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BASA basement bar and restaurant 

In the somewhat unusual neighborhood of Retiro we found a ‘new’ bar-restaurant . It is trendy, has international appearance, is beautifully decorated, has good music, and has absolutely delicious food. If you are in search of the ‘place to be’ or/and see the Argentine ‘Beau Monde’, this is your place.

It seems to be the bar that is most popular, although the restaurant was fully booked and had several shifts. Prices were somewhat shocking as they were real European, in other words : very expensive! (count $500pp at least)

They have valet parking $60, automatically put on your check. How un-Argentine!

If you don’t care for the prices, this is the place to go!

 

BASA basement bar and restaurant, Basavilbaso 1328 (between Juncal and Liberator), http://www.basabar.com.ar

review in La Nacion

review in TripAdvisor

 

Experiencia Infinita

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KTIM4691

Live Performance Art. Only Yesterday my daughter told me it will be one of her courses next year, and I had to ask her what that is exactly. ‘It’s all in the name’, she told me. But now I know, Infinite Experience in Malba is Live Performance Art. The artist being present, and part of the art, doing things, being art. It is quite interesting actually.

I can not describe the exhibition without spoiling the surprise, so I will just say that it shouldn’t be missed. Those who really want to know, check out the link below.

Malba, until the 6th of June Experiencia Infinita

“The Belgian are the bravest”

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or : “Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae”

That is how we (Belgians) know, and grown to love and admire Ceasar. He is the first one who mentioned the ‘Belgians’ in writing, in 57 BC, and spoke well of our ancestors. Of course, we Belgians take all the credit. We were the bravest, weren’t we? Even though the Romans conquered us anyway. Even though after the Gauls, different tribes have conquered our environs and we probably don’t have much Gaul blood running through our veins anymore. We like to pretend we are still them.

So of course we like to identify ourselves with the great French-Belgian comic heroes, the Gauls Asterix and Obelix. When we were little, we got their stories from our parents with a spoon, and we gave the comics to our kids as being true history.

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Asterix, an exhibition in Centro Cultural de Recoleta. Don’t miss it, and find out how we Belgians used to live, and how we (used to be or still?) are.

Terrified

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Thunderstorms. How I have missed them!

Says the girl who has always been terrified of them.

It was but when I was expelled from both my mothers’ and my brothers’ bed as a safe place during thunderstorms that, around the age of 12, I decided I had to do something about it.

My parents strongly believed they should not ‘spoil’ their kids. Me biking to school was part of that. Rain or shine (oh and actually, a lot more rain then shine), winter or summer, I was off on my bike. Although I love to blame my parents for being too harsh on me : I totally loved it. I left the house at the same time by bike, as one of my teachers, who lived around the block, did by car and we arrived around the same time. I was home much faster then anyone else. I had probably become the fastest kid-biker of the neighborhood and I enjoyed that reputation.

But there was but one occasion that my mom brought me to school, one exception to the rule. Maybe because they pitied me for being so afraid, but more likely because they thought it wasn’t safe : that was during a thunderstorm. That wasn’t exactly often. There are hardly any thunderstorms in Belgium. There are years that no thunderstorm passes your neighborhood. They last maybe an hour of so, if you’re lucky.
And I decided that biking to school during that rare occasion would help me off my fears. I did it once or twice, only because it hardly ever happened to me. And even when it did, I biked so fast that I arrived in school in 2 thunderclaps.

But it did help. A bit.

It was but moving to Argentina that completely cured me, and which, strangely enough, made me even love thunderstorms. Here a thunderstorm is, well, a thunderstorm. It takes hours, or a whole day and maybe even a night, or longer. It rains so hard you need boots to go through the puddles as they are too big and too deep to jump over. Events biggest umbrellas can’t help you from getting soaked. The thunderclaps are so loud it makes the buildings shake, the windows and doors rattle for a minute or longer. The noise seems to echo on and between the buildings, and seems to last forever, until the next thunderclap takes over. Very often it goes together with a serious light-play. A flickering light almost. It is extra ordinary.

Nowadays I tend to go out with, or even without my camera during a daytime storm, and at night, well, I just make sure the window is open so I can hear even the farthest thunderclap, see the lighting, count the time between both, calculate the distance, wait for the next. All this while enjoying the loud noise of a serious downpour, which sounds like music.

Although, I must admit, one does get used to it, to all the noise, the violence : its like living next to the railroad : mostly I just fall asleep, as fast as on any other night, waking up in the morning, hoping the day might bring another storm to come.

 

The Perfect Housewife

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It’s not even 10 am and I have already cleaned the entire house, done the laundry, emptied and stored the suitcases, and I even have had time to drink various coffees. It must be that I have finally become the perfect housewife?

Maybe the fact that we had just arrived home the day before, a day I had spend sneezing every 5 seconds and emptied a complete Kleenex box in no time, probably had something to do with my sudden eager to clean. Two months and a half of dust had gathered, well, about everywhere.

But I guess I should truly blame it on the jet lag I say I never suffer from. Traveling through time zones has always been easier on me then the daylight saving time, which stays in my body for days if not weeks. But then a time difference of merely 5 or 6 hours isn’t exactly the end of the world.

Traveling east is easy as long as you don’t have to wake up at ungodly hours, traveling west is even easier if you don’t mind making some early mornings. And if all goes well, in less then 5 days your back in your normal rhythm.

But here are some tips to get over a jet lag :

1. The flight : Change your clock to the time of destination as soon as you get on        the plane

2. NEVER EVER THINK ABOUT THE TIME IN YOUR PREVIOUS DESTINATION.

3. The first day : When traveling east : do not have a nap on your first day. Try not to book anything for the first night, and go to bed when you ‘feel it’s time’, even if your watch says only 9 pm. If you miss this moment, you’re up for a long night and a couple of difficult days. When traveling west, it is ok to have a nap, and try to go to bed as late as possible. Make sure the room is blacked out, or use an eyemask.

4. NEVER EVER THINK ABOUT THE TIME IN YOUR PREVIOUS DESTINATION.

5. In both cases, take melatonin half an hour before you go to bed during 5 Days. It brings your sleeping rhythm back on track.

6. But the golden rule is NEVER EVER THINK ABOUT THE TIME IN YOUR PREVIOUS DESTINATION.

But although I do feel the jet lag, it doesn’t really bother me. And it certainly won’t stop me from traveling through time zones. It is only when it comes to communicating that time zones bother me. And, with kids on each side of the atlantic, that is about all the time.

Super glad to be back in BA, super happy to be home again. Now close in time to my daughter, and far from son. But no worries, times are changing soon.

Loosing the North

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IMG_1556I am -literally- counting the days to go home. I have been away for so long, that I have lost count of the weeks, and that I can’t figure out wether it is either spring or autumn, wether we are going towards summer or winter. It is a strange feeling. I have lost the North. I do remember vaguely that I couldn’t get away from the BA heat soon enough, that the heat was killing me, too much sweat for doing nothing. I longed to put on a coat. Various coats if necessary. Warm sweaters. Hats. Gloves. The dark and gloomy days. It all appealed to me like never before. I hadn’t had winter in over 6 years. What is winter, anyway?

I came to the right place. The northern hemisphere has been quite chilly this year. Finally wearing my more then 6 year old winter coats that are of no use in Buenos Aires, and all the other things I had longed for. How I enjoyed that! Various friends had pleasure in asking me ‘Cold enough for you?’. I couldn’t have been more excited! And as my mom always says ‘one can always dress to the cold’. But really, can one?

While walking in NYC with 2 sweaters and 2 coats, gloves and hat borrowed from my daughter, walking slowly, because my muscles were all sore of the cold, when at the same time my daughter who -in my eyes- hardly had any clothes on, said to me : ‘Mom! It is not cold AT ALL’, I realized I’ve had enough of winter and need to pack up my things and go southwards again. I have stayed up north for too long. I need to go home.

It really is time for spring. I see it in the people’s eyes. Especially when it is a spring-like day. With every ray of sun people go out and sit on terraces, out of the (still) cold wind, with heatings to stop them from freezing to death. They call it ‘terrasjesweer’ (terrace weather). The first rays of sun are coming, the first easter flowers are out, but to me, it is still a long way to nice warm weather.

Just as much as the summer in BA is too hot and too long, the winter in Belgium is too dark, too gloomy and too long. As a tourist escaping from the heat, I seem to be the only one enjoying it, knowing it is only temporary and my choice.

So I go south, to spring. Oh no, right, to autumn. But well, Argentine autumn is my favorite season.

(photo : Belgian spring day, people on the beach, 8°C)

The Chocolate Homeland

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No better place on earth to be on Easter Sunday, than in the homeland of chocolate. Chocolates in all sizes and shapes appear weeks before the date, in supermarkets, chocolate stores and boutiques, and in bakeries. Some bakeries actually still do the effort to make the chocolates themselves, both for Easter then for Sinterklaas, which are top selling periods. And those are the absolute best. Really nothing compares to the hand made chocolate, less sugary, less sticky in your mouth, slightly thicker where at the edges. The taste is truly divine.

But that isn’t enough. Today the Good Lord has blessed us -for a change- with a perfectly sunny day with cold temperatures. Just perfect to go chocolate-egg-hunting in the garden. Not too warm so they could melt, and no rain to make it uncomfortable for the egg hunters.

How perfect that is!

But me. Well. More then 6 years in Argentina has changed me somewhat. Not that I stopped loving chocolates. No, I am still an addict. Not that I don’t love egg hunting anymore. It is the best!

Something quite different happened to me.

Only yesterday it came into my mind I should go and buy the Easter eggs. And what do you think? Well yeah, the best was all gone. I had to do with the left overs. No big bunnies or eggs. Just the little ones. Then the lady behind the counter misunderstood me and only gave me 3 eggs instead of 6, which I then carried home in great care.

But then -oh Lord help me!- I dropped the bag in front of my door. Only 1 of the 3 eggs had survived. And well, there is no hiding of crumbs and pieces in the garden.

So I ate them all before the count of 10. Deliciously, divine, addictive handmade chocolate. All gone.

Happy Easter to everyone!

Global Citizens, a new start

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KTIM4412

OK Guys, I am back. After -how long has it been?- more then a year I am afraid. Maybe even 2. But Ok, nothing is lost, yet!

I was completely tired of the subject ‘why on earth did I move to Argentina’, as I felt like I had totally answered that question, over and over again.

Now I seem to ‘suffer’ from the Empty Nest Syndrome, with kids that study abroad (that is, outside of Argentina), which forces me to travel more. (Poor me). My trips are so long that I start to wonder wether I am a tourist, an expat or a native myself. Although I still ‘live’ and totally ‘love’ Buenos Aires, I am quite happy in the other countries I have been spending my time. And that’s when I realized that I have actually become a Global Citizen

Global Citizen :

Noun. 1. A person that intentionally chooses to consider all countries as potential places to live, work, and play.
2. A person that can rationalize their life experience without undue consideration of national boundaries or cultural differences.

Fortunately my job as a photographer allows me to work from whatever place on earth, so there are no boundaries whatsoever. That’s when I thought it time to start sharing my experiences again, with whoever is interested in reading them.

Here’s to a new start!

PS feel free to comment, good or bad, I have always liked that!

(photo : globalisation : Belgian fries in Manhattan ©katti borré)

Why on earth did I move to Argentina?

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I have to be honest. I am well in my 4th year in Argentina and guess what, I am absolutely not wondering why on earth I moved to this country. I guess my friends and family have given up wondering why, and to anybody else who still does; I now always give the same answer : I am crazy.

I must be, right?

With 100.000 readers, 238 posts and a permanent visa in my hands, I think it is time to move on. Not to another country, I am definitely staying, but away from the initial title ‘why on earth…?’ I don’t want to linger any longer on the why. The longer I am here, the more I integrate, the more everything here seems so obvious, and the less I can put my finger on the Why’s. Argentina isn’t perfect, but I love it anyway. And every time I travel to Belgium I know I have done the right thing by moving here. I have no intention to leave, not yet.

So its time to change the title of this blog, time to change the lay out. Time for something new. I would like to thank my readers, for everyone commenting on my blog. I will be around, and be free to still follow me on my new road. Please hang around and see what it will be like… I hope you will still like it!

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