Thursday, January 29, 2009


...Ezeiza Ministro (Buenos Aires) Airport
I have the feeling I entered through the exit door to get to this area. Prior to this I was sent back to the customs line twice -- the first time, for going to the Lady before I was signaled to, and the second, for handing her the wrong form.

Feeling a bit awkward, I stand here at Baggage Claim Carousel 5, my fingers trembling slightly. And who comes to brighten things? Big blue eyes and little gold earrings, a toddler wobbles her way toward me and holds up her doll gesturing for me to take it. I take up the invitation, cradle the doll, and hand it back smiling.

A simple exchange, my first welcome and introduction to this new place.

...Ostinatto Hostel, San Telmo

One Manuel Tienda Leon Shuttle Bus and one car ride later, I arrive at San Telmo in front of Ostinatto Hostel.

San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires was once home to a society of Aristocrats who after the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1871 fled northward, leaving behind grand mansions. European Immigrants filled these empty spaces, subdividing the mansions into ¨conventillos¨ which accommodated multiple families. Today the area is considered the birthplace of Tango. This neighborhood was alluring because of its cobblestone walkways, narrow streets and supposed bohemian/artistic culture.

Ostinatto Hostel, a 5 story early-twentieth century building, renovated with a minimalist twist will be my temporary shelter. My room is a quaint six-bed female dorm with large lockers to store packs and valuables. A contrast to the modern exterior, the room has glossy wood floors, 15-20 foot ceilings with crown molding, and two large French doors that lead to a colorful balcony adorned with potted flowers.

One of the first things I want to do is dump half of the contents of my bag. It´s damn heavy (Mo, you called this :)) I spread the contents on my bed, find that a majority are wet from rainfall, and then decide to keep the contents. Everything is useful.

 the Mercado, `round the corner from the hostel
It´s small, comparable to a large convenience store. A deli stands before me. Jamón, Queso. A man approaches, white-haired and tall. He gestures to a young boy who is walking toward us to let me order first.

I quickly say,¨Jamón y Queso, por favor.¨

He asks me how many grams I would like, to which I respond,¨one person¨. They exchange looks and smile.

The old man asks, ¨¿Englais?¨

¨Si,Si,¨ I say.

He responds, ¨Ah buhm-ah.¨

I file through my limited Spanish vocabulary list in my head. I don´t know this word.

He continues talking, his sentences too fast, they fly over my head.

¨¿Estados Unidos?¨

¨Si,Si,¨ I say.

He continues talking. I´ve lost him at Englais. In the midst of his words I catch, ¨Bush¨. It clicks.

¨¡Obama!¨ I cheer,¨¡Si, Obama!¨

They laugh and chime their favor for America´s newly elected President.

... at the moment
I´m in front of a computer wide awake in the twilight hours, grace to a mosquito who, while I was sleeping, managed to create 3 itchy lumps on my face. Of the many things I packed, mosquito repellent was not one :(


PTM said...

Hi DtiDti,

Thanks for making me smile. Que dios te vendiga. I miss you very much! BL says "hello"


Anonymous said...

Working on a file with a property located on "Jasmine Ave" reading Jasmines blog. . .Ill send you some repellent Sunshine. :)Your Shiny Sun


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