Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sarah Rusch, Sexy History, and Shaving Cream

A Prologue:
I know I've been really out of touch with all you folks up north, and I'm sorry for that. There have been lots of ups and downs lately, which is exhausting in itself. I realize that there are so many people back home who love me and miss me (as I do them) and want to hear about things that are going on, but the days are so full of events and sights and emotions.... it's hard to find the energy to process thoughts which aren't in bullet-point/to-do list form, let alone sit down and put such scrambled egg snapshots into blog posts. I wanted to start out with this, because I'd prefer for you all back home to hear the stories right, when I have time to sit down and put them with pictures, opposed to tidbits tiredly clustered together because I have a few minutes to send an e-mail. Though it never feels like there's quite enough time to explain everything, I will try to do myself to keep y'all informed, so please keep checking in for new posts!

Moving on.... or moving backwards rather..... here's a bit from my past week:

Monday and Tuesday I had my Topics in Argentine History Class and let me just say it is a good thing my teacher is such a babe or I would not learn a THING. The little ignorant girl in me is always fighting to convince the rest of me that the world never actually existed before the 20th century, or that no such stories of the past can quite be trusted. Bartolome Mitre? Someone just made that name up..... fortunately, when I'm not dazing longingly into his eyes, the class can actually be kind of interesting. My Politics in Latin American History class, on the other hand, is absolutely horrible, in that it is taught not remotely in a linear manner, and basically consists of the teacher lecturing in front of a class of six drooling students for a three hour class every week.

After that class was fiiiiiiiiinally over on Tuesday afternoon, I went to talk to my boss about getting some time off for traveling and ACTUALLY GOT IT! I have to do more preparation (Spring Break is in a week!!!) but I'll try to keep y'all posted on the details. From there, I went to a paint store and bought some more art supplies (imagine a kid in a candy shop), bought some fresh produce from a street vendor, stopped by at a friend's house, and went back home. When I got home, I tried to figure out missing BAFWEEK (Buenos Aires Fashion Week). I knew it was going on but had very little information about it. At around 8 o'clock I boarded a bus to an address I had found, which led me to a mall in Palermo, apparently for buying tickets. The suckers were 150 pesos a day (35ish USD) and I had already missed most of it for that day and was working the rest of the week. Kind of a sucky situation. After a few minutes of eye-batting and foreigner cutesiness, however, the ticket-dude gave me a pair of tickets for free. I had about 15 minutes to get to the last runway show! I ran out of the place, grabbed a cab, and had JUST enough pesos to get to the show in time. Lots of lines and jaw-dropping later, I squeezed in a seat not far from the runway for a show by the designer, Sarkany. I had been to several fashion shows in Chicago and Minneapolis, but nothing to this scale. The energy was fantastic! It began with a countdown, kind of like New Year's Eve. The show will begin in 5 minutes..... The show will begin in 2 minutes .... the show will begin in 56 seconds..... rolled across a digital screen. The end finished with confetti falling from the ceiling.

Here are some of the photos I took from that evening:

This particular series involved a line of clothing with LED lights sewn in

I ended up walking out of the place dumb-smiling. Also, I talked to some people outside and had managed to score an extra ticket that someone didnt' need. I returned to my apartment at around 11 and made myself an elaborate dinner with the fresh veggies I got that day. Afterward, I had intended on meeting up with a friend, but fell asleep on the couch by 2.

Wednesday was rainy. I woke up at about 11am and waited on the front steps of my apartment with my Literature book (reading "Death and a Compass" by Jorge Luis Borges, if you were curious) waiting for Sarah Rusch to arrive by cab from the airport. It was a beautiful reunion. We celebrated by climbing up to the rooftop and hugging for extended periods of time. There was only a short amount of time we could do so, however, because I had to head off to my first day of volunteering in La Boca to help with a computer class. I ended up teaching someone the basics of Photoshop.... in Spanish. I never really expected to need to know how to say 'the clone tool' in Spanish. At 5 o'clock, I took a bus back to my apartment, changed for work, and left. I don't quite remember work that day.

Thursday, Sarah and I got choripan (delicious sausage in bready bun) for lunch, sat in the park until it started to rain, picked up some stuff from the laundromat, and then she walked me to class. After class, I rushed back home, changed for work, and ran off. It was surprisingly busy, since there was an LCD Soundsystem concert playing nearby that night. Sarah and Felicia came for dinner to visit me. Got out at around 3ish?

Friday, the sun had FINALLY come out. Sarah and I went out to Palermo with the specific mission to shop. After going to fashion week, though, it's hard to be impressive. All we bought was some delicious shwarma. Took a bus back home. Changed for work. FORTUNATELY that night I only worked from 6-9, until the other girl could get there. (A rarity!!!) Sarah and I scurried off to see the last runway show of BAF Week. It was less exciting. The clothing was less-inspired and the show was trying too hard to be modern, which came off more annoying than anything. Also, the models were scary mannequin-like. The designer was Trossman, I believe. Still, it was a good experience. Here are a few pictures from this one:

Sarah and I were supposed to meet with some other kids from the program but shitty phones and no meet-up arrangements makes for kind of an unreliable plan. Who woulda guessed? Either way, Sarah and I decided we'd enjoy ourselves the two of us. We went out to this cool graffitied bar in Palermo called "Post" with surprisingly cheap drinks for the neighborhood. At around 1 we go dancing at Crobar, get home at about 5:30.

Since I had miraculously gotten Saturday night off work, as well, the original plan was to get bus tickets to Gualeyguaychu to go to Carnaval, but, even waking up at 1pm the next day, we were pooped. Sarah and I got some food in San Telmo, did some perusing in La Plaza of artisan jewelry, sat in the sun for a bit, then went home and napped until about 10 or 11pm. I made dinner, we relaxed, then Sarah, Natasha (my roommate) and I decided to go to a smaller version of Carnaval that we heard about going on in San Telmo. It was plenty exiting for not having to leave the city. I'll post pictures soon, but to give a basic idea, it involved a lot of dancing, music, costumes, and shaving cream fights. At around 3ish, we walked home feeling silly and sticky. Though we had the intention of going home to bed, we somehow ended up in a heavy metal bar/club, in the basement, raging HARD with a bunch of long haired thrasher-dudes wearing Motorhead shirts in front of old 80s thrash-metal music videos playing on a proyecter on the wall. Everyone was howlin' like it was a live concert. (Sorry, there's really no way to describe that without a run-on sentence.)

Let me just tell you..... nothing feels better after a LONG week than having shaving cream fights and head-banging 'til you can't breath. We left just before dawn, feeling like we'd just come back from a day-spa. That night, I slept better than I've slept in a long time.

Today, Sunday, Sarah left to move into her homestay at about noon. I slept til about 2. Natasha til about 4. It was a lazy/homework/photo-editing/pizza delivery kind of day.

Well it's 3 in the morning, my teas almost gone, I'm getting mosquito bitten like crazy, and I really should get my beauty sleep before my history class tomorrow. Basically, ((two finger salute,)) I'm signin' off for the night.

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