Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some tid-bits about my life in Buenos Aires

  • Last night I danced until sunrise.
  • I cook. A lot. And I’m working on my baking skills!
  • Possibly because I cook (a lot) and because I’m learning how to bake, I eat (a lot) and am constantly forcing food on my roommates and friends.
  • I work with the Fundación Buenos Aires SIDA, where I’m part of a team that is designing a comprehensive (we hope) health project that will serve trans women in the city. I’m pretty stoked about it.
  • Technically I'm an undocumented migrant. My visa expired in February. I joke about this in full acknowledgment that I can joke about being an 'illegal immigrant' in Latin America without any real fear of persecution, whereas if I were an undocumented Latino in the United States I may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, police brutality, detention without due process, jail-time, and swift deportation.
  • Buenos Aires is getting EXPENSIVE. I now pay exactly double what I paid in 2007 to wash a load of laundry. Our rent, which we pay in US dollars, is now 22 % more expensive (measured in Argentine pesos) due to the exchange rate in May of 2008 vs. now.
  • I’m currently trying to muscle my way into the moneda mafia here in Buenos Aires. Coins, which everyone is always in need of but nobody ever has, requires cunning and a firm NO. No I don’t have 30 centavos to give you. No, I’m sorry. I don’t have any change. Then they look at me with eyes of fury because they hear my pocket jingle-jangle as I walk away.
  • The first three months of my life in Buenos Aires consisted of waking up at noon (on an early day), cooking huge meals, drinking good wine, and dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Don’t worry mom and dad; I have since expanded my list of extracurriculars.
  • I’m living in the chic barrio of Palermo Soho, where the tree-lined streets are dotted with cafés and fashionable boutiques, and where foreigners have injected English to the street banter and inflated real estate prices (guilty—except not on the real estate prices—girl I’m on a budget). It is definitely a change from the streets of Constitución, and—I’m not going to lie—I feel like a bit of a bougie sell out; but I’m not going to lie—I really like living here. What really surprises me is that some Argentines still have the nerve to tell me that I live in a sketchy zone, because I’m a little too close to the train tracks. I smile, shake my head and tell them they are treat constructionists.
  • I sleep on a mattress on the floor. This is a step up.
  • I have successfully managed not to go anywhere near one of the four new Starbucks that have invaded the country. I was told during the week of the first store’s grand opening that the line was literally around the block. While my parents may now feel relieved that will be able to order their soy, no whip, sugar-free, vanilla late when they visit, I feel a little sad.
  • Some of my friends down here poke fun and say that I’m living al pedo, but despite the fact I don’t have a ‘traditional’ job (i.e. one that pays me and requires me to go to an office every day) and despite the fact that I’m not in school, I’m learning a lot about life and what I want out of it.
  • I'm really anxious for someone to come a visit me.
  • My mother wants me to fly home in July to see the new Harry Potter film with her.
  • My father wants me to move back home and sleep in my old room.
  • I realize I haven't yet explained why I'm still in Argentina. You'll have to wait another week for that info--I don't want to jinx anything...

1 comment:

emmylou said...

how do i subscribe to this damn thing? tucker, we should talk! not in an ominous way!

emily klamer