Monday, March 28, 2011

How to get a Brazilian Visa in Argentina

I am writing this blog post so that everyone going to Brazil from Argentina does not have to experience the frustrations that have consumed my past two weeks. So, here goes. This is how to actually get a visa (as an American/tourist) to go to Brazil from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Step 1: Do not simply go to the embassy. Especially because you need to go to the Brazilian consulate (they are different). Do not simply go to the consulate. You must make an appointment, which can be done here: Note: appointments take TWO WEEKS to make, so do this sooner rather than later.

Step 2: Fill out forms and print to bring to the consulate during your appointment time. Forms can be found on the same page: (scroll down).

Step 3: Have a passport picture, flight information, hotel information and address and bank statement printed and ready to go. Note: your passport picture will be a part of your visa that goes in your passport (I say this because I have quite possibly the worst picture in mine).

Step 4: Go during your appointed time and hand in all forms. On the same day, go to the bank that is on Sante Fe (walk out of the consulate, make a left, walk three blocks to Sante Fe, make a left and walk two blocks). Pay at the bank (about $150 US) and KEEP THE RECEIPT.

Step 5: Three days later return to the consulate with the bank receipt and claim your passport.

After I wrote this it seems easy, but I made the mistake of simply going and asking for a visa. I was oh so rudely turned away (in Spanish, and the same person started speaking in English as soon as I had an appointment).

On that note, I’m off to Brazil!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day in Tigre

A Day in Tigre A fantastic day trip to get out of the city is jumping on the 40 minute train to Tigre. This transport will cost you less than $1 US round trip – you heard me. You will probably have to stand the whole way, but it’s probably safer than those 15 Euro standing room flights Ryanair proposed (is that still an option?). So, off to the beautiful Tigre!

In Tigre, there is a market, boat rides, an amusement park (unsure when/if that’s open) and more to do. We arrived late in the day so opted for a stroll by the water.

And we consumed many, many licaudos, which I have recently become obsessed with in Argentina.

It was too late for a boat ride, so we just walked and sat and strolled and relaxed. The market didn’t offer much more than other Argentine markets, except puppies to adopt (which I have actually seen in other markets) and my broken heart left behind with them.

Moving on. Tigre is such a great, quick trip away from the city. I believe there is kayaking and such, but I did not partake because I forgot to wear sunscreen and wore a black dress. En serio? Yes. In sum, Tigre gets one big American thumbs up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notable Spanish Mishap 4

Bought it thinking it was face wash, used it as body wash and then realized it was lotion.

Yes, it says crema.

Yes, it also says Happy Time.

Yes, my closet is really messy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Rains Down in Argentina

I’ve written about the Rwanda rain, which is scary. But the rain in Argentina definitely gives Africa a run for its money (I could insert a joke in here, but I’m going to respectful decline to do so).

One time a friend here told me that people don’t go out when it rains because they are scared to get stranded. After laughing that off, I realized it’s most certainly true, and I will now be one of those people.

The night started off with a drizzle, but soon after sitting at the bar, it started to forcefully come down. Around 4am, when we tried to leave, we realized: There are no cabs and it’s still pouring. So we sent one brave friend off to hail a cab and pick up the rest of us (don’t even, I’m a lady and my Spanish is sub-par). After somehow finding a cab, we all piled in to head home.

Problem was the streets were literally flooded. The cab had to wade through the water as car crashes happened behind us. All I can really compare this to is trying to wade your wagon across the lake in Oregon Trail and tipping..and getting cholera. The cab took us as far as he could, but then we were forced to walk through the water to my apartment building. Well, I am sure glad I live on the 18th floor.

The drains in the city get clogged, which forces the water buildup in the streets. Then, you must walk through all of the dirt and shit (I’m sorry, I’m swearing) because I literally mean dog feces to get to where you want to go. And then, hang up your clothes and jump in the shower because that is dirtyyy. This picture doesn’t even do it justice, but it’s the best we got.

Photo Credit: Caley Bulinski

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Uruguay Part 2: A Day in Colonia

When I typed the title, I accidentally wrote Urugay. Oh come on Nora…

Due to visa issues and the need to do something other than BA while Caley visited, we decided to go to Uruguay. (typed gay again). After the Buquebus adventure, we arrived and said: whaaaat? Our tickets said SIN bus and surprisingly there was no car waiting to pick us up. So to the Thrifty we went. I didn’t bring my license because you know what? That’s not an issue in many countries (except the overburdening US). It wasn’t an issue in Bermuda when my sister and I naively tried to rent mopeds. If I had actually been able to drive in one circle without falling, then I could have driven it off the lot. But noooo Uruguay apparently requires a motorcycle license to get a moped. Fine.

So we all jumped into a golf cart to explore

I, like the 5 year old child I am, immediately had to eat and go to the bathroom. So after touring a bit, I soon forced the group (of 3 of us) to stop to eat.

(Though you may not believe it, I'm not actually going to the bathroom in this picture)

After, we hit a market and drove around some more. Next, like the 5 year old child I am, I insisted on stopping for ice cream. We hit the beach, saw the sites and climbed around a bit:

Jim even grew a mustache along the way:

And then we buqued our way back to our busboat and went home. Colonia is a fantastic day trip, especially in nice weather. There is a lot to explore, but I think one day is enough, as it’s not that big. If you want to get out of the city, I’d definitely recommend Colonia!

Photography Credit: Caley Bulinski