Thursday, June 26, 2008

Las Madres de la Plaza

Today we had class with our culture/ conversation professor for the first time.  The class looks like it's going to be really fun, we're learning about stuff like food, tourism, customs, religious life, and local slang.  A group of us headed downtown this afternoon because las Madres de la Plaza still march in front of the "Pink House" every Thursday.  It's about 30 years after the first marches, but yet the women (and men) still come to the plaza to march and hold pictures of family members who disappeared during the dirty war.  There were only around 20 women marching, but it was really touching to see that they still come to march and remember every week.  A little later 2 other groups showed up to protest (we couldn't figure out what they were protesting) and the plaza started to fill up.  The other day in class our professor was going over all of the different words used in Argentina to describe different kinds of protests; when we said "Why are there so many words?"  she said "Because there are so many protests!"

It was really sunny today.  We wandered through part of the city and through the park at la Plaza San Martín and found a parisian cafe to enjoy for an hour or two before catching a train back home.  The train ride from downtown to home only takes about 35-40 minutes, and the station downtown looks huge and european.  The ride only costs 85 centavos, which is less than 30 US cents.  It's funny though, pretty much the entire country of Argentina is short on change.  It's a huge crisis - it's incredibly difficult to get change anywhere, and according to our professor today no one really knows why there is such a shortage.  A lot of stores will run out of coins and give you a piece of candy instead.  The largest amount of currency is 100 pesos, about 30 USD, but so many shopkeepers and restaurants are hesitant to break 100 pesos and so I'm constantly keeping an eye out for places that will have non-counterfeit change and making sure that I have enough small bills to cover cab fares and restaurant bills.   

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