Page 2 of festermower Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina March 8th 2011

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173International Women's Day / Día de la Mujer (today, 8th March) seems to be more visible here in Buenos Aires than I remember it being in London. This almost certainly, in itself, says nothing about the gender politics of this country; the difference might be due to the fact that people in Argentina are rather more taken with the idea of celebrating 'themed days'. (As an aside, it has always seemed strange to me that, whilst Argentina has a very long list of occasions to mark each year, it can be surprisingly difficult to find somewhere to buy a greetings card.) Even if the greetings card industry in Argentina is somewhat comatose, other commercial interests can't wait to jump at the chance to use International Women's Day. This week the Alto Palermo shopping centre ... read more
"I need a saleswoman, nice appearance..."
A bar in Palermo with aircon and sexist tendencies
Big names like high street banks play the game too

South America » Argentina January 10th 2011

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173(...i.e. the stories from here, but this time in English). THE WATER THAT SLEEPS It was as though, that day, he just stopped talking. Just five minutes of lying there on the floor in the underground station without making a sound and he stopped wanting to say anything. Yes, he could still force a conversation with his colleagues at the bookshop, or with his landlady, or with his pharmacist. But he never heard anything, and he never said anything, that interested him. Whenever he showered, he felt nothing but the soap and the water. Whenever he took the tube, he felt nothing and saw no-one. And, every day during his lunch hour, whilst eating a tuna sandwich, he did everything he could to avoid talking. In his most animated moments, in between mouthfuls of ... read more
Instrucciones para sacar una foto

South America » Argentina January 9th 2011

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173Estoy usando esta página para guardar un par de cuentos cortos que he escrito últimamente (con traducciones en ingles acá) porque quiero leerlos otra vez en unas semanas para ver si puedo encontrar errores o mejoras que no vi antes. Si podés ver los errores ahora, ¡me alegraría recibirlos!I wanted to call this page "shoot stories" instead of "short stories" but the pun wouldn't translate. I'm just using this page to cut and paste a couple of short stories that I've written in Spanish recently (with the English translations saved here) so that, in a couple of months' time, I can re-read them and spot the mistakes that I have learned to avoid in the meantime. If you saw how bad I am at organising my paperwork, you'd under... read more
Instrucciones para sacar una foto

South America » Argentina January 1st 2011

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173As a belated Christmas present to myself, I am writing an even more self-indulgent blog entry than usual. So here, for my enjoyment and your bemusement, are the top 10 songs that I like listening to as I walk the half-hour walk to my Spanish lessons. Most of them have an 80s pop sound that is hard to come by in England today but which still fills the airwaves in Argentina, and all of them are marvellous. You can listen to all ten songs on Grooveshark here: plus I've also ping'd them on iTunes here: "Amorres de Barra" – Ella Baila SolaAt number 10, a group sometimes described as a Spanish version of the Dixie Chicks. Now, I don't know much about the ... read more
Flies, like wot Shakira has in her house
The marvellous Miranda!
Alejandro Sanz

South America » Uruguay » West » Colonia del Sacramento December 23rd 2010

Geo: -34.4771, -57.8386"Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience."I just spent three days in Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Colonia is a smallish, waterside, switchy-off-and-relaxy kinda place, and I liked it. The souvenir shops were tacky, but I did come away with something – skin burned to buggery, as Nanny Pay would have said if she was still alive.Colonia is very easy to get to from Buenos Aires by ferry (, return trip for around 300 Argentinean pesos/U$S75/£50, less if you book well in advance). The end of December is the beginning of summer and averaged 32 or 33°C with ... read more
Don't cry, Mister Banknote Man
More pretty

South America » Argentina December 20th 2010

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173In the UK, if there is a newspaper story about someone having seven children, you can bet it's a dose of Daily Mail "terrible mother sponges off the state" bile. However, in Argentina, it's more likely to be a story about preventing a child from becoming a werewolf.The lobizon, or lobison, is a legend in Argentina that states that the seventh son of a family (seventh of seven boys in a row, with no girls in-between) would become a werewolf. This wolf will then roam the mountains and hills, awaiting interaction with another human. If the human survives the attack, they become a lobizon as well. There are reports that this belief in Argentina was so prevalent in the early 1900s that seventh sons were being killed or abandoned. To stop this from happening, ... read more
Can you spot the the lobizon?
Juan José Camero
This was what I was happy to see in a DVD shop

South America » Argentina December 8th 2010

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173After four months of Spanish classes, I figure I must have something to say about it. Well, first off, it's a lot more difficult than I imagined. And, physically, it is doing something to my noggin. At the end of a tough class it is as though I can feel the knowledge stretching my brain. At least, I hope it is knowledge, and not an aneurysm. Before I came to Argentina, I'd bought wholesale into the idea that you can "pick up" a language, like it's a lucky penny or herpes. Well, maybe there are people who can do that, but I am not one of them.For me, I have to think a lot, and, even after learning how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the pluperfect subjunctive, I went into a shop this evening, ... read more
Proof that puns don't travel well either
Helado - winter right now in England
Not so helado - spring right now in Buenos Aires

South America » Argentina October 15th 2010

Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173This is the first time I've considered it useful to write a blog entry whilst under the affluence of incohol (as Shug, and perhaps a "Carry On…" film before him, used to say).Tonight I went to see "Fuerza Bruta" in Buenos Aires ( – a show which has so much buzz around it that even bumble bees would feel slightly intimidated approaching the entrance. People in Buenos Aires say things to you like, “Wow, it is the best thing I have ever seen in my life!” and “You have to go, you just HAVE to go”. So, I gave in tonight, and went.If you are asking me, it was okay; worth seeing and worth the entrance fee, but, at the same time, the whole event wouldn't survive a very basic feminist analysis (and a ... read more
Fuerza Bruta #2
Fuerza Bruta #3
Fuerza Bruta #4

South America » Argentina October 10th 2010

Geo: -25.6836, -54.4757... something, something, something, something, something, top banana!It's been a while since I updated this blog. Too long, really. In the interim, I had a cold, moved house, developed an addiction to 'dulce de leche', completed another 6 weeks of Spanish classes, visited Iguazú Falls, flooded the bathroom, grew sick of ‘dulce de leche' and had a 34th birthday. There, now you're up to speed.This blog entry is about Iguazú Falls. I suspect there are lots of Iguazú-related stories here on Travelpod. This is just another one of them.Trust me, eighteen hours on a bus from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú is a lot of hours, especially when the staff opt for a bootleg copy of ‘Knight and Day' as the in-drive entertainment. The film was so bad that, after a while, I was ... read more
It's a small world after all!
A spikey reminder that I wasn't in Leeds

South America » Argentina August 5th 2010

Geo: -34.5886, -58.4299Sex entered the classroom when Benny Hill's name was first mentioned by a teacher a few days ago. For some reason, since then, it won't leave.The teachers at the Spanish language school in Buenos Aires are fantastic. I love them all for different reasons.One woman (imagine an even more sexy Hazel the McWitch from Rentaghost) speaks Spanish very fast in the classes, and, very occasionally, I find myself zoning out. She also has a thing for telling us when words in Spanish have a double meaning and one of the meanings is filthy. So, from time to time, I´ll be sitting there in my class, with my mind wandering onto different ways to get out of dinner with the family that I am staying with, and I will suddenly hear the following: "…blah in ... read more

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