Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cordoba Book Fair 2013 (Feria De Libros)

Every year, Cordoba holds a book fair in Plaza San Martin. The fair is sponsored by the province’s government and Holiday Inn and local banks. You’ll find all types of genres from science fiction to science fact, suspense, horror, young adult, romance, religious, anime, graphic novels, cookbooks, college textbooks and children’s books.
They even offer a café where you and your friends or family can sit and chat.
The only thing you’re not likely to find is an abundance of books written in international languages such as English. Some vendors do have a small selection of novels but if you’re looking for Interview with the Vampire, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Twilight, City of Bones or Vampire Diaries you’ll find them only in Spanish.
Even if books don’t interest you that much, just looking at Plaza San Martin in the evening is beautiful. So take some time and do a little sightseeing.
The book fair, known as Feria de Libros, is held in the beginning of September and lasts about two weeks. So mark your calendars for 2014 and check it out!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Earthquakes, Wildfires and Police Corruption in Cordoba

On Wednesday, September 11th, the people of Cordoba were shaken (LITERALLY!) by a 4.7 earthquake. The tremor originated in the sierra region (mountainous areas) and was felt throughout most of the province. Fortunately there wasn’t any serious damage and no serious injuries were reported. I live by the city area of the province (known as Cordoba Capital). Around here, we assumed it was a huge truck passing by our house. The windows shook a bit and so did the furniture but that was the end of it. Nothing in our home fell and the structural integrity of our home didn’t seem compromised.

Earthquakes are not common in the province of Cordoba so a lot of my friends who are native of the province were startled by the quake. This event made me recall a quake we experienced in New York in 2011. I remember everyone was really shaken up as well because Manhattan doesn’t get earthquakes. Unfortunately, this isn’t the worse ecological issue that Cordoba has had to deal with recently.
A week ago, a forest fire ignited in the sierra region. The unusually warm weather (we hit 100+ Fahrenheit earlier in the week) and dry conditions allowed the fire to spread. Firefighters initially had a difficult time getting into the forest. In the meantime, those that could get through did their best to put out the flames with buckets of water, but their efforts proved useless.
Eventually firefighters managed to get their fire trucks to the source of the fire. Planes have also been used to try and contain the fire.
 Unfortunately, the fire has claimed the lives of wildlife in the area.  
When the fire first broke out, strong winds dispersed the ashes throughout the province, polluting the air. People with respiratory problems had a tough time breathing. Motorcyclists and pedestrians were blinded by flying ash as well. The news reports have suggested that the ash may contaminate the water supply in the province for up to two months.
These two disasters come on the eve of a major drug scandal in one of Cordoba’s police departments. I heard some Cordobeses say that September 11th seems to be a jinxed date, like Friday the 13th. Of course, September 11th is a day that affects my spouse and I in a very personal way. It forces us to recall one of the worst days in U.S. history, the 9/11 attacks. Americans survived that tragedy and became stronger and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 15 months is that Argentinians are survivors too. This rough patch of ecological disasters and police corruption will pass.

Friday, September 13, 2013

ConComics (Cordoba) Argentina 2013 - Meeting Jason Faunt

It’s that time of the year when people start behaving like characters from The Big Bang Theory. I’m talking about Comic Con … or rather ConComics Argentina 2013.
Last year’s ConComics was not up to par and I was a little nervous that we might have been wasting our money buying tickets for this event. In 2012, many people, including myself, had complained on the ConComics site that it was too small and didn’t offer enough recognizable celebrity guests. Well they must have listened because the 2013 ConComics in Cordoba Argentina was filled with merchandise and people from different provinces.

There were more pins, memorabilia and T-shirts from various films, TV shows and anime.

I wore on my Doctor Who socks and my Dalek t-shirt in honor of this year’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary. My spouse Zach wore a Tardis t-shirt to show his support as well.

Cosplay is a big thing in this event. A lot of people are quite inventive when it comes to making their own costumes.

 Of course, the biggest event, at least for me, was meeting celebrity guest Jason Faunt. Jason starred on Power Rangers Time Force as Wes Collins, the Red Ranger, and also his future counterpart, Alex. He was the coolest. He answered fan questions and he took his time in getting to know his fans. He took photos with everyone and signed just about anything. If people didn’t have, or couldn’t afford a photo of him, he’d sign the back of cell phones and even blank paper. He was even kind enough to allow me to film a shout out to my friend Joey in Colorado, who is also a fan. Jason’s autograph line was the longest of the other guests.  

I’d say that this was quite an enjoyable Comic Con convention for both me and my spouse and I look forward to an even bigger convention (hopefully) in 2014 with more amazing guests like Jason Faunt.