If I had to guess, that phrase was probably something like the tenth Spanish thing said to me after I entered Buenos Aires. You hear it regularly on the street (especially in the presence of dogs or children) or sarcastically when someone is fed up, and it’s the self-certified catchphrase of our tutor/supervisor here, Pilar. For all my non-Spanish-speaking readers, although the essence behind it can’t really be translated (as with so many Spanish phrases) it’s something along the lines of “So cute/precious!” A further disclaimer: even though that is for certain the basic translation of it, it is truly used so frequently that it almost inevitably has multiple “street” uses of which I am unaware. Pilar quite literally uses it for everything and readily admits so; she once told me a story of how she used in response to someone asking what the weather was like that day. All that to say, at least as much as I understand it, it perfectly sums up my past week. Definitely lighter on the activities side this time around, since after our very first outing to San Telmo (a street market something like fifteen blocks long) on Monday I caught a bit of a cold/fever from which I am just now recovering. Even though I almost for sure got it from one of the vendors since I felt the need to examine virtually every single one of their wares, I would certainly go back and do it again if given the chance. The market itself was sight to see, in that despite walking through it for thirty minutes the end was still not visible, and it also offered the opportunity for purchase of several souvenirs for my family back home. It was quite cold that day, and the long cobblestone street flanked by market stands on both sides occasionally acted as somewhat of a wind tunnel, so it is also entirely possible that I got sick purely owing to my serial stubbornness to yield to chilly weather; regardless, walking around and admiring an endless array of quality, hand-crafted goods was too lindo to consider passing up. I didn’t really start to feel substantially sick until the end of Tuesday, which worked out very well because that was a national holiday, Flag Day, which despite holding no weight in the U.S. is actually taken fairly seriously here in Argentina. Everyone had work off, so we took a bus to completely new-to-us town called La Boca, home to “El Caminito” or The Little Walk. The name itself already being lindo, it came as no surprise that the town itself was downright adorable. Some way or another, about 70% of the entire town had been painted with a range of bright colors, with even the stones of the road being painted in some spots. What was even more incredible was the fact that this seemed to be a regular occurrence; all of the paint was for the most part freshly coated and not at all peeling. To top it all off, we found what was quite literally the best quality for cost bakery I’d ever been to in my life. We went once at the beginning of the trip and again as we were leaving, and in total bought 25 delicious pastries for the literal equivalent of 10 U.S. dollars. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to find pastries for less than 50 cents in the U.S, and I know for a fact that they would never be as good. As always, pictures for the week are here at the end, and even though I’m far from what could be considered a good photographer, it would be impossible for them not to have turned out lindo (I had major brain lag and failed to take any at San Telmo; I’m sure I’ll be back at some point at which time I’ll be sure to take some!!).
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