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Candice Hiebert
What Goes on in that Pretty Little Head of Mine
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22nd-Nov-2006 09:55 pm - My New Bump
Hello Everyone

Well I want to introduce everyone to the bump. I can't hide the fact any longer that Im pregnant.


I am happy to report that the pregnancy is going well and our little bump is growing in leaps and bounds. Its a strange stage where my regular clothes are beginning not to fit and my pregancy jeans are still too big.

I am beginning to feel what the call the " Quickening" the light little flutters that tell you that your baby is moving and its not gas.

Well the morning sickness and the achy breasts and the constant urination also tell me that too.

But I'm not complaing, every new flutter, every new twinge is a delight something to be thought about as I am reminded once again I have a new life inside of me.

I cinch my belt but its becoming harder and harder to wear a tight belt, it seems to have a life of its own and slide down slowly and surely to rest on my hips and below the belly.

More Later.
16th-Nov-2006 02:49 pm - Culture Shock
Hmm Our trip has begun we finally landed in Simferpol after an exhausting 13 hours trip, first a drive to bellingham where we found out they had no rental cars, so we ended up getting a very large suv.

the drive was quite pleasant

well finally getting past the 10 hour jet-lag, MIchael and I have settled into our luxury apartment, basically a two room apartment, with the living room doing double duty with a pullout sofa,

The smallest ugliest green sofa I have ever seen. its barely a double bed. and has a alarming list, very much like cammping . The landlord has thoughfully given us a sheet set and 5 huge woolen blankets. I thought they where kidding at first.

Who uses wool blankets anymore , besides the red cross and the army and by stables everywhere.

I can work with this.

Okay a bit of culture shock, our luxury apartment has hot water only between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. every day, and sometimes no water at all.

this is added to the fact our elevator breaks down and our apartment is on the 10th floor. the elevator is locked and gated so we must carry and extra key with us, which I found to my dismay it can be locked at any time of day or night after I came back from grocery shopping to find myself with a locked gate and broken elevator.

Milk can be purchased via through the local market from a big bucket or sold indivually in reused coca cola litre bottles. Charming. Funny how every time I try drinking milk it tastes off, so im avoiding all dairy and cheese and deli meats as per foods to avoid while pregnant instructions.

its like we have travelled back in time 30 years.

I will learn how to deal. with it all.

there is a certain beauty to the old building you can still see their past glory days, some buildings dowtown have been lovingly restored and the Russian Orthodox churches are beautiful in the sun with thier blue roofs and gold trim.

More Later.
16th-Nov-2006 02:23 pm - Yoga and Me
Spent a interesting day trying to do pilates and yoga, I brought a book and a video. Well one of the symptoms of pregnancy and is your body increasing your blood volume to support two and bouts of dizziness and lightheadedness. It take s forever to try and complete a exercise program , so your have your Pre-natal Yoga video set to play.

I get ready to start , ( oops have to go to the bathroom first)
start the 10 minute warm-up ( after the warm up i take a break to drink some water) whew breath-less already

Okay ready to start , (wait one more trip to the bathroom)

Then I begin.....

Then I stop...... as I realize I need to do the second trimester moves, then I stop again, as I maneuver myself carefully to the floor , and into downward facing dog.

As I look down at my ankles , I realize I'm panting like a dog, and then its time to get up , as I go to my knees and slowly roll myself back up I realize that what last month seemed like an incredibly slow process of three steps to stand up is actually to my benefit . I realize I have to do it this way because suddenly I have dizzy spells and I am still panting slightly.

As we go through the moves and I watch the three women in there perfect leotard, looking amazing and pregnant, I call them first , second and third in my head. . they do not even break a sweat, Never seem to have the need to go to the bathroom.

This video must be edited very carefully.

Do I look as fat as that women on the video she looks huge? ( I think to myself )ooh she second trimester. " Good God, that will be me in a few weeks."how is it possible a person can change that much in three short months. Third trimester is using a chair they don't really film her much. she kind just sits and pantomimes the movements and she is gigantic.

I say to myself " focus" lets just stick to the moves and bend and stretch.

Okay back to the video , after one more bathroom break

Back to the floor . Trying to take deep breaths , and not feel so breathless,

How can that tiny women be so flexible I think to myself and sneak glance at marcy the perfect blond that is in her 3rd trimester, they make is look so easy.

Yoga is suddenly exhausting, as the next 30 minutes of bending and stretching make you aware that your stomach is no longer your own. I have the tiniest little pot belly, a bit of a bump. a strange definition of shape that is not my own.

Finally we have the cool down mediation, As the announcer walks you through a relaxation mediation you feel your self drift away, I feel relaxed , healthy , wonderful in my happy place.

" as a the cool melodious voice says.....and you can use this meditation throughout your pregnancy right up to LABOR AND THROUGHOUT YOUR LABOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARGGGGGGGGh Im awake , what did she say , Im out of my happy place ..what happened to imagining your self on a quiet beach with the waves and water, there's no LABOR at the beach, maybe hot dogs, and lemonade but no labor. What the !@$$%%, whoever wrote this script for this video is an idiot...

Sigh I lie on the bed and think to myself , " I have to go to the bathroom"

Okay that was my day how , I think Im going to switch to badminton..... yeah badminton sound nice
16th-Nov-2006 09:47 am - A Shaky Start
Well I think we are finally settled in our little apartment, after a shaky start, with getting used to doing with out all our western comforts. but michael has really picked up a lot of russian, Denis his coworker and his wife Natalie speak english so I have some one to talk to and socialize with we have gone to the black sea with them and it was fun except for all the little tiny jelly fish floating about.

We have gone for some wonderful meals, I stick to basics like steamed rice and roast chicken and things like that. boy did we miss Thanksgiving last weekend. I' cant wait until we come home and can make our own turkey dinner.

Otherwise we are doing well. I m still avoiding the sausage and the cheese , MIchael can't tell what is pasteurized and what is not, and its all sold in a big pile in the supermarkets and little stores. so Im worried about contamination.

We live right next to the central market a maze of shops that are all little booths 3 feet by 3 feet by 5 feet tall, almost like tents packed from floor to ceiling with goods. you could get lost looking at everything.

Michael is in love with the ukraine women here, they all look like they stepped out of a cheesy 80's video, tight jeans, black suede skinny pointy boots and lots of makeup .. and transparent tops.

ive tried 5 kinds of pasteurized milk and have given up, they all taste spoilt , and i take one sip and i throw up, could be the pregnancy everything smells and tastes different. I have a new appreciation for the peanut butter we brought with us , and michael is such a wonderful husband , he is not eating any of the food we brought from canada so i have something i like to eat..

Things are much better, the sofa bed from hell is being replaced today, and Michael and I have found a few nice restaurants that we like and we have even made a few friends , we have been to a barbecue at his coworkers home , which is out of the city and we went for a nice walk in the hills . Natalie and I will be going to a hairdressers today a girls day out , so it should be fun.

MIchael also introduced me to friends of his from his last visit Roma , and Anna they speak a little english, but they had another freind over to help translate her name is Tanya and together with little Roma who is two and Tanya's new cocker spaniel puppy it was a surprisingly good time.

Anna's mother made these special vodka pickles , not made with vodka , they are meant to be eaten with vodka, very salty they where delicious. Ukraine hospitality entailed Anna giving us the largest jar of pickles i have ever seen in my life , to us to take home to our little apartment.

I have gotten used to the water situation, because really you only take a bath in the morning or before bed. so Im adjusting, we have our dvd's our walks and they have lays potato chips, I made banana bread yesterday. all in all its turing out not to be as bad as i expected , once i caught up on my sleep . I rather enjoy these alone times with michael, its a nice chance for the two of us to reconnect and bond , to enjoy my pregnancy and enjoy being in a different culture.

I had know idea how blessed I am with all my creature comforts back home. it an eye-opener to here natalie and denis talk about their childhood and what it was like before, school uniforms, the army, the KGB, government run apartment buildings. when they where children ,all the children where given the same toy as that was what was acceptable to the government.

anyway more about the culture shock later.
16th-Nov-2006 09:18 am - Two Guys, Two Girls and a Train
Lets start with what I thought the trip would be like:

We, Michael, myself and Denis and his wife would enjoy a leisurely comfortable trip in our own luxury compartment riding through the night to Kiev. Like something out of the movie Dr, Zhivago, and Harry Potter. As we start our journey from a quaint white pillared country station in Simferpol, in a old European passenger train. We immerse ourselves in the bustle of the local market place, the hustle of taxis and other family’s starting a journey on a cool November evening, warm and happy with full stomachs from our early supper at the McDonald’s that is across the street from Kiev, perhaps we would enjoy some hot mint tea or coffee from a café while we waited to board our train.

Hmm that is not the Ukrainian way,

Michael and I awake as we usually do, with a cup of tea and coffee, while Michael takes a bath, I wake up slowly and think about what needs to be done to get ready for our trip.

Our train does not leave until 4ish we plan on being picked up by Denis and his wife by taxis by 330 pm at the latest. We are going to have “plenty of time” I thought to myself.

Michael phones me around noon, and says can you get dressed Denis and his wife want to go shopping , “we can pick up boots and a sweater for you and we can look at getting a pair of jeans for me”. Denis and his wife will be waiting downstairs and I prepare a few things for the journey throw a few essentials in a bag, and in my purse, instructions for clinic, our passports, and other stuff

The shopping trip should not take long, for me to come home and pack. Of course we end up later at the market then expected but as long as we are at the train by 4 pm we are going to have “plenty of time”

After an hour of shopping we stopped to have lunch, Michael begins to get concerned about the time . well to our chagrin , Denis had thought we would go back to our apartment and pick up our bags and go straight to his house. in a typical Ukrainian fashion this was on a need to know basis

Michael decides that since its now 3pm we do not have time to drive home to our apartment and then go to Denis ‘s house so Michael will go to our apartment and pack our things and we will then pick him up by taxi on the way to the train station.

Okay still “plenty of time”

Unbeknownst to Michael, Denis and Natalie have not finished their shopping , We left the central market at 3:17 pm , the taxi was supposed to pick us up at 3:30 pm from their house.

Okay I’m sitting in the car thinking , hmm “PLENTY OF TIME “ all we have to do is go to their place and pack, Now the reason I’m with Denis and Natalie is they have decided I do not have a proper coat and they have one at home for me to wear.

We arrive at Denis’s home and Natalie runs up stairs to wash her hair, I’m thinking she doesn’t have time , maybe she’s go to Kiev with wet hair, Her mother brings me over to the closet and shows me ‘THE COAT”

“ A FUR COAT” I think to myself “OH MY GOD they have shot SMOKEY THE BEAR AND HE’S HANGING IN THE CLOSET” well the coat is huge and I stand there with a smile plastered on my face and think “ I can do this it will be like the kids in Narnia, the kids put on fur coats from the wardrobe .

What fun ”I m mean I am in Russian, when in Rome” I’ve seen a lot of fashionable beautiful fur coats since I have arrived, “This is not one of them”

This coat is a Russian classic, I think they wore this type of coat in Dr Zhivago, or maybe that was only the men. Its Dark, huge and black, my romantic fantasies of Russian are quickly disappearing. This thing belongs on the shoulders of invading army.

Okay be polite at least try the coat on for appearance sake, I think I can do that until I step closer. That is until I smell the coat, one amazing result from increased hormones during pregnancy is a increased sense of smell. Something had died in this closet , ohh it was the coat , it smelled like a cross between wet dog (I don’t know what species of dog).combined with and wet rug . I took a big step back

I begin to suspect that they do not uses moth balls in Russia, and this is Natalie’s mother coat , so I guessed the coats age could have been between thirty and fifty years old. “ the bear” who gave his life must have been huge. The coat is floor length a sweeping thing, with huge shoulders, and then the piece doe resistance a huge furry collar , something I had seen on almost every winter coat we passed in recent days.

I some how mumble that I think I might not be able to wear the fur coat, panicking thinking Ukrainian hospitality would compel them to insist I wear the coat. I think I would need my own train car to wear the thing, How would I walk in it?

“its too nice, too heavy, too furry , “ I race to think of an appropriate polite response umm lucky for me behind “ THE FUR BEAST” on a hanger was a lovely sheared wool winter coat which I took out of the closet. Natalie immediately offered this one instead to which I gratefully said yes.

Whew, okay all I need to do now is sit tight and wait for the taxi,

Well time has passed a lot of time, the taxi is late I think, I’m not sure , I don’t have a watch and I only hear Russian, but finally we are off in the taxi,


A rapid volley of Russian is going on in the front seat between Natalie and the driver and Denis.

Denis has arranged or his father to pick Michael up from the apartment to meet us at the train.

Now we go to Michael’s story.

Michael gets a frantic call form Denis , “Michael my father is waiting downstairs in a BLUE TOYOTA” Michael a little upset does not understand why he was not told to go down and be waiting for his father .He had time to clean the bathroom, the kitchen, pack, and burn cd’s while waiting for the train he suspected left around 4ish .

Michael finds the Toyota and gets in and starts to introduce himself to the distinguished looking gentlemen with a ear pod cell phone piece in his ear , who looks like a an extra from the “Bourne Identity” who is his driver

“NO TIME” shouts the driver and Michel is on the journey of his life away from the apartment , imagine any foreign film you have ever seen where there is a muddy car chase. dashing down back alleys, the blue Honda making amazing maneuvers in an out between cars ,completing a strange steeple chaise as his Driver drives like a mad man through pot hole ridden lanes and narrow streets, at the same time driving the car with one alarming noticeable quirk.

Michael had never been scared driving before he was today. Denis father is an orthodox roman catholic, so as they pass every church, Denis father made the sign of the cross, the only problem with this is he’s driving at this time. Michael thought he was doing this because he knows he’s going to die turns out this is the normal way Ukrainians drive.

When Michael gets nervous or in fear for his life he likes to talk. As the Toyota is momentarily slowed to a stop behind a big truck, Michael points and says “ DRIVES LIKE A WOMEN” Denis father thinks this is hilarious, pounds the wheel, laughs and drives the car up onto the curb and around the trunk and make the turn onto the highway.

Michael asks when the train leaves and Denis’ father says “10 minutes ago” Michael has stopped to take a breath and realizes he’s not going to the train station and wonders ‘WHERE ARE WE GOING AND WHAT ABOUT THE TRAIN” as his driver points to another driver he has cut off and merged in front of “ WOMEN “ as he cackles and laughs manically .

Meanwhile < I too am thinking to myself as “WHERE ARE WE GOING AND WHAT ABOUT THE TRAIN” as we too have pulled off to the side of the highway. And Denis and the driver have gotten out to have a smoke. Well as its it’s seems that it’s a Russian thing not to say more than is necessary, Natalie fills me in, :

“Don’t worry this is normal, we missed the train ,we are going to drive 100 km in dark to the next station, Michael is going to be dropped off by Denis father.

Okay does everyone remember there math skills

Take an old Russian Fiat that starts out traveling from Simferpol sitting by the highway 10 minutes late for the train, add 12 minutes for Michael to meet up with us on the side of the highway. and add the Russian Train that has left the station on time. “ I HATE MATH WORD PROBLEMS”

I cannot describe the hour long trip in the detail it deserves , the sensation of pins and needles ,the death grip I had on the car seat , the horrible view I had sitting behind the driver , seeing him pass all cars by pulling out head on into traffic.

An amazing 50 minutes later we arrive at the next station, and run down to the platform with a good 3 minutes to spare, we literally run down the platform hitting train car door windows waiting for someone to open up a door, Denis runs off the platform and down the track to another car train door, Natalie looks kind of funny reaching up and tapping the window the windows with her long umbrella handle. I wonder what we would have done if we did not have that umbrella. Finally someone looks out and opens the door and puts down the steps, after a rapid exchange of Russian we get on the train

As we settle in to our car and our porter brings us our hot cups of tea with slices of lemon and sugar .the start of the train trip is never mentioned again it’s the Russian way.

The Ultrasound was so amazingly normal. The place we went to ISIDA is the first private obstetrics and genealogical hospital in the Ukraine specializing in IVF .

You can see links to our new little one, at http://erdnase2000.livejournal.com/16674.html

Everything was normal, I roughly around 14 weeks and they said I should see a doctor when I get home.

The afternoon was pleasantly spent looking at tourist souvenirs , with Michael being pestered by surprising aggressive vendors. “MY FRIEND , I HAVE WHAT YOU WANT,” “MY FRIEND THE BEST SELECION IN KIEV” MY FRIEND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIG FOR”

You would be amazed at how easier it is to start a train journey in the Ukraine at the actually station. such a difference to just settle in to your own private compartment <,

I must describe what it’s like to travel by train.

.Its seems the custom that once you settle in to your car you must at once, order hot tea with lemon slices or hot coffee from the porter, I notice other families and groups seemed like they have brought meals from home. Glasses and cutlery, bottles of vodka and wine. , pickles, cheeses, sausage, whole chickens to eat.

I think privately hmm they must not like traveling in the normal way, they don’t look like they have just driven for an hour and then jogged the length of the platform to get on the train. “Very suspicious, maybe they are not Russian”

You are provided with tissue paper, a towel , a two sheets, a pillow case , pillow a mattress pad and a blanket, Not just any blanket a 2 inch thick heavy brown itchy wool blanket. Lucky we have the sheets.

Russian etiquette requires you to wear a towel around your neck to indicate that you a waiting for the bathroom, which you are only allowed to use while the train is moving, I ask Michael to go with me every time , visions of myself trying not to fall into the stainless steel bowl as the train hurtles down the track. Oh I will never forget the washrooms or the smell.

We had thought the first day that the train did not have running water as the taps seemed to soldered shut, turned out there is a weird little button you pull forward for a tiny trickle of water. Water which you are not supposed to drink. Our Russians friends thought this was hilarious, thinking we where silly.

We went to the dining car each night to have dinner, the food menu filled two pages the drink menu four pages. As we sat down next to a table of full of Russians who could only have been drinking for 20 minutes, since the train had left the station, but somehow looked like they had been drinking for three days

As we wobbled down the narrow aisle Michael almost fell into their table and into the blond sitting there. Michael could only stare at the blond vision of “cleavage” um “ loveliness before him.

We quickly sat down before the blonde’s boyfriend hit him, but they where completely oblivious to all around them, we chuckled at the party, wow they are drinking a lot of vodka, I privately thought “I PITY THE PEOPLE INEXT TO THEM ON THE TRAIN”

Despite the short menu dinner was good, they have a custom that if you ask for an orange or apple they cut it up and serve the fruit sliced for you on a plate.

I loved that .

We made our happy way back to our compartment, only to find out that our drunken Russian friends where our neighbors. The Russian stamina is amazing and I’m not talking about drinking , I think our Russian friend by himself was able to flirt with every women on the train, myself included.

After finding out we spoke no Russian , he would smile and nod at Michael and say “ WELCOME TO THE USSR” and every time I walked by to go to the bathroom he would give me a lavicious wink and say in a heavy Russian accent ‘ BEAUTIFUL WOMEN”


So we listened to Ukrainian radio that plays non-stop and listened to the Russians silly drunken conversations which Natalie happily translated

“YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN … ON THE TRAIN” our Russian friend qualified


“LET ME KISS YOU BETWEEN THE CARS” who said romance is dead

the Russian never gave up he flirted and got shot down and rejected for hours its was quite amazing to watch. .

Its was hilarious ,we played cards until 11 pm when its mandatory for the main compartment lights to go out. . as our we listened to the clickety clack , clickety clack we tucked ourselves in under our itchy blankets and tried to sleep perchance to dream to snatch a few minutes of rest.

That is until the next station or track change when the train would list alarmingly and you would feel like you where about to fall out of your bunk, or the way you fight to breath against the constant stream of European cigarette smoke drifting in from the hallway, or the way you try to ignore the steady pounding of the old porters stomping footsteps.

I will never forget the Romance of traveling by train, its something everyone should enjoy at least once.

So I hope you all have enjoyed living vicariously in the Ukraine , until my next post
30th-Sep-2006 04:42 pm - My Major Arcana
You scored as III - The Empress. The Empress is a maternal symbol. She is the mother figure who loves, nurtures and protects.
She will protect you, she will always be there when you are in trouble. When you fall over and graze your knee, the Empress will kiss it better.
Yet she is not a weak figure. Her compassion is strength. If her children are threatened she will stop at nothing to protect them. If well aspected in a Tarot spread, the Empress can symbolise security, protection and unconditional love. If badly aspected it can represent over-protectiveness, fear of risk taking and refusal to face the real world.


III - The Empress


II - The High Priestess


VIII - Strength


IV - The Emperor


XI: Justice


XIX: The Sun


XIII: Death


XVI: The Tower


I - Magician


X - Wheel of Fortune


0 - The Fool


VI: The Lovers


XV: The Devil


Which Major Arcana Tarot Card Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
22nd-Sep-2006 11:15 am - Countdown to Ukraine
Well its 4 days to our trip in the ukraine, time is sliding by, so many things to do, and all i can think about is making turkey dinner on sunday at michaels moms place.

more later
20th-Feb-2006 05:45 pm - Viejo Indecente
Tonight we are going to meet one of Michaels coworkers for dinner at a restaurant in Palermo. Palermo is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is located at the northeast of the city and it borders with the barrio of Belgrano to the north, Almagro and Recolleta to the south, Palermo is the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires.
Although being just one big piece in the official map of Buenos Aires, Palermo has become partitioned into several contrasting subdivisions, the most clearly delimited of which may be considered further de facto neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.
Palermo Viejo (old Palermo) is, as its name implies, the oldest part of Palermo. the neighborhood portrays an antique Spanish style in architecture, often "recycled" with modern elements.
Palermo chico (small Palermo), known also as Barrio Parque, is the wealthiest part of Palermo. Strictly a residential area, many rich and famous personalities own their homes there.
Palermo Hollywood has become the fashion and design district of Buenos Aires. Palermo Hollywood is a cheaper neighborhood and has more restaurants then anywhere in the city. The atmosphere in most bars and restaurants strives to be unique, which makes this area of the city a popular place especially for young people. Its very hip and trendy, you can find any type of restaurant here from jazz cantina, tango, barbecue to Swiss fondue.
Palermo is not named after the Palermo district in Hollywood. The name was given to the district in honor of a black saint from Palermo, Italy, San Benedetti Il Moro, who supposedly lived there in the 1500s, He lived 1526-89, as a son of descendants of black Christian slaves brought over from Africa. In 1713 he is declared patron of Palermo by the city, declared "venerable" by the pope in 1743 and a saint in 1807.
Its amazing how late people stay up here, as we take a cab through the city you can see every restaurant is full and its late already being just after ten. We arrive at the restaurant called “Viego Indecente” roughly translated as “Old Indecent”. They have jazz music every night. It’s a funky place and has large windows with wooden shutters open into the warm summer night. Surprising the menu is very eclectic, a mix of traditional and modern choices. I decided on the chicken stir fry.
It was an amazing dinner drinking ice cold beer, good food and great jazz. The small trio played a lot of old standards, by Frank Sinatra, and others I recognize “Don’t get around much anymore” and they seemed to have a lot of fun playing. I’am always amazed at how late people eat, but then time passes quickly when you are having fun. Michael is regaling the table with stories about writing as Aimee his coworker would like to learn about writing. It’s a funny discussion as we trade stories.
I like to ask people who are not from Buenos Aires how they ended up in Buenos Aires. Aimee originally from New Zealand is Asian decent. She started traveling just after university. When the economy in New Zealand was not great. Has traveled a lot all over the world. Literally said to herself I would like to go to South American and flew here from Amsterdam.
19th-Feb-2006 05:30 pm - Don't Ask Any Questions
A lazy Sunday afternoon, of sleeping in and a late brunch of you guessed it Breakfast Schwarma and a couple of cold Quilmes. Sunday could easily be the hardest day of the week for a tourist in Buenos Aires as most places are closed. Somehow wondering down “Lavallle” we find a free Art Gallery. Michael quips to me that I should not ask any questions.
The art gallery looks interesting it boasts ten thousand paintings. As we walk into a tiny hallway alcove with a staircase heading straight up. We can see that ever inch of wall space from floor to ceiling is covered in painting. It a resembles a crazy strange funhouse. The frames and sizes of the pictures are all different. The are not placed in an particular order. They are not placed by style of painting. They are not placed by subject. This makes for interesting viewing.
We take a few steps up say “I like that one” “To Large” “To small” “To surreal” “to unrealistic” “ Just plain ugly” . It quickly becomes ridiculous. Michael and I agree that we like most of the same kind of painting. And choosing one would be impossible the logistics of shipping it home a nightmare. So agreed not the souvenir we are looking for.
A small sign proclaims that all the pictures are genuine and have been painted by some one from Argentina. Turns out there are four floors and each floor has the a couple of small rooms with more pictures.
Couples in various tango poses are predominate, strangely surreal as you see the classic tango pose of a couple in each other arms looking off into the distance in a variety of styles surrealist, impressionist, charcoal and watercolor. We have a great time choosing our work of art.
Unfortunately I make the mistake of asking about “Eduardo Torassa” a surrealist painting and I want to know if they have any other paintings of his in the gallery. The women ushers us into a small room , and asks a workman to fine all of this artist paintings in the gallery. To show them to us at our leisure. “Good lord” it’s a sales pitch, and then the women is back with a tiny ugly painting and looks to be ready to wrap the painting up for us for delivery. Michael take charge.
Michael grabs me by the arm with a quick “ I’m sorry” and we hustle down the stairs. This is not the first time this has happened. I have found that if you ask for something in a shoe store, grocery store, retail clothing store the assumption is that you want to purchase the item. Lesson learned “Never ask questions”
18th-Feb-2006 05:11 pm - A Bargain Is A Bargain
There are a lot of things one can you can buy in Buenos Aires we decide to check out the shopping district of Palermo which is very well known for shoes. Its about thirty blocks away. Michael and I have a nice walk chatting and holding hands which in itself is a challenge.
There is one major difference between Vancouver and Buenos Aires size. Argentina is a country with 32.6 million habitants and more than one-third 13,3 million of whom live in the city of Buenos Aires
Canada the country has a population of 33.3 million. British Columbia the province has a population of 4.2 million and Vancouver my city has a population of 2 million. Buenos Aires the city is almost seven times larger in population than Vancouver. We notice this every day as we count the millions of shops, restaurants, drugstores and bars we walk by. We used to wonder how these tiny hole in the wall places get by, but when you imagine that on any given day there are 13.3 million people looking for a place to eat lunch, buy shoes, buy groceries or got to work its no longer a surprise.
This explains the constant pushing, an shoving, and being bumped into as you walk down the street. The streets are very narrow, most sidewalks seem half the size of back home. An obstacle course to be navigated as you walk over open construction, miss matched cement tiles, pot holes. People everywhere a constant flow or tide that you walk against. It is common for people to just stop right in front of you or to bump you shoulder as they walk by.
This doesn’t seem to phase Michael as he is pretty solid at 6’0 and 200 pounds at times people seem surprised to run into his solid mass. Every one is very polite and says a quick “permissio” “pardon” or “sorry” if they happen to bump him . It’s the people, the mass of people I see walking down the main avenues that boggle the mind as you realize that the avenue goes on for miles.
This is such a day, it take us a half hour to locate our destination a custom leather footwear shop “28 Shop” that makes shoes and boots fashioned after soccer boots from the fifties. There advertisement boast a showroom modeled after a living room from the fifties.
As usual its on a quiet street, we almost miss it as the shop is dark and it looks closed, as we peer in the window and shopkeeper jumps up and unlocks the front door. Thank goodness they have air-conditioning that blasts us as we walk into the cool interior.
Okay on the web they looked funky a kind of John Fluevog style shoe, in the light of day they looked like ugly bowling shoes in horrible colors like blue and orange. My god there supposed to be unisex. I find them incredibly ugly, and for once Michael Agrees.
We end up walking to Abasto and huge shopping mall and area that abounds with shoe stores and stall selling anything you can thing off. Saturday is not a shopping day in Buenos Aires. The time by now is closer to two in the afternoon so we find a lot of stores in the process of closing for an afternoon break.
I have lost my sunglasses again, so we stop to look at sunglass in one of the thousands of kiosk that are set up on the sidewalk. Its manned by a boy and his father. The little salesman has a basketball cap askew. Before I can ask he has pulled off the sunglasses I like and with the seasoned grace of a proffesional has produced a shammy to clean them for me and then with a big smile on his 10 year old face he holds up a mirror. Saying “Relinda” which means beautiful in Spanish. Well for eight pesos or four Canadian dollars I can’t go wrong.
The next block has a series of leather belts, which are all priced at eleven pesos or six dollars Canadian. Michael reminds me of how we where looking at leather belts at the bay back home for fifty five dollars that where Tommy Hilfiger and made in Argentina. A sale was quickly made after the women said she did not speak much English and that Michael was “FAT”. I think she was trying to say he was tall and bigger as most men in Argentina are smaller. We leave end go back the way we came with three new pairs of shoes for Michael, a belt and sunglasses for me.
As we walk back having worked up an appetite we decide to stop for a late lunch. It is always a pleasant surprise eating in Buenos Aires. Today we stop in a restaurant called “Putteria” I order a simple tomato and mozzarella salad and Michael has a “Quilmes Bock” which is the national dark beer. The salad is a amazing looking plated work of art. The have put at least a pound of thin sliced “Parma Ham” on top of a crown of small mozzarella on a bed of olive oil and fresh basil leaves. I regret having a smaller appetite and I am so taken with my lunch I actually take a picture of it to capture the moment of its perfection. I really beginning to like living here.
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