Archive for August, 2008

Postcards of the city #3 // Okinawa Festival in Buenos Aires

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Yet another unusual event…

Last night we took Martín to Ezeiza (he’s off to Brazil for a conference on political sciences). Knowing him as we do, we asked him to check the details of his flight several times, and reminded him yet twice again on the day before his departure.

Saturday, 6am. Are you sure? Yes. Are you very sure? Yes. How sure? Very sure.

Good, so after having mate at a very late hour at a very unusual park in Puerto Madero (Parque Micaela Bastidas) we went for a pizza at “Los Inmortales” (great pizza place in Av. Corrientes) and finally drove to Ezeiza at around 2am.

Parque Micaela Bastidas

Los Inmortales

Los Inmortales

We got there some minutes before 3am, only to find out that the plane was actually taking off at 7am (in addition to labels, one shouldn’t trust Martin’s space-time orientation). Nevermind, we actually got to spend a bit more time with him before he left, so it was nice.

But Sleep had followed us all the way from Buenos Aires, and caught us unguarded at the airport seats while we were waiting for Martin and his colleagues (Leila, Lali and Tincho) to do the check-in.

Sleep and I had some unfinished business (I had spent 44hs awake between wednesday and friday), and I was feeling a bit weak, but luckily Dechi was there and together we confronted our rival bravely. Our weapon: music. Yes, believe it, we started singing folkloric music and, even though the people next to us stood up and decided to sit a bit further, we feel we did a good job because they would still look back at us and smile (or were they laughing at us? I’m not sure). Thing is, we managed to beat that invisible force that was pulling down our eyelids and forcing us to yawn uncontrollably… And once our voices were all warmed up and our confidence had boosted up, we changed genres.. We sang a bit of cumbia until at some point I came up with Madonna’s “La isla bonita”, to which Dechi declared that she didn’t really know the lyrics and I had no choice but to confess that I didn’t either… that was the end of our promising careers as pop stars.

When Martin and the others came back, we stood up and started walking a little, ready for a second round against Hypnos, who had now teamed up with other forces of nature to mess around with the air (it felt damp and extremely warm). As we passed by the screens we read that there was an early flight to Cochabamba, and for some reason we thought it was odd “peculiar”. A few times throughout the hours of waiting we would remember this flight, or mention Cochabamba, and smile.

At around 6am we reminded everyone that it was probably a good time to go pay the airport taxes and head toward the boarding gate. Lali and Tincho were already captured by the oneiric promises of the airport seats, while Leila was socializing with a Belgian guy who had been smiling while we sang. After a slight response-lag, everyone was up and ready to depart (except for Dechi and I, who despite our desire to buy a ticket to just anywhere -Cochabamba included-, had no realistic plan and had to drive back to Bs. As.)

We said good-bye right before the migrations clearance and were soon following a stampede of red lights back home. As the tall shades of green passed by through the mist of the premature dawn, Dechi and I were debating about the number of toll plazas that we would come across before entering the city. She said none, I said one, we ended up crossing two. The whole situation had a taint of error and as we advanced, breaking into the fog, we couldn’t help feeling as if though we were inside a dream.

Our tired brains tried to solve the puzzle: why did we pass by two toll plazas? Did we take the wrong path? Where should we have gotten off the highway?

We Dechi suddenly remembered that soon after leaving the airport an orange light had caught our attention: petrol was out. Slowly, images of the previous minutes came back to our minds: at some point along the way, we had maneuvered intrepidly in order to cross four lanes and enter a petrol station on the side of the road. We Dechi figured that we had probably missed the exit because of that; the solution was smart enough for me and, hence, that marked the end of our uncertainty (it all probably lasted very little, but my brain cells were sleepy and lazy, so I felt like I was in a Hitchcok film).

We agreed that we would take the same route we had used to get to the airport, and we watched out for exit “Av Jujuy”. We saw the sign that promised we’d be on the right path in only 400mts, and stayed on the right side of the road… 300mts… 200mts… and the exit passed by, dissembled, without us having a chance to catch it.

I would be lying if I said that I felt scared, or that some unexplained mystery soundtrack started playing in the background (or inside my head). No, I was just too sleepy, and I’d guess that Dechi was so too. She explained the reason why we had missed the exit, and I not only nodded but complained about how badly engineered the highway was (Hypnos had cut the wires that connected my speech to the part of my brain that contains reasonable thoughts…)

We recognized the next exit: “Av. Entre Ríos”. We knew it. We would get home. Later than we’d have liked, but we’d get there nontheless. We did get on the exit this time, and were soon on an unknown narrow and shady street, facing a traffic light and confronted with an existential question: should we turn or should we keep going straight? Dechi suggested going straight, I was dubious. Dechi was right. We quickly came across Entre Ríos Avenue and signalled that we’d be turning as soon as the lights went green. While praising my friend’s sense of orientation, I looked out the window in order to find out what street we were on: Cochabamba.

We turned and, now comforted by the thought of the generous breakfast we’d share as a reward, we joined the delegation of motorized early birds inaugurating the day. As the sun brought along the blue tints that lit the sky, the radio station that had accompanied us throughout the ordeal started playing “La Isla Bonita“.

Unfortunate event #3 *the food catapult*

This happened to me the day before yesterday… I was partly guilty, for I was on the phone while eating caneloni… not a good combination!

Unfortunate event #2

I didn’t think it was possible until it happened to me this morning, when the lid closed spontaneously while I was reading the back label (I should follow my own advice and stop trusting labels!!)

Ironically enough, I didn’t make it to the part where it says what to do should the shampoo come into contact with the eyes…

Fully recovered

The vet said we should worry if he doesn’t want to eat…

I guess that’s not a problem for Cody…

Patience

Cody waiting at the vet’s consult, before he got the stitches removed and was given medical clearance.

(he’s half-dog half-human)

Going public while saving the world (or how Facebook has changed the way we relate to the world)

Facebook…

What can one say about it? It has brought us nice moments, such as meeting up with old friends and… well, that’s pretty much all the good stuff about it…

There is something to it that makes it be quite addictive to some people. I have found myself clicking on facebook more than once a day at some point, which after a while clearly became a sad thing to do (so I stopped, yes).

We have all heard others talking about how it is not so safe, and how people can see every single thing you do… in other words, it is no news that it is the haven of stalkers, broken hearts, loners, etc…

But let’s be honest, you can edit your privacy settings and keep your private stuff private. Yet, many people choose not to do so. They choose to post every single emotion they go through… they choose to share with us every time they are in a “complicated relationship” with someone, or whether they got married, or engaged, or they broke up and so on… That’s OK. I mean, it’s your life, right? But why does it have to show up in my feeds when I go on facebook?

I’ve talked about this with Euri in the past, and after chatting with Felix today, we reflected on how FB (to us, at least) has created a parallel reality… things suddenly become easier, but not necessarily true. In a very personal level, you can just create a fake life with fake friends and post about it for all your high school classmates to read about it and be jealous (or not). But it seems that you can also support the monks in Burma or stop the genocide in Darfur or fight AIDS just by joining a FB group. What does it take? A single click, and you join some other 100000 members that are doing something (??) to save the world from evil. Maybe (probably) I am being too critical, but it all looks to simplistic and comfortable to me. What part of all this is real? What part of these uncountable daily clicks make an actual difference? And if they do, is that the way we want to engage with others? By “clicking”..?

To finish up, I wanted to post a little something that Felix and I came up with. He’ll probably do a better one, but I was anxious enough to attempt my own… what do you think about it?