An absolutely beautiful day … The temperature has dropped about 10°C overnight, it’s gray, thunder & lightning, windy, trees are a beautiful green, the rain is taking all the dust out of the air, and two poor installers are getting soaked putting in a faster Internet connection at the apartment. I’m fasting, but at least I can still enjoy hot tea and coffee. I may go out early though and break my fast after only 18 hours. Seems like a beautiful day to sit in a Starbucks and have a coffee and a chocolate croissant. [ I managed to make my fast to 28 hours ... an improvement for me. Next time I'll try 36 :-) ]
I bit the bullet today and booked my ticket for St. Martin de los Andes. It is a small town at the foot of the Andes about halfway down the length of Argentina going towards Patagonia. Neuquén province. It is still nonetheless a two hour and 20 minute plane flight. About a thousand miles away. Argentina really is big. I just decided it would be a nice idea to see a part of Argentina that was not Buenos Aires. It isn’t cheap there but what the hell. I had a talk with a friend of mine just the other day who warned me of the pitfalls that await one who goes the budget route, so at the last minute I changed my booking to a boutique hotel there. Not quite double the price of the budget option but I’m only going to be there for four nights. San Martin is down in the south-west corner of the province.
I have to make a note about my Spanish teacher. I won’t mention the name of the school but I’m quite unhappy with the guy I ended up with. He’s young, perpetually in a bad mood, and on top of that it appears as the school has not been paying the teachers. While I regret their difficulties, I’m not very happy at having to put up with a refugee from the 70s full of angst and anger at the world. I decided that after the lesson today I’m going to give up the last four hours next week. I really don’t know how to explain it to the school, because I don’t really want to make trouble for the guy, but I just don’t feel like putting up with this fellow for another four hours. Especially since I’m now studying almost 3 hours a day minimum on my own, and I am going to try next week to attempt a conversation exchange (Inter-Cambio) with somebody here in Argentina. I am nervous about that though. I am just paranoid about meeting people online. But should be okay. Meet them online, then meet at a location neutral Starbucks or something, and if it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul. I can get by now after 4 weeks. I can find and buy stuff in a store or restaurant, and certainly can have a basic conversation.
I also came to the realization that I have to drastically improve my vocabulary. I can speak haltingly but I keep running into barriers when I don’t know the word. My goal is 2500 words by the 15th of March. I suspect I may be at about 800 already so I want to add 1700 words in the next 30 days. That is 60 words a day. Hmm. Well I’ll aim for that. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be close anyway. *STOP PRESS* I actually talked with the guy and told him the problem. As those who know me will understand -- that is not my usual practice -- but in this case it worked. So two more classes left with him next week.
The apartment hunt continues. I found a small boutique hotel that I’m going to stay at next week for 3 nights just to try it out. In the heart of Palermo Hollywood, includes breakfast, and very quiet. It may be suitable for a long term stay if we can come to a meeting of minds and pocket book.
Buenos Aires seems somewhat stuck in the 80s for some reason. The women like wearing the thick platform shoes that were fashinable back then and 80s music is everywhere. Not an exaggeration, I promise you. I haven't figured out why that is yet, but it is odd to continually hear the music that one grew up with in taxis, restaurants, airports, etc.