17 July 2008

Primer Día en Buenos Aires :: First Day in Buenos Aires

After 13 hours of flying and 5,600 miles later, we finally arrived in Buenos Aires. But even getting here was an adventure. We had to suck it up just a little bit and deal with one of the most turbulent flights I've taken in my entire life, and that includes flights to Seattle, which are supposed to be the worst. And poor Zoe (our Shia-Poo) got such bad motion sickness she threw up on herself three or four times, stuck inside her little transparent doggie bag underneath the seats, curled up at the opposite end from where she'd thrown up. She smelled pretty bad. We felt bad for her. Another strange thing was the guy sitting to the left of me. He must have had some rare kind of sleep-walking disorder because he kept trying to move in his sleep. Every time I looked he was shifting positions, moving from side to side, practically dancing in his chair. But he was doing this all in his sleep. To make things more like a show than a flight, his overhead light was on the whole time too like he was about to do a narcoleptic tap-dance show for me. And for some reason I couldn't turn the fucking thing off, so of course I didn't sleep great, what with the turbulence, the smell of dog vomit and The Sleepwalker.

When we arrived at the airport, we prepared ourselves for a thorough examination of our bags and an on-the-spot check-up of Zoe, along with immunization verification. In reality: I had a small misunderstanding with the luggage man. I'd asked him for a baggage cart, he gave me 2, then helped me load all the suitcases, and then he said to me, oh, there's a dog in that bag? I nodded. Well, you're supposed to use a special exit, he said looking around. And then he pushed the cart to the exit and we pretty much left. And no one asked us a thing.

Once we got to our apartment, signed our leased, dished out a large stack of cash (for three months rent) and got our keys, I realized a few things:

1. My Spanish isn't half as good as I think it is
2. Okay, it doesn't suck, but getting used to the porteño accent is going to take some time. I keep thinking I'm listening to a Spaniard switch from Castellano to Catalan. It's the shh that really fucks with your sense of reality. But it's so beautiful too
3. Argentinos speak spanish really quickly. When even my ever-so-fluent girlfriend asked people to repeat themselves, I felt a little better
4. It's a terrible idea to speak French to the owner of the apartment, Spanish to Erika's family, and English to Erika, all at the same time, especially after a 13-hour flight. You mix up everything and the words get incestuous as they climb on top of each other and frolick around in your mind

And now I'm ending with some of the wonderful and random things I saw today in Buenos Aires:

Our apartment in the evening
Lots of graffiti (more on that later)
Deep red buildings
Intriguing woodwork

Erika waits for her gelato, and in the meantime, decides to rub elbows with some of the stiffest celebrities in town.
Isn't Palermo Viejo cute?
When we went shopping at Coto, the supermarket just around the corner, this is one of the things in the self-serve deli
Our ancient-looking keys that look like they open up a secret dungeon inside a forgotten castle
The balcony view from our bedroom
Before the Great Barf. Oh how naive we all were . . .
Our flight to another world and another life


Frank.Sugar&Spice said...

Welcome to Argentina!

Holly said...

Bienvenidos! You mean to say, they did not stamp your passport at all, with the three month visa. Or just gave you a stamp and sent you on your merry way, which is what happens here all the time. No third degree questions, unlike the country you just traveled from.

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Good question Holly. The latter. They gave us a 3 month visa--that is barely legible, by the way--and then sent us on our way. And I can't even tell you how much work we had to do to get Zoe's USDA stamp, her international health certificate, and then get her groomed and cut so she looked 12 pounds instead of the pudgy 14 she actually is right now. All for nothing! But good point Holly: it's refreshing not to get 3rd degree questions. In fact it was so easy, I was suspicious. Isn't that fucked up?

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Thanks frank. After we walk around the barrio a little bit we're going to walk to a nearby park, and then get some dinner at Bio. By the way, how do we register to vote and vote for the general election from Argentina?

Mandy said...

Saludos, amigo! Estoy alegre que ustedes llegaron seguramente. Me gustaria ver mas de sus pensamientos y fotos en los dias siguientes. :-)

Vos te gustaras el accento mas y mas. A mi, es como poesia ahora.

Nina said...

You can register to vote from overseasvotefoundation.org. Awesome site.

Katie said...

You made it! Good for you! :)

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Mandy, I think you're right. The truth is, and I'm gonna tell you a secret here, is that I've always loved the Argentine accent and I've wanted one myself. My first Spanish professor was Argentine, and for years I spoke with a slight Argentine accent just because of her, and then one day, someone was like, so why do you speak like that? And I realized I didn't even know if I was pronouncing it correctly, so I tried to get rid of it. But the instant I decided to come here, it just came back like ¡pop! Now, if only I can understand los argentinos when they rattle it off so quickly, that would be progress indeed!

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Che, Nina,

1,000 Gracias! I registered just now and I'm gonna pass on the info to my novia. I can't tell you how helpful this is. If there's one election I want to make sure I vote in, it's this one, you know?

JACKSON BLISS @ 水と魂 said...

Hi Katie! Yes we finally did and now we're slowly getting into the mix of things. I have to say though, I'm amazed how tired we've been. I forget how much energy traveling halfway across the world takes out of you.