Visit to Santiago’s General Cemetery [YQrtw Day 82 Jun 30]

santiago general cemetery

Location: Santiago, Chile

Despite sleeping at 3:00am in the morning, I woke up at 8:00am. I couldn’t fall back to sleep so I headed to the hostel basement for breakfast.

To my horror, the scrambled eggs were not there. I was hoping eggs would be refilled soon and I even hung around after finishing my bowl of cereal. Unfortunately, there was still no eggs no matter how long I waited.

I head back to my room and got ready for the day out. I wanted today to be museum visiting day since I had not been to any museums in Santiago yet. Plus, most museums close on Monday so I had better get my fill of museums on Sunday.

The first museum on my list was the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. I bought a transport card–adorably called “Bip”–and loaded it with some money. A ride on the subway is 600 peso (S$1.50).

When I got to the entrance of the museum inside the subway, I found out that it was closed I then remembered that today was elections day. I went out of the subway to take a look at the museum.

Near the museum, there were several TV cars and a few policepeople standing guard. I wondered if the building next to the museum was where voting happened.

Heavily guarded building
Heavily guarded building

I took a peek at my Tripadvisor app to see where to have lunch. I walked down the street, hoping to find the elusive restaurant but failed. Instead, I captured a few photos:

Santiago building
Santiago building
Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Museum of Education
Museum of Education

I headed back to the subway station and looked at the map. I saw a subway station called Cementerio. I remembered reading about how the cemetery here in Santiago is worth a visit.

I hopped back onto the subway and switched a line to reach the cemetery.

When I got there, I wanted to see if there were any restaurants around. Since I did not have a good breakfast, my energy was quickly sapped away. I needed food.

While I was waiting for the traffic lights, a young man in a small old car turned into my street, grinned and yelled, “CHINO!”

I didn’t know if that was supposed to be racist or just for fun. I should learn the word for “asshole” so I can use it in situations like these.

There were no restaurants around the entrance of the cemetery. Instead, there were stalls and stalls of florists, all selling blooming flowers.

Santiago General Cemetery

Without lunch, I walked into the cemetery.At first, the building on the left looked like an administration office.

Santiago General Cemetery
Santiago General Cemetery

Looking closer, I realized that the floors had shelves with plaques. This wasn’t an office. It was places to put urns.

There were many of such constructions in the cemetery–rectangular boxes with inscription in the front and presumably urns in the back.

Unlike Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires where only the “elite” were kept. The Santiago General Cemetery seemed to have a mix of rich and middle class.

The rich had elaborate mausoleums or underground tombs while the middle class were kept in rectangular space. It’s a little like real life where the rich could afford bungalows while the middle class stayed in flats.

Landed property for the dead
Landed property for the dead
HDB for the dead
HDB for the dead

The cemetery was huge! I didn’t walk from one end to another since the other end looked really far.

Interestingly, the cemetery had a few large buildings housing many different people. One of these was the “Circle of Reporters” where I assumed the remains of famous reporters were kept.

Circle of Reporters in Santiago General Cemetery
Circle of Reporters in Santiago General Cemetery
What's inside the Circle of Reporters?
What’s inside the Circle of Reporters?

This concept of keeping related people in the same place after life is quite fascinating. I had always assumed that people want to be “kept” near their families after they die.

I discovered one grave that was decorated with a lot of flowers and children’s toy. There were many notes printed on marble, thanking Carmenita for something. At first I thought this was where people came to pray for love.

After poking around my Spanish translation app, I deciphered that women who want children would come and pray for one (or two).

Carmencita's grave in Santiago
Carmencita’s grave in Santiago
Carmencita is able to bless you with babies
Carmencita is able to bless you with babies

Soon, it was time to head back. I took the subway back to the hostel. I walked around and discovered a large supermarket. I bought a large pack of green apples before heading to lunch at a restaurant.

Then I got back to the hostel and had a refreshing siesta.

Walking around Santiago/ Second hand clothes shopping [YQrtw Day 83 Jun 29]

santiago

Location: Santiago, Chile

Despite preferring to sleep till noon, I dragged myself out of bed for breakfast so I could go for the free walking tour for Santiago.

Breakfast at Andes Hostel was slightly better than the one in Buenos Aires. We actually had scrambled eggs. I love protein.

However, there is something foul about Santiago’s water. Drinking coffee is still ok but tea and boiled water tastes polluted.

The Santiago free walking tour starts near Plaza des Armas which is just one subway stop away. I wrapped myself up in the thickest clothes I have and walked to the gathering point.

The air was misty with the morning chill. An advertising board which shows the time and the temperature alternatively told me that it was 7 degrees Celsuis. However, thanks to the bits of sunlight, it didn’t feel as cold.

Santiago church
Santiago church

The tour started on time and involved a lot of walking. The tour guide whose name might have been Maritius brought us to different spots, to point out their historical significance.

Santiago Central Post Office
Santiago Central Post Office
Santiago square with a flag
Santiago square with a flag
Santiago
Santiago

For me, the most exciting part of the tour was seeing the snow-capped mountains not far from Santiago. It was the very first time that I’ve seen snow in real life.

It’s just as beautiful as photographs. However, I have no inclination to actually touch snow so admiring from afar will do.

SNOW!
SNOW!

On our tour, we stopped by a cafe where everyone ordered something to eat. I decided to order a Pisco Sour even though it was only about 11am. After about half a glass, I was rather tipsy.

When the tour ended in Bellavista, the guide suggested 5,000 peso as tip. I think that’s really reasonable since the tour took a very long time.

I joined two Australian girls and an English boy for lunch. We ended up in the touristy Patio Bellavista square since a recommened restaurant wasn’t open for pre-lunch coffee. I had a custard which wasn’t that fantastic.

Second hand clothes shopping

After the coffee, I brought the English boy to the second hands clothes street since he said he needed something warm. This was the first time that I’ve went shopping with a guy and it still feels really weird.

The first shop that we went to, Meicy’s, had clothes piled up on tables. The place smelled a bit of puke which made shopping not very pleasant. I found a long cardigan at the 3 for 1,000 peso bin but the shop owner refused to sell one piece of clothing for any cheaper.

We headed to another shop which had hangers. Here, I found a padded jacket with a price tag of 9,990 peso (~S$25). I tried to bargain it to 5,000 peso and was quoted 6,000 peso (~S$15). Not bad for someone not good at bargaining.

I also managed to buy a woolen hat for 1,500 peso. My sister who had been studying in Beijing where the winters are bitter had suggested that I get a hat.

Dinner and drinks

After the successful shopping trip, I headed back to the hostel. The four of us had decided to meet for dinner at the recommended restaurant at a very Chilean dinner time of 9:30pm.

I didn’t manage to take a siesta as I did a bit of blog work. I did get the chance to shower and change. I was ready with my new warm jacket at 9:00pm to walk to the restaurant.

Usually when I travel alone, I never go out after the sunsets. Luckily, the English boy “S” stayed near my hostel and we speed walked to the restaurant. With my jacket, I felt invincible.

Dinner at El Camareno was good. The restaurant walls were covered with words left by previous customers. I spent quite a long time deciphering the Spanish.

I had ceviche again and we shared a bottle of red wine. After dinner, the girls wanted to go drinking at a particular bar. Since I was at the place, I became the unofficial tour guide, leading everyone to the bar.

Before we got to the bar, we stopped by another bar. Here, I ordered a Piscola (A three-quarter glass of Pisco mixed with a 220ml can of Coke). I rather like the concoction when there’s a lot more Coke.

Being tipsy, I listened more than I talked. Everyone else seems to be downing alcohol like it was plain water. By half a glass, I was rather drunk and imagined how nice it would be to sleep in my warm domitory.

At about 2:30am, the girls decided to head to the main area. By that time, I became sober again and was leading the way. However, I brought everyone to the wrong place.

A taxi driver nearby told us that the bar was closed. (I suspect it wasn’t and he just wanted extra cash.) The girls decided to head to another bar. I tagged along as well since I did not want to walk back alone.

Thankfully, S thought the cover charge was too expensive and wanted to walk back. I was secretly overjoyed because I did not know how much longer I could stand on my feet.

The walk back from the opposite bank to the hostel was pretty fast. When I got into my dorm room, only 1 other girl wasn’t back. I slipped into my blanket and sheets and fell into a deep sleep.

How much alcohol can you drink in a night? Share your best in the comments below!

Bienvenido a Santiago, Chile [YQrtw Day 82 Jun 28]

santiago chile

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location: Santiago, Chile

[This post was delayed by a day because of travelling and feasting.]

Welcome to Santiago
Welcome to Santiago

Finally, I am leaving Buenos Aires. I have been in Argentina for more than 3 weeks which is about 1 week too long. I blame it on my US visa application but I should be thankful that the application was successful.

However, thanks to Buenos Aires and Argentina, I’ve met quite a few exciting people. Like me, they’ve decided to take time off from “real life” and travel/ live abroad for an extended period of time. I feel less strange.

My plane to Santiago was leaving at 11:25am and I booked a 8:10am shuttle. This meant that I had to wake up at 7:00am and skip breakfast.

While waiting for the shuttle, I managed to lose my shuttle booking voucher. (I later found it in my pocket.) When the driver asked for the voucher, I had to pretend that I left it in the hostel.

Throughout the drive to the airport, the driver was twitching. Not listening-to-music twitch but a jumpy shoulder. I was afraid he might lose control and run into something.

Luckily, we arrived in one piece.

At the airport, I found the Overexposed Model in one of the ads. For those who don’t know me in real life, I have been “curating” a tumblr called The Overexposed Model which features a stock image model on many  different ads.

I groaned loudly when I saw the ad. It’s not really that exciting seeing her on advertisements now. It’s more like a crazy nightmare.

Overexposed Model in Argentina
Overexposed Model in Argentina

Sky Airlines flight

Let’s head to my Sky Airlines flight. The plane was a small vehicle with three seats on both sides. I had the aisle seat as well as a lumpy seat.

The meal was horrible, one of those that give plane food a bad name.

Sky Airline food
Sky Airline food

They didn’t even have coffee or tea. Gasp. Thank goodness the flight was only 2 hours.

The plane seemed to take forever to land in Santiago airport. The clouds were really thick and the plane was flying around for a long time before it landed.

I took a shuttle bus (5,000 peso) to my hostel. The bus waited for a while for enough passengers before heading to town.

Along the way, I saw some beautiful green mountains. It was emerald green with a few trees lined up on its side. I’m liking the city.

Japanese lunch

Izakaya Yoko in Santiago, Chile
Izakaya Yoko in Santiago, Chile

After checking into my 6-person dorm, I headed out for Japanese. Sky Airline’s inflight magazine recommended a Japanese restaurant in Santiago that was just down the road from my hostel.

The place had two floors. I went to the second floor since the first floor was full.

I almost had a heart attack when I saw what the other customers were doing. They were drinking espressos, after a Japanese meal!

After getting over the shock, I ordered the set meal. It wasn’t until everything arrived that I knew what it was: Fish tempura with chicken in soy sauce.

The meal was delicious but the green tea was horrid. There’s something bad about Santiago’s tap water. It’s foul.

After lunch, I took a long siesta, something I needed badly.

Peruvian dinner and drinks

For dinner, I went out with Xiao Li who I “met” on Twitter. She has been in Santiago for a while and has been teaching entrepreneurship. I feel highly underachieved compared to her.

Xiao Li and her boyfriend, M, brought me to a Peruvian restaurant where I had my first pisco sour. I am in love with Pisco Sour.

This is obviously not Pisco Sour.
This is obviously not Pisco Sour but it is delicious.

Despite being on the same longtitude as Buenos Aires, Santiago is very very cold. I suspect it’s because it’s in a valley.

The night’s temperature dropped to about 7 degrees C. That is bloody cold. Luckily there’s a heater in my room so I didn’t freeze during the night.

Would you like to come to Santiago?

#FoodFriday: How to cook steak in a hostel

cook steak in the hostel

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday–the day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today’s post is a special feature where I give you tips on how to cook yummy steak in a hostel. Let’s eat!

When travelling, eating out at restaurants is a good treat. But if you need to save a few pesos/dollars, cooking will save you more money.

Since I’ve been in Argentina, I’ve cooked steak in my hostel kitchen for about 5 times. My hostel-cooked steak usually costs around 25 peso (S$6) while eating out costs a minimum of 45 pesos (S$11) to more than 100 pesos (S$25).

For this recipe, you will need…

Salt and oil, the only other things you need besides the meat
Salt and oil, the only other things you need besides the meat
Meet the type of Argentine meat I like.
Meet the type of Argentine meat I like.
  • Steak: Preferably Argentine steak. I choose mine base on how pretty it looks.
  • Coarse salt: Larger grains of salt make it easier to see
  • Oil
  • Frying pan/ Grill
  • Watch
  • Plates to dirty and plates to serve

Step 1: Season the meat

Rinse the meat and pat dry with kitchen towel (the paper kind, not the cloth).

Pour some oil into the plate and lay the meat on it. Pour more oil on the meat. Sprinkle the oiled meat liberally with salt so that it looks like it’s Edward Cullen under the sun.

Salt the meat
Salt the meat

If the meat was refrigerated, this is a good time to allow it to be less cold and more room temperature.

I’m not very sure how long the salt should be on but I give it at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: Heat up the pan

If you are using an iron grill, make sure it heats up nicely before you start. I like frying pans too and these don’t take long to heat so I wait about 30 seconds before I cook to heat it up.

Step 3: Cook one side of the meat

Cook that meat
Cook that meat

Lay the meat in the middle where the fire is. Afterwards DO NOT TOUCH the meat or it will turn out burnt in strange places.

I usually wait about 6 minutes for my one side to be done. The meat usually turns out well done if I do 6 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other.

Step 4: Check if your meat bleeds

Let it bleed a little
Let it bleed a little

If your meat starts to ooze blood from the part that is exposed to the air, you are doing a good job.

Step 5: Flip the meat and cook more

Now to cook the other side
Now to cook the other side

When the 6 minutes is up, flip the meat to the other side. The cooked part of the steak should be easily separated from the grill/pan.

Wait another 4 minutes for this side to be done. Then take out the steak.

Step 6: Leave the steak

Let the meat rest before your devour it
Let the meat rest before your devour it

This is the most difficult part of this meal. After cooking, leave the steak for about 4 to 6 minutes. I read that this allows the juices in the meat to redistribute evenly so the steak is tastier.

I usually distract myself by cooking the other piece of steak because it’s hard not to swallow the hot steak whole when it comes out of the pan.

Step 7: Eat, drink and be merry

Fruit of your labor
Fruit of your labor

After the waiting period is over, it’s time to dig into your meal.

Red wines supposedly go well with steak but it’s your meal so drink whatever your want.

Is someone judging your rose? Tell them to buy their own drink.
Is someone judging your rose? Tell them to buy their own drink.

Do you have other hostel recipes to share? Share them in the comments.

New travel plans! [YQrtw Day 82 Jun 27]

avenida 9 de junio

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

I was on Avenida Cordoba 3 times today for different reasons.
I was on Avenida Cordoba 3 times today for different reasons.

Today was a really stressful day. I was planning to buy air tickets to Ecuador but the booking site had terrible reviews so I headed down to Avenida Cordoba to TAME Airline’s office.

The guy managing the counter was a younger and more handsome version of Javier Bardem. If I wasn’t as stressed out about my airtickets, I would have secretly fan girled more.

Anyway, I had many problems with the tickets to Ecuador:

  1. The booking office does not have a credit card machine
  2. The only way to pay was in Argentine peso at a bank around the corner
  3. I will need to get money out of the ATM 3 times because of the 1,000 peso limit (My bank might think it’s a fraudulent transaction.)
  4. The ticket was S$700
  5. I need a ticket out of Ecuador or Javier Junior cannot sell me a ticket (This can be easily solved though.)

I went straight back to the hostel, forgoing the English tour for Recoleta Cemetery. (I’m rather sad about this.)

I decided that instead of going through the 6 problems I have with buying tickets to Ecuador, I should just head to Chile instead.

So that was how I decided my next destination: Out of stress.

Buenos Aires building
Buenos Aires building
Kung Fu school in Buenos Aires
Kung Fu school in Buenos Aires
Theatre on Avenida Cordoba
Theatre on Avenida Cordoba

Buying the ticket to Chile

When I first bought my tickets for South America, I bought a flight into Buenos Aires and a flight out of Lima, Peru.

I was worried that the ticket agent might refuse to sell me a ticket because I don’t have a flight out of Chile. I was also worried that the people at the airport might stop me from buyiboarding the plane (horror story from Javier Jr).

What is a person to do at times like this? Book a flight out of Chile. Well, virtually. I’ll explain more after I land in Chile.

After getting all the documents I need, I went for lunch with the Taiwanese girl from the hostel. We had an amazing Peruvian meal which I’ll share sometime later.

After lunch, Iheaded back to Av Cordoba to buy my ticket.

The lady didn’t even look at my air tickets and swiped my credit card for 2,400+ peso (S$600+). There was a second in which I thought about heading back to Javier Jr but thought that it’s too much of a hassle paying for the ticket to Ecuador.

Despite having my Chilean ticket, I was still stressed. Now I have to worry about currency, transportation, accommodation and pronunciation.

It’s very scary leaving a familiar place for a strange land. I feel sad that I wouldn’t be able to go to the Carrefour where the security guard knows me by sight, or buy empanadas from the Downton Abbey Thomas lookalike.

Luckily, I know someone from Twitter who’s now in Santiago. She helped with hostel recommendation and we’re meeting up for dinner. (Hurray for the internet!)

I can't promise I won't cry for you, Argentina.
I can’t promise I won’t cry for you, Argentina.
Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Junio, Buenos Aires
Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Junio, Buenos Aires
Stripper show only for women
Stripper show only for women

Tour of Palacio Barolo

I still had some pesos with me so I decided to go for the afternoon tour of Palacio Barolo. Even though my language school was in the building, I never got the chance to visit the rest of it.

Palacio Barolo was designed based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. (Don’t ask me what it was about.)

The best part was the view of Buenos Aires.

Stairs in Palacio Barolo
Stairs in Palacio Barolo
View of Buenos Aires from Palacio Barolo
View of Buenos Aires from Palacio Barolo
Plaza Congresso from above
Plaza Congresso from above
Argentina stop for school sign
Argentina stop for school sign

What should I do in Santiago de Chile? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Trip to the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 81 Jun 26]

Evita dresses

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today is my sister’s birthday. Happy birthday to her!

This evening, I checked out Museo Evita because it’s museum day for me and I was around the area. I have to admit that before arriving in Argentina, the most I knew about Eva Peron was that Madonna played her character in a movie which I’ve never seen.

When out at one of the school outings, Macarena from the language school I was at, told more about the history Evita. It was Evita who helped allow women in Argentina to vote and she had helped the poor.

I was curious to know more about Evita. Actually, it was either visiting the Evita Museum or the Museum of Decorative Arts. Of course Evita would win.

The museum is located in a fancy building with sculptures on the wall outside.

Facade of Evita Museum, Buenos Aires
Facade of Evita Museum, Buenos Aires
What the Evita Museum looks like from outside.
What the Evita Museum looks like from outside.

Entrance to the exhibition area is 20 peso (S$5). The exhibition includes a lot of artefacts of Evita and bit of quotes from her book, In My Own Words.

The museum was mostly in Spanish but English translation is available.

We walk in a doorway where there is a sort of shrine for Evita. Then follow a walkway to a mirrored room showing a video of Evita’s wake.

Then we enter the room about Evita’s childhood. She lived in a childhood “with happiness and sorrow”. Her father died and her mom became the pillar of the family.

We learn that her mother finally gave up on stopping Eva from being an actress and went to Buenos Aires with her. While Eva was in several films, she was the leading lady in only one film which was not screened.

My jaw dropped when I saw this. Damn, you are gorgeous!
My jaw dropped when I saw this. Damn, you are gorgeous!
Evita Duarte
Evita Duarte

Then we walk on a spiral staircase up to the second floor where we follow Eva’s political journey (she was never in office) and her fabulous wardrobe.

Eva was the first First Lady to appear in a presidential potrait.
Eva was the first First Lady to appear in a presidential potrait.

I particularly like the section with Evita’s clothes, so chic!

Evita's clothes in the Evita Museum.
Evita’s clothes in the Evita Museum.
Evita's dress. I love the stripes.
Evita’s dress. I love the stripes.
Evita's headgear. I am jealous of people who can wear hats. My head is too gigantic for most hats.
Evita’s headgear. I am jealous of people who can wear hats. My head is too gigantic for most hats.

Things about Evita that I didn’t know

Card to bring for voting, I think.
Card to bring for voting, I think.

Evita opened orphanages and started a school for nurse so more people can be trained to take care of others.

One rather interesting program by her was a Children Tourism program (or something like that) where kids were taken to the sea and mountains for the first time.

At the end of the exhibition is a video about how Evita’s body which was embalmed was snatched by Bad People. The body was driven away and buried in Italy under a name starting with Maria. It was years later that the body was returned to her family.

One of the scariest part of the video was Evita’s sister’s voice recording. The voice talked about how parts of Evita’s body was damaged and the camera panned over the damaged parts. Urgh!

Random inner courtyard in Evita Museum.
Random inner courtyard in Evita Museum.
Pretend kitchen with pretend steak on the pretend hot plate.
Pretend kitchen with pretend steak on the pretend hot plate.

I loved the museum very much. You should definitely visit if you are ever in Buenos Aires.

The first part of the day

Now that the main subject is done, I’ll share a bit of what I did for the rest of the day.

I spent the noon at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) which had a good collection (Monets, Rodins, 1 van Gogh). Since it was free entry, the employees were quite horrible. So terrible that I would rather bury the memory of it than write it down here. Still I recommend going there for about an hour or two.

After MNBA (Museum of National Bigheaded Arse), I walked to the National Library. I had heard that the design of the library is cool so I was pretty excited.

National Library in Buenos Aires
National Library in Buenos Aires
Museum of Decorative Art
Museum of Decorative Art
10-year tourist visa for the US included in this envelope
10-year tourist visa for the US included in this envelope

After Evita Museum, I rushed back to the hostel to check online if my passport was ready for collection at DHL. It was and I only had 40 minutes to get to the DHL branch.

I made it in time!

How much do you know about Evita? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to dye your hair in a hostel [YQrtw Day 80 Jun 25]

hair color

Imagine that you are travelling. One day, you thought that your old hair color is kind of boring but you do not have extra cash to go to the saloon to get it colored.

What do you do? DIY (Do-It-Yourself), of course.

Step 1: Buy hair dye

How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye
How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye

This is the simplest part. Head to the nearest supermarket near you to pick up a bottle of hair dye.

Please note that the hair color displayed on the box will probably not be the result that appears on your hair, especially if you have ink black hair with the texture of iron string.

While you are at the supermarket, it’s good to pick up a few cheap towels for your post-dye hair drying.

Step 2: Read instructions

Read the instructions even if you don't know the language
Read the instructions even if you don’t know the language

This part is very important. If your instructions are in a foreign language, get your dictionary out. Or try interpreting the pictures on the instructions, they make sense most of the time.

Step 3: Test for allergic reaction

It’s best to test if you are allergic to the dye mixture. Do this by opening the mixtures and putting a few drops on the inside of your elbow.

If you get rashes, do not use the hair dye solution. Instead, get a new one or don’t dye your hair at all.

If no allergies appear, it’s probably safe for you to use the dye. Give about 24 hours before you start dying your hair to see if any allergic reaction occurs.

Step 4: Prepare your instruments

Towels
Towels

Besides the hair dye, you should have newspaper or plastic bags as well as dark colored towels around. The newspaper and plastic is to protect the floor from getting stained while the dark colored towel hides dye stains when you dry your hair.

Ask the hostel people if they have dark colored towels. If you are lucky, they might have discolored but clean towels for you to dry your hair with.

Lay the newspaper on the floor or on the sink to prevent the hair dye from coloring anything but your hair.

Use protection
Use protection

Step 5: Start the dye job

Follow the instructions in your manual for steps to dye your hair. You might need to shake the dye mixture together or gently slosh them around.

Cover your hair with the mixture and let it sit for as long as the instruction requires you to. During this time, you can read or play games on your smartphone.

Step 6: Rinse it out

When the time is up, rinse off the dye. Rinse until the water from your hair is clear. If the dye comes with conditioner, apply as instructed.

However, no matter how much water you splash on your head, some hairdye will cling to your strands. That is why you need dark colored towels.

Step 7: Admire the result

Since this is the first day of the dye job, you might see a darker color than what was depicted on the box. If you use your imagination enough, the hair color might look like what the box promised.

If that does not work, just let it be and be satisfied that you actually turned your hair from the same tone to the same tone but with dark lowlights.

My newsletter just went out this morning (Buenos Aires time). If you are curious about it, check it out.

Want to receive it the newsletter directly in your mailbox? Sign up now or later.

Have you ever dyed your hair in a hostel? How did it turn out?

Settling back in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 79 Jun 24]

iguazu group

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The bus from Iguazu was supposed to reach Buenos Aires at 10am. In the end, we reached at 12:30 noon. It didn’t matter to me since I was jobless and schoolless.

While on the bus, I managed to conquer my motion sickness and write up a few disjointed blog posts. At times like these, I really wish I have 3G internet so I can surf the web.

When our bus arrived at our destination, there was a group photo. Try squinting to see me.

BAIS Iguazu group
BAIS Iguazu group

I took the same bus as I did coming back from the US embassy. It felt strange to look at this city which I’ve been in for about 3 weeks. I recognized some of the street names and some shop fronts looked familiar.

I headed back to my old hostel. Now I have a new bed space, the furthest away from the window (Hurray!) and has a less saggy mattress.

I spent most of the afternoon on the bed, trying to get a nap. It didn’t work.

In the end, I walked to the supermarket for dinner. As usual, I bought steak (it’s just so cheap here!) and half a head of cabbage because it was cheap (S$1 per kilo!) and I need my fiber after countless suppers of steak.

While I was preparing my steak, the hostel receptionist who was from Buenos Aires gave many tips for cooking steak:

  1. Beat the meat to tenderize it (I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.)
  2. Cooking in on an iron grill (and not the frying pan I was using.)
  3. Pair the steak with a strong Malbec (not the wimpy rosada Malbec that I got.)
Meat on a frying pan
Meat on a frying pan

Anyway, my steak turned out awesome even without his tips. Still, I might take his advice when I’m cooking my next meal.

The rest of the night was spent preparing my newsletter and looking at random things on the internet. I should start planning touristy trips out of the hostel.

What do you want me to do in Buenos Aires?

Cost of travel in Dubai

futuristic Dubai

After Sri Lanka’s cheap living expenses, I reached Dubai. The place was rather expensive so I skipped touristy things like sand duning and desert trips, spending most of my time reading.

Dubai’s travel costs

In April 2013, Dubai’s exchange rate was around 3 dirhams to 1 Singapore dollar.

I changed my dirhams at Changi Airport before flying out to Singapore.

I figured that having some Dubai cash in hand before landing is a good idea since my plane arrive past 11pm.

Summary

Total spent (dirhams) # of days Daily average
1166.50 5 233.30

By Category

Accomo Transport Food Museums/ sites SIM
820 70.5 163.25 15

Stat

Duration: 5 days

Photos taken: 451 photos

Books read in Dubai: Several books from Song of Ice and Fire

Random

Best dish: Shawarma! [I didn’t expect to see that many reincarnations of this dish for the rest of my trip but I did in Greece and Istanbul.]

Chicken shawarma

Favorite part about Dubai: Air-conditioning

Biggest surprise: Dubai felt very familiar. It was like Singapore but with a lot of heat and sand. The place was eerily clean and the buildings in the CBD were shiny metallic.

Worst experience: Receiving a note under my door on my first night. I didn’t mention it in my blog posts because it felt too scary then.

Biggest rip off: Dubai 3G price. It was so expensive that I refused to buy 3G for my phone.

Biggest regret: Staying in Dubai for so long. Accommodation price in Dubai was really crazy. I booked an AirBnb accommodation and that took up 70 percent of my total spending.

Related posts:

Round-the-world pre-trip expenses

Sri Lanka: Travel costs & summary