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


Movin' on up.

I'm living in a more marvelous place than you. There's a plaque in my new apartment to prove it, too. It says that Peron's used to live here. I'd like to get my hands on a copy of that plaque, people will believe anything printed on brass. Why do you think so many kids believe "Good Sportsmanship" is better than first place? Suckers.

Sunday was moving day and I was all too excited to sleep on my new mattress. The one in my other house was a disgrace to the world of sleeping. It was made of foam, but before you get any ideas about it being like memory foam, allow me to rephrase. It was like sleeping on a deflated air mattress. I know memory foam and that was not it.

Only in Argentina do people find it appropriate to hold a fiesta on a Sunday evening. That's why I love it here. And the fact that there are only two types of people on the bus at 5:30 in the morning, drunks and cleaning people. You can always have a good time here it doesn't matter what day, or if there's signs warning against the dangers of Gripe A everywhere, or if it's raining, or if they close everything at 8pm because you're supposed to vote the next day. Oh, Argentina, your whole country should attend weekly AA meetings.

Yesterday was day from a cold, rainy, English hell. It was not Argentina yesterday it was England. In February. And I was feeling invisible to rain. What that really means is that I forgot to pack an umbrella, and because I'm poor and know that I own 400 umbrellas at home I refuse to buy one here. But yesterday, as it sometimes happens in life, it poured. And while I like to believe the marketing labels and the picture of fisherman standing on the storm drenched boat that comes with my 'waterproof' rain jacket. It's all lies. Umbrellas just have what I like to refer to as 'height advantage." I should know this, I'm tall.

I have a theory. So, I think I've mentioned before, but in order to take the collectivo (the bus) you have to pay with monedas (coins) and only monedas. But, there is a slight moneda shortage in this city of over 13 million people and 500 buses. There are three different rates, depending on the distance you are going, that range from 1.10 peso-1.25 peso. So sometimes when I'm feeling frugal I like to fib to save 5 or 10 centavos, and without a doubt something always goes wrong. One time I didn't pay because, well because I just didn't, and sure enough I had gotten on the wrong bus and it took me to this sketchy part of town. Then the other day I only paid 1.20 when I knew I should have paid 1.25 and I spent an hour and half job shadowing the bus driver through half of Capital Federal (Buenos Aires). Then last night I did the same thing (I don't learn my lesson easily) and paid only 1.20, and the bus driver decided to just 'go a different route,' which took me about 30 blocks from where I was supposed to be for a job. So I had to take another bus. So if you were to ask me if I believe in collectivo karma, I would say sí, por supuesto. Moral of the story, don't lie to those who control your destination or people behind the wheel.


Facts with a splash of opinion.

Fact. There have been many departures of North Americans out of EZE airport this week. I'm sure the airport security suspects something, they're very observant of the presence foreigners. Which leads to my wonderment of why several people have asked for directions from me this week. Well one person was a foreigner himself, asking me where the subte (that's the metro) was. Only to make my job easier, there was a sign directly in front of us. Because my Spanish is impressively better than when I first arrived I showed off my skills by informing him "obvio chico" we could see the subte from where we were.

Fact. My housemate, Victor, gave me a bunch of music this week. There's been a lot of James Brown and Jamie Lidell coming from my cuarto this past few days. Some may say they've heard a noise that sounds like a dying robot but I have no idea what they are talking about. No idea.

Fact. I move into my new place on Sunday with Alonso and his cousin Xavier (pronounced Savier in Spanish). And since it's not exactly 'legal' for Alonso to sublease the apartment to me so we've established myself as Alonso's girlfriend to Juan the doorman. This will be an excellent scandal if I ever meet myself a nice handsome Argentine man. But Juan looks like he enjoys a good scandal. And really who cares about legalities in Argentina? Not Argentines, apparently.

Fact. For now I'm saying ciao ciao.


Otra semana.

So things are good on the Southern front. Looks like gripe porcina has made it's way out like a bandit. We'll see if he returns. As I mentioned before schools were closed because of the pandemic and seeing as though a handful of my students are teenagers they have all become fairly unmotivated. Not that they ever need encouragement in that department. Let's take today for instance, it's Monday, not much going on, but I had to take a 35 minute plus bus ride out to this girl's house and when I got there, no está. ¿Por qué? You ask. No sé. I'm hoping since it is such a beautiful day her excuse is a good one, like she valued her intake of vitamin D more than learning English. Or her friend's dog was just having way too much fun catching the Frisbee she couldn't bare to make him stop. I still get paid, though.

In other exciting news. I officially found my favorite cookie in Buenos Aires. Bon o Bon tres. I got my first paycheck. Now, I won't be breaking the bank with this one, but I can maybe buy more bread and rice. I made a new friend. She works for two of the institutes that I work for teaching English as well. My mother sent me a package last week so I've had a wonderful week sleeping with my dinosaur that she sent me. I've also been staring at photos of my doggggiesss that were in the box, too.

On Friday, my tutor had me speak in Spanish for 45 minutes. Let's be honest though, I probably made a record for how little can be said in a 45 minute period and it still be considered a 'conversation.' It's word constipation when you're learning. There's so much you want to say but it just won't come out. Sometimes not even with the mental laxative, alcohol.

Last night I went to this club with live music with my housemate, Victor. On Sundays they hold jam sessions and play mostly funk and soul. It was 'black music tribute' night so who better to put on the cover of the flyers other than Michael Jackson himself? Circa 1984 Thriller video. I love how versatile the offensiveness of advertising is.
Victor and I both found it enjoyable that we found a place in Buenos Aires that appreciates different types of music besides cumbia and reggaeton . It's a rare gem here in South America so when you find it, you gotta hold on to that puppy.

¡Hasta luego!


cumpleaños de UU. EE. y gripe porcina

So first of all the hype of gripe porcina, swine flu, has gotten way out of hand here in Buenos Aires. It's ridiculous. Click here to see the laundry list of things that are being closed in Argentina because of it. There was talk of closing the night clubs and bars, but pahhlease. This is Buenos Aires, they'd have to be out of their minds to do that. And good thing because I partook in some dancing anoche.

I'm progressively getting more teaching jobs. Let's all get excited, because once I get some money coming in I can start taking classes at the culture centers. I've decided I would like to take a hip-hop or yoga class. My house had Yoga classes the other day. Yoga in Spanish is an interesting experience. Good thing I brushed up on my spanish vocab of human body parts. The best part was when the instructor called,"Elise....[insert something in Spanish I didn't understand]," and I looked up from my pose and everyone had moved on to the next position. Sometimes being in country where you can't understand people is like being deaf. You see that the mouths are moving but your not entirely sure what is coming out.
I will say this experience is making me a better listener. I mean let's be honest I float around a lot in my head. You'll be talking about how the walls are beautiful and I'm thinking, 'What happens when the collectivo (those are buses here in Argentina) drivers have pee and their on a route? Maybe that's why they're always pulling away before you can even step all the way off.' So, while I do often still wonder about various things such as that, I have been forced to reserve those thoughts to when I'm not trying to hang on every word of Spanish that is coming out of someone’s mouth. So not I just have to stop my brain from going, 'Oh GOD what was that last word. Shit. Can I pause this conversation and rewind? Did they just use empezar or encontrar? Why do they speak so fast!?,' while someone is speaking.
In due time. In due time.

Tomorrow I will celebrate the independence of Argentina. So many independences in one week. World, can you handle it?

Ciao Ciao.