Living the dream

OK well not the dream, but I thought I would write a little about my living arrangements. The picture above is of my Barrio, kind of.It shows Independencia, the road that my house is on, although a little further east. This 6 lane, one way street is fairly busy, but isn't even one of the widest or noisiest roads here. I wish I could show more pictures of the interesting architecture around, but as usual I can't be bothered to try and take decent pictures.

There are so many building anachronisms here. A twenty storey 60s apartment block in between two 3 storey colonial mansions complete with hand crafted stone balconies. Hand painted tile murals cladding a breeze block box, next to dilapidated 19th century tavern. Just looking across the street you will see an empty building ready to fall down, next to a new one being built. There must be some kind of mafia style construction ruse going on, someone is on the make.

Anyway, as you can see, my house is an oasis of calm amongst the din of the capital. It has a strange layout of two lounges as you come in and a big courtyard, that all the other rooms open onto.

It has a nice kitchen diner area, complete with selection of Mate herbs, and about three bathrooms. I say 'about' as the house is a little like a tardis, I keep discovering more rooms. When I moved in two weeks ago, I was on a tight deadline. I needed to find a place in two days, and hadn't seen anywhere I liked. The awesome courtyard (perfect for asados in the approaching spring / summer) and the awesome price tag of £150 per month (inc. bills, towels, and cleaning) lured me in. At the time I thought I would be sharing with a French guy and an American girl. It turns out however that I am sharing with the following people:

Greg - aforementioned French guy, working at a trading (importing / exporting) company. Speaks French, Spanish and English . . . refuses to speak any English

Emily - Aforementioned American girl - English teacher, normally speaks Spanish.

Amy - American, half Cuban half Colombian film blogger and website person. Speaks fluent Spanish.

Francisca - German student, attends lectures in Spanish.

German couple (can't remember their names) - Here for one week only on a holiday.

Nirma - Landlady. Owns a health food store 5 blocks away. She does speak English, but isn't around that much.

Nirma snr - Nirmas mum. Landlady. Works in the same shop and is the mum of the house. Nothing escapes here attention and she runs a tight ship and treats everyone like grandchildren.

Alex - One armed cleaner. I don't know why she has one arm or if she lives here, but she is here about 23 hours a day.

Sol - Nirma's dog. I don't know what kind, but he is hairy and is fed on raw steak (genuinely).

Cariño - Nirma's cat. I am not sure of it's name, I call it Cofler because it is a similar colour to Argentina's destinctly average chocolate brand. Cofler is batshit carzy (and also fed on raw meat). When she is hungry she tries to claw your feet and/or climb on your head.

I think that's it in terms of the residents, although by next week I am sure I will have discovered a whole basement level to the house with 3 Colombian families living there.

In all seriousness, everyone here is very cool, some of them were not even scared anyway by my attempt to cook chicken curry (or cooorrriii as it is pronounced here). Speaking terrible Spanish at everyone does help me practice and as I say, I'm looking forward to a few summer barbecues.

Things that is is near my house:

Plaza Congresso (pictured)
Once - Cheap market and Jewish neighbourhood.
An Eye hospital (luckily for me this week)
Many cheap Chinese supermarkets
The Nirmas' shop
Many cheap restaurants of questionable quality.

Things that are not near my house:
My institute in Recoleta.
Many bars
Many other expats
Any useful Subte lines.

Anyway, overall I'm really happy to be in this 'casa loco'. Let's see what next week brings.