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A new life in Argentina: Eating ‘Pizza Libre’ with the family

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Editor's note: Claudio Correa writes about creating a new life for his family after being deported from the United States in November 2010. The Correas, who lived in American Fork, were deported to Argentina despite efforts to change their immigration status.

We're almost in mid-January and the weather has turned a bit unstable, with hot days and lightning and thunderstorms every other day. Some have been so strong that lightning bolts have struck and injured or even killed elderly people and children.

This Tuesday was a very sunny day, but very pleasant to go out for a walk. It was the perfect day for family outings and to walk around our city, Ramos Mejía, which is characterized by many businesses, especially restaurants and dance clubs.

Something we really like about this city is that the residential and commercial sides are not far away. On one hand, it takes away a bit of the tranquility from the neighborhoods, but on the other hand it gives you the feeling of being in a resort, where just a few blocks away you have thousands of fun options.

That day we decided to go out to eat together — it had been awhile since we had gone out, and the day was inviting us to.

Just outside of my mom's house, where we have been living, there are many dance clubs, about 10 cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops and "kioscos" on nearly every corner.

These are small- to medium-size businesses where you can buy candy, sweets, chocolates, ice cream, cookies, crackers and gum, or even shampoo and headache medicine.

They really are nothing more than the little shops at gas stations, but the funny thing is they are in neighborhoods — almost every block has them and sometimes they are run in the garage of a house.

Trying to decide on a buffet of Chinese food, hamburgers or our classic Argentinean steak, we finally decided to go to a "free pizza," which is a pizza buffet.

I've seen some in the U.S., but here they have become fashionable, so this is a much sought-after option.

As soon as you sit at the table, the waitress comes with different kinds of pizzas, a different one each time, and obviously you can eat as much as you like — or as many as you can.

The variety is great — pizza with anchovies, with palmettos, ham and peppers, blue cheese, ham and pineapple or even hot dog and French fries.

This option is relatively inexpensive food here.

For four people, each with sodas, it would cost about 100 Argentinean pesos, which would be about $25 total. It is worth mentioning that the salaries here are not the same as in the United States, but that, too, is a topic for another note.

Walking back home, my daughter, Magali, told me that this was something she liked in this city, that one easily feels like they are on vacation.

People here walk a lot, sit at tables in bars and restaurants placed in the trails, and enjoy the cool of the evening. People retire to their homes around 11 p.m., and I am just talking about a Tuesday, because on weekends you can see people walking down the street until after 4 in the morning.

It was a nice family night. We ate well, walked a little and got the chance to show our children an aspect of our customs, one that finally was accepted with pleasure by the both of them.