Foul Language in the Argentine Workplace

[Note: The following post contains foul language written in Spanish. If such things offend you, please visit this post with pretty pictures instead.]

Memo by miss mass, on Flickr [used under Creative Commons license]Memo from an American Company to its Argentine Staff

It has been brought to our attention by several officials visiting our office in Buenos Aires that offensive language is commonly used by our Spanish-speaking staff. Such behavior, in addition to violating our policy, is highly unprofessional and offensive to both visitors and staff.

All personnel will immediately adhere to the following rules:

1. Words like "carajo," "la puta madre," "me da en el quinto forro" and other such expressions will not be tolerated or used for emphasis or dramatic effect, no matter how heated a discussion may become.

2. You will not say "la cagó" when someone makes a mistake, or "lo están cagando a pedos" if you see someone being reprimanded, or "qué cagada" when a major mistake has been made. All forms and derivations of the verb "cagar" are utterly inappropriate and unacceptable in our environment.

3. No project manager, section head or administrator under any circumstances will be referred to as "hijo de mil putas," "mal parido," "es una mierda" or "es una bosta."

4. Lack of determination will not be referred to as "falta de huevos" nor will persons who lack initiative be referred to as "cagón de mierda," "pelotudo" or "boludo."

5. Unusual or creative ideas offered by management are not to be referred to as "pajas mentales" or "pendejadas."

6. Do not say "cómo hincha las pelotas" nor "qué ladilla de mierda" if a person is persistent; do not add "cagó fuego," if a colleague is going through a difficult situation. Furthermore, you must not say "cagamos" (refer to item #2) nor "nos rompieron el orto" when a matter becomes excessively complicated.

7. When asking someone to leave you alone, you must not say "andate a la concha de tu hermana" nor should you ever substitute "May I help you?" with "¿Qué mierda querés?"

8. Under no circumstances should you ever call your elderly industrial partners "viejos chotos."

9. Do not say "me chupa un huevo" when a relevant project is presented to you, nor should you ever answer "sobame el nabo" when your assistance is required.

10.You should never call a partner "puto de mierda" or "vieja tortillera"; the sexual behavior of our staff is not to be discussed in terms such as "viejo trolo," "la mira con cariño" or "mariquita."

11. Last but not least, after reading this note, please don't say "me la paso por las pelotas." Just keep it clean and dispose of it properly.

Thank you.

[Source: Text extracted from the BANewcomers' mailing list. Author unknown. // Photo credit: miss mass]

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Argentina iPhone Apps Worth Checking Out

What's on your iPhone home screen? by Tony Buser, on Flickr [used under Creative Commons license]I still enjoy thumbing through the paper editions of travel guides, but there's no doubt that technology has ushered in a new era of trip planning and research. Travel-focused apps often provide access to in-depth information about places that traditional guidebooks barely even mention, and without the constraints of traditional publishing, they can be updated on a more frequent basis as well. You can carry around the equivalent of hundreds of paper guidebooks right there on your lightweight mobile device, another distinct advantage of going digital, especially if you're visiting multiple cities and/or countries. Lastly, the accessible price points of these mobile applications make them hard to resist!

But like everything else, not all apps are created equal. So, today I'd like to recommend a pair of quality, Argentina-related apps, both of which I have personally tested on my iPod touch. These apps function on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Recoleta Cemetery by Endless Mile
Author: Robert Wright
Price: $5.99

Recoleta Cemetery contains more than just a collection of ornate mausoleums; it contains the history of a nation. "Thanks to its occupants and their eternal sense of style," the cemetery figures prominently on the list of Buenos Aires' must-see attractions. With Endless Mile's Recoleta Cemetery app, you're free to tour the cemetery and take it all in at your own pace.

Truthfully, I can't imagine anyone other than Robert Wright authoring an app about the cemetery. I've been following Robert's blog Afterlife—the definitive English-language resource for information about Recoleta Cemetery—for years now, and his attention to detail, enviable research skills and passion for history have always impressed me. He's managed to condense the wealth of information accumulated in his blog into a slick, well-organized app highlighting the 25 most interesting mausoleums plus the meaning of common funerary symbols and a general overview of the cemetery.

A virtual map leads you through the cemetery to the tombs of some of Argentina's elite. At each point on the route you gain insight into Recoleta's incredible architecture, historical figures and urban legends through text presented with beautiful photos and illustrations. Fans of Evita, the cemetery's most famous resident, will even find a section of the app dedicated to her.

While I fully recommend the mobile app, Robert packs even more information into his 22-page Recoleta Cemetery PDF guide ($9.95). I suggest this option for those with unlimited time to explore and an intense interest in the cemetery's history, since the PDF guide details information about 70 different tombs. The PDF is also the way to go if you'd prefer to print out the guide to carry with you or if you don't own an Apple device.

Argentina Travel Adventures by Sutro Media
Author: Wayne Bernhardson
Price: $2.99

As the man behind the blog Southern Cone Travel and author of Moon Handbooks for Argentina, Buenos Aires and Patagonia, Wayne Bernhardson is eminently qualified to tackle Argentina "from the top to the tip, the city to the campo." The writing featured in the Argentina Travel Adventures app truly reflects Wayne's years of travel experience and knowledge. In addition to information about major attractions, the app offers practical information and cultural tidbits touching upon food, transportation, culture, and health and safety.

The app includes a number of attractive photos, most of which were provided by the author. They look good on the iPod touch, but I imagine they really shine on the larger display of the iPad. An interactive map with markers allows you to visualize each of the recommended spots, and you're able to conveniently filter results by category. You can even ask the author questions or suggest additional information about an attraction. How's that for interactivity?

The app is useful and well-designed, but it only scratches the surface, providing a brief overview of Argentina's most popular destinations. Each entry gives you just enough information to pique your interest. If you're looking to explore second-tier cities or locations off the beaten path, I'd consider a different resource; however, for first-time visitors or those sticking to the main tourist circuit, I think Argentina Travel Adventures more than fits the bill.

Have you tried either of these apps? Can you recommend other useful Argentina-focused apps?

Disclosure: Although Robert Wright and Wayne Bernhardson both provided complimentary downloads of their apps, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

[Photo credit: Tony Buser]

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7 Super Shots: Adventures in Argentina

Lucky number 7 is at it again! Last year, I unearthed a few special posts for the My 7 Links challenge. This time, I'm taking part in the HostelBookers 7 Super Shots game to showcase some of my favorite photographs. I'm happy to find an excuse to share these photos from the archives, especially since a couple date to my pre-blogging days.

I dusted off these seven photos—all from my adventures in Argentina—for your consideration:

[1] A photo that…takes my breath away

Modesta Victoria at Bosque de Arrayanes, Patagonia, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr[The Modesta Victoria docked at the entrance to the Bosque de Arrayanes, Patagonia]

Offering amazing vistas at every turn, the region of Patagonia in southern Argentina is, without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking places I've ever visited. On my most recent trip to Bariloche, I snapped this photo of the historic vessel Modesta Victoria, with the Andes Mountains rising majestically in the background. [View large]

[2] A photo that…makes me laugh or smile

Un Encuentro Fortuito | A Chance Encounter by katiemetz, on Flickr[Near the beach in Necochea]

Daniel and I are driving along the coastal road just south of Necochea one evening when we happen upon this paisano riding toward us along a dusty trail. Daniel stops the car, and I politely ask the man if I may take his picture, trying to contain my excitement. Had he merely paused and allowed me to take his photo, I would have been content; however, with true gaucho flourish he signals to his horse to paw the ground, creating a swirl of dust about him. After I click the shutter, Daniel and I erupt in applause and thanks, and the gaucho continues along that same dirt path. [View large]

[3] A photo that…makes me dream

Golden Afternoon on the River [Río Quequén, Necochea, Argentina] by katiemetz, on Flickr [Golden afternoon light reflected off the Río Quequén, Necochea]

I've seen the river near my home at all times of day and in all conditions, yet I find nothing more enchanting than the late afternoon when the sun's rays light up the pampas grass and lend a golden hue to the water. [View large]

[4] A photo that…makes me think

Contrasts | Contrastes by katiemetz, on Flickr[Plaza del Congreso, Buenos Aires]

Privileged lawmakers sit inside the Argentine Congress located just steps away from where this man, down on his luck, sleeps on a park bench. [View large]

[5] A photo that…makes my mouth water

El Gran Asado | The Great Barbecue [Necochea, Argentina] by katiemetz, on Flickr[Plaza Dardo Rocha, Necochea]

Each year, the city government of my adopted home of Necochea organizes an enormous asado (Argentine barbecue) in the main square to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the city. Chorizo sausages, huge slabs of beef and cross-cut ribs, and whole pigs are splayed out on large iron crosses, where they're left to cook for hours by a wood fire under the watchful eye of the asadores (barbecue pit masters). The meaty smokiness of the asado permeates your hair, your clothes, everything—but just one bite of that Argentine beef makes it all worthwhile. [View large]

[6] A photo that…tells a story

Los Asadores by katiemetz, on Flickr[Plaza Dardo Rocha, Necochea]

These two pit masters take a break for a round of mate and a smoke while minding the sizzling barbecue. They're sitting atop the massive pile of firewood needed to keep an enormous asado fueled for hours on end. [View large]

[7] A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

View from Cerro Campanario, Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina by katiemetz, on Flickr[View from Cerro Campanario, Bariloche]

A few years ago, National Geographic selected the view from Cerro Campanario in Bariloche, Patagonia as one of the top 10 most scenic views in the world. I'd say it's pretty damn stunning. [View large]

So now I'm passing the torch to five other bloggers in the hopes that they too will post their 7 Super Shots. For rules and guidelines, click here.

Gabriel at Live from Waterloo
Ana at Ana Travels
Aledys at From Argentina to the Netherlands, For Love! 
The Thorny Rose at La Gringa 
Elizabeth at Fotos Eli

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