Destinations, South America

Comedy of Errors

June 8, 2009 • By

I resumed my Spanish classes this week.  To my dismay, the school slated me for the afternoons and that would just not work with my Pilates and eating schedule so after some careful negotiating they bumped me to a higher level.  That sounded just fine until I joined a class of nearly fluent speakers.  After just two days with me in the class, two of the four students jumped two levels.  I didn’t take it personally they were youngsters after all.  To quote Alice Cooper, “School’s Out for Summer” and the college students from Europe and the US have descended upon Buenos Aires and I’m NOT happy about it.  I promise you I was not one of these spoiled, obnoxious brats from the States (and I am always right).

Plugging away with my private tutor and schoolwork, I decided some fun was in order.  I read about an organization called Spanglish on Facebook and decided to check it out.  The purpose is to improve language skills but I would more or less equate it to a cross between speed dating and meet up organizations.  For 5 minutes, I spoke English with my partner and then for 5 minutes we spoke Spanish.  My first partner was a crack up.  After being married for 34 years, one day she asked her husband why they were still married and he said he didn’t know.  She said, “I looked at him and thought I don’t like him I am rich I want a divorce.”  They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren and she said she talks to him more now than before and she loves her live.  She is taking an art course in NYC in September for a month and wanted to improve her English.  Another partner, a college student, told me she hated the United States but she dated a guy from Texas and decided she wanted to learn more English just in case she met another potential boyfriend.  What?  Finally, I ended up with some random chain smoking 43-year-old who told me he inherited millions 10 years ago so now he enjoys traveling.  He loves the United States and wanted to teach more American’s Spanish.  The only thing I could get out of my mouth was my parents live in Chicago, I have one brother and I’ve been traveling since November.  Clearly, their English is much better than my Spanish.

During Spanglish, I also met a few other random guys from the States who I recruited to join me at the American sports bar for the first NBA Finals game.  I’ve never been one to shy away from men in sports bars but I was pretty impressed with my assemblage of Argentineans and Americans with the token Israeli and Canadian.  When the game ended, I decided to head home as it was late and I had school in the morning but apparently I missed quite the fireworks.  The bill had not been settled and everyone went crazy arguing over 50 pesos ($15).  Unfortunately, Landra and I had walked out with the freeloader, a 19-year-old Argentinean cutie pie who clearly played the two American men she picked up.

It wouldn’t be a night out on the town if I didn’t lose something right?  At some point in the evening, I pulled out my driver’s license to show my new Argentinean friend out to spell my name.  No one in Argentina gets my name right so I feel compelled to spell it.  Well you know where this story is going.  My driver’s license and my credit card are buddies and when I pulled out the license, I dropped my credit card on the ground.  The minute I got home I started looking for it and realized quickly it was gone.  Keep in mind two weeks ago I left my ATM card in the machine so now I am down to one way of obtaining cash.  I sprang into action and called my credit card company to put a block on the card then I frantically called the bar until someone finally answered and said they didn’t have it.  After stalking the bar the next day to no avail, I had nearly given up when Landra texted me the Canadian had my card.  Elated and in complete disbelief at my great luck since I NEVER EVER get anything back, I am still trying to connect with this guy four days later.  Cross your fingers!!!!!