Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Argentina and Brazil take two

I wrote the text to this at home and then got distracted and forgot to actually press one of the buttons to save it. I hate it when I do stuff like that.

From Feb 2009
The Argentine Capital Building

Argentina makes me tired. Every year since I started at my job I have went to see the popcorn production fields and experiments in Argentina and Brazil. It is a fast paced 10-14 days filled with long flights, popcorn, and good food. The flight takes all night and I do sleep on the plane, but it's like sleeping on the couch with a newborn infant. Sleeping is interrupted constantly and there is a lot of shifting, uncomfortable positions, holding my eyes closed waiting to fall back asleep, and dreaming about holding my eyes closed waiting to fall back asleep. Sometimes I wake up to realize that the night is over, but I am not sure if I actually slept or just held really still with my eyes closed. I am pretty sure that I slept the whole time, it just doesn't feel like it.

When we get there we always head directly for the fields. After lunch, and bouts of driving, we walk through the fields until it is dark. Then we eat wonderful steak dinners or barbecued lamb until midnight. The next day starts early, we drive, we look at popcorn, we drive, we eat steak, we drive, eat, drive, eat some more, and then get to the hotel at midnight. I usually see nothing of Argentina but the popcorn fields and steak houses.

It is a great country for good eating. Lots of times we are in a hurry driving between fields and stop at gas stations to eat. Usually a waiter with a towel over one arm brings us the menu and we get steak, salad, rolls, and dessert. One time I got lasagna with homemade pasta, olives, proscuitto, italian sausage, and layers of cheese and fresh tomato sauce. At a gas station!

The landscape looks a lot like Illinois. There are rolling hills covered with fields of soybeans and corn. Sometimes there are farm houses surrounded by tall eucalyptus trees and manicured lawns. Other times there are unplowed fields of pampas grass and cattle.

From Feb 2009

This year, we had the weekend free in Buenos Aires. We stayed at Feir's Park hotel, which is right downtown, near Recoleta, the shopping district, and the wharf. There is a large park with huge flowering trees and street performers.

I took the subway one day until I was completely lost and came out blinking in the sun in a strange part of town. I wandered for most of the day. I felt so lost I bought a map and found out I was a mile or two from the hotel, but in the process saw the casa rosada - like the white house in Argentina, the capital building, wandered through two streets lined entirely with small jewelry shops, bought some tango music at a sheet music publishing shop, looked through used book stores, ate a steak sandwich, drew pictures in the park, and then finally came back to the hotel.

From Feb 2009

From Feb 2009

From Feb 2009 part two

From Feb 2009 part two


Becca said...

Do they eat popcorn down there? I assume these are pics from your latest jaunt to South America, but they look rather European, too. I forget where you went.

Don't you think that Nephi must've been eating popcorn while he was engraving the heads on his metal plates? Definitely.

Brian G. said...

Argentines don't eat popcorn, but they grow about 200,000 acres of it for export. Brazil eats a lot of popcorn. Both countries look more European than the rest of South America.

Erin said...

I liked the picture from your hotel window - there were lots of colors.

Your wandering day sounds like so much fun ... just disappearing into the streets and shops. And the gas station food sounds MUCH better than the hot dogs on a spit and Icees found at Texas gas stations!