I’ve been living in a studio apartment in Buenos Aires for the past week and I’m loving it. I’m definitely planning to find apartments from here on out in cities I stay in for more than a couple weeks in. Let me give you the tour.
This is the living room and it’s where I spend most of my time when I’m home. It’s really just so cool to have my computer in one place, always hooked up to the portable speakers and wireless mouse, always connected to the Internet (except now as I type this, my Internet has mysteriously gone out… usually I have Internet). There’s a big window so the apartment gets a lot of light, but I always keep the curtains drawn during the day otherwise the sunlight is blinding and too hot (though there is AC).
This is the bedroom (or the other half of the living room). I thought about cleaning up a little for the photo, but this is how it usually looks and I didn’t want to ruin the authenticity. Plus I’m pretty lazy about cleaning for any reason. I think I have a weekly maid, but I’m kind of confused about the particulars of that. I haven’t seen her yet.
This is my bathroom. The hot water in the shower runs from tepid to scalding, my control over which seems to be minimal.
The kitchen has unexpectedly become my favorite aspect of having an apartment. I tried cooking in hostels a few times but it was such a hassle that it wasn’t worth the trouble. It’s way better having my own kitchen. My go-to meal is steak. It’s fairly easy to cook, incredibly cheap at like $3-4 each steak, and delicious! When I lived in Seattle, it was always a bit of a challenge buying foods that would spoil fast, like fresh fruits and vegetables, but the advantage to being a bum and cooking all my own meals is that I go through groceries pretty fast, so I can buy stuff that spoils and not worry about it.
The big meal I was really excited for was oatmeal. It’s one thing I’d really missed from the US. When I said this to other backpackers, they always thought it was pretty weird because you can buy oatmeal in supermarkets and even order it in restaurants that serve breakfast. But! I make oatmeal in a very particular way that you can’t order in restaurants and I couldn’t make it myself in hostels because it requires a lot of ingredients that come in large quantities. Or rather I could, but I’d be throwing a bunch of stuff away.
I spent literally three hours shopping for the ingredients for oatmeal. Cinnamon and milk were pretty easy to find. Non-instant oatmeal was a bit tougher. Chocolate chips were really hard to find, but chocolate chips and/or fresh blueberries (amazing with both) are crucial to my oatmeal. Blueberries continue to elude me, which is strange because in America, the blueberries I bought were Chilean. Now I’m in Argentina and Chile’s right next door. I feel like they should just send some over. According to locals I’ve talked to, the supermarket I go to does carry them, just inconsistently and it doesn’t correspond to seasons or anything.
The first morning in my new apartment, I sat down for the breakfast I’d dreamed of. Oatmeal with chocolate chips, orange juice, and a new episode of The Daily Show (one of the few American shows I can watch online). Sadly the results were… underwhelming. The oatmeal here tastes pretty weird. It’s hard to describe how. I want to say it’s more grainy than the oatmeal in the US, but that’s like accusing it of being more oatmeal-y. It just seems more processed and bland. It was still tasty – certainly better than the complimentary breakfast (read: two pieces of bread) I got in most hostels, but not quite like oatmeal back home. It just means I have one more thing to look forward to when I return.
Weird oatmeal aside, cooking is a huge perk of having my own place. I was burning up a lot of time and money each day going out to restaurants for every meal, whereas now meals don’t feel like a big interruption. The problem is that now I have to find something else to blame my lack of productivity on.