01 May 2008
I have a house!!! Yay! Oh what joy! I have been pumped about writing that on this blog for two and a half weeks now. After looking at over 10 apartments I finally fell in love with one. Actually as all things work out its probably lucky that I saw 10 apartments before this one because it meant that I was really able to appreciate it. If I had seen it first I might not have known how good it is. It is in Palermo (Belle you can look it up in your Qantas article actually I read that one on the flight to Sydney in between tears 😉 ) which, if youve been getting the blog is exactly where I want to be. It is right near the zoo and the botanical gardens. It is a pretty big place with a huge kitchen (really rare in BA) and a large living room and dining room (also rare). I am sharing with three girls from USA, Ireland and Argentina all of whom are aged between 25 and 27 (I am the young one! Yesss!). It also has three toilets and two complete bathrooms (one of which is all mine!). Ok so probably too much info on the house but if you were here you would have heard me whinging about not being able to find a house for ages so finding one is really exciting!
While I love Palermo, living in Palermo means taking the subte at rush hour. No mean feat I can tell you. The people here have no concept of full. But then I have quickly also lost the concept. The people literally grab hold of the sides of the doors of the subte and push themselves into the throngs of people already onboard. It basically means that you are painfully squished in between people until finally you come to your stop. The first time I went to take the subte at rush hour I saw the throngs and thought good lord only a mad woman would try and push herself onto that train! so feeling rather sensible I waited for the next one. When the next one and the one after that also arrived packed to the brim with people I realized that if I was ever going to get anywhere I was going ot have to push. Its a funny thing the push. Every time someone goes to push onto the train the people onboard make exasperated signs and squirm in discomfort. But it seems as soon as you are on you then join the onboard rather than the off board community so as when you get to the next stop it is then the people who pushed at the previous stop making exasperated sighs! It would be quite funny to witness of the whole thing wasnt so dam uncomfortable!!
On Monday night I met Adam and Pablo at a percussion orchestra gig. They are called La Bomba and they were pretty dam incredible. I have a couple of photos but they seriously cannot do it justice. It is all improvised by the conductor and it goes off! Ill have to see if I can find a CD so can I send you some. Seriously made me pine for some samba dancing. I am going to call a few Samba schools over the weekend and sort out some classes! Oh and the bike photo was taken for Kate. Everyone has AMAZING bikes here. Kate seriously need to look at importing! Ha ha!
Work is going well but it is exhausting. Unexpectedly tomorrow is Labour Day so we have a holiday sweet bliss and perfect because I am moving tomorrow. I am working on a case related to the conditions of Bolivian prisons. It is pretty incredible. The prison system there (similar to here I think) is almost totally controlled by drug lords. Each inmate has to purchase or rent his cell from an inmate leaving or a really wealthy one who has a portfolio if you like of real estate (cells). There is one case a head of drugs guy who extended his prison by building an extra story onto it so that he could have a view! The prisons are separated into neighborhoods and each inmate keeps to his own. There are even soccer matches between neighborhoods and coke sponsors the pitch in return for a monopoly on soft drinks in the prison! Families live in the prison with the inmates and they set up little businesses (stereo repaiers, hair dressers etc). Some even act as taxis that is when the rich guys have a visitor the taxi goes to the gate and escorts the guest to the inmates cell to save the rich guy the bother!! Pretty incredible and interesting work. Still continues to be a massive challenge in the Spanish department. There is one lawyer there that can be a bit testy and today I almost burst into tears when over lunch I was trying to explain how I knew that the apartment below us was a brothel (yes it is and I know because yesterday when I was leaving a girl answered the door in her lingerie!) and she totally snapped at me saying I can never understand you just speak to me in English. Ouch! It was a definite snap. So then I thought ok you didnt tell me that you speak English. So I spoke to her in English and she just flipped straight back into Spanish (with others). I spent the rest of lunch trying to hold back tears and was relieved to return to my desk!
When I was leaving the office today there was another protest. This one about racisim against the Bolivian community here in Buenos Aires. Apparently it is pretty bad but I keep hearing that from open minded people who think its terrible so I havent really seen it in practice. I do know that most of the street kids and homeless people seem to be Bolivian (short and dark).
Ok so Im going to go start packing now yay! My only new things to pack are a hair dryer and a straightener. Dont ask how I managed to get more hair accessories then I have at home! Its a long story involving Juliet not understanding sufficient Spanish. Though while I was at the mall ha ha I ran into a Hoyts cinema. How bizarre! Anyway I took a photo just to show that it is true!
posted Wednesday April 2008