Archive for the ‘buenos aires’ Category

beauty travel survival kit

January 31, 2008

Next time you visit the wonderful city of Buenos Aires, you might want to bring these items that I found invaluable during my last visit there:

1. ionic travel hair dryer

This is my favorite holiday present of 2007. It is not as expensive as the T3 travel hair dryer and it has that nozzle that is missing from the very very expensive T3. This hair dryer is dual voltage so all you need is an adaptor plug and you’re good to go! Don’t worry if you forgot to bring an adaptor plug. You can easily buy one in Buenos Aires for cheap. I really love this product. Sometimes I don’t even need to flatiron my hair after I use this dryer.

2. 220V flat iron

This device is a great saver for those bad hair days. I find that my hair goes through an ugly phase a few days after I travel while adjusting to new locales. If you know where I can buy a tourmaline dual-voltage flatiron, please let me know. My hairstylist has one but he got it at some fashion trade show somewhere. Luckyy. I searched the internet high and low and couldn’t find a dual-voltage ceramic flatiron. Anyway, I used this particular flatiron in Buenos Aires. It’s not the best, but it worked pretty well.

3. TRESemmé instant heat tamer

If you’re going to be using a hairdryer or a flatiron, I highly suggest you use a heat protecting spray. This product makes my hair smell good and so much more manageable and shiny! I bought this at Jumbo, Buenos Aires’ version of Walmart. This place kinda rocks! Did you know that the mosque right across this store is the largest mosque in South America? Wicked.

4. DHC Cleansing Foam

I brought with me 4 packet samples of this amazing product. It kept my face clean and comfortable after spending humid afternoons and evenings in B.A. A little goes a long way with this product. The samples lasted me throughout my entire 2.5 week trip. I can live without this product in cold climes but would hate to live without this product in humid weathers.

5. pumice stone

If you visit Buenos Aires in the summer, you will want to roam around in your sexy flip flops. To me, wearing flip flops for weeks mean rough bottoms of the feet. So rub those calluses every day while in the shower. Again, if you happen to forget to pack your pumice stone, you can easily buy one at any of the numerous farmacias in the city. And they’re cheap too!


argentine cell phones, why the special treatment? it’s confusing!

December 30, 2007

Calling a cell phone in Argentina by long-distance can be a challenge (Read: pain in the *ss).

In general, you follow this simple step when placing a long-distance call to Argentina:

International Access Code + Country Code + City Code + Local Number

However, you follow this tricky step when placing a long-distance call to a cell phone in Argentina:

This number indicates an international phone call from the United States

This number is Argentina`s country code

This number indicates that you are calling a cell phone

<city code>                    
The complete and latest list of Argetina’s city codes or indicativos can be found here. Cell phones in Argentina have a prefix of (15). So for example, if a home number in Buenos Aires is listed with a (11) prefix, a cell number in Buenos Aires will be listed with a (15) prefix. So, taking this example further, if calling a cell phone within Buenos Aires, you have to dial the (15) prefix. However, if calling a cell phone outside of Argentina, you have to dial the (11) prefix which is the city code for Buenos Aires, and not the (15) prefix. Confused yet? I hope so.

<local number>

So… to summarize, when placing a long-distance call to a cell phone in Buenos Aires from the United States, you have to dial:

011 + 54 + 9 + 11 + local number

The (15) prefix is the giant elephant in the room you are supposed to ignore. Good luck!!!

dancing with freud

October 11, 2007

When I was searching for apartments to rent in Buenos Aires last year, I noticed that a good number of the apartments for rent had a chair right next to the bed. The first word that came to my mind was psychiatrists. Are psychiatrists common in Buenos Aires? I dismissed this thought until I stumbled upon this old New York Times article published on May 29, 1998:

There are more psychologists in Argentina per capita than in any country in the world except Uruguay, Argentina’s small neighbor. New York and Buenos Aires are neck-and-neck for the distinction of being the city with the most psychotherapists, including psychologists and psychiatrists, over all.

”Argentines are passionate about understanding themselves and making their lives better and happier through self-knowledge,” said Lucia R. Martinto de Paschero, president of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association.

Television and radio talk shows featuring psychologists fill the airwaves with daily psychobabble. Pagina 12, a leading Buenos Aires newspaper, devotes two pages of coverage to psychological matters every Thursday. A hot rock band in Argentina calls itself The Paranoid Rats, while another is known as The Crazy Old Ladies.

One neighborhood in Buenos Aires, a part of the Palermo district, has so many psychologists as residents that it has come to be known as Villa Freud. The neighborhood is graced by a popular restaurant that goes by the name Bar Sigi and serves a concoction of cognac and vanilla named after the father of psychoanalysis.

Argentines talk about going to their therapist as openly as they discuss going to the butcher, and expensive therapy is as much a part of middle-class life as a summer weekend on the beaches of Mar del Plata or a season opera ticket at the Teatro Colon.

But Argentine interest in psychology goes beyond the middle class. There are inexpensive psychology clinics in virtually every neighborhood of Buenos Aires, social security covers mental health problems, and elementary schools typically send young children with reading problems to psychologists as a first course of remedial education.

”There is still no systematic sociological or anthropological study that explains why there is such an interest in psychology here,” said Modesto M. Alonso, a leading Argentine psychologist. ”There are only theories.”

Felipe A. Noguera, a political analyst and pollster, speculated that ”Argentina is a very frustrated society because it has long suffered a crisis of expectations.” That crisis, he said, is rooted in a long period of economic expansion between 1880 and 1930, followed by a 60-year slump characterized by political instability, recession and hyperinflation.

”Until very recently,” he added, ”people would say, ‘I work hard but I can’t own a home. I study hard but I have a limited future.’ So many years of frustration created an archetype of negativity, a world view of things being a disaster in Argentina.”

In the 1970’s the right-wing military junta singled out psychology as a national problem, blaming psychologists and psychoanalysts for the country’s negativity and navel-gazing. Several prominent psychologists disappeared.

Argentina first became a world-class center for psychotherapy in the 1940’s, when a wave of European immigrants included several prominent Jewish psychoanalysts from Germany and Austria. Today a large proportion of the country’s psychotherapists and patients are Jews, whose population of 250,000 is one of the largest in the world outside Israel and the United States.

Newspaper reading was the domain of the intelligentsia and upper class in Argentina until the 1930’s, when the tabloid Critica vastly expanded its circulation by inviting readers to send in contributions describing their dreams. Soon after, a popular publishing house known for distributing translations of Tarzan books put out a serial collection of books called ‘Freud for All‘ that became a national sensation.

”That showed that the entire Argentine public is disposed to an interest in psychology, and not just the intellectuals,” said Hugo Vezzetti, a psychology professor at the University of Buenos Aires.

warm windsurfing spots in the world

August 24, 2007

I used to practice windsurfing every week at Lake Hodges in Escondido. It has been closed to windsurfing for quite awhile now. What a shame. The dam/lake was murky but an easy place to learn the sport. The winds were straight-forward, and the water was flat. Most of all, the water was warm and you don’t need a wetsuit to keep you comfortable.

Last year, I discovered a small and charming place in Argentina called Peru Beach. To get there, catch the Mitré line from Retiro Station. Get off at Mitré station, catch the comfortable Tren de la Costa, and get off at Barrancas station. Follow the windsurfing signs and you’ll be in little paradise in no time. Enjoy the sight of turquoise waters on a nice sunny day, watch the beautifully colored kites on the horizon, and order an exquisite piece (or pieces!) of grilled pork chop, a generous serving of heavenly fries (You GOT to have the fries), and some ice-cold cerveza. Ay! Que Rico. Then approach the thatched hut to your right and sign up for windsurfing lessons. The water was perfect on my first day in the water. It was warm, flat, and below waist-deep. It was one of my best windsurfing days ever. Never was it this easy to get in and out of the board.

Where is your favorite warm windsurfing spot in the world?