Argentina

Buenos Aires was probably made so magical by the family I had the luck of living with. I had a lot of long nights with the Pistanis, and they really made me feel like part of the family CLICHES ASIDE. Hats off to them for putting up with me.

While I was in Argentina I started a blog, what I initially believed to be a space reserved for the narcissistic “artists” looking for some sort of validation from a voiceless online forum. While I maintain this belief, I also realize that the writing I did was not only cathartic, but also incredibly intelligent, observant and hilarious. Simply looking back over the paragraphs I typed brought me right back into the moments I spent there and made me wonder why the hell I haven’t been writing the same way since I’ve been in Colombia. In all likelihood the only people who read my blog were my parents and a couple close friends, but I’m still damn impressed with the ideas I put to digital paper. It feels like an entirely different person wrote those words, and maybe that’s not far off base. I wrote because I was feeling things, do I not write now because I feel nothing? Fuck, was I just more creative back then? Have I lost it? That can’t be the case…can it?

Anyway, I will include a selection of the writing I did there on this page. Maybe I’ll include all of it, fuck it! But as I copy and paste I’ll be looking back over those musings and searching for inspiration that for some reason has not come to me. Maybe it will come tomorrow. Enjoy the photos mom, dad and close friends 😉

Scroll past the writing to view photos.

Fuck Lavaderos

Seriously, their job is to clean your clothing and get it back to you better than when you dropped it off. Thats their only obligation, clean and fold clothes. It’s not hard and frankly I wouldn’t mind just doing it myself but since that’s not a THING here I reluctantly pay $5-$10 dollars to have some bitchy Argentinian woman do it for me. Here are the top five reasons I want to invest in my own damn washing machine/dryer.

1. They’re $$$.

It’s not THAT cheap, especially considering the service they provide I would gladly do myself. Folding laundry for ten minutes a week is not the end of the earth, and if it is for you, you seriously need some perspective.

2. They’re inconveniently located.

It’s a fucking hike having to walk 6 blocks to get to the place. Double that when it’s a Sunday and you show up after carrying twenty-five pounds of laundry ¾ of a mile to find the place locked up tighter than fort knox.

2.5. They need to buzz you in.

What the fuck for? They bring in like $100 pesos a day. What sort of idiot criminal is going around hitting lavaderos for a quick payout. Maybe someone tired of being oppressed by their lazy tyranny and taking a stand for the rest of the emotionally weakened masses.

3. They take longer than they should.

I’m a busy man and I waited till the last minute to give you all my shit, so don’t tell me to come back Thursday when I hand over the goods 10AM Monday morning. Then if you say it’s going to be done at 5, try to have it done by at least 5:30. I always give them a little leeway when picking up my stuff and it pisses me off when I walk ten minutes just to have them snidely tell me it isn’t done yet and to come back when they close, aka in five hours.

4. It’s not their problem.

Oh sorry, we couldn’t get the stain out, or better yet we added about fifteen new ones? Shit happens in the lavadero customer business, so get used to it. If you want your clothes cleaned properly do it yourself in the rio de plata. And don’t look at us when one of your pairs of boxers is completely destroyed beyond use, you must’ve brought them to us like that. Plus, don’t forget exact change, we’re not here for your “convenience.”

5. They fuck shit up.

Every once in a while they ruin your favorite soccer jersey with a medley of burns and rips that make you look like your got in a fight to the death with a curling iron on your way back from the game. Frankly if I thought you could afford to refund me the $25 pesos I just spent for you to ruin my $100 dollar jersey I got as a gift three weeks ago I would take the time to show you how to properly operate an iron. But simply knowing your poor washing skills will guarantee you a life of squalor is solace enough.

*DISCLAIMER: This does not apply for all lavaderos in Buenos Aires, I’ve only been to two. However, after promising I would never return to el nuevo lavadero due to mediocre service, another place forced my hand by straight up ruining my favorite piece of clothing. The search continues, but at this point I may never be satisfied.

On Classes

Damn they are gonna be tough.

My professor walked in to the classroom tonight with a lit cigarette. His voice was like sandpaper, rough and highly abrasive on my ability to concentrate, yet at the same time mesmerizing. I couldn’t look away from his aged face that proudly carried a thick mustache that turned from white to yellow as it moved inward. As if he had been eating mustard consistently for the last 97.5 years of his life. Which really wouldn’t surprise me because they really love their mustard here. He talked for a while about nothing important, mostly the size of UBA (Approaching the largest in the entire world!) and the obligatory retirement age which he is obviously upset about. 45 minutes in to this talk he pulled out another cigarette and looked at me, asking “molesta?”. No man, feel free to spark up in the room. This is a class about communism after all it wouldn’t be right if the professor wasn’t rippin’ butts the whole four hours. That’s what Marx would’ve wanted. Frankly it didn’t bother me at all. The fact that he, and practically everybody else in this city, couldn’t give a flying fuck about indoor smoking laws is awesome. I’m sure one of the girls from my program in the class felt different a little different, but the novelty of the whole situation totally eliminates the irritation of being smoked at. So he puffed away and continued to talk about nothing while I strained to find a comfortable position in the hard wooden desk. Barely two hours in that thing and I was squirming like an obese woman in a Spirit airlines coach seat. If you’re not familiar with Spirit’s exceptional service then that wont be funny just a heads up. Feel free to insert Ryanair if that works better for you.

All was fine and good, speech comprehension wise, until in comes young TA who talked faster than I could keep a lock on. Luckily all he was going through was the syllabus but still I was lost as all hell. IDGAFOS.

Subtes work thank god, and we got out of class 2 hours early gracias a dios.

Party on Wayne

On Chix with Dix

Finally! At long last I managed to make it out to the park closest to me in the barrio of Palermo to see the transvesties that my host father has talked so much about. Juan was more than excited to drive me around the circular road in the park where the practically naked man-women solicit their services to an apparently thriving cliental. We drove past roughly 20 of these rod-and-tackle equipped women, all of whom peered in through the window and openly flashed their wares to myself and my host parents. Juan laughed and pointed, “Look! Here comes another one! Remember, it’s a man!” while Susana only mentioned how much clothing they were wearing this evening. They’re a ridiculous couple. He told me that most of the people looking to have sex with the transvestites are actually looking to be had sex with. They want the whores to fuck them. Great stuff. Juan didn’t have any issues describing this with his wife in the backseat, and was also obliged to inform me that if I ever needed to watch any “porno movies” I could find all I needed on a site by the obscure and seldom heard of name “Redtube”. Sorry Juan, but I’m a youjizz man all the way. As I’ve noted before, there isn’t much that’s considered taboo to talk about here. We must’ve driven around the lake where the transvestites are legally allowed to sell themselves three times to make sure I had didn’t miss a single (man)whore. The scary part about it was the disgusting similarity these men had to real women (Pictures coming soon, I hope). I think this is why Juan kept reminding me of their real sex, it would be too easy to confuse them. I wonder how many unsuspecting tourists have counted their lucky stars after finding such a street brothel only to be terribly surprised when these ho’s finally drop their dro’s. But their boobs looked so real! What a marvel of modern medicine hormone therapy is.

I spent the rest of the night hanging in a place called “Acabar”, which can ambiguously mean “Bar here” or “orgasm”. Whether the founder was thinking about that I don’t really know. It’s a good place to hang, cheap drinks, fun atmosphere, and table games provided! We played super-size Jenga and high-stakes asshole. Good times until 4am. Every time someone new was the asshole they had to do some sort annoying thing before they played a card. My boy Ben got two kisses on the cheek and I told a man across from us that I loved him. Some people get all the luck.

Most importantly, today was Dia del nino! Before I even woke up the entire family had gathered to open presents for the kids and basically just chill all day. By 3 O’clock I had already drank a couple glasses of wine and shared laughs with nearly the whole Pistani clan. Juan let me eat lunch (which normally is not provided by our host families) because I’m just barely still a nino. Thank god, that meant I didn’t even have to venture outside the walls of the home the whole day. It seems like a holiday that should exist in the U.S. More toys for everyone! The kids got to do a scavenger hunt to find them. Fun stuff. So me and the parents watched and drank as the kids played, fought, cried, and played more. At one point Juan, Javier (the second youngest son), and I shared a Cuban cigar outside on the back patio. A relaxing day indeed. But tomorrow I start my real classes in the UBA, and the subways still aren’t running. God damn. It takes an hour to get to class from my house, which is a major bitch when you have class until 9 at night. Hopefully the local and national government can finish their Mexican standoff over the subsidies that the public transport receives and just give the workers their damn pay raise. This is the longest strike in the history of the subway, and neither branch of government will take responsibility for returning the service to the citizens of the city. Hurrah for politics. Even though the subways were privatized in the 90’s, the government still provides money to keep the fares incredibly low. Which is great, until this happens. I’ll just hire some transvesties to carry me to class in a rickshaw.

A boy can dream.

On Mate

Click click just move your damn fingers and write something. I cannot make thought come to word.

I am going to go get my new mate mothafucka!! Get my hot, foreign tea beverage on bitch. I had to scrap this thing out for like 20 minutes. I think I’ve changed my opinion on this beverage. At first I was in to the whole takes-forever-to-enjoy delayed gratification bs, but after going through the whole song and dance it just hits me like…well…a lot of work. Who wants to take to tame to “cure” your mate after you get it, that’s like three whole agonizing days of waiting. Unless you just don’t get a calabasa mate, then dealing with that shit is a thing of the past. Metal mates are the way of the future. Next investment is the next frontier…metal. Or wood, if I’m feeling a little more like an earth-bound being. Damn this hot drink has got me trippin.

There is something ritualistic mate carries with it in this country. It’s an idea of sharing that doesn’t really exist in the U.S. with any sort of beverage/food item and it’s kinda cool. Everyone anxiously waits in the circle for the mate to come back around, eyeing it with a certain animalistic voracity. Actually I think that’s just me. However I’m just saying nobody wants to share their coffee, and everyone wants to share their mate. And I don’t think that has some stupid parallel with culture.

And really it tastes a bit like I’m drinking dried grass.

I wonder if anyone has a sweet bombilla encrusted with diamonds and wrapped in platinum, to be matched perfectly with a mate made out of solid pumpkin. It gives the best flavor!

You have to think that so much beverage sharing could lead to a hep C epidemic. Something to mull over when dreadlocked classmate hands me her tasty concoction deep into my communism class. Thanks comrade! I’m sure Trotsky would have approved. Better I share your straw than fall asleep thinking about imperialism.

I gotta stop drinking this shit so I can get to bed on time. Early day tomorrow with class at 10. Imagine my earliest day starts at 8:45AM, then open your eyes and thats reality. In fact, aside from Wednesday mornings, there’s really no reason for me to even pretend to start stirring from the deepest of slumbers until midday, six out of seven days a week. Besides that I feel like a bum, but I’ll live with myself. I think there must be something about this room that helps me with my overactive REM cycle. Maybe it’s the mate. So that’s why the like it so much! Argentina drinks this shit so they don’t have to go to bed AND don’t have to wake up. Great invention industria argentina. Except who has the time to make the shit. Questions that need answers.

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