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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Back to School

Today I became a student once again. This time I am studying Spanish and my first impression of the class: why do I carry around an image of a classroom being an exciting place when in reality they always seem to be hot and stuffy and the classes tend to be less informative than I allow myself to anticipate. Of course, it was only the first day, so I will not judge yet...

I am wondering now what Buenos Aires would be under different circumstances - for example, if I was willing to spend money going out each night because I had some sort of income, or if I was one of those people who could stay up until three AM and wake you at 7:30 and not miss a beat. I think it would be one of the greatest cities in the world.

Today we went to a pizza joint for lunch. We walked in and there were about eight two or four top tables crowded into a small recess to the right of the door. A few men were sitting alone at different tables, reading or talking on cells or looking over papers spread out atop open manilla folders. They had wide collared shirts and thick black hair and stubble and open jackets. In front of me, I saw a number of men standing at two long bars, one on each side of the room, dressed for work, eating their lunches. Behind one of the bars was, men in white hats and shirts were busy cooking thick, cheesy pizzas. Waiters appeared and disappeared and so we followed them to the back of the room. Then appeared a huge room with narrow walkways between the tables, all but three of the sixty plus tables in use, talk filling the room. In the back was a bathroom that had squat toilets and an old metal electric hand dryer that rattled and threatened to fall off the wall when the little red start button was pushed. A waiter came to take our order. The pizza - neapolitan, with tomatoes, cheese, and spice, was the best I have eater in ages and cost $4.00 for a pizza of four large slices. There were mirrors lining the walls and because Argentine Spanish sounds a bit like Italian it was perhaps the most atmospheric moment I have experienced in BA - much better than watching a tango on the pedestrian walkways.

Sitting on a bus at a stop light, I saw two girls in the next bus, a school bus, waving and clapping at out bus. Their driver yelled at them to stop. He had gray wispy hair and waved his hands as he talked, making a point that the kids could not see, only hear.

Now Im at Natalia's house thinking about the homework I have to do. Back to school indeed.

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