Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Goodbye, Buenos Aires -

We're leaving here in about 20 minutes. A depressing fact, that. I want to thank Buenos Aires for introducing me to a few things: the awesome cartoons of Ricardo "Liniers" Siri, now officially my favorite cartoonist. Alfajors, two little cookies with dulce de leche stuck in between them. For the buses, which are one of the best examples of folk art in motion I have ever seen. For (and pardon me for art geeking out a moment) a color palette that will inform my work for the better. I'm going to miss so much, my boxing class, the little yellow cat at the kiosko on our block, double espressos at the bookstore-cafe, the habit of giving a little candy in lieu of change if the cashier doesn't have a 5 centavo piece. Goodbye for now, Buenos Aires, and thank you for everything. God willing and the creek don't rise, we'll be back before you know it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Owls for sale! I'm a crappy liar! plus - Ekeko!!

Observe the little man! His name is Ekeko, and he is a good-luck god from South America. What he likes is to be draped in little presents, money and grains and suchlike, and in return he will bestow upon you good luck and prosperity. Also, he likes for you to light him a cigarette, but to put it out before it gets halfway down. Only likes the first half of a smoke, does Ekeko. I have found my religion.

John found Ekeko in Montevideo, where we attended a giant street fair that sold books, records, crafts, fruit, puppies (AAAAAGH), kittens, chickens, and, naturally, owls. I didn't get too many animal photos, as I was getting the stinkeye for taking pictures. Don't ask me why I didn't buy the owl. I am a fool.

Also, a skinny street kid of about 12 asked us for money - after a few polite demurrals on our part, he gave up and just yelled, "faaaaahhhhk yoooooou, fat americans!" I kind of have to give him that one.

Back in BA, we learned from Graham and Rosie (John's friends from England, who lived in China for more than a year) that the Chinese translation of Britney Spears' "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" is "I have bled, but not yet been penetrated." I do not need to tell you how much that pleases me to know.

Later, we all wnt to this fancy-pants hotel to drink at their bar and try to scam some pool use. Everything was fine 'til I decided I was cold and wet from swimming and needed a towel, and hey, no one had said anything to us about not being allowed to swim there, so I asked the pool receptionist. "Of course," she said, "what's your room number?" And here we learn that I cannot be trusted in any situation that requires the least amount of subterfuge, 'cause I just froze, like a deer in headlights. "Um, Rosie... what's our room number?" "Um... 7... 18?" she said. I looked at the by-now suspicious receptionist and said "it's, um... I don't know how to say it in Spanish...." please note that up till then we had been speaking English. The lady handed me a note pad and told me to write down my last name, which god knows why, but I did, and then she asked, "are you... staying in this hotel?" I let that hang in the air for a good 30 seconds before going "ermmm... nnnnno." "It will be 80 pesos for the use of the pool." I am God's own idiot.

Also, I managed to have a converstation in mangled Spanish with the nice guys at this bookstore/cafe I like to go to - when I told them I was from Brooklyn, they were all excited and said "Ah! like Paul Auster!" and asked what writers I liked. Whereupon every single book I'd ever read flew out of my head and I sat there with full duh-face on. Apparently I can't even tell the truth without blanking and now these nice men think I'm some idiot who doesn't even read. I should have said, "US Weekly, that's my favorite author. What's it to you, smartypants?" Nice work, fat american.