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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Japanese Gardens - Jardin Japonés

A while back in my Castellano Lessons post I mentioned taking lessons from my tutor, Irene. I've been taking lessons now for 9 hours a week since December and although I can speak much better now than I could back then, it gets a bit monotonous just sitting in my house studying Spanish all that time. Just like when you were really good in school, a few weeks ago we were able to change the pace a little and took a field trip to the Japanese Gardens instead of our normal lesson. Irene has another student that I've met a few times, Marcia, so we all decided to go together on a beautiful Friday morning.

(Pictured: Marcia, me, Irene: the fabulous teacher. This photo makes me look super-model-tall and I promise, this is not the case.) The Japanese Gardens are located in Palermo, an easy 20 blocks from where we live (Ave Casares 2966). The entrance fee is $5 pesos, and worth the approximate dollar I paid. The gardens are a nice, quiet getaway in between two of the biggest streets in the city, Ave del Libertador and Ave Pres Figueroa Alcorta. There is a nice walking path with a couple bridges and fountains that make for a great place to study or read or just get away from the city noise for a bit. There is a sushi restaurant that serves expensive tea in the morning, and according to people that have eaten there, it has good sushi. I can't confirm this since their breakfast service extends past noon which is when we went in, they were still closed for lunch. One of the main reasons that I may return to the Japonese Gardens, other than to get some tranquility, is because they have a pretty decent greenhouse that sells plants and potted trees. The great thing about Buenos Aires weather is that it almost never freezes here, even in the middle of "winter", so almost everything grows with little to no effort. This is promising for a person like me, who at one time my mom fondly referred to my house as "where plants go to die". Literally, I give lots of TLC to my plants and they all kick the bucket sooner or later. So, I may use the Gardens greenhouse as another attempt to green my thumb.

The field trip was a nice reprieve from our normal lessons, although now that I am older and wiser I will use field trips more wisely. Just like in school, not nearly as much actual learning gets done when you're out of the classroom, so for the sake of my Spanish and my sanity, I should substitute one for the other only when necessary.

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