Week Two of my Spanish lessons started today, and my teacher for the week is, officially, the most attractive man I’ve ever seen in my entire life. This rocks because what you really want in your intensive language classes is to be afraid to speak.
In addition, the new Italian boy in my class, Luca, has a diamond chip in his front tooth. Seriously. And he smiles all big so you can see it. You cannot make this stuff up and I could not love the diamond any more than I do. Be prepared, I’m considering getting one. Luca is 21 and speaks Italian (which apparently is a very, very close cousin of Spanish), so this class is kind of a joke for him—more of a grammar lesson, really. He has trouble with the tenses, but can communicate perfectly with the teacher when he has a problem (whereas I stare blankly when I don’t understand, because I don’t have the words to ask for clarification). Luca speeds through the exercises and throws his pen on the table forcefully when he finishes, approximately ten minutes before Carl and I make it through the five sentences we’re supposed to complete. Carl’s hearing aid was acting up today, so he kept asking me what different words meant that the teacher had literally just covered, and even though I’d just learned them 30 seconds earlier, I was very smug about explaining them, as if I’d known all along.
Yesterday, my city-challenge-of-the-day was the taxis, and today, it was getting my laundry done. This could not have been easier. I took all of dirty clothes to a little shop down the block and three hours later, for the bargain price of about $2.75, I picked them up clean and neatly folded. (Note: This is $1.75 cheaper than I would have paid to do it myself at home in my apartment building’s laundry room.) The only minor problem came when I tried to hand the woman behind the counter my ticket this evening and was told, “This isn’t here” in Spanish. Apparently there are two laundries on the same block. She thought I was an idiot, but I was just a few doors off, really.
The real danger in Buenos Aires has emerged: I am no longer afraid of the exchanges involved in making purchases. Today I bought this gorgeous ring from some designer boutique for $9 and then went into the biggest shoe store ever, which was tricky, because I have no idea what size I am in South American shoes. The salesman kept bringing me pair after pair and when they finally fit, he told me that my feet were “very tiny!” For some reason, this made me feel good. Behold, my new boots:
Exciting, well-executed exchange of the day: When signing a credit card slip for one of my purchases, I was able to say, in Spanish, “I’m sorry, but this pen doesn’t work.” She handed me a new pen without looking up. My Spanish is so good, I don’t even have to mime that $hit.