December 14th, 2007 – by: bvanb
New not my favorite residence towers in Puerto madero
The first week+ in BsAs I spent most of my time with a Vietnamese girl from Nebraska named Trang. She was here doing research for her Master’s thesis at Oxford. She was staying at another property in common with my landlord and I met her when they took us out to a benefit for a program that provided emotional and social support for child prostitutes in the city. The benefit featured four groups, most which played renditions and original songs from the folk music of Argentina, Chacarera Samba (not Brazilian). And today I learned from Hermana Celia that this music was a favorite of my grandfathers. The music was great and I had an excellent typical Argentina night with the alternative kids of the city. While I did not go to one, often times places have open music called Peña.
At these events all sorts of people bring their guitars and instruments and simply break out into traditional song and dance all night long.
With Trang's expensive taste we went to a bunch of over priced trendy restaurants and did a lot of shopping. Sometimes she invited Argentines along forgetting that she is so small that a trendy meal fills her up and that she is paying with British pounds. We went all over together, but she had a lot of work to do, so I was motivated to update and translate my resume and make contacts so that I can find a job in my field when I return in March. To that end, the good news is the Argentina is starting its own Green Building Council like the one we have in the United States and Canada. They are in the legal process and waiting for their non-government organization status, which they hope to get between January and March.
So before I return I am to contact them and see what they are can do, and whether they have an opportunity or not they promised to help me find something. I guess if worse comes worst I can always teach english.
Trang and I took a bunch of pictures in front of the Jacarandás, which are full of purple flowers for about two weeks of the year and are all over the city. One of the most beautiful spectacles. I do not know why the do not have a Jacadrandá festival. I will suggest it, talk about a tourism opportunity. The word is accented at the end, which indicates that it is not a spanish word, but rather a Guaraní word. The Guaraní are the native people of BsAs and to the North, including Uruguay. In the south there are Mapuches, or something like that, I will keep you posted on that one.
The second weekend I went to my first and last polo game. It was fun and amazing to see how the horse move and turn on a dime, but the ball is so small on such a large field. The best thing is though that I made a new great friend named Dymustja (Dimucha). She is Surinamese (Surinam is a small country in the North of South America) now resident of Holland. I do not know what it was, but we just hit it off, like magic. Unfortunately, she was squeezing in every wonderfully amazing trip in the whole country into her final weekends there so we did not get to spend a lot of time.
Trang had to return to Oxford so I spent a lot of time with her before she left. And when she did I was inspired to venture out on my own. I went against popular opinion and justwent out sola because otherwise I would never go anywhere.
Jesus and Dymtsja at Sudaca
So, I went to a club that had salsa on Thursdays, which turned out to be a great night. I got there a little early, around mid night, so it started off slow, but soon a bunch of people showed up who were not part of the learner crowd. To my surprise a bunch a Cubans showed up, apparently there are 7,000 in the city. So one picked me and he was surprised with my dancing and he ended up taken me to a bunch of places in the city know for the more Cuban vibe over the next few days. He wanted to hang out every day after that night. Like my French roommate said, Argentine men and those that have been there awhile, such as my new friend Jesus, are like glue, once you give them some attention there are like static cling.
We also experienced this at the pool at Parque Norte, which also home to a theme park dedicated to the story of Jesus.
entrance to apt. corridor
Two inebriated young men inquired about my tattoo as I passed by, I entertained the conversation for a few minutes and went back to our spot. Within a minute they had picked up all of their stuff and moved right next to us. She saw it coming and motioned to take a dip, by the time we got out of the pool they were completely passed out. The weather took a turn for the worst so we dried off and took off and left them there sleeping.
This is the only country that I have been where the men are so forward and eager to compliment women on their looks. It is nearly impossible to walk around and not get a “you are pretty/beautiful/divine/precious/the queen of Buenos Aires
,” “will you marry me,” “thank you for existing.
La viruta...for dancing
” And this comes from men of all ages, shapes, and sizes, without one bit of shame. Of course the older ones have more experience and say more elaborate compliments, but even the young ones manage. I was walking around my tango neighborhood and a 12 year old kid is running towards and by me at full speed to catch up with his friends and still takes the time and effort to tell me “sos hermosa.” I laughed and thought how flattering. And it is flattering most of the time. Although at times it can be too much. Still, if a woman needs a boost in the self esteem it is a good place to come because the compliments are coming at you about every two minutes and the women here take insult if they do not receive them. The only time there were not so abundant was at the Gay Pride March, where I only received it once within two hours. Either way ladies, just be careful not to respond otherwise you are stuck with ‘em.
Jesus traveled up North for a few weeks so I took the time to relax, work on the tango and save further exploration for the upcoming weekend when my friend Jordon from Madison was coming. He has made it a personal policy to go where ever he has a friend abroad. And I needed to the rest because there is so much to show some one and i only had three days!