Destinations, South America

A few twists and turns but I am getting there

April 2, 2009 • By

Renting an apartment in Buenos Aires proved a little more difficult than I expected but alas my patience and perseverance paid off (insert enormous laugh) and it’s official, I have a Buenos Aires address. My Spanish lessons start Friday and I have two private tutors showing me the Argentinean way along with a real class and real students beginning April 13. With my luck, I’ll be fluent by 2010 and maybe then I will return to the United States a svelte, bilingual version of my former self. Who knows? It’s possible. My mother keeps telling me I live in a fantasy world. I tend to agree but most of you are likely saying your fantasies don’t involve backpacking and certainly not living in third world countries.

I’ve already made a few friends here in Argentina.  They all have something to do with my friend Tim but I’ll break through on my own eventually.  As we all know, I have a “thing” for foreign men and it didn’t take long for my charm to spread through this tango town to Tim’s superintendent.   It may come to no surprise to many of you that just after 48 hours in the building I dazzled the super with my whit, charm, smile and big mouth.  Tim contends it had something to do with my boobs or sex (I’ll add sex appeal) but let me explain why he has come to that conclusion.  Tim has lived in the building since January and not once has the super spoken English to the dear man.  When I downloaded my conversation to Tim, he gave me a very perplexing look and I immediately thought I had done something wrong.  Tim’s response, “he speaks English?”  Well, yes he does.  In fact, he speaks better than most people I’ve encountered.  He welcomed me to the building, asked me where I was from and questioned me about my stay.  When we met again, he spent 45 minutes telling me all about the safety precautions I need to take and what certain things are called in Buenos Aires versus the rest of the country.  He even corrected my attempts at the Spanish language.  Again, I reported back to Tim who said next time you see him tell him my buzzard doesn’t work since he apparently likes you better than me.  It definitely made for some good laughs. 

Today, I moved into my own apartment. It’s a three story-loft type of place with a terrace and working space. It’s clearly owned by a man since no woman would allow guests to see her discolored couch or lamp cords hanging everywhere but it’s clean. Plus, the apartment has three levels. Any woman would be thinking do I really want to climb up two sets of stairs to clean this place? I rest my case. Regardless, I am very excited to stay put for a bit after spending four months of packing and unpacking every few days. The apartment is located in a gorgeous park area called Palermo Botanico. I already tested out the local pizzeria and it gets my thumbs up. I’ve also spotted many a fashionable boutique that I will be visiting when my mother and her wallet come to visit me. Who says parents shouldn’t support 35-year-old children? I certainly would never make that claim. At least she better visit, I am making note of several potential purchases.  

I’m settling in just like home.  Being the neurotic person that I am, I already done a thorough cleaning of my apartment.  I scrubbed down the kitchen, cleaned the toilet and shower and told the owner he needed a new shower curtain.  When the owner came to fix the lights, he informed me the maid(their words not mine) would be here on Friday and if I keep cleaning she won’t have anything to do.  I said no she needs to vacuum there are little fuzzes on the floor.  To my dismay he said they don’t have vacuums.  My response seemed to scare him like most men I know.  I said, “she should get on her hands and knees and clean the floors then because I just did and was disgusted by the amount of stranger’s hair I had to clean.”  I guess that’s why he asked when I would not be at home on Friday to fix the lights and AC.  I know I know.  I don’t have to show my freak factor to every new person I meet but don’t worry he wasn’t my type anyway.

Rather than going through a formal initiation process in my new city, I invented my own anointing.  I am taste testing Argentinean fine wines, Italiano cappuccinos, pizzas, cheeses, deli meats and last but not least big honken steaks.  So far, all meet my approval. Should you be concerned about my waistline the same thought crossed my mind so I signed up for Pilates and my free session starts tomorrow.  However, allow me focus more on the steak for a moment.  I am not your typical carnivore I much prefer chicken and fish to the red stuff but the lean cut I devoured the other day melted in my mouth.  It had the flavoring of a perfectly cooked perfectly seasoned prime steak.  It’s better than your grandmother’s (mom’s don’t cook these days) and it makes Gibson’s, Morton’s and Ruth Chris look like McDonald’s.  I figured with two months worth of fine steak my vitamin B quota will be back on track in no time. 

How the heck do these people stay so thin?  Maybe the secret is in the meat…