Monthly Archives: August 2014

Cantinflas – El Extra

“El Extra,” is one of our favorite Cantinflas movies.  He is a classic; anyone can enjoy his movies.  Mature people can appreciate his social commentary and wit while younger people probably enjoy his slapstick.

Cantinflas is the Don Quixote of the Twentieth century; he makes you laugh but his message is serious.  (Cervantes must have been an influence on Moreno; one of his movies is called, “Un Quixote Sin Mancha.”

El Extra has some of the funniest scenes ever.  In the beginning of the movie Cantinflas is cast as a sans-culotte (extra) who is especially vociferous and enthusiastic.  The conflict with the director and subsequent day dream dance scene are unforgettable.

Most Cantinflas movies have a romantic side and, “The Extra,” is no different.  Sometimes he gets the girl . . . .

Once you watch a couple of Cantinflas movies you will probably recognize his influence on modern comedy – especially his body language.  It isn’t necessary to understand Spanish to enjoy Cantinflas although it might inspire you to try to learn.

We are looking forward to seeing “Cantinflas,” the movie based on the life of Mario Moreno starring Óscar Jaenada.  In the meantime we are going to watch, “The Extra,” again . . . .

Una de nuestras peliculas favoritas de Cantinflas es “El Extra.”  El es un clásico;  cualquira puede disfrutar de sus películas.  Sus comentarios sociales pueden ser apreciados por la gente madura y la gente joven puede disfrutar de sus payasadas.

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Adam Curtis – The Mayfair Set

We have recently been watching documentaries written and produced by British filmmaker Adam Curtis.  One of his series, “The Mayfair Set,” examines the rise of the postwar British economy and its eventual collapse in the mid 1970’s which lead them to request a loan from the IMF.

The economic policies of Argentina and the United Kingdom which have lead to similar outcomes is very interesting.

Click on the image above to watch, “The Mayfair Set.” – Pulsar el quadro par ver el documental

Ultimamente hemos estado viendo unos documentales escritos y hechos por Adam Curtis, un cineasta Británico.

Una de sus series, “The Mayfair Set,” observa el incremento en la economía Británica después de la guerra y su colapso a mediados de 1970, que los llevó a pedir un préstamo al Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI).

La polizas económicas de Gran Bretaña y Argentina las ha llevado a resultados tan similares que es interesantísimo.

Buenos Aires Transit – C.A.B.A. Transporte Público


SUBE card – tarjeta

If you want to get around city economically your best bet is to get a SUBE card.  The SUBE card is accepted on buses, trains and the subway in the Greater Buenos Aires region.

Another useful item for getting around is a Bus/Subway ‘Guide’.  The guides can be useful as they have an index of all the streets as well as maps of the entire city but as a bus guide they are confusing.

The best way to plan a trip on the bus in the Greater Buenos Aires area is by using the trip planner.  It will save you time and a headache.

Useful as a map – not so much as a bus guide

SUBE cards can be purchased (sans ID) at some kioscos but in general it is easier to find a SUBE card at National Lottery stores.  Post office branches are good places to recharge a SUBE card but usually they do not sell cards.

Some other considerations:

  • you need to “hail” a bus (colectivo)
  • buses fill up quickly – if you can, go to the back of the bus
  • often more than one bus line utilize the same stop – you might need to ‘jump’ ahead of the person in front of you in line to catch your bus
  • backpacks attract attention – better to use a reusable grocery bag
  • hold on!

Si usted quiere moverse económicamente en la ciudad, lo mejor es obtener una tarjeta SUBE.  La tarjeta SUBE es aceptada en óminbus, trenes y subterráneos en la zona del Gran Buenos Aires.

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Calzado Dasi – Uzzo – Desert Boots – Botines de Gamuzon con Suelo de Crepe – Update


Uzzo brand desert boots – Calzado Dasi – $349 – Marca Uzzo – Botines de Gamuzon y Suela de Crepe

We went back to Calzado Dasi recently and bought another pair of desert boots – this time brown.  Beige is the more classic colour, however, brown is a better choice for everyday wear.  As you can see, this is my second pair of desert boots from Dasi.

The price went up a little bit but that was expected; they now cost $349.

The owner is a really nice guy.  I’ve stopped in while wearing my desert boots to say hi and let him how comfortable the shoes are.

We have seen the exact pair of Uzzo brand desert boots for $500 in three different spots in the city; Avenida Boedo, Puerreydon y Santa Fe and Maipú street.  Dasi beats that price by more that $150 – and they are super nice people! Win – win.

Recientemente volvimos a Calzado Dasi y compramos otro par de botines del desierto, esta vez marrones.  El beige es el color más clásico en éstos botines, pero el marrón es una mejor elección para usar a diario.  Como puede usted ver, éste es mi segundo par de botines de Dasi. 

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DIY: Laundry Detergent – Jabón Liquido para Ropa

We decided a while ago that we were going to make  our own liquid laundry detergent.  The internet is a great source of information for anybody wishing to do-it-themselves.  We watched a video on Youtube on how to make liquid laundry soap and then we proceeded to brew up 20 liters of our own.

How we made our liquid laundry soap:

  • we shredded about 150 grams of glycerin soap, put it into a saucepan, added water and heat until it was dissolved
  • we then put approximately 236 mL (1 US cup) of washing soda (sodium carbonate) and approximatedly 118 mL (½ US cup) Borax into the bottom of a clean 20 L (5 Gallon) plastic paint bucket
  • then we added the dissolved warm glycerin soap/water combination to the dry ingredients in the plastic bucket
  • we then filled the bucket with hot water and mixed the ingredients well
  • finally we added 2 caps of a 10 ml little bottle of essential oil of gardenia to our mix and let it sit until next day

We have been using our soap for quite a while now and we are very pleased with the results.  Currently we are doing renovations so we have been doing a lot of laundry and our detergent has been doing a fine job.  We mix our detergent with a stick before we use it.


Home made natural laundry detergent – Detergente para ropa casero natural

Compared to the store brands that cost about $33.00/liter our home made soap costs significantly less – and smells nice, too!

Hace un tiempo atrás decidimos que íbamos ha hacer nuestro detergente líquido para ropa.  El internet es una riquísima fuente de información para cualquiera que quiera “hacerlo por sí mismo”.  Miramos un video en YouTube en cómo hacer el jabón líquido para ropa; entonces empezamos a preparar nuestros 20 litros.

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Understanding Argentina’s Coming Default

At the time of this writing, Argentina is a few days away from formally defaulting on its debts.  How could this happen three times in just twenty-eight years?

Following the 2001 default, Argentina offered a debt swap (a restructuring of debt) to its creditors in 2005.  Many bondholders accepted the Argentine offer, but some of them did not.  Those who did not accept the debt swap are called the “holdouts.”  When Argentina started to pay the new bonds to those who entered the debt swap (the “holdins”), the holdouts took Argentina to court under New York law, the jurisdiction under which the Argentine debt has been issued.  After the US Supreme Court refused to hear the Argentine case a few weeks ago, Judge Griesa’s ruling became final.

Continue reading y su traducción

Arrope de Chañar – Chañar Syrup


Dulces Valdez – Arrope de Chañar – $46 – 500 grams

We went back to the Casa de Catamarca a while ago to buy some more dulce de membrillo and we wanted to try some of the different arropes (syrups) that they have for sale there.  One of the arropes that we bought was “Arrope de Chañar” which is made from the fruit of the Chañar tree.

We sure are glad we decided to try Arrope of Chañar.  It is delicious!  We have been adding it to our home made natural yogurt.  On the one hand it reminds one of a combination of maple syrup and molasses and on the other hand the cough candy from Switzerland, Ricola.

Researching this article we found a very informative and interesting blog that describes and illustrates all the birds of Argentina and where the birds live. The Chañar is a very popular tree for birds.  They have links to another site where you can hear the birds’ calls and songs.  The name of the blog is: Compañeros de viaje.  Highly recommended.

Geoffroea decorticans or chilean palo verde

Geoffroea decorticans or Chilean Palo Verde (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scientific name of the Chañar tree is Geoffroea decorticansIt is also known as the Kumbaru as well as the Chilean Palo Verde (green wood).

The wood of the Chañar tree is used to make furniture and fence posts.  The fruit of the Chañar tree is what is processed to make arrope which is used as a sweetener and is also used to alleviate sore throats and coughs.

Hace poco tiempo regresamos a la Casa de Catamarca ha comprar más dulce de membrillo y queríamos probar los diferentes arropes que allí venden.  El arrope de chañar fue uno de los que compramos y está hecho de la fruta del árbol del Chañar.

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