Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recovering... slowly

It has been three weeks since I left Buenos Aires.
The pain is less acute now. I am getting used to my European life again, and I am surprised to see how much I like it. I had forgotten I liked it so much. It doesn´t take away the pain and the feeling that a part of me is still back in Buenos Aires (and also my favorite jeans jacket that I left at La Baldosa and which was never found - I decided it would draw me back to Argentina, like the coins that people throw into la fontana di Trevi) - but it feels reassuring to walk past beautiful old buildings, ranging from Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance palaces to Baroque churches and Art Nouveau houses, to sleep in a comfortable bed, to be given precedence by drivers as a pedestrian; and then the food... the food! My appetite has come back in no time at all:) The only thing I miss sorely, foodwise, are the churros en chocolate; but they are hard to come by even for those who live in BsAs, after 8 o´clock in the morning; I wonder if the government has issued some kind of quotas on them, perhaps as a part of a national plan to fight obesity in the Argentine population..?
I still drink loads of mate, I am afraid I´ve got myself another addiction. It is, together with my other stimulant, chocolate, wonderful for keeping my brain alert and quick at work while fighting the sleep deficit, for I still haven´t quite overcome my Argentina habit of living at night, only now, I have to work during the day... And I listen to tango most of the time, and against my better judgment; it is rather painful because now, much as I try, I cannot block out the lyrics, and they keep rubbing it in... but then again, they are really beautiful.
..dejame esperarte, nada mas, ya que comprendo que esperar es un pedazo de recuerdo...
I danced to this song a couple of days ago, and I had to tell my partner to please not say anything and not do any nonsense (like boleos, ganchos, leg wraps, etc.) because this song makes me very, very melancholy and I just want to close my eyes, embrace somenone, and dance (and maybe cry, too, but I didn´t say that). He kindly obliged, but seemed puzzled. Ah well.
Fortunately, there is cumbia. It reminds me of Buenos Aires, but there´s no way you can listen to cumbia and be sad. No need to discuss its lyrics;)
Thank God for cumbia!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

La pensée du jour:

Contrary to what some tangueros like to say, and although some milongueros would never admit it -

La vida no es un tango; y el tango no es la vida.

Just a thought...
They do merge sometimes, though.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I have just watched this film. I loved it.
It´s a really cool film; plus, it provides a great insight into the porteño mentality.
Living in Buenos Aires, I used to think they were all just paranoid.
Don´t walk around at night, you´ll get mugged!
Don´t keep the windows open, thieves could get in!
Do lock the door at night, see previous..
Keep an eye on your purse, there are pickpockets everywhere!
Do not trust anyone, especially not the taxi-drivers!
And everyone always checking the paper money to see if it´s not fake (ok, I can understand this with 100 pesos bills, but I have seen people importantly squint at 2 pesos bills against the light.. I mean, honestly...
I also understood the change obsession was not really due to the need of coins for the bus ride, but the fear of emerging from an exchange of smaller and larger bills with less money than is due to you, if you are not vivo enough (see the starting scene of Nueve Reinas).
But I refuse to live like that. I think that a certain amount of trust is necessary. Some may call it naiveté, but to me it is a matter of attitude. I can´t live in constant fear of my surroundings. To me, the porteños´ attitude borders on paranoia.
Especially since I did walk around Once alone at night and - nothing, we did keep the windows open, I did not lock the front door at night (though Tina did, so it depended on who got home last:), my purse is so messy that I dare any pickpocket to find anything of value in it - it takes ME ages to fish out my phone or money - and I have never met friendlier taxi drivers than those of Buenos Aires.
Surprisingly, I never even got fake money in change of my 100p bills:)
I found the locals´ paranoia quite amusing, if exasperating at times; I put it down to hard times in the past, and an overall tendency to paint things black. Having seen the film though, I understand much better!