What is a good game to play when you’re sick?

Do you have folks to play with? If you do, you guys probably have your own games you can play and you probably don’t want anything structured anyways. But let’s say you have 4 or more folks who you can play with: ASSHOLE. It’s a fun game because you can roleplay the with the Great Delmuti terminology. Just now the President is the Great Delmuti and can be a kind and benevolent ruler or a mean one. The Vice President is the Lesser Delmuti to be respected not as much as the Greater Delmuti. And the Asshole is the Peon, who can be either subservient or rebellious, whatever.

The real fun of the game comes from playing your role. If you’re sick and the peon you can moan and be miserable and oppressed. If you’re the Great Delmuti you can just lie back and order around the commoners who kiss up to you.

But the real issue about being sick is not what to do with your friends, it’s about what to do when you can’t think and you don’t want anyone around and you’re too tired and irritated to do anything creative. You’d stare at a computer monitor but it gives you a headache. Nope, you need something low key but interesting, yet something you can put aside so you can drool and stare at the wall.

Knitting? Yes!!!! but if you want to a game, i highly suggest Choice (also called Dice Solitaire in Sackson’s Gamut of Games). All the rules you need are downloadable from boardgamegeek.com. All you need are 5 ordinary dice and pencil/paper to keep score with.

Learning new games is no fun when you’re sick so I highly recommend learning these before getting sick and adding a deck of cards and dice to your “Sick Kit” (you have one don’t you?). Even better, don’t get sick.

Anyone know any more games?

My companionship / Massages for a Car

Looks like folks in Buenos Aires are learning a bit about the wonders of craigslist.

My companionship / Massages for a Car

Reply to: sale-294885816@craigslist.org

Date: 2007-03-16, 5:45AM ART


I’m a single lady 29 y/old. From here,very sexy. I would really love to have a car -suv . I can trade my “time” for it. I’m very outgoing, sweet intelligent.

Serious replys Only,


I reside in Buenos Aires.

* Location: Buenos Aires

* it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 294885816

Supermarkets: Buenos Aires

I had two great supermarket experiences yesterday:

I brought some nice lentil soup to work and then thought to run to the supermarket to buy some bread rolls. So it’s lunchtime and there’s tons of people at the bread counter. You grab a number. Unfortunately I was holding mine (98) upside down and I thought it was 86. So the helper lady calls out the next number (me) 98 and it takes me a second to recover. Only a second but in that time someone has already said “I’m number 99!” and been helped. She commiserates with me “Oh. You shouldn’t hold your ticket upside down” she says. Yeah. I know. So in theory I should be the next person. The lady behind the counter knows this but she still calls out “Ok. 100” WHILE LOOKING AT ME. So I say “Oh, I’m 98.” All I want is two pieces of bread. But then this guy (Number 100) says “Hey, all I want is…” and then he lists off a few things but he does it like he’s ordering it. He’s way sly, like he just completely cut in front of me, KNOWING that he’s screwing me over for the second time. I say “Ok. Well I’m first and all I want are two pieces of bread.” So he and I have both said what we want and as far as I’m concerned it’s up to her to decide who to serve first. The lady behind the counter looks at me, waits, almost as if to say “Do you really want to go first?” I get the distinct idea that I’m breaking some cultural rule by taking my rightful place in line. The guy chimes in in this pleading voice: “I have these raviolis and they’re getting cold. Please let me get out of here without my raviolis getting cold.” The counter lady slowly goes towards the bread and, still with this look on her face as if I am forcing her, takes out the bread, puts it in a bag, weighs it, and gives it to me. The guy says “Oh. you only wanted to get bread. I thought you wanted to get facturas and sandwiches and… Oh, you’re just like me. You just wanted to get something small.” He is still talking as I walk away.

It’s so crazy because when I first got here I would have just bowed out and let the guy go first. After all, I’m a guest in his country. I think becoming a legal resident has given me this kind of backbone I didn’t have before. It’s hard to respond quickly when you don’t speak the language (which is what started the whole episode) and when I return to the States I vow to respect people who don’t speak English as their first language a bit more.

I was returning from work and I went to this large supermarket near my house. It’s an upscale neighborhood and I always see things in the supermarket that seem interesting and new. So this time near the cheese section I see this dried fish for really cheap. So I buy 5 pesos of it and am going to take it home to see what it is and what it tastes like. I feel adventurous, putting it in my basket.

What I really came to the store for was some onions and while I’m getting them the guy who weighs the vegetables asks me how to prepare my dried fish. “I know you can’t just take it home and eat it” he says. “Right” I say, faking like I know what I’m talking about. “So how do you prepare it?” he asks. “I don’t know exactly” I say. In reality I don’t even know what it is and if it didn’t say it was fish on the label, I wouldn’t have been able to tell him. “Right. But you have no idea at all?” “No. I really have no idea at all.” He looks at me like I’m crazy. I don’t know what to do so I just say “I’m buying it for a friend.” That seems to satisfy him. He finishes weighing my vegetables and, as I walk away adds, “I would buy some if I knew how to prepare it but I don’t have any idea. All I know is that you can’t eat it like it is now. You really have NO IDEA?” I smile bravely as I walk away, but as soon as he’s turned to help another customer I sneak the dried fish back to it’s place on the shelf, where it belongs.

In the Shadow of Fu Manchu

Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present… Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man. –The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu

You can learn more about the 1933 series here. Kitchy to the extreme.

Visiting Friends

One of the things all expats love and dread is the visiting friend. “Oh, you’re in Buenos Aires? How lovely! I’ll stop by. I only have a few days but we can go see all the sights together!” There is that delicate balance because living abroad means that you haven’t seen these guys for awhile and you aren’t going to see them again for awhile.

It’s great to see them but I get the same feeling as when I’m at a tourist site. It’s like I feel obligated to “do” things. Like there’s something I ought to be doing. This is, of course, all in my head. The friends actually don’t really care at all. Much like families at Christmas, expats tend to imagine the “ideal” visit to Buenos Aires and prepare it all for their friends.

For me there’s historically been a crazy: my world here is different than back home. I feel a bit schitzophrenic because they think I’ve changed but I haven’t. It’s more like I just have a different life because stuff here is different from home.

You realize all these crazy things about yourself, about your friends, about your life and about the city. It’s a crazy litmus test. It’s essentially travelling without travelling.

It’s pretty amazing to be able to invite another world to sleep on your couch.

barely legal: getting a work permit for argentina

When I was first hired as a project manager I asked about a work permit. My boss told me that we should wait a year and then see how useful I was to him. A year later I asked again and he said we should start the process. That was last September.

For a US citizen, the process begins with getting an original birth certificate and a background check from the USA. These then need to be certified, translated by an official translator into Spanish and then apostiled, a word with which I have become intimately familiar. This is probably easier if you are in the United States but I wasn’t and basically my mom did all this. It took her a few weeks and it only worked because we have a family friend who is a notary public.

These items were then sent to me and the long slog of bureaucratic bungling began. The forms were sent off to my company’s lawyer and a few months later we heard back from them. After weeks of wrangling over trying to get clarity of what I did or did not need, the office secretary assured me that everything was ok and that I should just relax. Every week I asked her if things were going well with my application and every week she reassured me that she had called the lawyers and that all was fine. After about two months of this it was discovered that about the only thing that our secretary was doing was embezzling lots of money. She was fired and it became clear that no progress had been made on my application.

After the new secretary was hired, things began to bumble along. There was an English guy at the office applying at the same time and it was good to go through the ordeal with someone else. It was hard to imagine the level of disorganization. One of the things we had to do was to get fingerprinted. We called the lawyer to get a date to do this. He said Monday. However, when we arrived at his office, he was not in and his secretary had not heard of us. His assistant glared at us drunkenly because we had displaced him from his seat. After waiting for 45 minutes the lawyer was located and the assistant was instructed to take us a few blocks to the fingerprinting place where we would meet the lawyer. He turned out to be a tall, thin fellow who looks like he is consolieri to the Argentine mafia. He explained to us that it was his understanding that we were to call him to confirm that we were coming and, as a result, he had not done what he had said he would do. This was an absurd lie but since the secretary had made the appointment, there was little we could say.

The next and final step was to go to the consulate in Uruguay. He told us that there was no need to book this because they were always available. Later he told our secretary that we would need to wait another month or so.

But the point is that this is something that CAN be done, despite the ridiculous bureaucracy, and yesterday my coworker and I went to Uruguay and received our Permisos de Ingreso to enter the country as legal workers.




In Buenos Aires, the big craze is MSN messenger. The first thing we do when people start at my office is get them a .net account and download the latest version of messenger. It’s crazy. We all sit in rooms surrounded by people with headphones on and we “chat” by typing into our computer. It’s like a library. I feel bad to talk.

People live a lot on this thing. They use it to keep in contact with distant friends, to share pictures and songs. A little message displays their mood, a quote or even what song their listening to. Being someone’s internet buddy can be quite intimate.

But then the time comes to stop being internet buddies. Perhaps you broke up in real life, perhaps you just don’t want the bother of having to make idle chitchat with old friends. Whatever the reason, messenger includes the option of making yourself disappear completely from someone’s life. They can never tell if you’re online, any messages they send get lost in the mail, and the best part is that they don’t even know you blocked them. At least… until now.

For awhile now there’s been this thing called CheckMessenger which allows you to check to see who has blocked you. This revolutionizes the idea that you can anonymously disappear. Undesirables still can’t send you messages but now at least they know you don’t like them. Furthermore there’s a badge of shame associated with checkmessenger because if you use the service it temporarily replaces your name with an advertisement for their site. As you log in, there are a few seconds that all your friends can see that you don’t trust them and are checking to see if you don’t like them.

but… are there bagels?

I love the Lonely Planet Thorntree. It’s this place where people who really have no clue at all can ask folks who’re actually in the places they’re going. And it totally works. They get real (conflicting) opinions! It’s great and you can give as well as get.

I was just visiting the Uruguayan Thorntree thread and there was this question there.

are there bagels in Montevideo? how to get them there?

I have a child visiting Montevideo on a term abroad. He misses two things: his cat, and BAGELS. Anyone know of anyplace in Montevideo where a bagel can be found? Anyone heading there in the next few days or weeks and willing to take a dozen for me/him? Any ideas on shipping from here to there? Help!


Wow. Fun vacation. I realize that the bagel is for the kid… but what kind of a kid goes to Uruguay of all places and has to have his bagel? I can’t imagine the Uruguayans visiting the States and pulling this: “But mummy, how can I go to America without my special mate and the medialunas that I adore!” I think it’s really interesting how people want to take their homes with them. It’s different than not simply having faith that they’ll have a place to stay and nice food to eat… They want the food they have at home. Aside from being further from home, why are these people travelling? I dunno. I’m probably overreacting but if that kid is over 4 years old, it should be able to understand that different countries have different foods.

However, big surprise for me: There are bagels in Uruguay.


Cheating on someone is wrong and really interesting as well. To me it’s simple: you’re not supposed to. You give your word and you’re not supposed to break it. To me, the key is honesty. No one is forcing you to be involved in the relationship; you’re choosing to participate. You could always tell your partner: you know I just want to have sex with other people and that’s what I’m going to do and you should know that before I do that: that’s just the way it is. It’s honest. It’s healthy. It’s understandable. Honesty and communication are the two of the most important things in a relationship.

As someone who’s never cheated, I make it into a moral issue though I don’t think cheaters see it in this way. Here in Buenos Aires cheating is more accepted than in the States. The joke here is that Thursday night you go out with your mistress, Friday with your friends, and Saturday/Sunday with your girlfriend. I don’t think that there is more cheating than in the States but I do think it’s more ok to talk about it. In the States people judge you. Here they judge the relationship.


Friends of mine cheat. I think it’s really strange to be in a situation where you’re forced to lie. It’s like working in a place you hate but instead of saying anything to your boss (and making things better) you just pretend you like it until you can’t take it anymore. During this time you’re concentrating on looking for other jobs to make sure that you’re financially secure.

Similarly cheating comes from fear and insecurity. Fear of being alone and unwanted so you hang on to what you have.

how people find my blog

I just put a statcounter on this blog. A lot of people come across blogs because they typed some words into google and google spits out some relevant sites. Well, statcounter can tell you what people typed in that brought them to your blog. This is mine:

Let’s just comment on these:

  • There is no real schedule for lanchas in Iquitos. You just head to the docks and see which boat is leaving.
  • The halter should fit snugly. The plow should have two blades.
  • Don’t eat sardines in Peru. Period.
  • This is the only thing on the list that my blog actually addresses. Yes, you should have said yes.