3 Days Of Loaves

In working towards a higher quality of living and working to implement the good old strictures of european, civilized living in Casa Boingo I decided to finally attack the bread problem after spending far too much time contemplating a rice cooker for my limited countertop space.

Here we have day 1's loaves rising. I adapted a "basic bread (archived)" recipe for greater simplicity of a whole egg, substituting 000 flour for "strong bread flour, and overlooking the sugar. Thusly we have

  • 1 kg 000 flour
  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • ~1 oz. Yeast
  • Splash of Salt
  • 1 whole egg

And now risen.


Spoiler Alert: This waiting appears to be the least important


The resulting loaves are fairly dense. It's exactly what I associated with other people's efforts at "home made bread" back home. Dense, and fine when its warm, but when the Peruana came over the next day she complained a little bit made her incredibly full. Racial factors in gluten tolerance aside, clearly better could be done.


I find it receives mortadella and mustard fine, but as a staple there is room to improve.


And under the Peruana's watch and questioning along the lines of "Why no sugar?" day two bakes. Nearly the same recipe, but 0000 flour is what found its way home from the store with me this time. These loaves give the impression they would be great with sausage gravy. I've discovered batter for southern style biscuits.


We follow with samples from 3 days of baking. The initial loaf, the Peruana inspired biscuit, and the golden boy.

Progress



We have day three's loaf, the golden boy, the Day 2's giant biscuit, and the first batch with extreme "home made flavor".

    For day three I stopped trying to use a whole kilogram of flour at one:

    • 250 grams 00 flour ((apparently this is some sort of pasta flour, but 000 wasn't in stock and after the biscuit I needed a correction from the 0000.
    • Two Spoons Full of Sugar
    • One Spoon Of Salt
    • One Whole Egg
    • One Cup of water
    • 10 grams yeast

    It was good. A bit short in the sandwiching direction, but closer to something that could be a staple.

    Selected Costs Associated With Furnishing Casa Boingo For The Curious

    For the curious here are prices associated with furnishing and maintaining Casa Boingo, the closest thing to a current TMSR embassy on the Rio de la Plata. Many of the items featured here can be seen in the photo tour. For the record in July 1 USD has been 31 pesos give or take half a peso depending on whether you are buying or selling.

    Furnishings:

    • 30 Liter Hot Water Heater, vitirfied steel tank: 5550 pesos1
    • Sofa Cama: 14394 pesos
    • Refrigerator Panavox: 4395 pesos
    • "Eames" Style chairs: 1950 pesos for 32
    • Electric Kettle: 610 pesos
    • Television: 7990 pesos
    • TV Wall mount: 933 pesos
    • Antenna: 448 pesos
    • Broom: 177 pesos
    • Shower Curtain: 345 pesos
    • Shower Curtain Liner: 135 pesos
    • Shower Curtain Rod: 296 pesos
    • Pan: 630 pesos
    • Pot: 685 pesos
    • Harry: 600 pesos
    • 10 liter bucket: 95 pesos

    Utilities:

    • Electricity: 2117 pesos for 208 kw/h, seperate 1347 peso one time connection fee
    • Internet: 1347 pesos monthly with 1054 peso one time connection fee
    • Building Common Expenses: 1757 pesos3

    Select Consumables:

    • Condoms: 286 pesos for a 12 pack
    • Toilet paper: 74 pesos for 4 50 meter rolls, 86 pesos for 4 50 meter rolls with a smaller roll stuck in the middle
    • Melamine Sponge: 65 pesos
    • Morcillon: 220 pesos/kg4
    • Mortadella: 290 pesos/kg
    • Tuna, frozen (Origen Vietnam): 378 pesos/kg
    • Sandwich Bread: 131 pesos/loaf
    • Peanut Butter: 148 pesos/jar, 225 grams
    • Dulce de Leche: 85 pesos/tub, 500 grams
    • Dish Detergent: 58 pesos/bottle, 300 ml
    • A deeper grocery exploration may happen in the near future

    Items yet to be acquired:

    • Second sleepable surface for non-intimate guests
    • Actual kitchen knife, This limits of using a box cutter in the kitchen are making themselves apparent
    • Whiteboard, The search continues

    Under consideration:

    • Rice Cooker – Simplifies prepping cheap calories
    • Bread knife – In the event baking is solved
    • More oxygen generators

    1. Installation and hoses came to another 1200 pesos.  

    2. The hostel has several of these and their survival in that environment was the sales pitch.  

    3. Was advertised as 2500 pesos monthly, came with a detailed statement of what the building spent  

    4. Not to be confused with Morcilla, Mocillon is a peppery cold cut that appears to be the love child of head cheese and morcilla  

    Casa Boingo – A Photo Tour

    It's been more than a month since I picked up the keys and nearly a month since I started sleeping here exclusively. Lets see how far this place has come since it was last photographed.

    The sofa cama as it was delivered one month ago. I was very surprised the delivery folk did not stick around to unwrap it and keep the protective sheet pictured here.

    The kitchen with all of its glossy hard surfaces is clean. The stove top has seen frequent use with the pot and the pan, but the oven has yet to see much use. I have been trying to maintain a hostel style beakfast spead near the Jarra Electrica, but at the moment it is lacking fruit and a tub of dulce de leche.

    Where the fiber comes in. It was all rolled up inside the wall for the installer who replaced the boring wall plate that covered it with the current one that cautions against live lasers. The device catching the laser is intentionally not pictured.

    From Harry going clockwise: The balcony with 1 of 3 red chairs of an ubiquitous local style the Chicoms shipping here describe as "Eames", The Aire Acondicionado, The sofa cama1 with blankets, we skip some empty floor and built in dining table/desk, we return to the bags I continue to live out of, and finally we see mounted to the wall the girl distraction and intercultural dialogue device.

    More of the bags, boots, wall screen, Harry, and the broom.

    Building a civilized kitchen and building up the office are the biggest areas for ongoing improvement. It was only yesterday that doubled sided wall mounting tape capable of supporting a whiteboard returned to store shelves which means it is time to find a giant whiteboard. A second sleepable surface is also on the list when a non-intimate overnight guest books.


    1. Initially it was taller, but the factory legs were unsuited to supporting enthusiasm. Replacement of the legs with a superior design is on the list of things to do. As is typical of local products hit and miss happen with in the same item. Otherwise solidly constructed this piece of furniture came with legs of a yet to be unidentified wood that failed to hold onto the retaining threads when lateral force was introduced.  

    The Joy Of Morcilla Dulce

    Uruguay is home to a number of delicious foods. There's the beef, the cheese, the icecream, and the dulce de leche. There are other very Uruguayo foods that get less attention, usually due the the lack of local creativity in using them. In spite of normally being relegated to an afterthought as part of the picada preceeding the main course of the asado, the local morcilla has a lot to offer.

    Typically the local morcilla, salado and dulce alike, are cooked in their thick skins and sliced into rounds for serving. This leaves a problem, the casing on these guys isn't very edible. It further leaves all of the various flavors trapped in the pudding.

    In addition to the bloody base the morcilla sulce has delicious pine nuts, orange, and raisins. All of these flavors are readily amplified by opening up the casing, or stripping the casing off completely. That's it. One simple trick; except this one works.

    Now, completely removing the casing makes the popular Uruguayo preparation of grilling the morcilla on the parilla unfeasible, but it opens up all kinds of other possibilities. Fry it up with rice, with potatoes, with eggs…

    A Look At Fraudball, The Terrible Spectator Sport

    In an effort to build stronger ties with the locals, I watched their games with them. Cheered with them, mourned with them, and breifly discussed seizing a warship with them over greivances against the largely Argentine referee crew. Below are several observations about the game and its shortcomings:

    • The game's defining aspect is the difficulty of controlling the ball. The ball is heavy, clumsy, and even the best players strain to exercise any modicum of control over the ball's movements.
    • Defense and its positional aspects are largely a solved problem. This means scoring usually happens through clever looking accidents, courtesy of the ball's erratic behavior or defensive mistakes.
    • These aspects make gameplay slow, tedious, and exhausting… for the spectators. The ability to confuse skill in creating situations where the accidents where scoring happens for skill in scoring is correlated with greater ability to spectate the game.
    • Many problematic aspects of Uruguayo culture translate into advantage behaviors in the game. High tolerance for waiting, feigning disability, selling non-existent injuries, and bickering over trivia carried the Uruguayo team through group play undefeated against less skilled, but more athletic teams.
    • The game of Fraud ball is exhausting for the players as well. Full out competition is only guarenteed the first 5 to 10 minutes of the games before the players are exhausted. In spite of this substitutions to bring in fresh, rested players are rare.
    • The lack of substitutions is puzzling especially considering that for the majority of players on the field their most important contribution is arranging themselves to occupy space. Meanwhile in hockey where the difference in player skills can have a greater impact on the game and scoring, substitutions are frequent.
    • Strategy consists of trying to safely burn time while hoping your side recieves more fortunate accidents than the other.

    In the end nationalist appeals for action against Argentina failed to amount to anything, but the Uruguayos were very receptive to the notion the French team didn't look very French. Make Uruguay Great Again!

     

    Settling Into Apartment Life

    Having moved out of the hostel and into the new Pizarro habitation module, life goes on. After the intercontinental move to Uruguay which required 21 hours in airplanes and airports, moving down the street is proving to be quite an adjustment given the comparatively trivial distance involved by comparison. Going from a room where I wouldn't always wake up with the same company I went to sleep with to a locking door where no one else gets in without an invitation.

    There are small things I miss. The giant pot of coffee at all hours, daily cleaning. There are bigger things as well, the rotating cast of characters out of which the occasional visitor was interesting. The rapport with the staff survives and I will be returning there in the morning for the game.

    There are things I won't miss. Brasileros requesting the heat be cranked up to summer daytime temperatures at night in the winter… Recently that could do a number on the sleep. A small number of the vistors were nuissances. Some were profound nuissances.

    The shift has bit of a disorienting change.

     

    And Then There Was Light

    And the fruit of the first telephone trámite has arrived:

    lightsIn spite of long hold times and the frustration of having to explain Gringo culture over the phone, UTE managed to get the power turned on within their stated window. Granted the install window was the entirety of business hours today.

    Meanwhile the short, easy in person trámite at a retail location to get a net connection so far has only resulted in day one of the quoted three day window to recieve a phone call about scheduling the actual installation to pass without movement.

    The short in person trámite to acquire a surface to sleep on, this trámite for comparison was not with one of the official monopolies, resulted in a 5 hour long delivery window for Thursday.

    Smaller items are gradually finding their way here as well. An electric kettle, the peculiar sort of football scarf used for cheering during the game and choking out opposing fans after a loss, miscellaneous tools, and a small mountain of microfiber rags used to pad more the important items during my immigrant voyage have made it as well.

    Updates On The Renting Adventure

    The a deposit was made with the Guarantee agency last week and the process of turning the deposit into a certificate of Guarantee is en tramité. Today is a holiday, but I have been unable to determine its name. Tomorrow the national team plays a game starting at noon local time, which is worse than a holiday. This means either Thursday is the optimistic estimate for new news, but la semana que viene is a possibility.

    So far long the way:

    • 10,000 pesos (315 USD) were placed to take the apartment off the market, credits towards first's month rent
    • ~45,000 pesos (1420 USD) were placed with the Garantee club
    • Before approaching the Guarantee club a bunch of certificates were generated for my application. Certificates which also make Migracciones happy as the residency process proceeds.
    • Changing various registrations made in my passport after landing to the Cedula has consumed a substantial amount of time as well.
    • The number of people using the hostel as a long term residence has increased from my singular self to five people. Three of the newcomers are fine. One is an absolute piece of trash that doesn't understand boundries, and if his or my presence continue to overlap in the hostel… It is very likely whether he understands threats will be tested.
    • Construction has thrown the Cowork into disarray. The sound of "todo bein" and gossip is still less tolerable than power tools. The local work ethic is such that there is very infrequently any actual construction noise. Instead there's a bunch of bitching about construction noise that isn't actually happening.
    • All of the paper shuffling and persistent vermin really has me wishing for a place to hang a whiteboard. A place where I can get hours, plural without the local noise polution.

     

    Language Acquisition And The Perception Thereof

    Having lived more than 6 continuous months in a Spanish speaking country, my Spanish has improved immensly, but in my everyday life it is hard to feel that it has happened. In March I went to Migracciones for a tramité my progress was substantially aided by making eyes at the girl behind the desk flying the bureaucracy. I was functional, but only to a point. This month in the process of securing a door I can lock and wall to hang a whiteboard, I have been corralling the various moving Latino parts of the process exclusively in Spanish. I have still been running the papers I have signed in the process past the Venezolana during lessons after I sign them for my own safety, but the temptation to bring a tag along to meetings hasn't been present.

    When viewed the apartment which is now en tramité, the kind girl offered to speak in English. I employed the trick I am every more practiced in where in three to four speaking lines I shift from English to Spanglish to Spanish, and their own mental inertia deprives them of the opportunity to practice English. This is the polite way I defuse the local anglophone fetishists from profiling me as a free chance to practice English.

    The less polite way is I indicate their accent in English is unintelligible. It rarely is, and there is more resistance to this avenue. It tends to be more satisfying by far.

    I am still dating the Peruana nurse I met in March. Her only language is Spanish. She absolutely adores1 me. The old "get a girlfriend" advice when it comes to language learning works and is well supplemented by making friends with girls. In the early days and weeks here, my brain couldn't be arsed to try to decode what the boys were saying. Now that the decoding takes far less effort, the brain will bother to decode what the boys say only to be consistently underwhelmed with the poverty of content in their many words.

    There's also a lot to be said for sending substantial periods of time alone with someone who only speaks the target language.

    Despite being mostly functional in Spanish only environments I continue taking structured lessons three times a week. I still can not express every idea my brain bakes in English into the Spanish language, but I manage to produce effective Spanish language speech with the occasional misconjugation or misgendering.2 The need for clarification that follows in these cases creates opportunities for thoughtful composition practice, the only kind that matters.

    The difference between thoughtful composition and parrot speaking of lines and scripts can't be emphasized enough. When you are Parrot speaking lines, every incident of novelty is a hard case your scripts can't cover. It can and did cover a substantial number of my everyday activities of living the first few weeks, but the utility is limited. To this end I have decided my goal in Spanish is literacy.

    I have not not found any satisfactory definitions of fluency. The language learning fandom has busted the definition of "fluency" all to hell. My goal is literacy or bust and increasing my ability to function in the language still morealong the way. I'll have learned Spanish when I am reliably producing poetry in the language.


    1. This adoration is markedly distinct from the varieties of positive attention girls back home could muster. Back home a girl could like, love, or even obsess as their English as a single language programming would let them.  

    2. On the plus side I rarely now have verbal conversations in straight English without Spanglish intruding. That doesn't happen when I am speaking Spanish.  

    If Not One Thing The Other

    Having survived a close encounter with pneumonia last month, this country made yet another attempt on my life as I slept last night. This time via the orc communication device.

    No battery bloat, just a MicroUSB port that appear to have been in tramite to ignite that battery. The phone still works as of the time of this writing. Can't be recharged without at the very least replacing the MicroUSB port with one that doesn't have contacts covered by char and plastic.

    Orc contacts recovered and a replacement communication device was put into service earlier today.

    Humidity related short?

    Over the air update to add murder mode?