So finally that’s it. Tomorrow I’ll leave my beloved Tandil towards Buenos Aires, then I’d like to see the Cataratas del Iguazú and later I will hopefully travel to the Provincia de Salta ….

Thank you very much everybody for having made my exchange semester to such a wonderful experience with innumerable memories I won’t ever forget. I will definitely come back to visit you and your awesome country!

Chicos, no puedo creer como el tiempo pasó tan rapido, pero mi intercambio en Tandil ya se acabó y hoy es mi última noche en esta ciudad tan buena …. MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS a todos por todo: venir a Argentina siempre fue un sueño mio pero nunca me hubiera imaginado que iba a tener una experiencia tan hermosa, sobre todo con ustedes en la pensión. Sinceramente encontré un lugar donde me sentí como si fuese “en casa”, viviendo con una familia. Espero que tuvieran también un tiempo lindo, la verdad que yo la pasé barbaro. Jamás los olvidaré y los quiero mucho. Tengo que irme pero una parte de mi corazón se queda acá, y estoy seguro que volveré pronto. Les deseo mucha suerte, que les vaya bien y hasta luego. Abrazo grande!
Marisa y Marcos, no sólo dueños sino más padres de la pensión – les agradezco por todo y a ustedes los voy a extrañar muchísimo :( Continue reading

Necochea y San Cayetano

Hey there, how are you in good old but cold and snowy Europe? If you are freezing, maybe I have some warming thoughts about my short trip from this “fin de semana”, when I visited Nico’s family …. I hope that it will help you facing out this difficult period!

We started our extended weekend last Thursday and went to Necochea, a nice seaside town where his aunt and her husband live. We had a great evening with them, talking about nearly everything you can imagine, and then spent most of Friday at and around the beach (unfortunately VERY VERY windy). In the evening we took the “colectivo” to Nico’s home town San Cayetano (a village in the pampas, much more “gauchesco” than everything I had seen until now), where we visited his grandmother and great-grandmother and where we met some of his old friends and his brother Santi (studying Electrical Engineering in Mar del Plata). We stayed there until this Monday relaxing, watching the Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo with Adolfo Cambiaso’s team “La Dolfina” (despite the elitist character, polo is really popular and some kind of national sport here in Argentina), eating “asado” and above all enjoyed the sun and the sea (which was not as cold as expected – you could swim without any problems) a whole day long with an amazing and hot weather.

Regarding my Spanish skills, I have learned that there are some important expressions you should really know if you ever plan to travel to Argentina, but luckily you can more or less summarize them like follows: We are all “boludos” or “pelotudos”, sometimes also “muchachos” or “chabones” but definitely always “buena onda” making lots of “quilombo” and “joda”, maybe except when playing football just like the opposite of the (deservedly so) nation’s pride and hero Lionel Messi, in which case we would be called “pechos frios” …. “¿viste che? qué sé yo …. ¡ya está!” Continue reading

Aquí me pongo a cantar

Aquí me pongo a cantar
Al compás de la vigüela;
Que el hombre que lo desvela
Una pena extraordinaria,
Como la ave solitaria
Con el cantar se consuela.

This is how José Hernández’ “El Gaucho Martín Fierro” begins, and it resumes at least a little bit how I am currently feeling. Okay, actually I must admit that I’m still really fine and now that all exams are over, I can enjoy the hot and sunny weather by going to the “piletas al aire libre” (outdoor swimming pool) very often :-) But it also became very real that this amazing stay here in Argentina is about to finish very soon. We had a few “fiestas de despedida” (where we had to finish lots of bottles of Fernet :P ) and many of my friends have already gone back home or are travelling.

For my part on Thursday I will go to Necochea and San Cayetano with my (former) room-mate and now one of my best friends Nico, brilliant student of international affairs, Argentina’s next Minister of Foreign Affairs, future best-seller author and founder of the multidisciplinary socio-anthropological movement of the “Tedoldism” :D
We will go to the beach, visit his grandma and try to enjoy the last few days together before I’ll leave …. hopefully after having finally received all the certificates from the university! (but why on earth do I have some doubts about that?) Continue reading

“Tandilia” race and some other unsorted thoughts

Okay, despite my suboptimal shape and my increased weight, I survived the “Tandilia” race :P It was probably one of the toughest race I’ve ever participated to, but also one of the most beautiful ones. As I previously told, we had to run 11.111 km through the whole city from one end to the other, following a REALLY hilly track (at least ~250m altitude both up and downwards, with one steep ascent of 100m). Fortunately almost all the inhabitants were outside making an great atmosphere, which was very helpful to forget the pain and “enjoy” the sightseeing tour!

Out of 1500 participants I was able to finish 190th in the overall classification and 85th in my age-group with a time of 48:38 (4:25 per km). To give you a small idea of the extremely high level of this race: the winner needed 35:00 (3:10 per km) to accomplish the race, which is simply incredible regarding the difficulty of the track, and the first woman had a time of 41:15 (3:45 per km). But I was told that both of them were Olympic athletes in London ….

Apart from that everything is still going at the best. Until now I had really good results in my exams, and the very last one is on next Wednesday. However, I haven’t totally realized yet that my stay here in Tandil is almost over and I should start thinking about what to do and where to go next, but since I have always made good experiences with being spontaneous, why should I change that relaxing way of life? Continue reading

Tandil – lugar soñado

For everyone still living on the northern hemisphere and complaining about the cold winter arriving: I have to warn you that this post may cause some serious depression, because we had more than 25 degrees Celsius almost every day during this week. I have made use of those sunny days to take some photos while going out for running (much training since the “Tandilia” race is on Sunday 18th) and uploaded some of them at the end of this post. I hope you can at least get a small impression of how beautiful Tandil really is ….

This is true at least as long as there are no protests against the (in my point of view very arrogant, now that I understand Spanish much better) president Christina Kirchner and her government, for instance like yesterday. The so-called “8N” (the “N” stands for November) demonstration didn’t only fill Buenos Aires’ streets with up to one million persons, also here in Tandil the whole central place was incredibly full of people! Concerning the different political reasons for these protests I’ll just refer to some articles from British newspapers:

The Telegraph: Hundreds of thousands protest against Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner
The Guardian: Argentina protests: up to half a million rally against Fernández de Kirchner
Mirror News: Argentines take to the streets in biggest anti-government protest in a decade

Continue reading