I’m Sorry….WHAT?! {Working title, as I couldn’t exactly think of anything better while drowning in shock}

Preface: I’ve had some weirdddddd experiences in the United States. Like the time I ate banana bread and then was told it may or may not contain hallucinogenics {nothing besides an awful stomach ache resulted}. Or when I saw Danity Kane and proceeded to puke into a cup out of excitement. Or when I ran into the Disney on Ice characters, including Minnie and Cinderella, out of character {okay, that wasn’t so weird, but I thought it was pretty cool….even if Minnie was only 5′ with a temper more suitable to the evil flaco from Aladdin than the precious, polka-dot clad mouse}. 

But those were all things I’ve just come to assume can happen to anyone….I mean, Danity Kane gives you bad acid reflexes too…right...?

However, in  Buenos Aires, some even weirder things have happened. Things that no one here would really think twice about. I feel like I’ve almost adapted myself completely  because there are times when I –a very NOT chill being –react calmly to such situations. For example, the other day I was stopped on the street, interviewed, and photographed for the popular Argentine woman’s magazine, OHLALA {check me out in the December issue bebe}; another day, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time for the filming of a business’ new ad campaign; and, on yet another day, I was walking through downtown when the Quilmes Atletico Club bus pulled up, emptying out a bundle of gorgeous soccer players into one of Bs As’ luxury hotels {I stared because I’d never seen such attractive, fit men before. they stared because I have red hair}. All of these occurrences have blended in to a “day in the life” here in BA. But if I really think about them, my mind gets fuzzy and I wonder, did that really happen?? …Only in Buenos Aires. And so now, I quote El Conjuro –the worst movie I’ve ever seen and don’t know how I was tricked into watching it in theatres– when I state: 

The following occurrences are based on real-life events.

One of the most common conversations I have with foreigners is about how hot..erhm crap, Freudian slip..I mean PERSISTENT the men here are.  And, being an outsider, these things have really come to shock me. Sometimes it’s charming, sometimes it’s welcomed, and sometimes it’s just plain unbelievable. If you don’t mind, I’d like to indulge you with two stories to help you realize what I mean.

906429_10202405606606661_1328811607_o{even though these are actually my friends, I am aware of the fact that YES, they too are crazy}

The first, I managed to sum up in a Facebook status:

on my 3rd trip to the bank in 3 days, the teller told me I didn’t actually have anything wrong with my account. he confessed he only told me that so that he could “verte de nuevo.” First off, I thought I was screwed. Second off, I live 2 miles away from this effing bank. I’ve walked there and back 3 times each way because I hate the busses. and I’ve gotten lost each time.

This post was received with LOLs, winky faces, entertaining comments, cries of “boludo,” etc. etc. etc. My whole side of the comment-ful conversation was the debate over the legality of this interaction. I was whining it could not possibly be legal for the bank teller to do this………and then admitted to an inquiring friend that yes, tentative dinner plans had been made.

The second shocker occurred within the past 24 hours. Yesterday, I went to a kiosco to add credit to my dinky lil mobile phone. The procedure goes something like this: you tell the clerk your phone number, they enter it into a system, ask how much money you want on your phone, and then your phone is credited with that amount. And then you leave. Probably a 3 minute transaction, so seemingly harmless….right? Wrong.

Yesterday I was in El Centro –the chaotic, bustling, energetic part of the city I absolutely adore– and put credit on my phone. Obviously, as I’ve been traveling for some time, I’ve done this many times. So then, today I receive a friendly “hola como andas?” text from a number I didn’t recognize {Now, before I continue, you have to know something about me: I rarely save numbers in my cell. I loathe texting. And I certainly don’t trust the lethal trifecta that is texting, boys, and girls. So receiving texts from unknown numbers –whether it be from friends, neighbors, or otherwise– isn’t a complete surprise for me}. I replied with a friendly “hola, bien, y vos?” then continued with life.

The reply……was very unexpected:

“No se si te acordas q ayer hicistes una cargua virtual? Yo soy el chico del kiosco? como andas?”

ALDKFJEOWFADSF QUE?! eso no puede ser!!!!!!!!! For all ya yankies, the text conveyed that the texter was the guy from the kiosko. Who, I would like to make clear, had gotten my number only from me giving it to him to enter into the system. He had taken my information from the system and was now texting me. After five minutes debating with a friend what I should reply with –or if I even should reply at all– I got another text:

tenes facebook?

At this point, I was so floored by the audacity of it all, I almost rewarded him by conveying my cryptic facebook name {as you all now look and see my not-so-cryptic facebook name blatantly plastered on my sidebar}. But of course I didn’t.

I don’t need to go into details about what they looked like, why I’m not interested in dating right now, the giggles I sometimes can’t seem to hold back when such things happen, or the amazing limonada con jenibre y menta I’m drinking…..but bottom line: the persistence and forwardness of both chicos did not bring forth desired results on their end.

And the reactions from my different friends was almost better. My Argentine friend was not phased in the slightest bit. First she pointed out my red hair, then continued to comment on how seemingly nonchalant I am when I first meet people {“practicamente estas invitandolos a salir con vos”…uhm, no I’m not?}, then she continued to say that’s just what they’re like. So after that, I went and told my British and German friends, who had the exact same as mine {to summarize it down to 2 simple syllables: “um, what!?!”}.

I’d like to congratulate the men for being direct and not “beating around the bush” –as my mother would say– and also tell men in North America to adopt some of these strategies. However, WOAH, you’re going to throw a Californian off with those drastic pick-up measures.

Regardless, it’s amazing being in a city where anything –crazy, or otherwise– can happen. It’s like traveling to different barrios of the city: in Palermo SoHo you’ll brush cheeks with the chic –edging on pretentious– fashionistas of the world and their way-too-good-looking-to-not-be-in-a-magazine counterparts. But hop on the Subte, zip on down to San Telmo and you’re in the struggling artists paradise: with wounded, brooding poets and guitar players who’ve ODed on emotions, sinking into the booths  of every corner café. Then go just blocks away to hang out in front of the Casa Rosada, and watch as businessmen in suits flurry past in a hurry to make their next business lunch, client appointment, etc. But even underneath the exciting, bustling energy of it all, there’s the constant underlying  struggle of thousands just trying to survive. It’s just like any other city in the world –nothing’s perfect– but if you approach it from the right direction, you’ll appreciate every part. Everywhere you go, every step you take, every porteño you meet, every bondiola you gorge on, is somehow distinctly different in a very prominent way.

It’s a crazy crazy world, but ba da ba ba baaaaa, I’m lovin’ it. Besos xox

be-where-you-want-to-be

I’ve recently gotten feedback back from readers, and any critics, questions, comments, pleas of insanity to the above are extremely welcomed! I’ve got some controversial thoughts and obviously appear to think way too highly of myself, so I KNOW there’s someone out there who’d like to give me a piece of their mind. So hey! hit the “comment” button below and let it rip!

5 thoughts on “I’m Sorry….WHAT?! {Working title, as I couldn’t exactly think of anything better while drowning in shock}

  1. Fiona Walters says:

    I was buying courgettes and a kilo of onions yesterday. Innocuous one might think. The swarthy young gentleman serving me asked if I knew how to cook courgettes and was I cooking them only for myself. For me and my husband I quickly said. Undaunted by this piece of information, he handed me my 2 pesos change, caressing my palm in a manner not possible to misconstrue. I kid ye not. A full on palm smooch. I didn’t know such body language existed before I came to Buenos Aires. I blame it on the season. Spring. The sap is rising. No woman is safe. Anywhere.

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