Search This Blog

Friday, August 26, 2011

Corrientes and Resistencia

Well, last week was a nice slice of hell, and this week started out that way. So, I'm very thankful that I could escape last weekend to Corrientes and Resistencia to visit two other Fulbrighters: Hannah and Teresa.

Jen and I met up in Córdoba to take the bus on Thursday night, since Corrientes is 12 hours away from our centrally-located paradisacal province. We got on the bus after having a coffee in the café at the bus station, and snuggled into our back-row comfort seats. 12 hours later, we were in Corrientes on our way to visit Hannah, the Fulbrighter who was placed there (she visited Villa María a while back, if you remember). Well, needless to say that there were many hugs and smiles. We met her French roommate, Pauline, and her boyfriend, Jeremy. Then, the real center of the weekend started to develop: food. This weekend was all about eating, and I'm fine with that.

Friday was a lazy day, and it was also my day to show my stuff. For lunch, I made fajitas; they were a success. Since empanadas have become my classic dish, dinner consisted of some jamón y queso and cebolla y queso empanadas. Mmm....¡qué rico! Other than food, Friday was cold and kind of miserable, so we really didn't do that much except watch Modern Family and wander around.

Saturday, however, things got fresh.Fresh really doesn't even describe it. To begin, a friend of Jeremy's from La Plata (Mauro) showed up. He was pretty cool, and we got along really well. But let's get to the food. Jen, who is a native of Kentucky, surprised me with some intense southern flair: fried orange chicken and her mother's infamous potato/cheese/bacon dish. Then, the French couple mixed in a delectable quiche. I heated bread in the oven.   What? It was my day off.

Jen's Orange Chicken
Jen's mom's potato thing

Quiche...French Quiche.

Well, Saturday afternoon we walked around Corrientes and had mate by the costanera (the riverbank). Oh, how I had missed water! I don't know what it is, but it was so relaxing to finally be able to walk by some water again. Then, we got some chipas (cheese bread) and watched a picturesque sunset on an abandoned dock. Are you jealous yet? Because you should be. If you're not, get ready.
Flowers were in full bloom in Corrientes. Ah, spring!
The mate group (Jen, Teresa, Hannah, Mauro, Jeremy)
Jennifer showing the many uses of Chipa.
Corrientes Costanera Sunset. Paradise.

We've always been good-looking.

After we got back, Jeremy and Pauline had already begun preparing that night's main event: an asado with all kinds of guests. Among the guests were Boris, a Fulbrighter in Santa Fe, his beau Santi (who is so adorable it makes me sick), and a certain group of French students (Argentines who study French, just to clarify). I mention the French students because, well, it's important to future events.

So, the asado gets started. And so does the borrachera. Mauro, Jeremy, and I started out with a few beers by the parrilla, and we enjoyed a little conversation about politics, life, and man stuff. Man stuff! I know that must be as surprising to you as it is to me. Anyway, little by little, people started showing up. Though the asado was a little behind, everyone was there and having a good time. I met a certain individual with whom I struck up a nice little conversation (in Spanish and English, though he was a student of French). Well, I'll spare the details, but there may have been a little spark of interest on my part. The asado went well: we enjoyed some good meat and salad, and I think just about everyone got a little tipsy. After the asado, I went with the French student and some of his friends to a boliche called "El Castillo." Since it was a gay bar, I assumed there would be good music; I was right. The other Fulbrighters had gone with Teresa to Resistencia, but I clearly had other business in Corrientes, so I danced the night away.

Anyway, on Sunday morning I met up with Hannah again and we went to Resistencia in the Chaco province (only around 45 minutes by bus) to visit Teresa. Riding on that bus was an...interesting experience. For one, it was incredibly overcrowded (even moreso than the buses in Río Cuarto can get). For another, there was a large group of people (what I imagine was an entire family) with different boxes full of goods to be sold (maybe because it was Día del Niño-Children's Day). Finally, I saw a woman breastfeeding. Not that I have any qualms about people breastfeeding in public (though maybe putting a cloth over your giant, exposed mammary might be nice), but it really caught my eye. Soon, I realized why: the child she was breastfeeding had to have been at least 2 years old. Different customs, I guess.

Well, fast forward. Hannah and I get off, walk through this fun display for Día del Niño, and then walk to Teresa's house. Teresa, who lives with the sons of her referente, has a beautiful house. She also had lunch (a delicious stew!) ready when we got there. She will be an incredible mother. Not only was the soup delicious, we also had some tiny sugar cookies which she converted into mini alfajores. Oh, sweet Lord in heaven...they were divine.

I like sharp weapons. Fun fact: weapons
 that aren't firearms are called armas blancas
in Spanish
Meow, that's right!
So, after lunch we bummed around and checked out Resistencia. Other than the fact that orange is everywhere (and I don't do orange; it makes me uncomfortable), Resistencia is a very beautiful city. I feel like Chaco (the province) gets a bad rap sometimes because economically it's poor compared to other provinces (like Buenos Aires and Córdoba), but I had a wonderful time with wonderful people, and the city was beautiful (although Resistencia, like other cities I've visited, suffers from a littering problem which has embedded itself into the culture). Other than seeing lots of flowers and a really adorable kitten, Teresa took us to see some of the sculptures in Resistencia. Resistencia is known as the city of sculptures, and it certainly deserves the title. There are all kinds of neat things up there! Afterwards, we wandered in on a group performing folkloric music at their culture center. Then, naturally, we ate again.

¡Qué rica pizza!
This time we went to a popular pizza place where Teresa goes with her basketball team. They had this giant pizza with 4 flavors that was supposed to feed 6. Yeah, maybe 6 Argentines. The four of us demolished that baby, with only a few pieces leftover. Afterwards, there was some walking around, and then we checked out the bar of Teresa's referente's son. I wish I hadn't been so tired from the previous night, because the bar had a very cool vibe. I don't remember what it was called, but it was named after two gangsters. Inside it was all brick, and there were tile mosaics, mirrors, and interesting coffee-house style art on the walls. It was a chill place. Of course, I couldn't last, so we went home. Then we had Fulbright snuggle time.

I think it's Picasso-esque

Monday was a lazy day, but that doesn't mean we didn't eat well. In fact, eating was the central element of our Monday. Teresa had this Emeril recipe for butternut squash gnocchi. Though it seemed like it would be impossible, with our combined talents it actually was relatively simple. I made the sauce, which was basically balsamic vinegar, onions, sugar, and butter. Mmmm.....gnocchis, say hey to my thighs when you see them.

Afterwards, unfortunately, it was time for us to leave. Like I said, this trip was a much-needed lull in the midst of two storms. Or, if you like, the eye in a torrential hurricane that swept all up my coast.


No comments:

Post a Comment