Corrugated City

Tuesday 15 May 2007

Fascinating images from my old photo albums

I found some old photo disks at the bottom of a box yesterday and uploaded them to my computer today. There are quite a few photos that i thought i'd lost when my cat destroyed the hard drive on my computer two hours before moving from buenos aires to valparaiso. i almost left him behind. anyway, although most of these photos will interest no one but myself, i thought i'd post a few of them. at some point i might get around to posting some more info about Valpo and history and stuff which was the original idea of the blog. in the meantime, bore yourselves stupid with photos (not in chronological order in case you're wondering) of my life from the past 3 years or so...

Georgie, my kittycat back in England. About to have one of his ears chopped off for some sort of polyp or something.

Tonto, one of my 2 cats from Argentina (now in chile where they can't understand a word of chilean spanish, cachai?) after he fell (or was pushed by the girlf, it's all still a mystery) from the 3rd floor window of our old flat in BA. 5 days in hospital on a drip.

These photos are from when we went to Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) for a couple of weeks almost 2 years ago now. I'd forgotten that it bears a vague resemblance to Valparaiso in that the port area and the lift are similar. Food's better in Salvador, of course and it's steamier...Valparaiso's lifts are all funiculars but there's one vertical lift, the Polanco, shown below (not my photo, i nicked it from someone else's blog)





These photos are from the 30th anniversary (last year) of the last coup in Argentina that lead to the deaths of up to 30,000 people. I remember viewing the 2nd photo and thinking how similar the guy looking towards me is to the guy on the poster.

This could be pretty much anywhere on the Chilean coast...but it's Cornwall the day after my cousin's wedding last year...

But this is a photo from a couple of months ago that i took on Chiloe in the south of Chile. That's just Cornwall from 50 years ago isn't it? Weird, eh?

These are from a weekend trip we made to La Feliz (Mar del Plata) last winter. Winter at the seaside is brilliant. I'm almost looking forward to the cold and driving rain that's coming Valpo's way very shortly...

London on a cold winter's afternoon

Madrid on a cold winter's afternoon

Santiago on a cold winter's afternoon

Paris on a cold winter's afternoon

Reñaca, Chile on a cold winter's afternoon

Sturminster Newton on freezing cold night in a warm pub. With everyone completely sober


Baggie Bird, at the Shrine. boing boing, stand up if you hate the wolves...

Hallowe'en in Mendoza (that's not me in the Devil suit. Feasting on beef 5 days a week in Argentina did make me a bit porky but not quite that much)

The old home town

Where i was packed off to boarding school when my parents realised they didn't love me anymore...guaaaaa...

And finally...only in Buenos Aires


pedroC said...

Nice set of pictures. Certainly stirred some emotion in me when I saw the London skyline. What building did you take the snap from?. Somewhere in the City, maybe the Natwest Tower or the Erotic Gherkin. Also lovely to see the Wobbly bridge and St Paul's in the background. Although I'm Chileno I spent 3/4 of my life in the smoke and those pictures bring me out all nostalgic. I see you are a Baggies fan for your sins, well whilst I'm writing this you must be getting pissed celebrating your win over Wolves, pity you are gonna miss the playoff final at the shiny new Wembley, it's the price you pay for such wonderful view of the Valpo/Vina bay.
I lived in Valpo for a year when I was a nipper, Cerro Cordillera me thinks. I used to wave the ships goodbye as they disappeared over the horizon, those were the days.
Anyway, do you also come factory fitted with a Black Country twang?. My mate went out with a lass from West Bromwich and some of her phrases were absolute peaches.
What's with the picture of mock Tudor houses, looks like how I would imagine Solihull to be.
Also love the picture in the pub, not the geezers. Behind them, you know, the stuff that come out of those lovely cask conditioned real ale pumps, pure magic.
Until last December I lived back in Chile for 2 1/2 year, but it didn't rock my boat. Now I live in Buenos Aires and as I see that you lived here, maybe you can do a post on what made you make the move to Chile.
Anyway enough rambling on. Enjoy the win over Wolves and lets hope you beat Derby.

p.s. Do they shout out Boing Boing 'cause they keep going up then down?

Matt said...

i'm off to get pissed verrrrrrry soon to celebrate beating the filthy dingles. there's nothing like beating The Shit. As we haven't won the play-off final yet i'll reserve a little bit of gloating for now. I mean, it's not as if we hauled back a 12 point deficit and got promoted at the expense of the cus-turd coloured goons. That was 4 years ago hehe...As for the final, i've got a ticket for the it's a case of finding a flight under £'s looking unlikely, unfortunately....

the london photos were taken from the top of st paul's and from one end of another amazing feat of english engineering...a multimillion pound bridge that makes people throw up from sea-sickness. i don't know what it is with us english and our total inability to complete an engineering project on time and on budget. the germans can do, hell even the french can do it. but us? no chance. wembley-double the cost and 2 years late. useless aussie contractor and useless english workmen.

my accent...i used to be a brummie but i had it gently bullied out of me when i was sent to boarding school. now i have one of those boring generic english public school accents. very tedious. the brummoi comes back when i go to the footy.

the old home town is a friendly little town in the south-west (except on friday and saturday nightwhen it becomes a blood splattered townie-hell). the tudor-ish building with the beams was my school in worcestershire.

and i also miss a good pint. at least here in chile there are one of two decent micro-brews that are reasonably widely available. we've got 2 here in valpo-Cerro Alegre which is really, really good and Del Puerto which is ok but not as good. I also like Austral, both the lager and the stout. kunstmann is pretty good as well for a mass-market fake micro-brew. In argentina there was nothing but yellow water, although a freezing cold quilmes on a stupidly hot buenos aires summer's day can't really be beaten.

i'd love to do a post saying why i moved to chile but seeing as anyone who says anything even vaguely negative about argentina automatically gets death threats and other abuse i'm holding off on that one for a while (i've already had a couple of comments that i deleted 'cos i couldn't be arsed getting into a conversation with the nice anoymous writer...)...suffice to say that there are positive and negatives about anywhere-england, chile, argentina and paradise included. the bird's chilean btw...

pedroC said...

Didn't tell me about the Boing Boing.
Anyway you say you have a Brummie accent, well most Brummies I know take the piss out of Black Country accent, which by default should be your former accent, you know, the accent you had before you had it beaten out of you by a beak, a bodger or a sixth. I'm a comprehensive school boy but I've watched Harry Potter so hopefully I've got the slang correct.
Like you I'm a big footy fan, Gooner me.
Last year I spent most of my savings getting back to Europe to see the Champions League final, cost me 900 quid for the flight and a very cheap( may I say) 300 quid for the ticket. They were going for over a grand, but I called on previous favours. 25 years as a season ticket holder helps.
As we say. Win or Lose, we're on the booze.

Matt said...

no one really knows why we boing boing. first time i saw it was at wembley in the play off final v port vale back in 92/93 with ossie ardiles as manager which we won 3-0. good times under ossie, scored a bundle...

i never had a black country twang as i grew up in staffordshire...

Anonymous said...

Really nice pix. It's funny how cold winter days look about the same everywhere. I've been noticing the change a lot since I was just in warm & sunny Spain, & now I've been in thrown into cool & sunny AR. The camera is confused.

Interesting that you had some run ins with ppl by stating negative comments about AR. I've been slowly catching up on my blogrool & damn... the BA blogosphere is getting nasty. What the heck happened? I think informed opinions (whether + or -) get confused with uninformed ones & everyone gets lumped together in the same category. Que pena.

Be sure to post chair pics after they're back home.

Matt said...

yeah, low winter sun gives pretty much everywhere the same kind of colour, a kind of grey-ish tinge and the sun has a kind of golden glow to it. i love winter when it´s cold and sunny-i really miss freezing cold, frosty, frozen sunny mornings like we get sometimes in england (less now with global warming..)...chile tends to just be chilly and damp in winter which is not much fun. we don´t even get many of those sunny winter days that you get in BA, especially in Valpo where it´s windy and rainy for 2 months solid.

and yeah, the ba bloggers are going slightly mental at the moment. i think a lot of argentines have recently found out (due to that clarin article) that expats are using their blogs to let off steam about culture shock and things that can make life difficult in argentina. i don´t think that´s really a problem-living in a foreign country, especially one as different as argentina can be demanding sometimes and everyone misses things from home. blogs are normally quite personal so what´s the issue with comparing things to home and airing your frustrations?

I found argentines in general to be really over-sensitive to criticism (constructive or not) of their country. they just can´t accept anything negative from a non-argentine. this is in spite of the fact that most argentines spend half their lives complaining about argentina! i´ve never seen this kind of slightly warped nationalism anywhere before. it was one of the things that most surprised me about argentines as they´re pretty easy going, friendly and relaxed in general...but suggest that the police are corrupt and it´s like you´ve just slapped them in the the end of my time in argentina i´d got to the point where i just focused on the positives when asked my opinions on argentina by argentines. The funny thing is, the 2 or 3 times i met seriously wealthy argentines from the top of the pile, they urged me to get the hell out of argentina-`What are you doing here, you must be mad! Go back to europe or even chile with your girlfriend, this country is no good!`I found myself defending argentina against attacks from its own people! But the average argentine will defend argentina over-zealously when faced with outside criticism.

Most people accept criticism without any problem. americans get it shoved in their faces all the time without over-reacting and anyone can criticise and abuse england and i think most englishmen would probably agree!

Diva, over at has a couple of funny posts about this and there´s a reply from an english guy with an argentine wife that i´ll nick because i found it quite funny and probably quite true, if a little OTT...

`MattyC dijo...
You are so right. Here is a fairly typical conversation between my wife (Argentine) and me (not).

Her: Take me back to London! I had a total craving for Jerusalem artichokes and couldn't find any in Coto. You can always get Jerusalem artichokes in Waitrose.
Me: Who cares about Jerusalem artichokes? I love Buenos Aires, I want to stay here until I die.
Her: You selfish bastard! You have the way and the means to get me out of this fourth world excuse for a country but all you can do is think about your own happiness.
Me: You don't know what you're talking about. This is a beautiful city, one of the creative capitals of the world, a free, funky, sexy, shimmering citadel of cool blah blah blah.
Her: But what about the shit on the pavements?
Me: You've got a point there. Let's move back to London.
Her: What? Are you calling me city dirty?
Me: No, no...wait...
Her: How dare you attack my city, you arrogant, supercilious, patronising, milky-tea drinking pirata!`

good to see you can post comments now...blogger is pretty rubbish-i wish i´d known that before starting here.

Anonymous said...

I had to re-register in order to make comments... had to do with the Google purchase of Blogger or some crap like that :(

Anyway, I can understand BA bloggers using the internet as an outlet for culture shock, exploration of a new place, whatever. I still use mine for that. And Argies can certainly be defensive. But there's a lot of crap online as well... incredibly quick & uninformed judgments that come off as condescending. I'd get offended too. I think that with any culture that's unfamiliar, you have to learn how to put things in local terms, especially when you make broad generalizations. Sure, the police are corrupt, everyone knows it, but there's a time & a place to talk about it :) My blog is almost 3 yrs old & I've done a lot of criticism of AR, past & present. Every Argie who reads my blog knows I'm anti-Peronista, anti-Kirchner, & have no problem in calling a spade a spade. But I don't get hate comments from Argies... more & more of my readers are Argies! I can't explain it. To contrast, in the expat crowd I've had people try to steal my tours on several occasions, accuse me of being racist, & quite a few other things. But I've not had problems with the locals. My ex got pissed one time I said "fucking porteños" (I was having a really bad day) then I realized he was right. I chose to live here so my frustrations needed to take a different outlet.

Anyway, the idea isn't to talk about me, me, me & say how wonderful my blog is. Honest. It's not my style. But I think a lot of the problem in the BA blog world has to do with how people express their experience here... for example, one BA blogger wrote about his experience in a casino. This is all from memory BTW. He lost most of his bets (I think), but he said that it didn't really matter cuz it was only pesos. He probably didn't mean to be offensive, but that immediately pissed me off as well as probably all Argies who live on a peso income. He could have said, I only came with a small amount of cash I was prepared to lose (which was true in his case) or, I never expect to win at casinos (which was also true in his case). Maybe I'm just being too finicky, but there has to be a reason behind all the online animosity other than Argies don't like foreigners to criticize them :) I'm not getting involved in the debate though because it has degenerated to a point that there seems to be no correct thing to say. And since I'm leaving in 5 days, I won't have time to think about BA... only beautiful Portugal.

Matt said...

yeah, i know what you mean...people could perhaps make their feelings known a little more delicately. A lot of people use their blogs to describe what they're thinking at a certain time and can therefore be quite emotional about what they write. Mix this with the fact that many people are not good very writers and the material that ends up on line can often mean something very different to what was originally intended or it can be mis-interpreted, something i've seen on quite a few BA blogs. Even so, i find argentines to be more defensive and in a slightly twisted way that's very much linked, more nationalistic than any other people i've met around the world. this, of course, doesn't take away from the positive parts of argentine culture or the positive qualities of the argentine people, of which there are many, as it's all tied into one big bundle. You can't cherry pick the best parts of any society, you have to take it all-good and bad- together i guess. When the bad starts to outweigh the good in one's opinion, then it's probably time to look for somewhere else to live. Remember that a lot of the expats that make critical comments do actually live in BA...they must like something other than the 3-1 exchange rate...maybe??!! (maybe we'll see a shake-out when either inflation makes BA really, really expensive or K does the right thing and lets the peso appreciate 25-30%.)

I can't imagine the english, germans, spanish, americans or even the french getting so het up about a few negative comments online (of course i might think that purely because i haven't been exposed to this topic in those countries and therefore i don't actually know this to be true).Personally, I certainly couldn't care less if an argentine expat in england spent his entire time criticising my country. hell, i'd probably agree with him...there's enough material...

enjoy portugal...european summer is looking good right now-it's 14C and foggy here...i'm actually off to BA next week, looks like that coffee will have to wait.

Anonymous said...

I think that lack of adequate writing skills may be part of the problem & the fact that some Argentines who don't speak colloquial American or British English might not understand subtleties that we take for granted. Hell, even you could say something to me & I might not understand it :) I certainly didn't catch all the nuances of AR Spanish & lunfardo until long after I moved here... But that's no excuse for the expat community that seems to thrive on arguing amongst itself.

I know quite a few Americans who would get upset if similar things were said about the USofA. But I tend to fall in your category... I don't really care one way or another because there's certainly enough ammo for negative comments :)

I really want to see how many of the expat community stay when the first big shakedown happens. BTW, great beach pics! Too bad I won't be here when you're in town... maybe I'll have to take a trip to Valpo later this year. Thanks for letting me express my opinions about the BA blog mess without making me get involved ;)