November has been an interesting month here in Buenos Aires. I moved into my third apartment, which is a great loft located above a clothing store in the heart of Palermo Soho. I only have the apartment through December 11th, so some friends and I are going to throw a "Christmas Asado" here this Saturday (the apartment has a terrace with a built-in asado/grill). Apparently, an asado (or barbeque) is considered a big event here, so we've been inviting friends, acquintances, and complete strangers (i.e. attractive women). That's what to come, but here's some highlights of earlier this month....
"My head is going to explode," I thought, as I rocked back and forth in pain at 3:00am in the morning on November 2nd. I had an ear-infection a few years back, so I knew what this was, but it hadn't been this bad. I waited for couple of hours for the pain to go away, but by 5:00am, I couldn't take it anymore. Fortunately, one of the things I had learned in Spanish class was the location of Hospital Britanica, a hospital with some English speaking staff. After walking several blocks in the rain, I flagged down a cab and curled up in the back seat. I think the cab driver noticed how much pain I was in, because we made it to hospital in no time.
So folks, if you have an illness in Buenos Aires, no worries. I have to say, I was attended to in a matter of minutes by a on-call doctor. He looked about fifteen, but gave me some pain killers on the spot and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics, which I was able to have filled immediately by a 24hr pharmacy two blocks away. Doogie also referred me to a specialist, who I saw an hour later for two minutes and who confirmed that yes, I had one painful looking inner-ear. Although the ear-infection lingered because my Spanish still sucks and I can't follow directions properly, I was impressed by the service and treatment I received -- and for only $50 pesos.
So, medical ailments aside, the rest of November has been good. I had a couple more weeks of Spanish classes (though only 2 hours per day), hosted a birthday party at my apartment for my friend Jeremias, celebrated Thanksgiving at my friend Danny's apartment with some other expats, and in between, have just been enjoying my freedom.
My plans for the recent future include a quick trip to Uruguay tomorrow to get my passport stamped (required if staying in Argentina for over 3 months), an extended weekend trip to Punta de Este in Uruguay in two weeks, and some more Spanish classes. And in between, well... I still haven't learned tango yet.