April 3rd, 2007

(no subject)

Buenos Aires is right next to Montevideo if you go by water. I think I prefer BA to Montevideo. There are a lot of similarities, but BA seems to be cheaper overall and still maintain an excellent quality.

The first thing I did here was file my taxes. When you aren't making any money, filing taxes is more fun. My effective tax rate this year was -1.78%. I don't expect that to happen very often. I do expect to get audited, but it shouldn't be a very complicated process because there was no money involved. I like to think of my taxes this year as my contribution to support the war in Iraq.

My buddy from Brazil decided to be my buddy from Argentina. He beat me down here by about a week. We caught up and hung out. We had a few adventures, I learned that he is staying about 2 blocks from a winery, but didn't get a chance to visit. We went to Chinatown. Chinatown was great! We went to the “authentic” restaurant. The menu wasn't in English (or Spanish for that matter), so we had a challenge in ordering. I decided to trust the waitress and asked for her favorite food. She seemed confused and she said, “Chow Mein?”. My friend wanted kung pao chicken, but his Spanish wasn't as good as mine. He just said, “pollo. Picante.” That also confused her and she suggested “Chow Mein”. I had trouble believing in a local who spoke that little Spanish. In the end, the chow mein was really good.

We also tried a game bar. This place combined alcohol with an excellent variety of games including darts, pool, 6 person fusball, sextionary, soy inocente, and archery. I mostly wanted to see the drunk people shoot bows and arrows. Unfortunately, that was closed the night we were there because of Easter.

It's still hot down here. I'm quite fond of a fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot day. When you order a juice in a restaurant, they dilute and sweeten to taste (I actually heard that OJ in the US is sweetened and that they are not required to label it. That fits in my mind because OJ is always a very consistent sweetness and it's pretty seriously sweet). I ordered a jugo de limon my first night here. I guess that that restaurant doesn't always dilute and sweeten to taste. They added salt however. I tried, but couldn't imagine anyone choosing to drink that for pleasure. But, as the old saw goes, “When the waiter brings you lemon juice, make lemonade.”

Speaking of lemon juice, I learned that Sprite contains 5% lemon juice. I hadn't known that before, but that might just be a South America thing.