November 15, 2005

Back to the USA

The past week has been all about getting ready to leave and saying goodbye to Argentina and our friends.


People came by to pick up the things they bought in our online moving sale.
Ingo and Elisa came by. They got a few extra things. Like all of our friends, we will really miss them. Others came to take the vacuum cleaner, easy chairs, a sofa and straight chairs. Finally on Saturday, the futon went to Pablo Laurito and our bedroom set was pickup by Arturo, Marisol's son.
The strangest part of the selling our stuff came on Thursday. While I was out with Daniel, Paula came by to pick up a small table, Betty's bike and the kitchen stuff. I had met Paula at a Talkarama meeting, she seemed nice and had come by early in our sale to claim the items. She had also been at our big party the week before, having enjoyed our hospitality greatly. Betty had gotten everything ready and it amounted to several boxes. Paula's friend got it all for 100 pesos and we had paid several hundred pesos for originally. I had asked Betty to only keep one pan, so that we might be able to cook on our last two days. Paula saw the pan we held out when she first came. She went off on Betty, when she did not get it. She insulted Betty up one side and down the other. She even began to try to say some mean things about me. She was a total bitch! In Argentina we are known as very generous and loving people. Betty told her to get out of the house and if she didn't want the gear, just to leave it. Finally she took the stuff and left. What a bitch!Betty was quite upset. She is not used to people calling her stupid and evil and a liar.

Press HERE to see a slideshow of our final month in Buenos Aires.

Bill, Betty and Bebe
Bill, Ernesto and Brad
Laura and Her Dog
Savino and Bill
Bill, Laura and Brad
Laura and Bebe


One day I made it by the gym to say goodbye to my trainer Daniel. I had not worked out for a month. I have put on some weight in the past month. I should not have quit. My only excuse is that we have been so busy with all the last minute visitors and getting read to leave.

On Wednesday, the 9th of November, we met with Maria Ines and her son. Luke had asked us to join them as he looked over her apartment for a possible rental in the future. It was great to see Maria Ines and Nicolas for the last time. After the meet, Luke and I went out for lunch in Palermo. I love that neighborhood. It would be the last time I would visit it and it would be the last time I will see Luke in months to come.

Later on in the evening, we had dinner with Laura's parents - Beba and Savino. Her brother, Ernesto, and her friend, Brad from Arizona, also were there. The food was fabulous. It was Ukrainian food, varenki with chicken broth - along with some good fried chicken. I had not enjoyed a meal as much as this in months. You might ask why that is. Simple, I love ethnic food, which is a rarity in Argentina, and it was so wonderfully prepared. It was a great night with family and good conversation. We could not have asked for more.

On Friday night we visited Pablo Laurito's house where he lives with his parents, Mario and Maruca. Our friend Daniel was there as were Elizabeth from California, and Pablo's mom's cousin, Mónica and her boyfriend, Matías. Pablo lives in a suburb that I think is called Hurlingham. It seemed like it took forever to get there, probably because we took surface streets. Their house is new and beautiful. We had a wonderful meal. Particularly great was the homemade lasagna. We also ate way too much: chicken, salad and strawberries for desert. It was wonderful. We had a fabulous night with good people.

About mid week the packing and getting ready was in full swing. We were pretty stressed all week long. Trying figure out what to keep and what to leave behind was not so easy. And most everything needed to be left behind.
Saturday was moving out day. We were packed and all the things that we were giving to Javi and Guille were boxed up. We sent our last email messages and made our last call to Birgitta on the VOIP phone. I had wanted to go to the horse races, but I missed them. It was just too late in the day by the time we got to Javi's mother's house. Still we had a nice lunch and a nap.

Betty, Maria Luz and Bill

Guadalupe, Marita, Betty,
Maria Luz, Bill and Alberto


Saturday evening, we went to Talkarama. A train breakdown forced us out of the train and into a taxi, but eventually we made it. We chatted all night with our friends then had dinner and went home about 1 AM.

We had a lazy Sunday afternoon with Javi and Guille. Javi made an assado. How I love the meat in Argentina! US beef is good, but not up to the standard of Argentine lomo.
Laura stopped by for a last visit and to say good bye to us. She is one of the kindest and most openly friendly people we have had the good fortune to meet. We will both miss her.
In the evening we went to dinner with Alberto and Marita and their children: Javier, Maria Luz and Guadalupe. It was wonderful to be with them. We will miss them and their thoughtful conversations.

We rose at 3:00 AM Monday morning. We had a 6:00 AM flight to Sao Paulo. Everything went well, getting there and getting off on the first stage of our return home. Two hours later we were in Sao Paulo. An hour later we were on our way to Miami. Eight or so hours later we were in Florida. The only hitch at the airport was the AirTran weight restrictions. We spent 20 minutes rearranging out stuff so that only one bag was over weight. It really pissed us off. The different standards that they had came as a great surprise. Four hours later we were on our way to Atlanta. Then we waited again to catch a flight to Minneapolis. We arrived about 12:30 AM in Minneapolis. It was 2:00 before we got to bed, some 28 hours after getting out of bed in Buenos Aires and 30∞C lower. It is cold here and it will take some time to adjust to it.

These will not be my final words on Argentina. In the weeks and months to come I hope to write a series of commentaries about the country. They will be available at my web site.

Posted by bill at November 15, 2005 01:37 PM

Seems to be so far away things, somehow feels depressive and negative when remembering the Argentinian angst. People in New Zealand are quite different, somehow more easy going and relaxed. Quite a bitch you met, but maybe she was the only one who actually revealed to you her true self :)

Somehow when watching a group of chickens running around our friends' farm we could not help remembering.

Take care,

P‰ivi & Santeri

Posted by: P‰ivi & Santeri at November 18, 2005 09:43 PM

We met for about 3 seconds as you were grilling chicken and sausages at your home in Argentina. I know Betty somewhat better, both of us having suffered the loud Florencia at CODE Linguistica language school. However, I first must thank you and Betty for your hospitality that evening the end of March. I also want to thank you for keeping me on your e-mail list. I just read over the outline topics you intend to write about and am tantalized with the "Respect. Not in this country" and "Cheats, liars, etc." topics. I've been somewhat lucky (actually, damn lucky). Since moving to buenos Aires last January I have yet to have anyone take advantage of me. But my partner is a big lug of an alpha male type PorteÒo who looks after me. I keep waiting for someone to pick my pocket, but so far no luck.

Tell The Betty "Hello" for me. I'm sorry I never got the chance to get to know you both much better. But as you can imagine, I run in somewhat of a different circle of marginal society down here. As for St. Paul/Minneapolis, I wish you good health. I'm Canadian, but I've never been so damn cold in my life than in St. Paul visiting old friends from college. The sun will be out. You think you can just put a coat on and take a short walk. . . but no. You end up losing the end of your nose. Our winters in Kelowna, B.A., are somewhat more forgiving.

Again, thanks for the entertaining updates on the Bill and Betty show. Loved the remarks about "the Bitch!"

Best of luck,

Wm. Nash

Posted by: William Nash at November 18, 2005 09:56 PM

Oh, I¥m sorry you had to deal with that bitch, she was awfull. But not everyone is like her and I¥m an example ; )
I¥would have wanted to meet you before, you are really nice people.
Saludos de argentina

Posted by: Agustina at November 19, 2005 11:53 PM

Hi Bill,

I loved the photos!

I am sure you are not known as very generous and loving people in Argentina only, but everywhere. You both truly are. The first things I liked a lot about you and Betty is how generous and honest you both are. I enjoyed meeting you and BA wonít be the same without you two.

I showed my parents the blog (and translated it for them) and they were so happy you had such a great time here because they did too. I'm gonna start thinking which other Jewish dish my mom can prepare the next time you come.

Thanks a lot for your words about me. The compliments made by those I deeply care about are the ones I appreciate the most!!

Besos for you and Betty,

Posted by: Laura at November 22, 2005 10:20 PM

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Betty & Bill!!
Home Sweet Home!! So sorry to hear about that AWFUL Paula , when I think that I was so nice to her at your wonderful party, I could just use FRENCH SWEAR WORDS that would make your hair stand up!!
How dare she hurt that great gal Betty!Betty could not do enough for me during our visit to Argentina. among the most significant memories was her selfless devotion to make sure I went shopping ALONE with her & without husbands!! She is the best!Never to forget you Bill , nobody is THAT nice!!But you two!!

The impact that you have had on the people that COUNT is evident. You both included us in your BA life & we met INCREDIBLE Argentinians. PAULA is a waste of time & her minute of fame is over.
Jim & I miss you & we miss the the BEAUTIFUL people & BA very much.xxxLise La Canadienne

Posted by: Lise at November 25, 2005 11:34 PM