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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 2, Mendoza Argentina


I took that shot from inside Leon Bar and Cafe, I used my small Panasonic Lumix, It's a story teller, I used the table and newspaper as a first layer in the composition to situate the story and added to it, if you do street photography try to add layer to help the viewer understand what's happening. I converted to B and W to keep out distractions, and add sepia to give it an old look.

Another week of running around trying to get settled! I went back to Direct TV to request an answer about the installation, and for the third time they assured me that it was going to be done by the end of the week, ya right, nobody called us, we are still without TV and getting used to it, I checked their website and the wait time is in between 5 to 25 days, nothing we can do about, and that exactly what I am going to do, I will wait.  I don’t like Direct TV, very poor customer service, don’t get me wrong they are very polite when lying to their customers.
On the other hand our internet provider is the best in the country, we are lucky to be located where we are as their service is not covering every neighborhoods of the city yet. They are very expensive compared to other providers, ITC our provider use fiber optic instead of the satellite dish and that’s one the reason they are more expensive. 
When I went to their office to get the service the sales rep. told me 10 days max for the installation, it was done in 6, I called them and made the arrangement by phone and believe me my Spanish is not that great, but the clerk took the time to listen to me, and because he couldn’t answer me right away he told me that he didn’t want me to wait on the line and that he was going to call me back in 10 minutes, and he did, other provider like Direct TV will make you wait on the line for ever, and a lot of the time the line will cut before you get an answer. 

ITC was schedule to do the installation Saturday at 11am, they arrived around 10:30, the technician spoke a perfect English, did the installation answered all our questions, gave us his cell phone number in case we got problem with the service or if we want to upgrade the router, the connection works perfectly. Now that we have the internet and VOP phone line attached to it, the TV doesn’t seem so important!
We went back to Carrefour on Tuesday to buy our office furniture, Carrefour is like Super Store in Canada, we bought our TV and vacuum there a week ago and the service was amazing they delivered on time, we assumed it was pure luck! But they did it again, on time again, and when I say on time it means the exact time not one minute before or after.
The furniture arrived in boxes and we had to put them together, with a lot of persistent and two screwdrivers we were done in 2 days.
Marc trying to figured how to start building our office furniture.

Marc studying the plan.

Took us 2 days to build 2 desks with 2 screwdrivers!!!
Enough about the settling down, lets speak about food, the price of vegetable is very low down here, compare to North America, butternuts squash are about 50 cent US per Kg, and they are very sweet, I am buying only seasonal fruits and vegetables, don’t forget we are in winter down here, and the seasonal veggies are squashes, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, broccolis, artichokes etc.…, seasonal fruits are lemons, oranges, grapefruits, berries, apples and pears, no plums or grapes yet. 
Their cheeses are very good and about haft price compare to Alberta or even less, as an example Stilton Blue Cheese is $12US per kg.
I have to find out a bit more about the price of meat, but ham choices here are overwhelming, regular smoked ham over 30 varieties same thing for the prosciutto dry cured ham you better figured out what you want before is your turn to order, the price varied depending of the processing, the quantity of fat, quality of the meat, the provenance, it can be confusing, my pick was a regular smoke ham the at the top of the range and price, I paid $11US per Kg and it’s very good.  The best nuts I found so far are walnuts, so fresh it’s amazing and very expensive, $24US per Kg, 

I did a local recipe Thursday night using half of a butternut squash. 
The way they do it here, they skinned it, cubed part of the flesh keeping the shell, mix whatever quantity of walnuts, blue cheese, ham and the cube flesh filling the shell with the mixture, "I had 1/2 onion and 3 cloves of garlic' cooked it in the microwave with a bit of water for 10 to 12 minutes checking with a fork from time to time to make sure it’s not overcook, it was extremely good healthy, cheap and easy.


I bought a” bolsa de compras, it’s a grocery bag on wheels, lined to keep the food fresh inside, down here it’s very fashionable and I shopped around to find the most fashionable one, it’s an important wardrobe article as women carried this bag all the time, most women are doing their errands and groceries walking, it’s an essential articles, and I had to get one, mine was very expensive $40US, and I love it.



A tip for people that intend to come down here for holidays or for sabbaticals, the USD is king here, doesn’t matter from where you are from get some USD in your country before getting here, the exchange for USD is great here, right now it’s about 13 pesos per USD on the blue market, and it’s legal, hotels will gave up to 12pesos per USD. One thing to understand is not to get crazy and change all you USD at the same time, you don’t want to be cut with too much pesos, as they can disappears anytime, Argentina change their pesos 3 times the last 30 years and the locals told us that it will happen again soon. I always calculate the price of things by dividing by 10, it’s easier.

Our projects,

  • Marc is working on starting a club for artists from musician to painter, all arts, he will meet with David the owner and manager of Leon Bar and CafĂ© this coming Thursday, the club will use Leon as the meeting point, we had our first meeting Saturday, will keep you updated.

  •  My project is to start a photography club, and give workshops around Mendoza, hoping to start the first of Oct.






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