After 4 hours of Spanish class today I was in the zone. For serious. I mean, even my accent was on. The way I was rolling my r's and hittin my double l's I could have had your girlfriend more touched than when Rachel came back for Ross. So when I got to my favorite mexican joint to get a bite before work, I was, needless to say, feeling a bit cocky. The portena that was fixing my burrito initiated a little game of eye tag with me and it was on. Normally I would be satisfied with simply playing this game of mixed signals. But on this particular day I decided that my Spanish was finally good enough to take our relationship to the next level. I started with a lot of smiling and pleasantries (nailed it) moved on to some small talk about how I work nearby, possibly exaggerating what it is I do there (a little over my head) and finished with an exposéon how not to make jokes in español (I just made a very big little-mistake). As I stumbled to an embarrassing conclusion of mixed tenses and verb confusion, she looked at me as I often get looked at here. I walked away dejected. All I wanted to do was dispassionately look out a bus window and listen to the "Goo Goo Dolls." I thought about it after, and realized that when I try to talk to portenos it is probably about as interesting as when people who can't speak English in the States try to chat with me about the weather. So it goes.
At work, my boss gave me a project with a little more creative license than usual. I'm heading a newsletter about our study abroad programs for college advisers back in the States. I'll be deciding on the content and doing the interviews and all of the writing, so if I had a profile, or knew what people who have profiles do with them, this project could hypothetically be in there. I got excited for a second because there's another intern and they chose me to do it, but that burned off pretty immediately; probably similar to the feeling a first-grader gets when they're given the responsibility of writing down milk orders for the day. By the way, I don't get paid at my internship, in case you didn't know that about me.
After work my man Josh hit me up and was like "bro, you want to toss the bee," and I was just like "pshh" and he knew that meant YES! So I went to lace up my sneaks: left one, check: got my right shoe half way on and thought, hmm that's strange, must have left my sock in the shoe. Reached in to get it, and although I immediately felt that whatever it was was grosser than one of my dirty socks, when a bat fell out of my shoe I was not prepared. So ya, there was a bat living in my shoe for anywhere up to a week, I mean throw me a friggin bone here. I've just about had it with the hostel anyway, and when my friend Mike gets back down to BA in a week I want to get serious about finding a place. I eventually made it to the park, rabies in my right foot and all, and realized that I have no redeeming qualities as a Frisbee player; I do, however, have an ace in the hole - I look really, ridiculously good looking in black, and that's the team color.
Every Monday there's an outdoor drum show in a neighborhood just south of me. , 15 pesos to get in, and a cool scene. Andy and I had been a couple times, this video is from last Monday.
As you all know, I'm doing my part in saving Argentina's economy one English student at a time... one hour a day... two days a week. So if you're asking yourself, "why after two weeks of anticipated visits to the blog has Ted left me with only one post, has he forgotten about me?, is there trouble in paradise?," please remember that I'm part of something bigger than myself here, and can't always make time for you. Sorry, but not really.
It has been an exhausting couple of weeks. Living in a Peter Pan hostel (where no one wants to grow up, see what I did there?), and spending my afternoons doing this, has led to a less than ideal amount of me time. I really can't complain though because the internship is going well. The classes are continuing to help me learn how little Spanish I know, and the majority of my coworkers are fun and interesting people. I do, however, have a bone to pick with one - Pablo. For about one week I brought a banana to work as an afternoon snack. When that special time of the day came that I got to enjoy this snack, Pablo, without fail, would say, "Sexy moment, sexy moment with Theodore Vander Linden." I laughed the first time, but perhaps to loud, because now I can't eat a banana in peace. As I write this meaningless story (at work) I'm eating an apple, and that's not an accident.
Recently I had to make another life decision on par with tolerating unfunny remarks or switching to a lesser fruit. This one involved a long held stereotype of mine which I never planned on divorcing; that Frisbee players are dirty hippies who listen to Dave Matthews barefoot with rolled-up jeans. I chose to swallow my pride, retire the hippie jokes, and join an ultimate team, "Los Cadillacs," with some of my friends. Last Saturday we played on a campus field by the river. The league is relaxed and the players are largely from South American countries. We lost, but hey, the best team doesn't always win. Afterward, we all took off our shoes, held hands, and listened to Phish.
I guess the moral of this nonsense post is that however outlandish or foreign the idea of up and moving to BsAs may sound, it really isn't. My life is still full of these pedestrian moments and decisions. I honestly believe that I would've had to make more life adjustments to become a suit in NY. This may be because I've always had one foot back in the States, with no real intention of staying here long term. But I also feel that aside from the language, and that my blond hair and blue eyes alone make ladies weak in the knees (not true), BsAs is just like anywhere else. I mean, it's still cooler than what you're doing, but not that different.
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. "- former NBA all-time great Nelson Mandela
Dr. Mandela's words reign as true as his jump shot. After this most recent visit to my hometown over the holidays, I would add that there is nothing quite like a couple nights of over indulgence with some old friends to find the ways in which you yourself remain the same. Speaking of which, I believe I left my dignity somewhere at Jerzy's house if anyone happens to find it. Overall, my trip to the States made for a comforting break from my travels. It was great to see family and friends, and was a welcome change of pace from my rigirous life here in Buenos Aires "re-calibrating my personal goals" and "foregoing any sort of professional responsibility." There was no need for the last point to be in quotations.
So while the economic forecast of the United States is going from shit to worse, and Jesus's miracle of turning water into 2,000 years of unending war in the Middle East continues, I have returned to my refuge of Argentina. As a foreigner here, I have found an international loophole - removed from both the local economic woes and from those back home. However, after watching two 70 year old Palestinians go to fisticuffs with an Israeli gentleman earlier today, in the strangest display elderly aggression I have ever witnessed, I've conceded that there is no escaping that crisis.
If put to a judges ruling, I have to admit that Round 1 of my travels would likely go to Argentina, having knocked out my travel companion. So it should be a much different go this time around, but I'm excited to be back. I'm set up nicely now in a hostel that's walking distance from my work, and a bit calmer than Gecko - where I hear from a friend that the owner got in a headbutting match with a Peruvian on Christmas over seemingly nothing.
For you readers under the hazy shade of a New England winter, Buenos Aires is currently 80 and breezy with a slight chance of awesome.