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November 2003

Dinner with friends
and Thanksgiving!

Friday November 7th, 2003 Just another excuse to have a dinner with good friends, some wine and lots of laughs!

                                                                                                                      Gonzalo, Russell and Pete

                               Pete and Felipe                                                                Ron, Felipe and Pete

                        Gonzalo and Russell

Thursday November 20th, 2003 – We meet with our Spanish instructor twice a week.  Hugo is Argentine and usually teaches English to Argentines, however, we were having him teach us Spanish.  Occasionally he would ask us about an idiom in English, he was talking about someone who was went crazy and poured gas on himself in the middle of an intersection and threatened to set himself on fire.  I then started explaining to him about the term “Going postal”, he had a whole book of idioms but “Going postal” wasn’t in there, this kind of surprised me.  We then started talking about some local gossip about some politician who got caught with his pants down and Ron said, “Wooooh, a real ‘Payton Place.’”  Hugo wasn’t familiar with that term either so we talked about “Payton Place” until he recognized what we were talking about and he said that the title in Argentina was “La Caldera del Diablo”.  Caldera is a boiler, so the translation of “Payton Place” was the “Devil’s Cauldron”.  Quite apropos.

I then talked about my friend Alberto, he likes to listen to Frank Sinatra songs.  He was asking me about “I’ve got you under my skin” and he was pointing at his arm and saying, “You are under my skin??”  This took a bit of explaining.  Then he asked me about “I get a kick out of you!” he pointed at his foot and made a kicking motion and I said, “Well, kinda!”  Funny you never think about this stuff literally!

Thursday November 27th , 2003 – We attended our first home owner’s association meeting, talk about a Felini film experience!?!??!  There were only about 9 of us there, which out of 40 apartments I thought was not a lot of people.  Everyone was talking at once and then after about an hour everyone got up to leave.  One of our neighbors is a very sweet woman who speaks perfect English.  During the meeting she kept leaning over to explain what was going on.  When the meeting was adjourning, I asked her, “What just happened?  We didn’t vote on anything?  What was the meeting about?”  She said it was just to voice any complaints that you might have.  I thought there would at least be a vote, otherwise, what’s the point of the meeting?  I think it will be a long time before my Spanish is good enough to keep up with such a hectic meeting.

Friday November 28th , 2003 – Ron and I wanted to have a Thanksgiving dinner, most Argentines know about the USA holiday but aren’t really sure what it is.  We thought we would have it on Friday instead of Thursday so people didn’t have to worry about getting up the next morning.  Ron ordered a turkey (Pavo) ahead of time from the butcher since they are not common here and they’re hard to find.  We prepared most everything “traditional” except that there are no cranberries here, Ron was VERY disappointed as he loves cranberry sauce, I can’t stand the stuff myself.  We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, and my first ever deviled eggs.  My mother has always made them, I’ve never in my life made deviled eggs before, I knew they were just a few simple ingredients, but I still had to check Ron’s old “Betty Crocker” cook book to find a recipe.

Usually I like to serve plates to everyone, but Thanksgiving is such a personal meal, some like white meat, some like dark, some like lots of mashed potatoes, some like lots of gravy.  I had to explain “gravy” to our friends, they have no such thing as gravy in Argentina.  I kept calling it a “salsa carne” and Gustavo kept asking, “Is it spicy??”  I think he was remembering the cold corn salad I made once with cayenne pepper, NONE of the Argentines liked that salad! (I loved it!)

                             Alberto and Russell                                                                Damian is ALWAYS smiling!

                       David, Diego and Gustavo

                                                                                                                            Gustavo's uncle, David and Diego

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pete, Enrique and Bill (visiting from California!)                                         Russell and Gonzalo

After dinner and coffees Russell asked Ron, “Do you have any paper?”, Ron said, “Sure, do you need a pencil?” and Russell says, “No, just paper”  We should have known something was up.  Pretty soon Russell had everyone making paper airplanes and scheduling a contest to see who could sail the best plane off our 19th floor balcony.  Everyone seemed to get into it, with the designs being extremely varied.  Russell threw his off the balcony and it proceeded to turn around and dive bomb us all.  He picked it up and sent it over the railing again only to have it sail in huge lazy circles several times before disappearing around the building.  Bravo!  Gustavo’s plane took a sudden nose dive and crashed into the middle of the street, I’m glad it didn’t hit anyone on the top of their head as it seemed to have been going very quickly and could have done some damage.  Damian joked, “We are the police, where are your documents?”