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Monday, April 26, 2010

Room 2 Roam

Main Entry: 1space
Pronunciation: \ˈspās\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French espace, space, from Latin spatium area, room, interval of space or time
Date: 14th century
1 : a period of time; also : its duration
2 a : a limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions : distance, area,volume b : an extent set apart or available c : the distance from other people or things that a person needs in order to remain comfortable

That is what the Merriam webster dictionary defines as "space". I really like the wording used for the definition here for "space" as being the distance from other people or things that a person needs in order to remain comfortable. For most of the world, having space is a luxury and Argentina is no exception. Living there, you quickly get used to being packed into a train or a sub. A majority of the time it gets to be so crammed that you find your body pressed up so close against the person beside you that you can literally count their eyelashes.

Space is also a quite a commodity in the homes of most people. The family I visited for Christmas a had a 2 bedroom house that was about 1000 sq feet and had 6 people living in the house. 4 of the kids shared a room which had two bunk beds and the parents took the other room. Another person that I knew lived in 500 sq foot apartment. There was one main room with a kitchen, tv, dining table and a few amenities. And on the other side of the room there were 3 beds that she and her sisters shared. They basically lived all in that one room. This is very normal for Argentines, especially in Buenos Aires where the cost of living is alot higher than other cities and provinces.

I myself am having a very interesting time in the area of setting up accomodation. At this current moment I am planning my second trip and one of the areas that I am working on setting up is my accomodations. At first I started to plan to rent a furnished apartment for $650 that comes with everything. It would just be me in that apartment. But as I started to delve deeper, I began to open myself up to the idea of sharing space with someone. And the more I chatted with people, the more I realized that this was the norm for people who are living, working, and studying in the city. Alot of people share space to save money and also enjoy the companionship of another person.

When people ask me what Argentines are like, I always find that I'm at a loss for words. But one way I've found of describing Argentines to people is by telling them that Argentines are alot like Europeans that aren't too concerned about space or hygiene. And by that comment (the part about the hygiene), I 'm not saying that Argentines are dirty people who don't take care of themselves. What I mean is that certain things that would bother people here don't bother people in Argentina. They wouldn't blink an eye over things like like finding that there is no toilet paper in the bathroom or sharing from the same cup or bottle with multiple people in a group.

Often times in these countries with less space, people find creative ways to make room 2 roam. From living amongst the Argentines, I must say that these people have got quite a talent for making something out of virtually nothing. But people's ability creatively create space in crowded cities isn't just limited to the people of Argentina. Here is how one young architect transformed the one room in his apartment into a 24 room luxury suite in the middle of Hong Kong.....

Tango 2 the Moon

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas