination for today, is about 35 km outside of BA in the delta of the Paraná river, which feeds the Río de la Plata. So a lot of water in the main and side arms, motor boats, water taxis, rowing boats, canoes ... everything takes place on or on the water.
We go there with the more modern train; the journey in the (ice) cooled train is lengthy. Outpatient traders constantly come to the train (but often even to the bus), who loudly advertise their goods (chewing gum, sticky smileys, hair bows, etc.) and place them on your thigh in no time at all. I find it abusive, very annoying. The Argentines take it stoically, some people buy something (e.g. socks), most of it is collected again. A dealer gets out, two musicians get in, a little greeting at the meeting. Then music is made loudly and sung loudly, which can also turn into noise pollution. Or someone gets in who speaks down a text in an aggressive tone and begs: For money and / or food. Then he makes the rounds in the compartment and shortly afterwards he says the same phrases in the neighboring compartment.
In Tigre - which was called Concha (shell, but also cunt - hence the name change) until 1952, there are a few high-rise buildings. Most of the development dates from around 1900: large rowing club buildings, private weekend houses, many very well-kept, some with very dilapidated charm (e.g. several boat jetties). We take a tour with a catamaran and glide on the mocha-brown water (with a high iron content!) Past houses and tourist facilities. Very idyllic - sometimes we see a side arm, sometimes at boat wrecks, then again in spacious gardens with huge bushes of hydrangeas blooming in blue and pink. The weekend house of the former President Sarmiento is completely glassed in. The local art museum also looks curious, with a foyer built towards the water, which contrasts with the shipwreck directly opposite. In Tigre the jacarandas are also blooming, which are already fading in BA and are sprouting their green leaves - apparently it is much warmer in the city. Agapanthus are also found here and there in white and purple masses - very beautiful!
We take the coastal train (Tren de la Costa) back, but interrupt the journey for treatment by the osteopath. Although the vehicle is called a coastal train, the route only passes between three stations directly on the Río de la Plata, which actually looks more silvery today than the last few times.
The tram ends in Miter. The chaos side of BA can be seen again in the following example: Although the tram runs every 30 minutes, you can just see the taillights of the connecting train - great ... We take a bus that goes near our apartment, claw us (see “Country and People”) and be amazed: The city looks the same for kilometers - low houses alternate with high-rise buildings that protrude like teeth, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, often McDonald's or other snack chains such as 'Havana', office buildings - all one and the same mess.
In the apartment (WiFi!) I read that the provider only sends the eBook if you pay with a national credit card. Is that supposed to be globalization? The shipping company Buquebus, with which we want to cross over to Uruguay on Monday, accepts a much higher amount with an international credit card. Understand the financial world!


Day 120 / Wed 5th December 2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) I get up frustrated and decide to write an email in English to the internet dispatch department. Lo and behold, they even answer me in English and suggest that I buy the eBook with another payment method. We google and find that there is a system called 'PagoDirect', obviously widely used in Argentina. Tom chooses a nearby branch, apparently in a pharmacy (???).
First attempt: armed with the mobile phone we go to the pharmacy, see the Maestro sign on the door (it's NOT a credit card after all), wait about 20 minutes until it's our turn. No, the purchase did not take place, we would have to order again and then come back with the registered order and the checked PagoDirect.
Second attempt: The eBook has been ordered again, PagoDirect selected, cell phone in hand, only two people in front of us. No, unfortunately the German Maestro card is not accepted, only cash. But it's such a thing with cash, once a day you get a maximum of 4000 pesos, 378 of which are immediately deducted, almost 100 euros (see country and people).
The banks are in Piazza Italia, so let's do a little tour first. The 'Jardín japonés', the garden donated by Japan, will do us good, we think. The travel guide praises him. Tom has found the right bus so that we can get there quickly. Too bad, the garden is on one side of a park, on two more but on a very busy street with high-rise buildings. There is only one way around a pond, and the plants are less spectacular than very familiar: azaleas and magnolias (already withered), hydrangeas and roses in bloom, lots of bamboo (but always the same variety). Only one tree that comes as an offshoot from a tree that survived the nuclear attack in Hiroshima catches the eye. There is also a little bland Asian decoration in bright red. I haven't even mentioned the hundreds of visitors on one way. It's a shame, we've seen much nicer Japanese gardens (San Francisco, La Bambouseraie in southern France, another near Lyon and Madeira). What bothers me most is that there are no nice lines of sight. Except for a few bonsai plants, the garden seems a lot un-Japanese to me. Annoyed and annoyed, we wave to a taxi and let us drop us off in front of a bank.
Third attempt: Equipped with the necessary 6590 Pesos (fortunately for two and each with two cards) we go back to the pharmacy. Unbelievable: Everything is going smoothly! Well, did you know how ... I'll let our landlady know because she'll receive the shipment.


Day 121 / Thu December 6th, 2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) Santa Claus brought us nothing, except for a lazy day: reading, writing on the blog, sleeping. Is good! Tom is ailing, the air conditioning at the ice cream maker and on the train to Tigre are taking their toll. If we are on the balcony in between, the neighbor cat carefully risks an eye ...


Day 121 / Thu December 6th, 2018 / Buenos Aires (continued)
In the evening we go to the Teatro Colón. Not an opera, but a concert with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires: Brahms, (2nd) piano concerto in B flat major and Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition” are on the program. The opera house - a very 'classic' one, inaugurated in 1905 after 18 years of construction - offers 2500 seats. The cell phone pictures of the interior were taken half an hour before the start and are deceptive: the many empty spaces will be well filled later. We ourselves have to go to the fifth floor and shudder at how steep and deep it is to the parquet. Part of the interior lighting remains on during the concert: atmospheric.
Surprisingly, the conductor grabs the microphone at the beginning and after the break, explains the program a little and, above all, points out when not to clap: After the third movement of the piano concerto - there are four. The program is also free of charge; it was also available as a download in advance. Nevertheless, this type of popular education is obviously needed.
The Orquesta Filharmónica de Buenos Aires under Enrique Arturo Diemecke, with the pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio, plays with commitment and differentiation, so that it is a pleasure to listen. You have to filter out the fact that the (narrow) armchairs for short-legged people creak with every movement (especially those around you). It is also not customary in Argentina to wait for the full length of the last chord and for the conductor to give up. But the audience claps with an enthusiasm almost like in football. At 10:10 p.m. we leave - today I am 'inspired' ... - the opera house and just catch the last subway. (We suspect the short operating hours are a deal with the taxi drivers union.)


Day 122 / Fri 7.12.2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) When we wake up in the morning, we don't even know what to expect ... We are lucky: Graciela already receives the delivery of the eBook at 11 o'clock, which we pick up in the early afternoon. This is how happy winners feel ...!
On to Barrio Chino, the China Town of Buenos Aires, which is smaller than expected and essentially consists of many junk shops. Unfortunately the Chinese restaurants are closed, the fast food outlets don't inspire confidence, but we find a Japanese restaurant.
From there we drive to the Retiro train station, which initially surprises us with the size of the station building. We hold onto our treasures, pass the Torre del Carril (with Big Ben carillon), marvel that there is almost nothing to see of the purple splendor of the jacaranda trees and strive for the Galeria Pacifica (built in French style in 1898) opposite. Well, you know the brands, Rolex, Lancôme and whatever is out there, but the equipment is 'special'. As in a church, the painter Antonio Berni (whom we know from the MALBA) has painted a pompous ceiling fresco.This and the glass ceiling construction are more worth seeing than the brand labels, that's for sure.
In the same building is the Centro Culturál Jorge Luis Borges, where we watch the tango show "Bien de Tango" at 8 pm. The center takes up the entire upper floor; the performance takes place in the Piazzolla hall, which turns out to be a good omen: an ensemble of four (bandoneon, piano, violin, double bass) plays gorgeous tangos (many of them by Piazzolla, of course); three couples dance with quick steps, e.g. Some with almost artistic lifting figures, in matching costumes. A singer sings lyrics about Buenos Aires in a melting voice. A bit of light, a bit of fog, an implied backdrop - that's enough to bring tango to the stage then and now. The 60 minutes fly by, the dancers and musicians receive a lot of 'Bravo'. [(Tom) With the nimble step sequences, the dancers must already know exactly where they are stepping, otherwise injuries up to the lumbar region are to be feared ...]


Day 123 / Sat 8.12.2018 / Buenos Aires
(Cornelia) My new eBook is set up; practical that the books you have already bought are not lost. A few clicks - and everything is as before. [Agnes sees it correctly: "Cornelia without books - unthinkable!"] Shopping, reading, looking at photos, writing a blog. We postpone a visit to a museum because it would mean another 90 minutes' walk; maybe we can still attach it on Sunday.