febrero 29, 2004

The Big City, Finally

hola, todos --
we have gone from one of the most remote locations in the western hemisphere (aguas calientes, pop. 4, nearest paved road 100 km) to one of the biggest cities (gran buenos aires, pop. 12 million). there{s a lot to see here.
So far, we{ve moved into a semi-furnished apartment: I think this is a cultural definition, because the owner seems to think that no sofa, a broken water heater and zero towels constitues furnishings. Also, three pots, one of which has a hole in the bottom. Since we got here we{ve been spending the majority of our time scouting out home furnishings. Without Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond, its a lot more fun and challenging! We have a grocery store, flower and newspaper vendors, a store that sells wine and leather jackets, fruit markets, a laundromat, a vet, clothing stores, an all-night pizza place and two nurseries in a block and a half radius. So far, we love the big city life, though we still look upwards all the time like tourists. And walking. You know, on the map, nothing really looks *that* far away, but the other side of town is an all day trip. I dont understand how all these women wear cute high-heeled sandals all the time!
we managed to arrive in the city during the annual week-long tango festival. last night we went to a free concert in the park and there are free classes all day, every day. man, you should see us sometime!!! we be dancin fools.
we live in kind of the hip part of town where all the trendy bars and restaurants are, and the botanical garden is only a few blocks away (and full of thousands of inexplicably well groomed, well fed cats, several hundred of which spend the night by the fence trying to get petted). we are five blocks from the subway (which is more than it seems, 10 blocks every day), but were also on a few major bus routes. Well, we think theyre major, but there are no drawn maps of bus routes. Like everything in Bs As, finding the right bus is mas o menos.
Another thing that we have yet to get used to are the lines. there is a lot of waiting involved in this country. for instance, we live half a block from a supermarket, but we can{t run down to get something because the lines can be 45 minutes or an hour long. people here tell us that they go grocery shopping once a month to avoid the headache.
Nevertheless, we will survive. For now we{re still in our touristy phase, having not settled into a neighborhood range, or any kind of routine.
Thus far we{ve visited La Boca, the brightly painted working class neighborhood thats the mythical home of the tango. Possibly any tango fans out there have heard the song Caminito, which is also a pedestrian way in La Boca. Also, its home to the Boca Juniors futbol team. Diego Maradona (I, Anna, had to learn who that is...) used to play for them and they{re eight million times more popular than the TN Vols could ever dream of being. Fanatic does not even broach the adoration here.
We spent yesterday in Recoleta, a very ritzy part of town where Evita is entombed. She{s in the fancy cemetery where all the ex-presidents (except, interestingly enough, Juan Peron) and authors and war heroes are buried. Some of the masoleums aren{t tended by any family members anymore and look more like broom closets than crypts. A couple of bodies are even showing...little creepy. By, the way, for any family members out there, Randy and I both want to be cremated.
Every weekend in Recoleta there{s a HUGE artisan fair that{s actually much cheaper and interesting than any store anywhere in the city. We bought two beautiful lamps (another non-furnished item) yesterday for $55 pesos, about $17US. Speaking of which, we are on our way to spend more of our fortune on hand-made goods. We still love all you craft center kids!

our address is:

Soler 4488 3 B
C.P. 1425 Bs.As.

chau (also, apparently, spelled ciao in some other place in the world, but who cares about them anyway?),

anna and randy