¡Feliz cumpleaños al profesor de todo!
Leonardo is not the typical English student, therefore we never have typical conversations. For example, today’s discussion topic ended up being on Einstein’s theory of teletransportation. But the rate at which he is learning is quite impressive, especially given the amount of time our spontaneous bouts of laughter consume. An example of how well his English is progressing and his ability to make jokes:
The typical English student parts for the day by saying: Thank you. Class today was a good start to the day. It’s always a pleasure.
Leonardo, the atypical student says: Thank you. Class today was a good start to the day. It’s always out of control.
He said it perfectly too, killing the punch line. Ahhh…smiling all the way down Puerto Madero to class.
Yes, this is my job and it is awesome.
After two and a half months here in Bs. As., I’m starting to feel the city morphing around me a bit; I feel less anonymous and aimless. I don’t think that it is because I blend in, because the applauses that I get as I walk down the street make me feel as if I should see if Bs. As. has a circus looking to hiring Americans. Five pesos to step inside to see the stereotypical yanqui face framed in natural blonde hair. The city just feels a little smaller because everywhere I go, there is always someone who is familiar with my American face and says hello. Today alone on the street I saw Silvia, Fernanda and Federico’s English teacher, Agustine, my International PAL buddy from UCA who just happens to work at the same business that I give English classes at, my friend in the fruit stand who shot the breeze with me a bit and got all my fruit around for me. ¿Qué más nena? I saw you riding your bike past the other day, but you were going too fast and I didn’t get a chance to say hi. ¿Qué más preciosa? And then there is the absolutely gorgeous guy at the bike station in Parque Lezama who has officially memorized my entire passport number so that when I arrive all I have to do is tell him the number of my clave (pin number)—which I’m sure he has memorized as well, but asks out of respect anyway—and the bike number which I want to ride away in. His smile alone makes my afternoon. Then there is the stray dog I have adopted in Pto. Madero, and the woman who works at the fancy kitchen supplies store. She lets me browse around and ask her where different kitchen gadgets are hidden in her store after I have my English classes at night. Today, when I bought Fede’s birthday gift, I got to talk for twenty minutes to the college student who works there too about all sorts of random things from music to art to big cities as the woman wrapped Fede’s gift for me, the same gift the guy gave me a $15 peso discount on. He asked me who recommended this shop to me. I said, nadie. Nobody, I always just pass by since I work in Pto. Madero. I didn’t explain to him that I let the force drag me throughout my day and today, I ended up here, probably because subconsciously the man at the video store sent me. Then I ended up taking a picture of a couple with a backdrop of El Puente de la Mujer and smiling at that rollerblader who jumped up onto the concrete bench and back off again like a pro. Why? So that he would meet up with me in San Telmo on his roller blades near the end of my walk and stop me to talk, saying he always sees me in Pto. Madero. (Ahhh, yes I have a stalker.) Ends up he’s an architect, loves art history, Renaissance Art especially, and lives right at the edge of Barracas less than five minutes from me. I walked as he roller bladed and we talked the rest of the way home until we parted directions.
Where was I going with this? Oh. I don’t feel invisible anymore in this city. I feel like the city has morphed to make room for me and I’m not just taking up space anymore. I used to love the anonymity of being alone amidst the masses, but I think the city is slowly changing me, and I would much rather be greeted with a kiss on the cheek and smile knowing that its not just me here in this city roaming alone throughout my day.
Like Fernanda told me the other day as we were cooking, life is always beautiful, but the only way to truly appreciate it is to share and confide its beauty with others.
I don’t want to talk about this, but it’s important to document that today I had to hug Dani good-bye because she has to go back to Germany. I’m crying inside. I’m going to miss her so much. She wasn’t supposed to leave. Nobody is supposed to leave me considering I am the one visiting here in Argentina. Fernanda isn’t supposed to leave me when she goes to Paris. And Federico isn’t supposed to follow her there, leaving me here as well. But, I’m taking things one day at a time, it just so happened that today was the last time I get to embrace Dani until I go visit her in Germany or she visits me in America or we meet up in another corner of the world, all of which are plausible options.