Ok so it's been a year (more or less) and here I am, still here. What have we learned? Here is the first in what may well be a series (wow!) of guides to the obvious and the unexpected things that what I've found about Argentina and p'raps more specifically the city of Buenos Aires.

So starting with the obvious: 

"ooh you're going to Argentina, you gonna have some steak?" Yes. It really is quite remarkable the amount of meat that can constitute one barbecue. In fact to call it a 'barbecue' really does not do it justice, conjuring up as it does for me a few burgers and a cremated veggie sausage on a disposable tin tray in a park. Asado is what it's called here and to say there's no comparison would be a massive understatement. From my experience it usually comes in three stages: the first involves meat; usually fat chorizos, blood sausages and sweet meats (whatever that means?); then comes the second stage which is meat; cuts of lamb, small cuts of beef and chicken legs; and finally, when you've just started to ponder your own body mass index and how much of it is now foreign material, arrives the main event: meat; usually a large cut of beef and p'raps a couple of random steaks thrown in for good measure. There is also bread. There is a small salad.

Now just as you (probably) wouldn't have a fry-up or roast dinner every day, same goes with Asado. It's a family and friends on a Sunday afternoon type thing. It is a mark of how seriously this country takes the meal that most homes and apartment blocks come with a large grill built into the terrace area. It's also pretty common to see a bunch of garage workers on a friday afternoon sat round a makeshift grill with what probably amounts to about a third of a cow waiting to be incinerated. 

If you really wanna see the master Asador at work there's this guy, Francis Mallmann...
He basically goes to stunning bits of Argentina and sets up a grill. That is his job. He has the happiest camera crew in the world.

Anyway, basically you can also get the same kind of deal in a restaurant and there's tons of Parillas (Grills, hey look we're learning Spanish as we go!) about the place. They're not all brilliant mind you. It's good to know where the good ones are. This website has a pretty good guide (in Spanish)... 
(we shall no doubt be re-visiting this site in the future.) 

I've had some particularly good steaks in this place (not strictly a Parilla but anyway)...
(note outstanding website soundtrack!)

and if you happen to be in the area why not visit my local...

they also do takeaway! .... or 'steakaway'... !


ok sorry.

There you go; meat. For god's sake don't order a parilla for one unless you have just been rescued from a month lost in the desert or you have large grease proof paper lined pockets.

Right I'm gonna keep this really simple and I'm also gonna use a colon here: This is some of the standout bands I've been listening to since arriving to Buenos Aires some 7/8 months ago. Mostly via Bandcamp but also from other parts of the interweb, live shows and even tentative vinyl purchases. Anyway in no particular order I give you my own auricular journey into the Argentine music scene of the year that is 2012. 

P.S. Writing reviews of music invariably ends up with me sounding like a bit of a wally so I am going to use the colours from the Dulux Colour Range that I think best represent my views. 


symphony 3


jungle ginger 2


hot paprika 3


beach 1


luna landscape 6


bitter chocolate 1


bitter chocolate 5


martian skys 1


buttercup fool 3


banana dream 1


cristal surprise 2

It's easy to underestimate the Argentines appreciation of the Football game but here I think is a clear indication. Unfortunately God went on to lose 8 - 0 but is still hopeful to avoid relegation. Next week River Plate take on Science and Maths.
The bus seats are quite slip-slidey and consequently a bit difficult to sit still on.




It's tea isn't it. I thought it might be good to really kick off the British clichés early on. Asides from the blue suitcase, I inevitably packed a suitcase of food items I thought I might have a hankering for. Colman's Mustard, Marmite, Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, a bottle of HP which didn't make it through customs in Heathrow on account of the fact that it was too big and Tea. Nothing fancy, no Twinnineings English Breakfast,  just two 160 bag boxes of PG tips. Standard. This is one of them.
It has exactly 23 bags left. 

However, (now what I am about to tell you may come as a shock, it also may be massively disputed but fuck it, let's march on...) TEA IN ARGENTINA IS NOT TOO BAD REALLY HOW ABOUT THAT THEN THERE YOU GO. For one thing there's a distinct lack of Liptons which I think as anyone who has travelled Europe will attest is massive plus because Liptons tastes like crappy poopoo. Here you do have to contend with this mysterious cigar selection box style approach.
This one's pretty ordinary and small but some of 'em can be right fancy with a multitude of different coloured bags inside most of which probbly say Manzanilla which, by the way, doesn't mean apple. Anyway in there somewhere, if you look carefully, you should be able to find something that if you add hot water to it and milk and put it in a cup and then drink it with your mouth it will taste like tea. You may have to leave the bag in to get it up to PG standards but it is tea nonetheless. Drinkable and not dreadful. No brand particularly leaps out as good, maybe I shall come to that at a later date. There is a shite one but I can't remember what it's called.

So having expected to present you with photo's of me holding another disappointing soggy limp looking bag accompanied by my disappointed soggy limp looking face this it seems will have to wait.*

Oh and the milk also comes in bags, but that is another story.


* I realise this may conjure up other images but that you will have to live with. You know who you are.
Here's a thing. 
I have decided to become very interested in qué pasa with music in Argentina at the moment and have found that the internets have some of the answers. Bandcamp for example has a pretty good 'Argentina' tagged section and amidst the general ching chang, this lovely sound slid into my earholes. 
A most exciting beginning. 
Here's a link to her latest - 1859 :
or if you'd rather combine the listenings and lookings and stay here for some reason there's this here also too :
Ok, this is a blog from a person, who is me, who is living in Buenos Aires but who used to live in England and be English there, but is now being English here. 'One blue suitcase of misc.' is what I wrote on the list of the things that which me and the missus brung here in a big boat, to denote the blue suitcase in which I have various objects for which I am most fond. Somewhere upon along the line I may delve into it for you. 

For now I will more than likely be using this little piece of the internet space to share some thoughts and things of my situation here in the pale blue, white and pale blue again.

You may find some of the content of interest. 

Thank you for your time.
    This is a blog from a person, who is me, who is living in Buenos Aires but who used to live in England and be English there, but is now being English here.