As my absence from the blog that bears my name may have indicated, I have been having a fantastic time in Buenos Aires. I´ve had the pleasure of exploring the city on my own and with my expert tour guide, Heather Kirkwood. Sadly, my visit to her adopted home will be driving her into the poorhouse, but I´m having a great time!
Like a good little smart kid, I took a week of classes at the Spanish school where HK works. During these 20 hours, I became a big mishmash of English, French, Italian, and Latin pronunciation blunders and good intentions. Regardless, my Spanish has improved dramatically and I am now able to communicate on the same level as your local 6th or 7th grader. Maybe a 6th or 7th grader who only attended the first month of class. I know my numbers, ok? Rome wasn´t built in a day, people.
I can´t really think of anything else to say in this little blogbit, so here´s a list of random observances about Buenos Aires:
- There is a lot of beef. Complementing all the beef, lots of leather. It´s a sad state of affairs for the cows of Argentina, but good news for the meat-eating fashionistas!
- BA is a lot like New York City, but all in Spanish. This gives it a romantic quality that I do not often experience while enduring the crowds of NYC. No me gusta los personas en les calles de Nueva York.
- There is a secret army of mosquitos that attacks me every night while I sleep. I am a mess of bites and scratches. Muy linda, to say the least.
- The elevator in my apartment building is a cool elevator from antquity with a grated door you close yourself. Strangely this is the only elevator in the world that does not give me anxiety every time I step into it. I hate elevators.
- Tango is pretty cool. Modern tango performed live in a converted garage in a back alley is even cooler.
- There are pockets of Juan Peron and Evita devotion all over the city, but nothing along the lines of royal worship that I found in Thailand. Maybe Madonna ruined it for everyone.
- To preserve Heather Kirkwood´s street cred, it is required that you stop speaking English to her as soon as you encounter another English speaker on the street. If your Spanish is not up to par, then you must just be quiet until the offensive tourist or expat leaves the immediate vicinity. Then you may continue with your story or question.
- The rainy season in Uruguay stared on May 19 this year, and I was there.
Before I leave the country on Tuesday, I have an evening at the boliche tonight (ie. I´ll return home sometime after dawn), a day of consumerism and recuperation tomorrow, and then a short trip to the waterfalls of Iguazu and the Brazilian border on Sunday and Monday. Even though all of my clothes are dirty, my back is killing me from my pillow-like bed, and I´m really looking foward to taking a long shower in my own bathroom, I´m sad to think about leaving Buenos Aires and my South American adventure so soon.
In closing, here´s a picture of an Ecuadorian cow from my hotel in Papallacta. He is quietly crying for the fate of his Argentine brother.