Archive for the ‘Spanish’ Category

AWOB

November 9, 2007

I know I’ve been absent without blogging for a while… There’s just so much going on, it’s hard to focus on one thing to write about! I promise more substantive posts soon.

For now, here’s a recap of the last few weeks:

I took my first two tango classes ever, plus a “rock” (swing) class—so much fun! Hope to do more of that.

The couchsurfing crew in BA is awesome—a few weeks ago we had a picnic in the park by my house and I think 40 people showed up. This past weekend, we had a halloween party at a bar/club, with another fabulous turnout (I think estimates are way over 100 guests, between local couchsurfers, travelers, and friends)—what a night!

Last Friday I rocked out to one of the best live shows I’ve seen in a long time: The Killers. If you have a chance to see them live, you won’t regret it. For the first time in years, I was right up in the middle of the action, jumping up and down and singing along with all the Argentines (some of whom I could tell didn’t really know the words, but just mimicked the noises, like I sometimes do with songs in Spanish!). The last show I remember with so much energy was my brother’s band Marathon‘s last show in Syracuse a few years ago.

I’ve also been to a few excellent dinners with a friend who’s writing an article about slow food in Buenos Aires. So many restaurants to explore here!

Oh yeah, Argentina also elected a new president—the first woman elected president here, and the wife of the current president. I’m honestly not sure when she takes office—if I was reading the newspaper like I told my Spanish teacher I wanted to, I’d probably know that! Speaking of Spanish, I had a test last week after two months of taking classes (2 classes a week, 2 hours each) and I did a lot better than I expected—looks like I’m finally making some progress!

Taking classes in Spanish is tricky but I’m giving it a go—yesterday was bandoneĆ³n (much more on this soon!), and today body pump at the gym I just joined! OW. I don’t think I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. To treat ourselves after three days in a row at the gym, my friend Emily and I are headed out for a tasty dinner tonight!

There’s also just a handful of new pictures on Flickr, check them out via the link on the right!

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Catching Up, with the Lights On

May 30, 2007

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. (more…)

So Far So Good…

May 22, 2007

The last 48 hours have been a complete whirlwind, but a good one. Once I stopped trying to meet the 50-pound-per-bag checked baggage requirement, the packing finished up in a breeze, and I paid $50 to be able to take two heavy bags, one 66 and and the other 63 pounds. Worth every penny to speed up the packing, save my back (by avoiding heavy carry-ons), and bring what I want. I had three seats to myself on the overnight flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, so I wasn’t completely zonked when I arrived, but still pretty close. Got my bags, got money, found a taxi, and was on my way. (The taxi dispatcher even said my Spanish was good, so I started out confidently—or was he just being polite?) The minute I arrived at the place where I’m staying, in Palermo (long story—the other place in San Telmo didn’t work out, but this one’s just fine), my landlady for the next month started rattling off at break-neck speed about keys, internet, hot water, etc. etc. It was completely overwhelming, and a little frustrating, and I felt very ill-prepared, but I managed. She headed off to work and her daughter came over to study, and she talks even faster! Phew! I’m going to have to ask her to slow down. I missed most of what she said. I know she said she loves this city, she has relatives and friends moving all over—London, Barcelona, NY—but she doesn’t want to leave. And I think she said people think there are crazy people living in the States. Hmm. Will have to find out more about that next time I see her. (more…)

Another Big “To Do” Crossed Off…

April 25, 2007

Phew! This Spanish thing sure is hard work. I’ve written and received a few emails in Spanish recently—several paragraphs long, even—and between making sure I’ve got all the accents right and looking things up in the dictionary to make sure I understand or that my memory serves, it’s awful time-consuming! But I’m learning a lot and improving with every correspondence. And the best part is, my efforts have led to securing a place to stay when I first arrive! I did the whole thing in Spanish, from signing up on a website to reading the ads to responding to messages. I’ll be staying with a woman in her fifties who rents out a room in her house, with a twin bed, desk, and even wifi! She lives in the neighborhood I’d like to live in long-term, so it’ll be easy to get around to look at apartments. I’ve reserved a month with her; hopefully that will be plenty of time to find my own place. And, small world—her daughter’s boyfriend and his mother are both editors.