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Tag: Argentina

Huh!

Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa put two goals past Hannes Thor Halldórsson, the Icelandic goalkeeper, yesterday in Volgograd, to secure a vital 2 – 0 win for the Super Lions. It was a disappointing day for Halldórsson, but he’s got options. Until four years ago, he was a film director who played football for fun. Now, he’s the keeper for Randers FC, which plays in the top-flight Danish Superliga.

In the run up to the World Cup, Halldórsson returned to his old job to direct a commercial for Coca-Cola featuring the Icelandic national team and the famous Huh! chant that has become an anthem for underdogs. Talking of underdogs, Iceland must now beat Croatia on Tuesday and hope Nigeria don’t beat Argentina. That’s a big ask. In the end, goal difference could be critical so Iceland need to win big as Nigeria can still advance to the next round with just a draw. Huh!


Tweet of the World Cup… so far

Sunday, 17 June, 2018

And the award goes to football commentator @MatthewStanger for this gem about that remarkable 1-1 draw between Argentina and Iceland yesterday:

Iceland


Paja escribir!

Monday, 29 June, 2015 0 Comments

Figures from the fourth quarter of last year showed that 78 percent of South African mobile internet users were active on WhatsApp. Malaysia was second on the global list and, in third place, was Argentina. What’s driving this? Well, WhatsApp is simple to use, it’s free, it’s fast and there are no ads, no games or no gimmicks. And there’s another thing in South America: voice messages. WhatsApp introduced voice messages in 2013 and users in Argentina have fallen in love with the feature.

Writing in Motherboard, Kari Paul notes that the voice message fits with Argentina’s talkative culture. “The volleying of voice messages often starts off with the same phrase: ‘Paja escribir,’ or ‘Too lazy to write.’ Then the exchange begins.” The result? “Everyone in Buenos Aires Is Communicating by Voice Memo Now.”


Greece as Zimbabwe or Argentina

Friday, 20 February, 2015 1 Comment

What will happen if Greece exits the eurozone? For starters, the banking sector will collapse as everyone tries to move their euros to German banks. Although word on the street is that most have done so already. Athens might consider reintroducing the drachma, but no one would want it, so people would just keep using the euro. This option is not without precedent. Back in 2009, Zimbabwe gave up the pretense of monetary sovereignty and the United States dollar is now the official currency for all government transactions. Just as Robert Mugabe has no influence over the Fed, Greece would no longer have a seat at the ECB but life goes on and there are reports that nightlife in Harare is picking up again.

Instead of going the way of Zimbabwe, Greece might become another Argentina and things won’t be as bad as the pessimists say. Given that what the Argentines call “viveza criolla” is very much at home in Greece, a tango-sirtaki morph may be on the cards. That being the case, here are some useful viveza criolla phrases:

Total, si no robo yo, robará otro.” (In the end, if I do not steal, another will steal.)
Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa.” (Made the law, made a loophole.)
El vivo vive del zonzo y el zonzo de su trabajo.” (The smart guy lives off the fool, and the fool lives off his job.)

Back on the 11th of this month, STRATFOR looked at the two countries in Greece and Argentina, Similar But Not the Same. Conclusion:

Even though Syriza used Argentina’s case as an example during the electoral campaign, and many Greeks are aware of the country’s history, Athens has considerably less room for action than Buenos Aires did. Many of Buenos Aires’ moves since 2001 have been ill conceived and poorly executed, but unlike Greece, Argentina was a fully sovereign country when it made them. Greeks elected Syriza to fix the country’s debt problem without leaving the eurozone and the European Union. Greece’s main problem is that it will be extremely hard for Athens to achieve both goals simultaneously.


An afternoon with Borges in Buenos Aires

Wednesday, 30 April, 2014 0 Comments

In 1976, Patrick Richardson was an impoverished, 25-year-old writer, living in a garret in Amsterdam. To escape the oncoming Dutch winter, he set off to Latin America. You won’t believe what happened next. Well, you can, actually, because this is not an Upworthy story. In Buenos Aires, he met his literary hero, Jorge Luis Borges. Snippet:

“Have you read my stories?”

“All of them!”

“I have done my best, although I must apologise for their poor quality.” Borges was renowned for his humility, authentic or otherwise.

“No, really, you’re too modest.”

A playful expression flitted across his countenance. “Perhaps you are familiar with the story of what occurred when Goethe visited a brothel in Hanover?”

“No, but I’d love to hear it.”

The long, convoluted story, which I have forgotten, lasted for five minutes, until he questioned me about my journey in South America and my life in Amsterdam as a writer. At last, after what seemed a lifetime, a man in a stone-coloured suit came down the gangway, mounted the steps on to the stage, and leant over him. “It’s time to go, Señor Borges,” he said in a hushed voice. “You have an appointment at three.”

An afternoon with Jorge Luis Borges is published in today’s Independent.


Pope Francis I

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013 1 Comment

The Time of Pope Francis


Patacombos for the PIIGS!

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

Because the PIIGS are prevented from getting their grubby trotters on the printing presses by the European Central Bank, all they can do is stand idly, impotently by as money flows out of their economies and into more stable havens. This is exactly how it was in Argentina a decade ago except that Buenos Aires proved more imaginative when faced with this dilemma. The Argentine treasury began issuing a raft of IOUs with exotic names: lecops, porteños, quebrachos and patacones, for example. These were greeted with disdain by the global money markets, but McDonald’s, that beacon of capitalism and proletarian cuisine, was more humane:

“The Buenos Aires outlet of burger behemoth McDonald’s is preparing to accept one-year bonds in payment for food, as a cash crisis grips the Argentine economy tighter with the continued lack of conclusion to talks between the country and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The bonds, nicknamed patacones after a currency that became defunct 120 years ago, will be issued as part-payment of wages for the 150,000 state workers in Buenos Aires who earn more than US$740 a month… McDonald’s has launched a special new meal deal called the ‘Patacombo’, consisting of two cheeseburgers, French fries and a drink.”

In the end, the patacones didn’t do the business and at the beginning of 2002 Argentina defaulted on its international debt. The peso’s 11 year-old tie to the US dollar was rescinded and the country was plunged into an enormous financial and socio-economic crisis. Unemployment rose to 25 per cent and wages dropped to their lowest level in 60 years. Moral of story: PIIGS should think carefully about how they intend to pay for their Patacombos, or else change their diet.