Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm officially now a Bonarense* now and not a Porteno. The distinction is whether one lives in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires or in the province of Buenos Aires that surrounds the city proper.

*I think I spelled that wrong.
Learning a language is an interesting experience because you learn how many things don't make any sense in your own language. For example, today I have been trying to describe power strips in Spanish. Power strip is a decent description of a device that offers multiple electrical outlets, but truthfully it doesn't make much sense literally. And frankly, while I assume there's a few other words in English for it, I can't think of them right now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ironies Abound

When I wander around the city on public transportation, I frequently bring my ipod shuffle on me, loaded with various podcasts, Ride songs, and maybe a Shakira album or two.

Sometimes I leave the earbuds in, but usually I take them out if I talk to people, even for the simplest interactions.

The other day I didn't take my earbuds out, though I had turned off the sound. I walked up to the ticket counter, said where I was going for the train and the cranky lady asked if I had 10 cents. No, I don't have any coins, I replied. She asked me again, I shook my head no. Then, visibly annoyed, she said "HELLO! DO YOU HAVE 10 CENTS?"

I was pretty amused, you cranky old bureaucrat you. I'm the one with the earbuds in, yet you are the one who lacks the auditory capability. I replied politely with a smile on my face 3 times and heard every word spoken, yet you utterly failed to pay me heed or notice that my facial expressions would have indicated that I had also responded. Also, cranky lady, I will continue to wait at the ticket counter until you remember to give me the ticket I've paid matter how annoyed you are.