Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walkin’ the dog, walkin’ the dogs.

When we arrived in Buenos Aires, before we even got to our apartment we saw this:


Turns out this is very much a BA thing – people love dogs and live in apartments. So professional dog walkers take them out everyday for walks in packs. We see them all through our neighbourhood and in the parks:


The dog walkers often have veterinary training and are responsible for grooming and general well-being of their pack. And the dogs are just fine traveling in a pack – no snapping or snarling or darting away. Clearly they are comfortable in a pack.


Various parks have fenced areas where the dogs can play off leash or general just hang out:


The dogs here are looking at the blonde woman in the previous picture who has just arrived with her charges. She putting out water dishes and letting the dogs off their leashes so they can go for a visit.

The only time we’ve seen dogs being snappish on the streets is on the weekends. When they’re with their actual owners – who obviously aren’t the alpha dogs as far as their dogs are concerned.

And you think prescription drugs are cheap in Mexico?

We’ve been trying to get to one particular restaurant in our neighbourhood. We’re quite the experts about when it is not open. Tiny little place, rapturous review online – we had to go. But the grill was always down and no hours posted in the window. One day we walked by when it was closed, but someone was inside – they took pity and opened the door for a chat. After much to-ing and fro-ing we managed to get it sorted – Monday through Saturday for lunch. Friday and Saturday night for dinner. But not this Saturday (New Year’s Eve) or this Monday (in lieu of New Year’s Day). Okay, then. Today.

The people of Buenos Aires eat late.  At lunch time if we arrive at 1:00 or 1:30 we’re always way early – everyone else shows up around 2:00 or later. Same thing for dinner – 8:30, 9:00 is a good time to show up for the locals. Nothing wrong with waiting til 10:00, though.

We arrived at Il Due at 1:00 – the place was packed. Of course it only has about 8 tables, so that happens fast. There was one tiny table left, which we got. We looked around – business people. There are several hospitals and clinics in our area, and it looks like the folks from those businesses eat their lunch at noon. At one table was a group of six men hauling big bags of something.

Lunch was a set price menu with several choices. For 52 pesos we could have a main course, bottled water, dessert and coffee. For another 10 pesos we got a glass of wine. So, for CAD$14.60 apiece we had the most delicious lunch. I had ravioli stuffed with creamy cheese, ham and walnuts with tomato and basil over it. Wilf had fettucine with baby octopi:


Is that a happy face? Delicious hand made pasta lunch, good wine, dessert, espresso. All good. As we were working our way through our lunch the table full of guys next to us got up to go and shouldered their big bags. Turns out they work for a pharmaceutical company. We could see boxes of the cholesterol drug ‘Crestor’ in one bag. Wilf said commented about the boxes as the guy went by – he stopped and asked if Wilf took the drug. What dosage? He then reached into the bag, snapped off half of one of the shrink wrapped  bundles and handed Wilf 15 boxes of Crestor – 2 pills per box. So – lunch for two, $35.00 including a generous tip. And a month supply of Crestor. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well, that was a first!

Wilf and I have travelled all around the world and used the transit systems we have encountered without trouble wherever we’ve gone. But today something happened for the first time in 27 years of travel together. We headed out for the subway, headed down the line and switched from one line to another. As we arrived at the platform for line B the train was waiting. I jumped on just as the horn blew. The door slammed shut and I turned around. And there was Wilf.

On the other side of the door.

We looked at each other in astonishment as the train (with me on board) left the station (with him still there). Although we had never discussed such an eventuality he understood my hurried hand signals. I got off at the next station. The next train pulled up and there he was. No harm, no foul.

But someone should have had a camera for the looks on our faces as the train pulled out of the station….