Thursday, June 27, 2013
On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The United Kingdom sent an expeditionary force to retake the islands. After naval and air battles, the British forces landed on The Falklands May 21st, and had surrounded Stanley by June 11th. The Argentine forces surrendered on Monday, June 14, 1982. To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the occasion, I give you Episode IV of this series.
When I first lived in Montevideo in 1982, military dictatorships ruled both Uruguay and Argentina. They were very different places than they are now. The small colony of Fulbrighters in Uruguay did a lot of things together, so we got to know one another pretty well despite our many differences. Several quirky things happened when a couple of us spent June 15-16th visiting Buenos Aires, almost directly across the Rio de la Plata from Montevideo.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH AMERICA, III: INTERNATIONAL CUISINE IN URUGUAY MEANS WHAT THEY EAT IN ARGENTINA
I’ve mentioned before that in general, Uruguayans don’t like spicy foods. Meat is salted, but not marinated, before roasting or broiling over the fire. When we lived in Montevideo in 1999, one obvious manifestation of this generalization was that there weren’t any Mexican restaurants in this city of almost 3 million inhabitants. According to a Google search on the Internet, there are at least two Mexican restaurants in town now. Roma-Tijuana seems to serve Italian-Mexican fusion cuisine according to a review (2009) I found. Apparently, the fusion is heavily biased to the Italian-Uruguayan palate. The salsa was described as “slightly spicy ketchup” and the enchiladas did not include enchilada sauce < http://www.exploringuruguay.com/2009/07/07/mexican-food-in-uruguay/>. La Lupita in Punta Carretas had real Mexican food with real, if mild, salsa. “Salsa mas picante” can be requested, and it tasted like the real thing for the native San Diegans who wrote this review on the same web site as the previous restaurant review.
After Elaine and I spent a couple of months on a steady diet of beef with more or less salt, with a tiny portion of chimichurri as a side dish if we were very lucky, the craving for a Tex-Mex dinner was becoming overwhelming. Fortunately we had by then made friends with several USA expatriates living and working in 1999 Montevideo. One of them, Luke, burst out laughing when we admitted to craving Mexican food. When he finally stopped laughing, he invited us for dinner on Saturday at his apartment, which turned out to be the local Mexican food outlet for gringos with palates that craved more than the bland local cuisine. “Yes,” he told us, “I've smuggled chilis, enchilada sauce, and other goodies into Uruguay”. He hosted weekly home-cooked Mexican dinners as his contribution to spice-starved gringos living in Montevideo, which earned him pride of place at the top of the list of who you wanted to cultivate as a friend in the large expatriate community.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Today we have a guest post by fellow mystery writer Gabrielle Black,--> author of Treating Murder: Book One of the Veronica Lane, M.D. series. Gabrielle is a physician. By an odd coincidence, so is her detective character, Veronica Lane. Gabrielle follows in a rich tradition of M.D. mystery writers, starting with the most famous, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, inventor of Sherlock Holmes. And now, to our guest blogger, Dr. Black...........
Novel writing usually involves writing back stories on characters. You seldom get to see these. There is also usually a back story to how the idea came to be. You seldom get to see these either, but sometimes the 'making of' is almost as cool a the story itself. I realized this recently while watching the making of Star Wars. George Lucas before he was a gazillionaire. So, with that on my mind, I'll share with you: The making of...Treating Murder by Gabrielle Black.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
A few years ago, I visited Mendoza, the wine production capital of Argentina, accompanied by a colleague from my University's Viticulture and Enology Department who is a V.I.P. in wine tasting circles. We were invited to taste the better wines from several of the local wineries, two or three tours per day, which was where I first fell in love with Malbec wine as a varietal. There are a few quirky things I remember from this experience.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
I thought I'd start a new series of posts about off the wall topics as they come up. I'll be flying to Montevideo in July, so thought of a few memorable moments in Argentine airports for my first entry in this series.
I don’t know what the current situation is like since I haven’t flown any of the regional airlines in Argentina in a few years, but going back a bit things were, shall we say, different than California where I live. Between 1999 and 2010, however, when I was flying between some of the major cities in Argentina, things could be very quirky. Let me share a few notable examples.