February 14, 2005

The Simonsen's Visit

Bent and Kurt

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Kurt and Ulla Simonsen came to Buenos Aires last Tuesday, the 8th of February. Kurt is a journalist that works for the Danish tabloid, Ekstra Bladet. Ulla is a school teacher. I picked them up at the airport in the morning. We got back to our house. They took a short walk through the neighborhood, and then took a nap. They had been traveling for about 20 hours before getting here. In the evening we when out to a restaurant in Puerto Madera. It was a big buffet. The food was good and we enjoyed the evening out.

On Wednesday Kurt and Ulla took a cab downtown late in the morning. Then they headed to the suburb of Martinez, so that Kurt could meet with the Danish chess grand-master, Bent Larsen. Larsen was in contention for the world championship in the 70's - but Fisher beat him out for the right to challenge Spassky. I got a chance to meet this brilliant old man, when I picked up Ulla and Kurt late in the afternoon. From what I saw when I met Bent and from some of the stories Kurt told me, Bent is a hell of an interesting person to know. I drove them around some of the northern suburbs, like Tigre. A strong storm front blew in while were driving. We saw several trees down from the winds. Kurt and I stopped to pull one tree out of the road. We ate at a neighborhood restaurant, when we finally got back to our house.

At Evita's Tomb
In Recoleta
Turistas en La Boca

On Thursday we drove to several of the sites that so many first-time visitors see when they come to Buenos Aires. We visited the cemetery in Recoleta and saw the tomb of Evita Peron. Then we drove to San Telmo for a quick tour of the antique shops. We took a bus down to the Plaza del Mayo in front of the president's residence, Casa Rosada. Here, every Thursday, the Mothers-of-the-Disappeared gather at 3:30 in the afternoon. It was quite a site to see them still marching for their loved ones twenty plus years. I was deeply moved. The government disappeared some 30,000 people in the 70's and 80's. I suppose that Henry Kissinger had a hand in it, just like he did in Chile. They ought to try him for crimes against humanity. We returned to San Telmo to get the car. Then we headed over to La Boca. They really liked that neighborhood. Unfortunately, they did not have time to visit the museum. Thankfully, they got to see Tango dancers on the street. God, were they good! We finally got back to the house about 7:00. Ulla took a nap. At 9:00 we went to my favorite Tango social club on Armenia Street. They really liked it. They both got their first Tango lesson. Betty was dancing too. We got back about midnight. It had been a long, but very enjoyable day.

Mothers of the Disappeared

In La Boca
Dancers in the Street
Dancing in the Evening

We drove them to the airport the next day. They were headed for Iguazu for a couple of days before heading to Mendoza. I hope they have a good time.

On Saturday we went out for Chinese New Year. Boy, is the Chinese different here: no peanuts or hot peppers in the Kung Pao beef; no rice automatically served with the meal; and no fortune cookies to be found in the restaurant! Still, it was a nice change.

Yesterday, we checked out their nicest mall on the north side of the city, the Unicenter. We saw Hillary Swank's new movie, Million Dollar Baby. We liked it a lot and recommend it.

We hope to visit Uruguay in the next few days. We will let you know how that goes.

Posted by bill at February 14, 2005 02:08 PM