Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hola , estamos muy bien!

(for the gringos: Hello, we are very well). Summer here in the city is shaping up to be very exciting time! There are clowns on the street and in the center square. They make balloon animals and do tricks and keep my kids very excited. Down on Mitre there are people painted silver and posed as statues, who delight the children by coming to "life" for a few coins in their jar. There's also jugglers, musicians and acrobats on the street corners and in the outdoor theater of the artiseans market up the road.
From our sun room we have an amazing view of the city and lake. Every few days people jump out of planes and glide over the city past our windows, in a parachute, to land next to the water (the kids love it, but I always feel anxious for these daredevils).
On the corner by our condo is a puppet show that reminds me I'm in a foreign country. It's called "100% negro" and is basically a collection of puppets straight out of the "Jim Crow" era. The chorus girl puppets flash their panties at the audience and are sculpted in a racially offensive way. It's shocking how many people gather to watch this display. I think the only black people in this country are vacationing Brazilians.
My Spanish is awful. Getting a phone and a lease for our condo was really difficult, and fortunately the local people were very patient with us. I find that hours after speaking to someone I finally realize what they were trying to say. After talking to my friend Celeste I recently discovered why the ladies at the bakery were always laughing at me. I was mispronouncing the word for "bread" ( it turns out I was asking for "penis"). So, ummm...... I go to a different bakery now.
Anyway, we just hired a Spanish tutor and will be starting next week. Betina will be working with Mike and I, and Vero will work with the girls. Mike and I have started getting loads more work done here in our new condo, even though the girls are still on summer break. So I guess this means we're feeling more at home now.

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"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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