Wednesday, July 30, 2008

La UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires) y el cementorio de Recoleta (tomb of EVITA)

Some days passed by so I got some new things to tell. At the moment I'm still trying to find my way through the city. From day to day I feel more comfortable taking the "colectivos" (buses) also knowing most of the time that I'll be missing the right stop. It's really hard to get off the right time, the bus drivers drive so fast that it's not only hard to follow their routes on the map but also to find the right bus stop on the streets. Mostly they don't have bus stops how we know them. It's more a kind of a sticker at a street light with the numbers that indicate which buses are passing by. Passing by doesn't mean they're really stopping! In order to get on the bus it's necessary to put your hands in the air so that the bus driver knows that you want to hop on the bus - which doesn't mean necessarily that he'll stop. Anyway - I'm glad I made it from my home to the UBA and back - by bus.
Today I went to another touristic attraction - to the graveyard of Recoleta, another part in the city. There the tomb of Evita - the famous wife of Juán Perón - can be visited at a very large graveyard. It was funny - even though many other important people from Buenos Aires have been burried there but everybody just seemed to pilgrim to her tomb which was full of flowers. You can see pics here. On this album you can also see my faculty.
PS: I found out that people could only leave comments on this blog if they signed up. I changed this feature now so anybody can leave a comment now even without being signed in.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

First impressions of B.A. and first pics online!

hey there!

Yesterday my roomates took me to my first Tango lesson to the city center! It was a lot of fun even though I had to find out that Tango is very difficult. This class for beginners is every Saturday and costs only about 3,50 Euro. So maybe I'll continue dancing Tango and when I'm back I'm gonna be a Tango star ;-)
Today I took the chance to walk all the way through my quarter, the so-called "San Telmo" until I came to the government building "la casa Rosada" at the "Plaza de Mayo". Then I turned to the "Avenida Florida", a kind of a very long shopping street. After that I went to the widest street in the world with 21 lanes, the "Avenida 9 de Julio". But honestly it looks bigger on the pictures than it really is. Unfortunately it was a pretty cold day today and the weather wasn't that nice at all but still there were a lot of people in the streets. Especially here in San Telmo the market opens on Sundays and tons of tourists come to this part of Buenos Aires to buy things. To give you some kind of an impression how it looks like here, I uploaded some pics, you can see them here. A girl from Germany who's still looking for a shared apartment so far contacted me by mail through the International Office of the UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires). She's also here with a German friend and they're studying about the same at the UBA. They arrived at the same time in Buenos Aires and are as much without orientation just as me. I'm gonna meet them next week. So far I get along with the "Subte" (the subway) but next week I will also try to get along with the "colectivos" (buses) here. They have thousand of buses here and they're said to be a better way to get through the city than by Subte because they reach more areas. But I'm not worried, I've still got enough time to discover the city!
That's for now! I hope you're all doing good,
A luego!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

first night and first day in BA

I arrived at the B.A. airport at about 7 pm local time, it was a 14 hours flight so you can imagine that I was pretty exhausted! On my left sat a nice woman from Argentina who gave me her contacts within minutes when she heard that I was staying in B.A. to study and she gave me some good advice. On my right was a man from Uruguay but with German ancestors. Thanks to these nice neighbors I had the time in the plane went by pretty fast. But after about 8 hours of flying I got such a bad headache. Anyway - at 7 pm local time (midnight in Germany) I arrived, another 45 minutes later I received my luggage. Then the adventure began: I don't know how many people told me that I had to take an official cab within the airport rather than a cab outside. It's said to be more dangerous to take a cab outside because there have been a lot of kidnapping in the past with cabs that weren't real cabs... So I went down, took an official cab and the cab driver took me into the center of the city within 25 minutes and I arrived safely in San Telmo, which belongs to the historic part of B.A. Ruben, the owner of this shared apartment, was happy to see me and showed me my room and the whole house. Its hard to describe, later on I will take some pics and put them on this blog. Three other people are living with me in this apartment, its a girl from Germany (she studies at the same college, has already been here for 5 months) who's moving out at the end of this month, a girl from San Fransisco who's teaching English here and a guy from Italy whom I haven't had the chance to talk to yet. All of them seemed to be pretty nice and I think and I hope I will have a lot of fun with them. My room is devided into two parts. It has a small ledder to the top where my bed stands. On the ground I have a small table, some furniture where I can store my stuff and a big sofa which I already fell in love with because it's very cosy :-) I also have a small balcony but at the moment its too cold to sit outside (its winter here, about 5-10 degrees Celsius). We share the bathroom, kitchen and living room. Almost everything is a little shabby but the living room is very nice! It's very big as well, has a TV and big tables and it's just very nice to spend some time there. After checking out the apartment (don't forget - I have been up for 24 hours!), I was so tired that I just went to bed.

This morning I talked to the German and the American girl who explained me a lot and gave some good advice. Also Ruben (the owner) is very helpful and it's just good to know people especially at the beginning when everything is a caos anyway. Yesterday when I arrived it was dark already so I took the chance to start to discover B.A. this morning.
My first impression was that B.A. seems to be a mixure of all kinds of cities I've been to so far. It's shabby like Dublin or bad areas of New York, from the architecture it looks very European, but also a little American, its pretty dirty, a lot of waste is on the ground and the whole city smells like gas. But I also found some very nice houses and cafés so not everything looks bad here. It's only my first impression, let's see, maybe I'll change my mind when I've seen a little more of the city. This morning I took the subway to my college (here it's called la "SUBTE") which costs 90 centavos each way (!) that means it costs about 20 Euro Cents! That's really cheap! The university I'm going to is la UBA - Universidad de Buenos Aires. It has about 300 000 students and its faculties are all over the city center. My faculty is called "Facultad de Ciencias Sociales" and it's very close to the city center and about 20 minutes by subway from my house. When I saw the shabby building from the outside and inside and its bad condition I wasn't really suprised after having read a experience report from another student that studied some time at the same buidling. I gotta have to take some pics of that otherwise you won't believe me how dirty it is! The funny thing is - if you leave the bad looking aside - that the UBA seems to be a very taugh, recommended and honored university with a very good reputation not only in Argentina but also in whole Latin America. We will see. I went to the International Office and luckily there was a very nice woman who explained to me what steps I need to take to get my study visa. I came into this country by a tourism visa and I have to change it into a study visa. It's very complicated and I'm lucky that I'm already here to arrange all those things before my courses will start. They will begin in about 10 days and I'm very excited.
Next time I put some more pictures on this blog, this time I didn't take my camera with me after many people told me not to in order not to be robbed (I'm not kidding), it's better not to show how rich you are. I first want to get used to the city and to get to know how to get around here before I'll take the time to take some pics. Just be patient, they will follow soon.
There's a lot more to tell I don't wanna overwhelm or bore you with to much information. It's to be continued!
Hasta la próxima vez!

Here you see my first breakfast I had in Argentina!

last goodbye in Stuttgart and at Frankfurt airport

Last monday I took the train to see my sister Mel and her friend Leah in Stuttgart to spend some hours with them. So I had a chance to see her at least some hours before I disappeared to Buenos Aires (BA) and with the knowledge that I won't see her for at least the next 10 months (if we see each other more than once a year it's a kind of a miracle). Here you see some of the pics.

my sister Mel and me

After meeting my sister in Stuttgart I rushed home to get all my stuff packed. Luckily I got everything on time. So last Tuesday I said goodbye to Augsburg, took the train to Munich to go to my brother's house and went to the Munich airport at 3 am on Wednesday morning. The plane flew to Frankfurt where I met my friends Hanna and Annika (thank you again!) because I had about two hours staying time in Frankfurt before my flight was about to go to BA.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

4 days left to go...

Hey guys,

all my exams are over now, all my jobs have been finished, the goodbye party ended well but my bags are still unpacked! Theoretically I have 4 more days to pack but my sister Mel is on a race this weekend (German Championship of Mountain Biking) in Germany so I'm going to meet her in Stuttgart before I go to Munich to meet my brother Thomas who's taking me to the airport. This means that I only have tomorrow left to get all my stuff together. So this is my time to say goodbye from this point. Next time you'll hear from me hopefully from Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA!
Hasta la próxima vez!