Friday, September 17, 2010


It was a looooooong week. Wonderful, but long.
Good thing I have a 20 hr bus ride to Santiago later this afternoon to sleep.
Until then I'll have to hold my eyes open a la Dali crutches:

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Change of Heart

Things are looking up.
Like a lot. All the sudden on Tuesday I said to myself, tomorrow's going to be a better day. Tomorrow, things are going to be different. And they were.
Wednesday, I just woke up feeling great.

In poetry class, mi profesor mentioned a poem I had turned in,
and said after he and I fix it up a bit, we'd all look at it as a class. Cool, huh?

After class I went to a park and just sat and wrote some poetry. Two girls were sitting on a bench in front of me, one brushing the others' hair, and the sun was setting. There was this beautiful glow around their heads. It was really lovely. Sorry all, I didn't bring my camera with me that day.

After I sat for a while, I decided to trek the 40 minute walk back home. On my way, I passed a second hand store which was super exciting. It's no Chicago Village Discount Outlet, but I got a Mickey Mouse shirt for 5 bucks so I'm not complaining.

I continued walking and passed a pet store, and decided to go in to get a few dog biscuits for stray dogs. (No judgment, por favor.) The guy working there asked if I could come back later though, because he was busy with a cat emergency. I pretty much only included this little story because I think Cat Emergency sounds hilarious/like an Indie band from the West Coast.

On the way I treated myself to a canvas, went home, changed, and went to Chabad for Rosh Hashanah dinner.
I got ready, and FINALLY got there without getting lost.

Dinner was delicious and joyous and I could eat normal food again
.... it was just one of those moments when you feel really happy and you know it, and you can just enjoy it.

I guess it's like having your cake and eating it, too.

There were some new people there, all who were all really nice. Also, this one kid was there, and I looked at him very carefully, aaaaaand yep. We went to Hebrew School together. I'm not even going to begin to point out how weird that is. He didn't remember me, but that's probably for the best since I was kinda going through a that-weird-girl-from-'The Breakfast Club'-phase. I don't want to talk about it.

Zevy's first Rosh HaShannah.

Thursday was another fantastic day. After my morning Spanish class, I hung out and got to know some people from my program a bit better, then when out to lunch with a friend. Afterward, he brought me to this place to get a new, really cheap, (probably stolen,) phone, since I could not find my other one for the life of me. Of course, later that evening, I found it smooshed into the depths of my Mary Poppins backpack. If I had a nickel for every time this has happened, maybe I'd have enough sense/cents to remember where I put my shit! (Did you see that clever pun?)
Anyways, I now have a backup which isn't so bad considering my Spanish teacher (a native) said he's had his phone stolen 5 times! Plus, it only set me back 25 bucks.

After getting the phone, I decided to walk home. On the way, I saw a clothing store which I decided to go into. By the way, I forgot to mention, a lot of stores here are locked while they're open. It's like a normal storefront with big windows, but you have to buzz in or have the person working there open the door. It was like that at this place and the pet store I went to yesterday.

I ended up back at the same park by my house, and just sat drawing people for several hours. It was sooooo nice!!! I haven't done that in forever. I don't have a whole lot to show for it since this one old dude kept changing positions.
Some nerve!
I did get these great pics of a couple people, though...

A little after I took this picture, the boy came up to me and asked if I was drawing. I told him I was, and asked if he'd like to join me. He nodded, and hopped up next to me on the ledge of this granite statue I was sitting on and then I gave him some colored pencils. When his mom came to get him (his abuela was watching him), he handed the drawing to me. "Un regalo," (A gift) he said with a smile. It was so precious. I asked him to sign it. His name is Carlitos. He says he's at the park every day, so I told him I'd be seeing him again soon.

I went home, hung out, napped, skyped with Silvio, and then went out. I met up with Sara Bernal (from UMinn) and some of the kids on her program to this place called "Le Bar" in El Centro. Yes, the name is kind of lame, but it's probably the coolest bar I've been to so far. We saw this fantastic band which sounded like a Latin version of Beirut, egg shakers and all. It was a really nice ambiance. After the band finished, it was still too loud to talk, but we figured out there's upstairs. We went up these steep stairs and ended up in a room with these suuuuuper tall turquoise walls, deep red velvet floors, and round tables with in-floor seating. Like you sit on the floor and put your feet into this dipped in part but there's still a round part in the middle as the table.
It was awesome. I felt like I was in the Yellow Submarine movie.
Also, there was photography all over the walls. We met up with this two people from Italy living here, and a girl from Belgium, a few of the people I was with apparently knew. We sat around talking for a while, and then realized there were more stairs.... to the balcony. It was fantastic. There was wonderful graffiti everywhere and these mod dot chairs.... haha it was great. Sorry I didn't have my camera,
but I'm working on the Better Safe than Sorry policy if I don't really know where I'm going.

Today, Friday, I woke up early to see the Shofar being blown at Chabad,
came back home and slept, then woke up and did homework.
WOW that was a lot of chit-chat.
I have a feeling this'll be a very photo-filled weekend, though,
so maybe next post will be more show, less tell.

L'Shannah Tovah to all. May this coming year be sweet!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Amor y Perros

This weekend was uneventful. It rained for about 4 days and I got sick. AGAIN. That pretty much sums it up. (I think it's the water?) I really thought after the last time my immune system would be tough but I guuuessss not. I've pretty much got the white rice/7UP diet down to a science now, so hopefully I'll make a quick recovery.

This is a look outside my window when it was raining:

This morning, I woke up still sore in the tummy but surprisingly more optimistic. The sun was out today. That's probably it. Oh, and my first class was at 3pm. AND in the morning I got to talk briefly with Silvio and Karina, which was all sorts of awesome.

Mmm..... I love skype....

Below is a picture taken while walking across 9 de Julio y Carlos Peligrini, two streets which lie directly parallel to one another.

It's near impossible to cross the street in one streetlight cycle without running. Unless your legs are eight feel tall. I cannot speak for those people. I could maybe speak for the gnomes, but not the daddy-long-legs out there. Anyways, this somewhat gives you an idea of the kind of traffic in el centro (downtown neighborhood). The building with my classes is just to the right of this view.

My only class today was poetry, which makes Mondays wayyy better.
Aca son unas fotos del profe:

(Muy precioso, no?)

After class I went to go for a little walk, but my stomach couldn't quite handle the movement. I was able to catch a photo of these two men relajando y disfrutando each others' company, which made me happy.

Oh, friendship. Oh, Coca Cola.

I hopped on the bus, which was packed, and when I got off, I felt a bit out of it, so I decided to sit down. When I did, I faced the old building at Pueyrredon and Las Heras (cross-streets) which I pass every day. It's not a museum or anything, and I had a feeling you have to have a purpose to be in there so I never really bothered. HOWEVER, I was sitting there, and the lighting was just right and I saw some people on the balcony and I decided, Yep. I'm going to go THERE.

It used to be a church and is now a school for engineering classes. From what i understood from my host mom, it was built by an architect who ended up killing himself because he got the measurements wrong on the building. Don't quote me on that though. There's a good possibility something was lost in translation haha.

Anyways, I just walked in and fortunately no one asked to see any sort of identification. Oh, South America.... I had to walk through some study hall to get to the balcony but if you act like you know what you're doing, no one bothers you. Anyways, these are from the balcony:

(A view of my neighborhood)

After, I decided to stop by the park I pass every day and had never been to.

While I was there, I sat in the lovely, dead grass, and made sort of a list poem of what I saw. I will share it with you now because (a) you clearly have nothing better to do and (b) skimming while reading is your right as a human with functional eyes. Exercise it as you wish.

Friends all lie on each others' stomachs.
Grandpa makes monster hands,
girl screams and runs across the jungle gym bridge.
He is too tired to chase her.
Little boys in white turtlenecks feed the pigeons.
Were their outfits coordinated?
(The boys, not the pigeons.)
The mosquitoes are coming back.
The college students are existential with their cigarillos,
mate, bombillas.
This is the oldest they've ever been
and it feels so
The girl with the white ribbon shows the boy in earth-tone stripes
how water from the fountain plus back of toy drump truck
driven very slowly over to sandbox
equals FUN.
And dirty jeans. Which
equals FUN.
The man sits on the park bench next to two women
both with short, white hair. They look alike.
They sit near the carousel.
A very pregnant woman is still not tired
of pushing her daughter on the swing.
A man with a cart will sell yo a windmill, a Hello Kitty balloon,
candy to rot your teeth
'til the park closes.
Behind the cart sits a large woman with a blank expression
and a bad dye job.
She holds her purse like she'll be ready to leave any moment,
but she's not going anywhere, and no one would notice if she did.
An old woman wearing orange sits alone
and stares at the construction.
That boy is an airplane in his mother's arms:
still young enough for her to lift him over her head,
still young enough for him to want her to.

I think I'm starting to get what Frank O'Hara was about with his Lunch Poems. Maybe. Maybe I like the concept of it more than the guy. I don't know anything about him but when I think of him, he's wearing a sweater and being condescending. Whatever.

After a while (this was probably about 7pm?) I got reeeeaaaallly hungry so I made the very short trip back home. Before I got into my building, though, I saw this AWESOME dog on the street corner in front of my house trying to walk himself.

(Yes, this dog is peeing/posing....)

I LOVE DOGS!!!!!!! Last week I went to pet a Shar Pei puppy and he jumped on me and started licking my face. It was sooooo precious. Hm.... maybe I've been getting sick because I pet just about every dog on the street? That's ALSO probably why I'm always late to class... Either way I'm totally buying some dog biscuits to keep in my backpack.

OKAY. It's time to sleep.


(Y amor, si estas leyendo esto, buenas noches. Estas en mis pensamientos.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Officially One Month In

Hey.... so it's been a while since I updated this puppy and I don't feel like writing much, so I think I'll do more photo uploads this time.

Saturday the 21st, I decided to go exploring during the day. I ended up wandering into what I THINK is el barrio Villa Crespo. As I was walking, I heard a bunch of music and such, and ended up wandering into this park...

The following Tuesday, the 24th, was my first tango class.
Um... I think my last post kind of says it all.

Wednesday night, (the 25th,) I went out with some people to this little bar/cafe in Palermo. I can't remember the name but it was on the street "Borges" and that's all that really matters. It was really nice and chill to hang out with people in an environment where we could actually hear what the person next to us was saying.

The place was mostly empty, but there was this lively bunch of guys a few tables over playing guitars and dancing. It was great to be around.

Let's see... the next night... oh, haha. I went to Miloca then club Jet.
I don't really feel the need to talk about that night.

The NEXT night, I got invited to a Shabbat dinner at a Chabad/Jabad house in Recoleta. From what I understand, Chabad is a group of orthodox Jews who particularly aim to reach out to the community. I was kind of reluctant at first, but the service wasn't too long, and it was very entertaining to see a Rabbi speaking Spanish. Also, check this out:

The dinner was UNBELIEVABLE and all the people were really nice and chill. We stayed eating and talking and drinking wine til midnight, when most of us decided to head back home.

On my walk back, I saw this dude doing construction work and there was this biiig spot light thing next to him, kind of like one you'd see in theater. Naturally, I nearly peed my pants, so excited by the beautiful lighting. He was very cooperative and let me take several photos.
I like this one the best:
That Saturday, the 17th of August, I spent most of the day sleeping, reading, and writing. At night, I went out with Sara Bernal and some of her Study Abroad friends to a club called Crobar. I managed to weasel us all in for free, (of COURSE we're on the list....) which was awesome, because that night was clown/circus themed. It was really cool and REALLY crowded. I was super bummed that I brought my camera but forgot my memory card. We all got pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly, and ended up leaving early (at around 4am).

Sunday, a bunch of the kids from IES met at the IES building at 2, and took a bus to the town of Mataderos, where we went to La Feria de Mataderos. This fair is more/less in commemoration of the gauchos of the 19th century. There were pretty much three kind of gauchos: the "Gauchos Buenos" were basically slaves, made permanent servants in exchange for housing of the gaucho and his family; the "Gauchos Malos" who were also used, but for torture (mostly political); then there were the "Gauchos Mataderos" who basically just killed cows. So techically this thing was call, "The Fair of Cow Killers," but I have a pretty good feeling there's more to it than that. It was interesting, but La Feria de Mataderos didn't really have a whole lot to do with gauchos, other than the few areas with horseback riding and the few people dressed up in costume. It seemed to be more of just your average artesan fair. This fair goes on every weekend. It was about a half hour bus ride from IES.


Choripan vender with silver eyes.

Man and his sister relaxing at the fair.

So there were all these dudes there riding horses, right? They were doing this kind of sport where you have to get a baton around this ring attached to .... I don't really know how to describe it, but I assume the old gauchos used to do this because these guys were all dressed up old fashioned.

Little girl and a little horse
"Hello, Mr. Horsey. May I pet you?"

This guy was real nice. After I took the picture his friend was like,
"Hey, you take his picture, you give him the camera, yea?"
I laughed and told him that's not how it works.

At around five o'clock, everyone met up again to head back.

It was pretty funny to see people leaving from the fair in costume and getting into their car or onto the city bus...

This past Monday, I went to find the package my Mom sent at thist post office in Retiro. Unfortunately, when I finished walking to the post office, I got there 15 minutes after it closed. Fortunately, it was right next to the Retiro Bus Station, so I could get home real easily. Since this was the stop where TONS if not all of the buses meet up, there were tons of venders. After I got on the bus, though, I was told I shouldn't have a camera out in that neighborhood. Whoops.

Tuesdays are my longest days. I had Spanish class from 11-1, Cultural Icons as Global Commodities from 1:30-4:30, then I bused back home. I got back home at 5, had a quick snack, then left at 5:30 to get to my tango class at a local university across town.
This was the first time I took the bus there, and I accidentally missed my stop. I was only about 15 minutes late, which didn't seem to matter, AND I got to explore the ghetto for a bit which was fun! I would have taken pictures but I had a veryyy strong feeling that that would be a bad idea.
I bought a new pair of tango shoes which actually don't make me want to cry when I wear them. After about two hours in, I decided to take a mini break and sneak some pictures....

there are so many girls in the class that most have to dance with each other

We learned this cool move yesterday where the guy slides the girls foot over. If done right it really looks cool.

Today we started talking about our final project, which involves a group of 8 people, (4 Argentinians, 4 Americans,) who will do a performance from 7-15 minutes long.
I have a feeling it will be the longest 7-15 minutes of my life.
Ok, well I'm gonna go try and be productive.