It’s cold today (finally?) in Buenos Aires—about 50 degrees Fahrenheit—and it made me realize that the new $14 jeans I bought are, apparently, made from tissue paper. Also, the zipper doesn’t go up or down. Curious.
I went to a mall today that made me forget, immediately, that three weeks ago I bought underpants on the street for 70 cents from a woman with no teeth here in this same city. This place was cra-zy. Nothing but high-end clothing and shoe stores. I couldn’t afford a single thing, even in pesos, which made me feel a little less privileged. I think this is good, because sometimes I walk down my street and I realize that I could buy every dog sweater being sold with only the money in my wallet, and I feel guilty. Near the mall, called Patio Bulrich, were streets and streets of super high-end apartments and hotels. Despite being well-kept, it’s probably the least interesting neighborhood I’ve toured.
I was in the area to return flash drive that Carl had lent me last week. Because I don’t have a phone down here, we agreed to meet on his street at 4:00 (or 16:00 in Buenos Aires, because I really need more math confusion in my life). It was cold, and I had walked a half-hour to get there, yet Carl really wanted to chat, so we stood on the street for at least 35 minutes. He told me about:
· The concert pianist who was in his apartment right now, talking to his wife Marta. He’s going to come to the U.S. and probably be the most famous concert pianist alive in the next five years. They saw him perform a private show last night. Not many people get to see something like that. But Marta’s family . . . well, they have money
· The posh ski resort at which he and his wife might spend the next week. It’s $3,000 a night—per person. That’s $6,000 for he and his wife. A night. They’re probably going to spend a week there. Splurge!
· The private tango club he’d gone to over the weekend. “None of this touristy stuff—the real deal.” The ones the normal public goes to see are “crap.” I’ve probably never seen real, legitimate dancing, but it’s something.
· The neighborhood in which we were standing. Nothing but very high-end apartments. But what are you doing to do? You can’t live anywhere else in the city. (Note: I do, and he knows it.)
How is it that bragging to me makes Carl feel so good? It’s very confusing. It’s also surprising how much I enjoy listening to it.
I should be studying Spanish right now, but I really don’t have it in me. For the first time since I started a few weeks ago, I just totally half-assed my homework, and I feel okay about that. We’ve moved into the Presento Continuo tense, and on some level I feel satisfied with the idea that I’ll never be able to say, “I am walking to school,” particularly when “I walk to school” conveys the same basic idea. How often are you asked what you’re doing at this exact moment anyhow? Not that often, I decided in class today when I realized that conjugating irregular verbs in this new tense is more difficult than, say, my master’s thesis was. So, I walk to school. Tomorrow.