Wednesday, April 2

Fluster

I haven't posted for a while. Things have been a bit hectic.

A few weeks ago, I went on a boating trip with Teresa, the lady that I live with. It was in Tigre, one of the large cities in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.

She goes there every week, usually with her friend, rowing around the canals. It's great exercise, and a great way to get fresh air.

The problem was that without training, I wasn't allowed to row. So Andrea, the daughter of her friend, offered to take me on a tour. At just 17, she's already competing in rowing tournaments, and is in excellent shape. Still, the trip lasted for about three hours, and I wasn't allowed to help her at all, just sit facing her as she paddled me all over the area. It must have looked pretty sad to anyone who saw us pass by, as she's really not very big. Still, she was happy to do it, and never stopped to take a break, only slowing down occasionally so that her mother and Teresa could catch up. She was going about twice as fast as they were, despite both of them paddling at the same time.

The canals were interesting in that there are many houses along the banks that have no connection to the outside world aside from by boat. It must be a very quiet life. Yet they have a well planned system, with a grocery boat coming by once a day, and river buses sailing the canals every couple of hours.

It was a great way to unwind, as it's about as quiet as any region of Buenos Aires gets. Again, I would have preferred to be able to help Andrea with the rowing, but in the end I probably would have just slowed her down had I been allowed to paddle.

Later, things went from quiet to hectic pretty quickly.

Laura, Teresa's daughter, had been grumpy for some time, and had decided to stop speaking to me a few weeks ago. At first, Teresa just wrote it off as a reaction to Laura's boyfriend leaving the country for a couple of weeks. Yet even after he got back, she still wouldn't speak to me.

The problem was basically one of discipline. Laura really hasn't had any rules imposed on her at all, and is used to doing whatever she wants. Apparently she became angry at me for using the computer and eating some things from the fridge, both of which I had been told to do by Teresa. I enjoyed cooking for Teresa as a way of thanking her for all of the things she did for me. For instance, she insisted on washing my clothes, despite my having told her several times that it was unnecessary. And she also came with me several times to help me deal with government bureaucracy, making things much easier for me to get settled.

Still, Teresa was becoming deeply concerned with Laura's behaviour, and didn't know how to stop her. When Laura locked me out of being able to use the computer without any warning, it became clear that things were out of control. I told Teresa that it would be best if I moved out, and took a cab to a hotel the next morning.

Looking for an apartment in Buenos Aires can be a draining experience. Almost all of the ads that you come across are from those wanting to take advantage of tourists, charging three times a reasonable price for a room, and demanding that you share it to top things off. It's not even worth reading any that contain the words student or foreigner.

I eventually came across something centrally located and at a fair price. There is no common room, just a shared kitchen and bathroom, which means it's more like a series of apartments than a boarding house. At least this way things will be quiet for a bit.

I'm also working more hours, and slowly getting settled into life in a big city. I'd like to stay optimistic, so here's hoping for a smooth couple of months...

1 Comments:

Blogger U. Yeliz Eseryel said...

Hey there Ian,
I just found some time to check out your blog. Your observations are very interesting and fun to read!!! Sorry you had to leave Theresa's house. I guess I still need to read back to find out what kind of job you found in Buenos Aires.

Keep up the positive attitude, you are living something of a dream right now. I admire your courage and free spirit :)

9:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home