It's a wonderful life but differences prevail...


Saturnalia, a Sculptural group by Italian artist Ernesto Biondi at the botanical garden.
Of course, we appreciate every day of this outrageous life of world travel and, we are reveling in our 31 nights in Buenos Aires, where culture abounds in vast and fascinating ways. 

Last night at dinner at an outdoor restaurant that had mediocre food, we couldn't help but notice how this area of Serrano Plaza reminds us of Uptown in Minneapolis, and yet is more compact with narrower streets and at least 10 times the size...not that we've been to Uptown lately.
Cactus garden.
As we sat in rickety chairs at a wobbly table for four that barely fit the two of us, we giggled over the irony of our lives.  What are we doing in Palermo Soho Buenos Aires?  How far removed is this from our old lives of only six years ago, when it was around the time in January 2012 we decided to travel the world?

A bowl of peanuts in the shell was delivered to our table shortly before the Spanish-only menus arrived and we each gasped in sheer delight over the tiny bowl of nuts.  What a treat!  Somehow, we always manage to figure out everything on the menu.
I believe this is a Nopales cactus.
As I readjusted my wobbly chair we looked at one another and smiled.  We didn't mind the rickety furniture and the tiny bowl of nuts.  We were happy to be dining outdoors in this big city in this peculiar little spot with the most rudimentary of accouterments. 

The fork and knife are plastic and the paper napkins flimsy.  The salt ("sal" in Spanish) is in little packets in the rectangular holder along with tiny packets of ketchup, salsa, and mayonnaise. 
The information building on the grounds of the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden.
Since I can't get sour cream in many of the restaurants, I use mayonnaise on my salads, opening multiple little packets for enough to give my frequently ordered salads a bit of moisture...a cup of arugula, a bit of dry deli chicken, a few tomato slices and a few chunks of cheese, consists of my dinner most nights.

Most other items on the menu would result in contamination of foods I can't have; grains, starches, and sugar.  I don't mind.  After all, its just food and I'm certainly not withering away nor am I tired of this meager fare. 

However, I am looking forward to cooking again when we arrive in South Africa which will be in about a month.  And, without a doubt, we'll have exceptional meals aboard the Antarctica cruise beginning in a mere 12 days, a French cruise line offering gourmet meals for the most discriminating of diners.  Surely, they'll whip up divine and suitable meals for me.
There are numerous statues of nudes at Jardin Botanica in Buenos Aires.
Thinking back to spending afternoons in the refreshing pool in Costa Rica, it seems so long ago and yet we left only 50 days ago.  There's a pool in this hotel but it's partially indoors.  We don't care for indoor pools. 

Instead, we're content with our walks in the neighborhood often during the day and again in the early evening when we search for the next new restaurant to try.  We've only done two repeats, Diggs and Rave, where we may go yet again.  
Interesting tree trunk.
The food at Diggs is excellent along with the service, although served in plastic baskets, on paper plates, and with plastic forks.  Last time, the server brought me a flat plastic plate and I was thrilled to be able to dump my salad on the plate from the smallish paper bowl.

Rave has real plates, flatware, and linen napkins but charges all types of service fees and also a fee for the tiny bowl of dry bread without butter (Tom eats it anyway) and yet, a glass of decent Malbec is only US $2.95 (ARS 55).  Go figure. 
A tree with leaves changing color after red berries had fallen to the ground.
We're not complaining.  We love all these cultural differences, finding them charming and enriching and, we thought some of our readers may find these morsels interesting. 

Today, after uploading today's post and chatting with my dear friend Chere on Skype in about an hour, we're off for a walk and to visit the mini-mart for a few items.  Once we return, we'll continue our research for upcoming travel bookings until its time to make the walk to discover where we'll dine again tonight.  It's all good.

We hope you have an interesting and enriching day!
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Photo from one year ago today, January 11, 2017:

While at Gnomon Pig Farm in Penguin we laughed to see the white band on the newly born piglets just like their mom.  There were several breeds of pigs at the farm.  For more details, please click here.

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