Lots of people have asked me about what life is like for us in Buenos Aires so I wanted to share a bit about our apartment.
When we came to Buenos Aires in August 2014 looking for a place to rent, we had no idea how much time we would spend in our apartment. This is where Ted works, where I spend time researching our next adventure, and where we come home to after hot summer days or rainy winter ones. Luckily we love it!
It is a big sunny apartment in a modern building. Our apartment building is the tallest building in Buenos Aires. Since I get a little queasy with heights, we chose to live on the 10th floor (instead of the 44th), but the views are still great. We have views of downtown to the south, uptown (incuding the parks and the suburbs) to the north and the river to the east.
Our building is located in Palermo Chico, right next to the museum of modern art. We chose it because it’s close to parks, museums and not too far from the hip restaurant/shopping area (Palermo Soho/Palermo Hollywood). It is a little bit quieter than some of the other areas of the city, so it makes it a good place to live.
The kids love the pools. There is a heated one on the rooftop and a big outdoor pool that has a pool bar in summertime. Ted seems to love the ‘charla’ (banter) with the security guards. If he is late for our lunch date, I can usually find him downstairs discussing ‘football’ (his favorite team is Boca) or sharing a ‘mate’ (an Argentine herbaceous tea) with the guards.
I really like all the natural light, the upstairs gym, and the modern aesthetic. Probably more modern than I would choose in Palo Alto, but hey, we are now city folks, so why not?
Piojos, also knows as LICE. While many friends of ours in Palo Alto have had lice, we have always been fortunate to evade the bugs. We had heard that lice in Argentina are rampant and that, unlike in the United States, it’s not considered a big deal, however I remained hopeful that our luck would continue. Well, we finally got hit. And, we got hit hard.
Kate started complaining that her head was itchy a few days ago. So, I checked her for lice (note: I actually have lice training, so I know what to look for) and didn’t see anything. The next morning she was complaining a lot and so I checked her again AND…there it was…..LICE!! Yuck.
So, I immediately called the school and told them that we would be out for the day. They seemed very lax about the whole thing. I started to panic a little, but then went into research mode. I found a company here called “Chau Piojos” (or goodbye lice). I put the kids in a taxi and off we went.
The woman taught me how to use the fine little comb and told me about a special products to use on the hair. I had her check Jake and I too (yep, we both had it). She was lovely and guaranteed us that we were 100% lice free when we left. The entire process took about 2 1/2 hours, but it was good to know that we were bug free.
I learned that I should be doing this with Kate about 3 times a week b/c she will certainly get them again. Good to know that I have the tools and now I know what to do.
Last week I attended two dinners with other mom’s from Kate and Jake’s school. The first one, on Thursday night, was at a restaurant in Belgrano (starting time at 9 pm) and it included 23 mom’s from Kate’s class. The second one was on Friday night. It was at the home of a friend of mine, Natalia. Natalia has a daughter in Jake’s class and she invited 4 other mom’s from Jake’s class to join us.
I was thrilled that mom’s were reaching out to me and wanted to include me in their events. However, I was also somewhat scared too because my spanish isn’t great. The dinner on Thursday night was tough. Everyone was talking very quickly and I felt somewhat awkward that I couldn’t join the conversation. The women were very kind and a few reached out to me in english. However, I really wanted to join the larger conversation and felt that I should be speaking spanish. I ended up leaving around 11:30 feeling somewhat defeated.
I had to get my nerve up to go to the second dinner party on Friday night. My friend Natalia lived in the US for 15 years and speaks perfect english. However, when I arrived Natalia told me that it would be good for me to speak spanish and practice. She was right. Having a smaller group of women that understood my situation was perfect. They were all so kind, talked slowly and made sure I understood. I did much better. I had a wonderful time and made some new friends.
I think this experience showed me that there will be good days and bad days. When I am feeling frustrated or defeated, I need to keep trying and know that there will be a good experience right around the corner.