I still feel like I’m on drugs. I was just walking up a street – Malabia, if you’re interested – and felt so bamboozled by the act of having set up shop on the other side of the world that I had to stop for a good ten seconds to scrutinise myself in the reflection of a shop window.
Yes, it was definitely me looking back. A bit scruffy; attired in head to toe topshop; hair like noodles; clutching the world’s largest bag full of unnecessary stuff. A very clear reflection of me. In fact, it was sufficiently clear for me to be able to identify the fact that I was standing in a dog turd. Buenos Aires is something of a haven for dog turds. They are available on every pavement. Free dog turds for everyone!
But that is a poor way to commence describing this utterly awesome city. Readers, I am in heaven. I may be freezing cold, unable to understand what the hell anyone is saying, in possession of a completely shonky mobile phone that is clearly never going to work and uncomfortably bloated due to overconsumption of steak and malbec but JESUS (pronounced the Spanish way, pls) I LOVE THIS PLACE! It’s wonderful, massive, infuriating, beautiful, exciting, vibrant and extremely cool. I detest the word cool but I can’t think of a suitable synonym. It’s just really, really effin cool.
But I promised you a non-travel blog so I shall get back to the matter in hand: my love life. I am currently engaged in some level of intrigue with four different men.
1. Simon, the Chicago gentleman who I mentioned in my last blog. We had our ‘date’ the other night and there was a lot of passion. Unfortunately the passion was directed toward his (currently absent) teenage girlfriend who he talked about for circa two hours. Never mind. Flirtations continue but I do not have high hopes for our future.
2. Paul, the man who is helping me find a flat. Paul and I am engaged in email flirtations, currently, and I have no idea what they mean. Paul is Welsh and really rather funny. He is also quite lovely to look at and I kind of want to gaze at him with my best come-to-bed eyes but he is at best two inches taller than me which is not something I feel wildly comfortable with. Still. I am going to a party with him tomorrow night and won’t know anyone else. So watch this space.
3. Antonio. Antonio is without doubt the most boring human being I have ever come across. Actually, that’s not true; he’s just buried his real personality so deeply under layers of macho bluster that there is nothing left to see beyond biceps and expensive travel gear. He’s one of those men who spent ten years working silently as a filing clerk, stashing away thousands of pounds, and then broke out into the world of travelling with an aerodynamic streamlined Teflon-coated fully breathable rucksack with extendable pockets and an integral camping stove/swiss army knife/tumble dryer. Antonio is a kiwi and the afternoon I spent with him on Monday was excruciating. “OH MY GOD! LOOK AT THAT JUNK MARKET!” I yelled as we passed through a cobbled square. “Step away,” he replied manfully. “Your money will be stolen here. And the goods are unlikely to be functional. Now, can I interest you in some fine wine?” I am currently hiding from him.
4. Alfredo. Alfredo is a local and I am definitely in love with him. WILDLY. He is one of my Spanish teachers and I am like a human blancmange when I am near him. My Spanish is even worse than normal when he’s teaching and when he looks disappointedly at me when I cock up yet another verb ending, I find myself doing a weird gurny thing that is turning out to be a poor addition to my flirting repertoire. Yesterday when I left his apartment I asked him if he has a girlfriend. I still cannot believe it came out of my mouth. (He just smiled.) WTF?
Anyway, I must dash. I have just been given some phrases that go along the lines of “if you don’t sort out my cell phone RIGHT NOW I will burn your shop down” so I had better go and use them before I forget them. (Realistically, I will just smile, roll over and leave with the same faulty piece of rubbish again because I am incapable of asserting myself even in my own language, let alone Porteno Spanish.) After failing to sort out my phone I am then going to go and make friends with some other loners and then I will probably go and drink wine with the girl whose apartment I am desperately hoping to move into.
(——) I just sat for a good minute trying to think up a Spanish phrase with which to end this blog. Nothing came. A perfect symbol of my absolute failure in Spanish class.