Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Don't Cry for Me Argentina

Oh dear.

After two months of winter in the states, culminated by the type of Bat Mitzvah blowout that only exists in the Detroit suburbs (140 13-year-olds, Lady Gaga, and Motown's greatest hits, together at last), I'm back in the humidity and dengue-tinted mosquito infestation that is March in Buenos Aires. After a week of being eaten alive today we finally jerry-rigged a tulle-and-scarf covering for the double doors with the hopes of neither suffocating nor contracting life-threatening diseases while we sleep. I have high hopes.

I went to buy ice at the corner store, only to be looked at strangely and asked where I was from, that I would expect the corner store to have ice. Apparently ice is mainly sold at service stations, in huge bags. No iced coffee for me. An Argentine friend of mine picked me up at the airport, and one of the first things he told me was: all the prices have gone up. How much? 25% increase in two months. He shrugged.

Let's play a game. What's out of the ordinary about this picture? If you said: there is a plastic jug on top of the car, then you clearly aren't Argentine. (If you said: the facade and paint job is great, I totally agree.) Because of course the jugs are there to draw attention to the fact that the car is for sale. See the little paper in the window? It doesn't tell you for how much. That would just be silly. They want you to call to find out and in turn haggle over the price. Well sure.

I'm pretty happy to be back.

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