Buenos Aires

Going abroad and learning the language of the country you are visiting is one of the smartest things to do: not only will you learn to communicate in that new language, but you will also understand the culture of the region you are visiting. Plus, you will be able to add a new skill to your resumé.

If you are planning to visit Argentina and learn Spanish, Buenos Aires is a very good spot to do so as there are Spanish schools that offer different kinds of courses, from private Spanish lessons to group courses. 

For your stay in Buenos Aires, keep in mind that:

Buenos Aires has fours seasons. It is very hot in the summer and quite cold in the winter, with bright sunny days in spring and autumn that can also be somewhat chilly. 

These differences in the weather will make your Spanish learning in Buenos Aires very exciting, yet you need to be prepared as you will need all types of clothes: you will need jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and one or two shirts. During the winter you will definitely need a jacket, it doesn't need to be too thick, and in the summer you might need shorts and a bathing suit. Yet remember: do not pack too much. You might want to buy something to remember your stay in Buenos Aires.

Here's a tip to take home something new: you can always buy leather goods. Belts, leather jackets and leather bags are a good choice for you to buy in Argentina. 

 

As in many other cities, Buenos Aires has a very broad transport system. Public transport includes buses called colectivos, an underground metro system called subte, some trains, and taxis painted in black and yellow. 

These are some things you need to know to move around Buenos Aires easily: 

1. Except for taxis, on colectivos (buses), subtes (underground metro) and local trains you will need a SUBE card. This is sold at subte stations and in many kiosks in the city. Also, you can get the SUBE card at the Tourist Information Offices. Once you have it, you will need to pre charge it. Need more info?

2. Buenos Aires map. Buenos Aires is a large city and to have a map in print might be a good option. Yet, you can also use an interactive map to get from where you are to where you want to go. The other option is that you download the App "BA Cómo llego" (how do I get to) from your Google Play Store.

As you have seen, there are many alternatives as regards traveling Buenos Aires. In my opinion, the subte is the fastest way to get around, especially if you are heading downtown. Colectivos are colorful and run through avenues and main streets. Taxis are the most expensive option although you get to the exact place. And about trains, this option is limited; yet, it is a good option to go, for example, to Tigre.

 

On November 30th, Argentina celebrates the National Day of the Yerba Mate. 

More than 500 years ago, native guaraníes were already using these leaves to prepare an energetic beverage. Nowadays, both Argentina and Uruguay love "mate", not only in the countryside but in the cities too. 

But what can we expect when we are offered a "mate"?

Its 50th anniversary, and The British travel magazine decided to find the 50 best neigborhoods in the world for travelers as well as for locals. With its various art galleries, boutique hotels and a broad variety of restaurants and nightlife, Palermo Soho in Buenos Aires was ranked as one of these neighborhoods. The photo above shows you a street in this quiet and yet vibrant neighborhood.

Talking about steakhouses, Don Julio Buenos Aires is one of my favorite, rated 6 among the 50 best restaurantes in Latin America. The address: Guatemala with Gurruchaga, quite close to IW Languages.

Our Spanish vocab tips as regards ordering a steak:

Puede traerme un bife de chorizo o un ojo de bife con ensalada? / Can I have a strip steak or a ribeye steak and a salad?

Quisiera mi bife a punto/jugoso/cocido. / I'd like my steak rare/medium/well-done.

 

 

Why not prepare asado after your Spanish class?

 

While in Argentina, I'm sure you will want to taste our typical dish: asado. And why not trying to prepare it too?

These are some tips to help you:

 

1) Start your fire full of energy and cook directly on charcoal. If you need  motivation, think about the satisfaction you will feel when, in the middle of the banquette, you hear "A round applause for  the cook (asador)". 

 

2) Choose carefully what you are going to cook.

 

You have decided to prepare an asado for the first time in your life. Take my advice: choose a thin rib, a matambrito pork and a thin flank. For a first time, these are still good even if you cook them more than needed. 

 

3) I prefer buying the meat at the butcher's, where you can ask what you need in more detail. 

 

4) To light the fire, you need charcoal, paper, wood and matches. To move the charcoal you need a shovel. And you need a spatula to move the meat over the barbecue.

 

5) To light the fire effectively, wrinkle the paper and put it over the floor of your parrilla. Put the wood over it and then put a small amount of charcoal over the wood. Then light the paper and when it is lit go on adding charcoal slowly. 

 

6) Work with each cut of meat separately. 

 

7) Last but not least: don´t forget the salads and the fries. And the dressings for the meat: chimichurri and salsa criolla. 

 

Article based on Diario La Nación, May 17th, 2016