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Monday, February 08, 2010

Ciao Gracias!!!!

Sept 21/09

So now that I've seen the sites and fallen into all the tourist traps, what do I do now? BA still has hundreds of things to do. This is where you have to decide who you are and what you want. What makes this city different is that is that there is no one famous site or set or tourist attractions that you absolutely must see if you come here. Everyone comes here for different reasons and different things will attract different people

For me, I connect well with the tango culture here, and the areas in the city that are more artsy and bohemian. I love going to Cafe Tortoni and ordering a cafe chocolaté. It is cup of a hot steaming chocolate drink with churros that you are supposed to dip inside the hot chocolate and eat. The first time I ordered it I didn't know that so I simply drank the drink and ate the churros seperately! It was delicious anyhow! But I will be back soon for another round and this time I will get it right :)

BA is also one of the premier destinations for gay travellers. This city is amazingly gay friendly and as a result, has become a popular destination for queer travellers. I did find a cute little pride bar close to where I teach english. Walking through those doors, I immediately could tell that I was in a gay man's paradise (where were all the hot latin women anyway?) Inside this cafe there is a big screen TV and on it a Beyoncé concert was playing. Funny how even in the midst of all the poverty in this country, they still have the money to invest in a nice sony TV to be able to look at Beyoncé all they long. Hmmmmmmm......................

So now that introduction phrase to this city is over (and if this could be compared to a romance, I would describe it as a worldwind relationship), I am beginning to settle in to life as a local. What does that look like you may ask? Let me see if I can paint a picture for you. Life as a local is when you.........

.......... learn to ignore people who try and sell you stuff on the Subte

...........realize that the rain in BA are really teardrops from a country that is still crying for the loss of their beloved Eva Peron more than 50 years later

............find yourself sounding like an Italian when you speak spanish

...........come to the terms with the fact that English is completely useless here

.............stop going to restaurants and asking what is popular because you are getting the same answer at every place "Bife de Chorizo"

...........exclaim "Ciao gracias!" when parting ways with someone

..........willingly submit yourself to kisses (and LOTS of them) by everyone whether friend or acquaintances or even the guy selling chocolates from behind the counter

..........make sure that you draw money from the bank before the weekend hits so that you don't find yourself in front of ATM with the message that says that there is no more cash in this machine

.........become the expert at hailing a Radio taxi or dashing across the street and making it "just in time"

..........consider the Sunday markets in San Telmo an event that is just as sacred as going to church or mass

..........put "a bottle of wine" on your list of things to buy and the grocery store

......... look up the definition of "dessert" in the dictionary and expect to find "dulce du leche"

.........think that everyone in the spanish speaking world uses "Che" or "Vos" or "Sos" as part of their everyday lingo

.........get used to not knowing what street you are on due to lack of proper signage

.......are now aware that when in a spanish speaking country and the faucet has the letter "C" on it, it stands for "Calor", not "cold". "Calor" means "hot" in spanish and this would be useful information to know unless you want an unpleasant surprise :0

The next part of my growth here in Argentina may look very different than the first week. It may result in some of my blogs slowing down abit as I get into everyday routine life. This does not mean that I'm not up for communication with you. By all means I am! If you want to know anything, please email me. The reason is because now some of the things that are interesting may be only interesting to one person as opposed to an entire group. But rest assured that my blogs won't end. As soon as I've found something entertaining to tell everyone, you will definitely hear all about it.

My next big goal is to make the big city smaller. What I mean by this is that it in order to cope being in a foreign country, I'm attempting to find places where I can go to think, reflect, pray, meditate and just have a place all on my own. That is one of the reasons I've been going out to restaurants and other places, I'm trying to find places that I can go to be able to put back into my well and have time to myself. You see, as easy as it may sound, teaching English is very intense. It may sound easy that I'm doing this 3 hrs a day and I get free food and lodging but it takes alot of work. Firstly, I am teaching her english in spanish. Imagine that! I have to watch her progression and see where she has pitfalls. I have to check in with her many times during the lesson to see how she is feeling or if she wants a break. Simply stated, I am pouring the best of me into someone.

This is the reason that we are getting the results that we are seeing. It has been about 10 days now since I started teaching her and she can now read a simple english story and is beginning to converse and put phrases together. 10 days ago she could not do that. She tells me over and over again that I am a good teacher. It makes me glad to know that she feels that way. I keep teasing her that maybe she's learning english because there might be a hot looking guy in her future that only speaks english!

Learning english will make such a difference in the job that she is doing. Gladys actually works in the department for accomodations here at the school. When students come to the residence, she is the first person they meet and she takes them around the residence and gives them the orientation. Many of these students are from other countries in the world and they come here to learn Spanish. But if many of them can't speak or understand spanish yet, then english would help so much since that is the universal language and most people at least know some english. The school is very excited at the thought that Gladys may be able to start talking english to the students in just a few short months. And it blows my mind even further that this might all be possible because of me.

I'll keep you updated on progress here and if any of you have questions about visiting here, please don't hesitate to ask. Buenos Aires is not a place that is as heavily advertised as Mexico or some of the other tourist destinations. But when you take one look at my photos, can there be any doubt in your heart that this is one of the most incredible cities in the world to live, work, or visit?

Ciao gracias!!!!!!!!!

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas