Second Block Edition: Tales from Miami Ad School Account Planning Bootcamp. Location: Minneapolis, MN.


Mi semana

So, MJ is dead. The South Carolina governor went on hiatus to Buenos Aires with his lover. Farrah passed into the heavens. I started teaching English in a foreign country. ¿¡Qué qué!? ¡Este semana es loco! I mean some of those events are more important than others. In fact I will devote my day to listening to MJ. That's only because I already taught my lesson today.

I got off to a good start with teaching. Tuesday, I taught two different lessons. First I teach a 15-year-old boy and after that I have two more 15-year-old boys. There were no antics or disorderly contact. All of the boys are upper intermediate, meaning they have a good use of grammar and a wide vocabulary. I have a lesson book, but I'm going to try to bring in other media for them to listen to English, ie. music, TV shows, magazines, newspapers etc. My two other "students" are women, about my age. Each of them works in a company, so I go to their work to teach. I have freedom to vary my curriculum with the boys and one of the ladies, it's nice because I can go at whatever pace I feel is necessary and I don't have to follow a book. The corporate training company I teach for I have to follow a English buisness book, but currently I only have one hour a week with them.

Good news! Next month I will be moving to a different place. I'll be moving into an apartment that my tutor and his cousin just got. It's a great apartment in one of the nicest parts of the city. The apartment is on the top floor and my room is part of the servants quarters so I have my own bathroom and entrance to the apartment. And, I don't mean to brag but The Perons (Eva Peron) used to live there. That's right. Evita re-enactment time, here I come.

This week has also been full of back-to-back dinner parties. Monday a couple of my house-mates and I made pork with rosemary and white wine, cabbage and squash mash. This proved to be the first delcious thing I've made since arriving. Somehow Buenos Aires has impaired my ability to cook well or vary my diet outside of pan, queso y jamon. Of course, we accidently sided it with three bottles of wine. Accidently, I tell you. That was fun getting up for orientation/training the next morning. Wednesday, yet another dinner party consisting of yummy potato mash and veggies and empanadas for dessert. Ending the night with a little cumbia dancing. Tonight there is a gallery night in Palermo (it's a barrio here) where all the galleries open for the public and you can go and drink wine…por gratis (for free)!

So, things are starting to come together. I'm beginning to leave the honeymoon period of my stay and enter reality. The only thing about that is that reality isn't as brightly colored all the time. Reality is a good thing, especially when you wake-up to a reality that's a little bit sweeter than some of the other options out there. Hey people, I live in Buenos Aires.


El primero día del invierno.

First day of winter here in South America. Woke up to sunny and 55 degrees. Surely it will get colder, but if it didn't no complaints here. But I'm sure all of you sweating your balls off in Texas would trade my weather for yours any day. I wouldn't. I like my weather and you can't have it.

"Estoy enferma," I've been using this phrase a bit too much this weekend. I came down with my first Argentine cold. That's right, now my body contains genuine made in Argentina germs. If only I caught it from a celebrity I could sell my cold on e-bay. I feel as though it's partially to blame because there are no signs in the bathrooms saying that employees must wash their hands before returning to work. I expect to make a swift recovery, because only minute ago it scored myself an authentic Argentine cold remedy consisting of cloves, tea and honey. ¡Que rico!

Yesterday, I had Spanish tutoring with Alonso. I'm not sure I've told you about my tutor. He hales from Spain. I meet with him for two hours three times a week. It's weird to have a personal tutor. I've never received one-on-one help before; it's a different way of learning. It's also dificult to be judgmental of yourself because you have no one else to compare your progress against. So I'm trying to be competitive but I have no one to compete with except verb conjugations.

Good news though, I have work. I have orientation next Friday morning for the job with Pensairs Corporate Training, I'll be going into companies here in Buenos Aires. The other teaching company I'll be working with is with a woman who runs her own teaching school. I'll go to the students houses or workplace and teach. I'll be starting this week in that company, I have about 7 hours for the week.
It seems like I have the potential here to stay pretty busy, but I'm not all that sure about making the bucks. The US Dollar and Argentine peso are slowly sliding against each other, currently at 3.7 to 1USD, while this is great for travelers and spending US dollars, it sucks for making money.

¡Happy Father's Day to all you papís!


¡Es Flag Day!

So today is Flag Day in Argentina, naturally everything is closed in order to honor this wonderful holiday. This country will make any excuse for another day to go out and party. That's just what me and some of my house-mates did. I mean, really what else is there to do in order to celebrate such a holiday? Since, I refuse to carry around my guide-book with me, all the time, we were absent minded in searching for a boliche to go to. Finally we stumbled upon one with red lights. So pretty. But we should have known by the long-blonde-haired tranny what we were getting into. I really thought the gay boys in Argentina would be a little bit bolder in their dancing styles, but it was more self-conscious than a middle school locker room.

This past week swept on by, without much of a notice. I kept busy looking for jobs, working on my TEFL and attending Spanish tutoring. Tomorrow afternoon I have a job interview for a position at a English institute. It seems promising, so let's keep our thoughts on the upside. I love rice and all, but I'd like to vary my diet. There's no giving up the vino, so we have to make some sacrifices.

Last week a friend and I went to La Bomba, it's a drum show put on by one the cultural centers here in Buenos Aires. There's nothing quite like 800 plus people in a giant warehouse, watching people from all over play African drum beats. There's always so much going on in this city, it amazes me. The culture center's here offer classes of all kinds, I'm thinking about taking one. Even if I can't understand everything I'll meet new people and it will help improve my Spanish a lot. What do we think about tango classes?

I'm a little stressed out about money lately, so some job leads and interviews is what I need to make this week run a little smoother. Moving to such a huge city is a big decision in itself, and the language barrier is getting a little bit of the best of me. I mean it's great to know people here that speak English, but it's not as helpful for my learning. So my goal this week is speak Spanish more.

On that note.
Ciao Ciao.


Come one come all. It's asado time!

So I've been in my house almost a week now. Socialization is more frequent, although I've decided the worst time to force me to speak Spanish or 'castellano' as they call it here, is when I first wake up. Especially without a cup of coffee. Understanding is proven harder than I thought. I live with two Colombians, a Peruvian guy, an Argentine guy and a Welsh girl. The accents in Spanish are very different, which is great for learning, but crappy for someone who has to nod and smile frequently.

The only situations that do not require a translator are eating and playing Wii. Yes, Wii. One of the owners of the place I'm living is from the US, and he brought his Wii with him. Genius! I scored a 225 in bowling,the other night. I even gave my little Wii character a mustache, so now some people in the house call me "Freudaline". I'm not sure how I should feel about that. I'm pretty sure I should sweep in there anonymously and change my moustache into side burns. I'd rather be called a dike than associated with a dictator.

It's embarrassing, but I didn't wake up today until 3pm today. Being a normal routine for Argentines on Sunday, it didn't make me feel guilty. Although, when I went outside finally at 4:30p (an hour and a half before the sun sets) it felt as though it was morning. That's when you know you're living the Argentine lifestyle.

Last night the house had an asado, which is the Argentine word for barbecue. It was for a girl that just moved in and me. Beef here is so cheap! It's amazing. Even as the economy inflates the government still regulates the price of beef so that it's cheap and affordable for everyone. You can get an eight-twelve ounce steak for about $10 USD in a restaurant, it's amazing. Of course there are no problems with anemia in this country.(I'm actually not sure about that).

I've seen a lot more of the city this week, too. A friend of some friends is in town, and since I'm not working I have a plethora amount of time on my hands. I'm hoping this will change in the weeks ahead. I'm about to finish my TEFL, and I have a few job leads that have been located through the classifieds. I'd really like to eat, so this is motivation in itself.

Even though I woke up halfway through the day, I'm ready to go to sleep again. That's what an afternoon at the San Telmo market, an Argentine parrilla and bar will do to you, besides make you love your life.


Close encounters with the deserted kind.

The day of rest in Buenos Aires is taken very seriously. I never thought a city with over 13 million people could ever feel empty, but around 1 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, it does. I contemplated doing a few cartwheels on Av. Santa Fe, but I haven't quite figured how to explain myself in Spanish, yet.
The schedule here for eating is pretty much from a different stratosphere. I haven't entirely figured out when breakfast is eaten, or if it even exists. It might be replaced with strong cups of coffee or mate. Lunch is traditionally eaten between 2:00 and 3:30. Restaurants don't start opening for dinner until around 9pm, and most places don't get crowded until around 10 or 10:30pm. So as you can see waiting to eat dinner here is a marathon for the appetite. I've been training for this adjustment the last few days. Like right now, it's almost quarter til 9p, and maybe I'll start thinking about dinner around 9:15. In reality, I'm starving, but I must hold out til at least 9p. So I'll just take a long time to finish this post. People need to start interacting on this blog more so I have more excuses to keep posting instead of working on my TEFL.

I moved into my new place today. It seems pretty great for now. My room is pretty simple. Basic. It has a set of useful bunk beds. Two closets. And no mirror? I'm going to need to add a little spice. The only problem is that it seems to be fairly chilly in here. Of course I can't really tell because I'm using a 150W light bulb as a space heater. It works pretty good actually.
I'm also a little timid about socializing because my Spanish is lacking, but I'll never learn if I never try.

Well my watch just beeped for the hour. Looks like I'll be eating dinner early tonight. Chau!