Catching Up, with the Lights On

Here’s the post I wrote on Monday night, by candlelight, while the power was out (it remained out until sometime late last night!).

Today’s word [maybe this will be a new feature on the Nomad Chronicles blog?]: guantes. There’s a major cold snap here [I later heard Tuesday was the coldest day in May here in 35 years! It was somewhere in the 30s F, I think.] and I knew I needed to buy gloves, so I looked up the word for them—guantes—before I went out today (but still didn’t find any I liked). I also pounded the pavement gathering information about cell phones here [I’m going to have to buy a new one; I had my old one unlocked but it’s dying a slow death] and went to one place that rents apartments without getting to see any or making any decisions about anything. For better or worse, only one person has lapsed into English with me so far—is it because they don’t speak English or are trying to help me learn?—and he said, after I asked about pre-paid cell phone plans, “Okay but it is easier if I speak English, but my English is, uh, not so good.” And I thought, Easier for whom?! Then all he told me was, “You have to go to the office across the street.” Um, I would’ve understood that in Spanish, but thanks.

I walked a ton, and got totally disoriented, more than once, downtown by the obelisco. I tried to find landmarks to help orient me in the future, and focused on one—the north side of the obelisk says “En este sitio…” Right off the bat it did more harm than good, though. When I came through a few hours later I saw “En este sitio” again and thought “Oh, crap, it’s on more than one side,” since I thought I should be on the south side at that point. Then I found this, with the text from all four sides (all different, thankfully). Hopefully now this will help me avoid coming out of the subway and walking 8 or more blocks in the wrong direction! Or crossing all 12 lanes of Avenida 9 de Julio (it’s said to be the widest avenue in the world) more than once, trying to find the subway entrance. Also, note to self: STOP taking the subway during rush hour! It sucks. Today I wasn’t able to get on a train until the third or fourth that passed through the station.

Not only is there now a power outage in my building, but on my way home there was one in a whole area of some blocks—it was kind of creepy but fun to walk through a completely dark city, with only the cars’ headlights to show the way. Though I kept hoping I wasn’t going to step in any dog poop I couldn’t see—I didn’t, luckily—there is SO much of it on the streets here! Yuck.

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3 Responses to “Catching Up, with the Lights On”

  1. rebecca Says:

    sounds like paris, or so i hear, with all the dog poo. guess there are no scoop laws there? are dogs a big part of their culture, like in paris? and how frequent are the outages? is that something to worry about? so glad you’re finding your way. no doubt i’d be dozens of kinds of frustrated with myself after going through what you did.

  2. santoki Says:

    Okay. Maybe you did need to bring the long johns. Send your address, and I will work up a care package! xoxox

  3. Amy Says:

    Yes, there are a TON of dogs here. I’ve only seen one person picking up after his dog, and I almost thanked him, it was such an unusual sight! I read somewhere that outages are common here, but my landlady says they’re not, so who knows. The building thing was a fluke—I think someone cut a cable or something—but I don’t know about the neighborhood.

    I’d love care packages, but will have to get a better address for you to send them to—stay tuned!

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