Friday, October 24, 2008

anecdote number 3

Unfortunately this anecdote is less funny than the other one. It's the contrary! I'm really angry! But this is also part of Argentinian "culture", it's about how Argentinians treat people in a restaurant, if they KNOW or they can TELL that you're a stranger, so I'm gonna tell you. I must admit that today it was the first time it happened to me but I heard from some other people that happened to them, too, sometimes, so it can't be such a coincidence. Today, Teo (a friend from South Corea), Dani (a friend from Germany) and me went to a Chinese Restaurant. It was a "all you can eat"- deal for about 30 Pesos (so about 6 Euro each person, so very cheap). After eating we asked for the bill and we were supposed to pay 100 Pesos en total. What happened? The waiter came with the bill and suddenly on the bill was 120 Pesos. In Germany I would probably think it was a real mistake. But my experience here in Argentina tells me that it's probably not a "mistake" but more likely a "trying to get a lot of money from the stupid stranger/tourist that will not realize paying a little 20-pesos more" - thing. We told the waiter, of course he said something like "oh, I'm sorry, I don't know how this could have happened". Conclusion: We left the restaurant paying the real bill of 100 Pesos and didn't leave any tip. Hopefully they will learn out of this. I don't think so though. :-(

anecdote number 2

Another short story which I think is typical Argentinian or at least a little strange for Germans: In one of my courses at the college (informatic science) we have an internet platform, or a kind of a newsgroup where everybody in our course can post messages, ask questions and upload files. Well, today, our professor "Schimskus" didn't upload a message concerning our course but invited us all to the release party of his new tango CD with his musician group! I thought that was so hilarious! Here the pic he added to his announcement (the guy at the very left is my professor):

Maybe I should mention that things like that happen quite often. In almost every course we have at the college, a group of people is coming into the room for 5 minutes to promote a new event and to give away flyers. Really funny... :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trip to Córdoba and surroundings

Last weekend we went in a group of ten people to Córdoba (6 Germans, 1 Austrian, 1 Columbian, 2 French). Córdoba is about 9 hours away from Buenos Aires by bus. So we took the bus at night and arrived in Córdoba about 8 in the morning. On Friday we didn't really see a lot of Córdoba, because we had something special to do: We went on a trip to "La cumbre", a landscape 2 hours away from Córdoba - popular for its landscape and for paragliding!

The weather was great (a lot warmer than Buenos Aires), the sun was shinging all day and the view was astonishing! Unfortunately only 7 of our 10 people could do the paragliding. Unfortunately I wasn't one of them :-( Paragliding depends a lot on the right wind and on that day, the wind changed a lot. Nevertheless the 3 of us that weren't able to jump, enjoyed the weather and the view.

Saturday we booked an offer from the hostel to go to a national park with a little hiking included. It was really a wonderful day! The sun was shining all day and we had really a great time together climbing up the hills of the national park. The highlight of this trip was the hike of a 25 meters high hill. Those of you that think 25 meters - that's nothing - no! It's not easy! This hill was so steep and it was really hard to find a spot to put your hands and feet in order not to fall down!
Sunday we left the hostel at 8 in the morning to get the bus to "Villa General Belgrano", a little village that's about 2 hours away from Córdoba. Getting up so early in the morning had only one reason: The Oktoberfest! Villa General Belgrano ( is a village where Germans and Austrians settled down a few decades ago and tried to keep their traditions. The Oktoberfest was really a lot of fun! But of course it is not at all comparable to the real "Wiesn". The "Brezeln" taste like shit, the play funny, non-Wiesn music like the song "Heidi - deine Welt sind die Berge", which would never be played at the real Oktoberfest! Also they're wasn't a real tent, everything was outside. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to drink from a normal one liter glass if you didn't buy the "Maßkrug". Most of the Argentinians bought their own "Maßkrug", I didn't want to buy one so I had to drink from a small glass - just imagine - how funny at the Oktoberfest to drink beer from a small glass! And by the way - the beer isn't German but Argentinian (Quilmes). All in one - it was a really funny and strange experience to be at a "trying-to-be-German-tradition" place far far away from Germany!

Our last day in Córdoba, we really spent in Córdoba :-) Luckily the city is pretty small (at least compared to Buenos Aires) so it could be done in one day. I liked Córdoba pretty much, it has many nice buildings, it's less noisy than Buenos Aires and cheaper and more interesting than Montevideo ;-).

If you're interested in seeing more pics on the internet, click here to see the whole web album.
Saludos desde Buenos Aires,


a little anecdote

Hey there!

I wanna tell you a little story that happend to me in Córdoba and I knew it had to happen at some point at my stay here in Argentina! Last weekend I went with a group of 10 people to Córdoba (a city in the interior of Argentina) to spend there the long weekend (we had a holiday this monday). The hostel offered some expeditions and activities, so we chose to take part in a trip to a national park combined with a little hiking experience. So I went to the hostel guy to pay the trip and gave him the money. Ten minutes later he came back to me and was telling me, that I would have to give him another bank note because he thinks that this 50-pesos bank note (about 13 Euro) is a false banknote! Everybody warned me in this country to be careful with false money and rather to check twice to see if the money banknote is real and not fake. And in every supermarktet they check every 100 Pesos banknote (about 25 Euro) doble, sometimes even 20 Pesos bank notes. Well, anyway, back to the story. First, I didn't know what to say! I was shocked! But the hostel guy was really nice and explained me why he thought the bill was false: The bank note was about 5 millimeters smaller than a real one and also it felt more like real paper than a real bank note. So he gave me back my false banknote. I thought: "Now, what am I supposed to do with it?? Who the f*** will accept my false banknote?" I decided to go to a supermarket around the corner which was full of people. I thought, if the staff of the supermarket was busy they maybe wouldn't check the note... I stand in line, in front of the cassier I tend to check the note and looked at her with a content face and gave her the note. She didn't check again and I was happy to get rid of my false bank note (even though is was "only" about 25 Euro). But you know what? Know I keep on thinking about who could have been the person that gave me the false note? Maybe that person didn't realize it either, who knows...
End of the story - from now on I will always check my bank notes!