9317 reads
Posted by Tim on Apr 28, 2005
Spanish Lessons and a Place Called Home

It has been more than two weeks since the hedgehogs last posted. In the meantime, much has happened, and there are of course many stories to tell. For the moment it is enough to reveal that on April 21, they boarded a bus from Mendoza to Buenos Aires.

The 14-hour bus ride from Mendoza was really marred only by the disturbing reaction my body had to the cloudy tap water I'd been drinking there.

Now, if you ask me, my alimentary canal got itself a bit hysterical about the whole thing. Oh, I'm sure that it had a legitimate gripe: people keep telling me (now, of course, as opposed to the ever-preferable before) that drinking the water in Mendoza isn't a good idea even for Argentinos. But the middle third of my body, in my humble opinion, simply got carried away with this whole thing. I am, frankly, rather surprised at this behavior. I've simply never thought of my digestive system as a drama queen before. But there you have it.

Anyway, there's nothing to add a touch of adventure to a long bus ride, like having to run down the stairs to the bathroom every few minutes. But I digress.

We're back in Buenos Aires now, so that Jessica can take Spanish classes and pass on to me everything that she learns (or so goes our plan). Each day, she has two hours of lessons (which she is loving), and then she spends the next two hours teaching me. In the meantime, I've somehow acquired a Spanish translation of Isaac Asminov's Foundation, which I plan on spending the next several months laboriously translating back to English. Se llamaba Gaal Dornick y no era más que un campesino que nunca había visto Trántor...

We'll be here for another week or two (maybe more) while she acquires enough Spanish to guide us through the next few months, and we're also going make use of this period of relative stability to get a lot of work done on this site. Many stories to tell, we have.

In the meantime, we're back in the now-familiar St. Nicholas hostel, in the very room we stayed for our first week here. Buenos Aires has come to feel a bit like home to us. It's kind of funny how those things happen: we first noticed something like it when we pulled into Montevideo on the way back from Punta del Diablo. We hated Montevideo, but it was so comforting to see a bus station we recognized, to know where the bathrooms were without having to look for them, to know how to get to downtown without having to ask. So you can imagine what it feels like to return for a third time to Buenos Aires, a city we adore.

We know where all the major landmarks are, we know which places have the best empanadas, we know which internet cafés have the best rates. We know which streets are quieter to walk down, and are ready in advance for the sidewalks to be only about a yard wide. We know which parks are nice to have your lunch in, and which ones are a little seedy. We know that at night proprieters will lower large steel cages over their storefronts, but remain open and serve you through a tiny window. We know that if you save the receipt for that liter of cerveza (beer), you can get back a peso for returning the empty bottle. And we certainly know all the ins and outs of the always-welcoming St. Nicholas hostel.

When you're on the road, these are the things that make you feel like you have a home.

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Loofa
April 28, 2005 at 4:23pm
I am number 1!
Loofa
April 28, 2005 at 4:27pm
Glad to hear you are feeling better, you know how it is with Drama Queens, you just have to sit them down and explain the situation to them, and then 24-36 hours later they settle down… um so i have heard… yea… heard
Philsie
April 28, 2005 at 4:29pm
Damn
MoonUnit_Polka
April 28, 2005 at 5:17pm
Ooh…Spanish lessons. You two really did think of everything; color me impressed. :)

Take out a few empanadas for me, okay?

daddy
April 28, 2005 at 7:01pm
i guess that whats happen number five and to think if we didn't go out for dinner i would have been first to respond because i got home from work at four . oh well so long as your both having fun and relatively healthy {DON'T drink the water tim and stock up on pepto bismo } daddy
Shana
April 28, 2005 at 10:24pm
ack. the water! ack!

it's so good to hear from you, and glad you're feeling better. you can have some empanadas on my behalf, too, while you're there ;)

and good thinking with the spanish lessons… fun. :)

Sister Soldier (The Post Hog)
April 29, 2005 at 11:43am
Poor Timmy-Tim-Tim! I know what it's like to have your digestive system act like a drama queen, so you have my complete sympathy. Be careful with the spicy food or you may end up joining the Priolsec/Pepto-Bismol club, which is definetely NOT fun. I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better though and that Jessica is happy/healthy. Good luck with the Spanish lessons, and for God's sake stay away from the local tap water!

*Hugs and kisses to everyone.*

~~~~ The Post Hog

Janet
April 30, 2005 at 7:41am
#8 Argh…the curse procrastination!
Don't forget, no drinks with ice.
Tracy
May 6, 2005 at 12:44pm
If for some reason you must drink the water in different places, try to get it with a lemon slice if at all possible. Citrus helps counteract certain effects of bad water. Secondly, if it's at all feasible, find yourself a health store and pick up some Acidophilus. It encourages healthy flora in the intestinal tract.

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