Friday, July 29, 2005

Living Again

The small heater in my room pumps out warm air on the 5th setting. I have 2 settings to go before I begin to worry. The last few weeks have been cold, compared to Florida standards at least. But sometimes I don't even know, as I'm in my room working on my computer for most of the afternoon.

After work, I put on my jacket and head downstairs. There's a great buffet next door, serving an all-you-can-eat meal for $10 pesos, or roughly $3.30. I have to remind myself to explore the other restaurants in the area. The food here is well prepared. A meal here is more than just a meal. It is a time to sit down with friends and enjoy - a pleasurable event during the day. You can tell that they take pride in what they cook. The steak, of course, is excellent. I was told by my landlord, a former gaucho (Rancher), that the meat tastes good because the cattle are able to graze the fields without being confined, as well as a lack of steroids. The meat is eaten without any sauce, or dare I say, A1.

Walking around the streets, I often see couples embarrassing each other. As if their worlds have merged into one - without regard for on-lookers like myself, who can't help but watch their display which lacks any inhibitions.

The Spanish is at a slower pace, a result of the Italian influence which drags out the syllables - making it easier for me to think I understand. I reply an enthusiastic "Si!" to most questions. The few remaining sentences I remember from the 3 years of Spanish in high school make up 80% of my daily conversations.

And then it hits me. I'm in Buenos Aires. The international traveler has done it again. And here I am, trying to figure out what brought me to this place. My head tilts at a 35-degree angle, and then I remember.

Chess has infiltrated my life at all angles. I visit the chess club three times a week. Last week I played in a chess tournament (won 5 lost 4, ew). My new chess coach, an International Master, charges me $5/hour for the four hours we meet each week.

I'm happy here. I think I will stay awhile.


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