Everyone always talks about the Argentine accent, the big-city environment, and the mate, but here are a few lesser-known things about the Big Alfajor that I’ve learned and observed from my time here…
- There is a coin shortage. This means that the SUBE card (photo below) is your life if you want to get anywhere in the city. Also, if you buy something in a store and they do not have change, they may offer you a piece of candy or a little knick-knack instead of the 10-centavo coin they do not have.
- There is a probably a special day for everything. For instance, today is Día del Café, which means that in practically any café, you can get 4 coffees for the price of 2, and it’s a great day to go to shmancy cafés around the city. Needless to say, Amber, Erin, and I have made a reservation at Las Violetas, a nice old café with a pricey but delicious lunch menu.
- If you don’t have a Guia T, you’re lost. Literally. This little pocket-sized booklet has the entire capital mapped out in grids, complete with corresponding boxes that tell you what buses stop in those particular squares. My love, my life, my guide to not getting lost.
- There is surprisingly easy access to vegetarian restaurants. With the cost of beef rising in the past 10 years, chicken is on the rise. Despite what everyone told me about the great beef industry (and don’t get me wrong, I definitely get GREAT beef here), there are plenty of vegetarian places to eat.
- There is a strange obsession with pumpkins and gourds here. Zapallito/zapallo can mean anything ranging from pumpkin to zucchini to squash to any other unknown gourd plant.
- There is dairy in products that don’t need them, and no dairy in products you’d think would need dairy. I know this because of my friend who has a fatal allergy to the protein found in milk, butter, cheese, etc. For example, there is dairy in lots of bread, milanesa, and potatoes around the city, but none in Oreos. What?
These are just a few things that have been on my mind, but I’ll be sure to post more as I think of them!