04 August 2008

When The Fairytale Becomes a Rough Draft

You know, it's a whole different experience when you work in another country. On one hand, it grounds your experience and brings it to a realistic place within your mind. When we visit a place for 10 days on vacation, it's easy to idealize a foreign country and think I could totally live her when you haven't had to do your own laundry or push your way through the morning commute or step over homeless people sleeping on mattresses on the sidewalk or develop any remarkable habits that slowly define this new undecided person of stark potentiality. On vacation, you sleep in, gorge yourself on rich plates of exotica. You leave tips that are too big because you can afford to and you forgive every vacation blemish because you don't have to stick around and deal with the things you don't like, you know in the back of your mind that you're going home soon. You smile at things that would normally annoy you in real life like piles of dog shit on the sidewalk and kids with dirty hands touching your thighs inside the subway and the Tourist Inflation Index and outdated mass transit and crumbling buildings. This is just how things are here, you say to yourself in complete and brutal acceptance.

Now that I live and work in Buenos Aires, I don't love it less. In fact, I know for a fact that I love it more than a tourist ever could for the simple reason that tourists don't love what they know, they love what they don't know. Their love is born of defective knowledge and limited experience and my love is being born from the opposite place that goes much deeper in my heart. But I can also admit that there are things I don't love about BsAs even though I know how to accept them, probably in a way that I never would have if I only knew this city for 9 jampacked days of street-walking and camera-clicking.

In other news, Erika and I walked to Almo Palermo (not your home, Still Life in Buenos Aires), which looks like this from the outside: And This From the Inside:
And I did a little shopping--but all for work, of course. I bought three things which made me very happy:
1. A New Shirt That's Probably Too Hipster For My Job But I'm Gonna Wear It Anyway!
2. A Ultrauseful Pair of Gray Pants from Zara
3. A New Shaver For Everything Above My Neck (Okay, Not My Nose, Tongue or Ears)

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