To acquire a new language is difficult. I waver between casually enjoying the process and declaring proclamations such as “I will NOT speak English in this country any more! Only Spanish, I must learn this language”. And then I carry my little dictionarrio around and try to be all studious and eventually realize this approach is not for me. I am on the look out for a new Spanish teacher to supplement my lessons through Bueno, entonces…for as great as the program is, I still need guided practice. I had an excellent teacher in theory until he tried to go through a lesson on the names of the body parts in Spanish by touching me…not that that hasn’t been one of my most dreamt of fantasies, it is just that it always features a drop dead gorgeous Spanish teacher followed by a lesson of the names of all the places in the house “mesa”, “cama”, “douche”. Well, I am done with male teachers, getting a female and sidestepping the whole problem.
Archive for December, 2009
As most of our shows have been on the streets of BsAs, it was a beautiful change to actually play in a bar. We called the show “from streets to seats” and it was in the incredible bar in Palermo that didn’t even have a name but an address that you have to ring and they unlock the door for you. Inside was beautiful art work and interesting decor, complete with the lower halves of women, all legs and sexy stockings. We set up in a back room that was very Victorian style with beautiful wood and elegant chairs. Many of our close friends came and piled into the cozy intimate space. We had a wonderful time, the harmonies were beautifully mixing, and we even had a friend come and play the cajon (Peruvian box drum). A special surprise came when the brother of the cajon player showed up and danced the most incredible flamenco and they sang old flamenco songs – they kind of stole the show, but we were a nice contrast with our strong female energy. We have video footage and will be recording a CD tomorrow, I LOVE THIS CITY!
Who wants to waste time learning to say “she has a white dog” when you can be learning much more applicable things (especially in this country) such as “tiene piel como chocolate blanco”.
Round 1 with my new Spanish program Bueno, entonces... and I love it!!! It is written how a spanish program for adults should be. I wish I would have known about it before coming to Argentina because it would have prepared me so much better for the trip. You get to experience the Argentine accent directly in the program and all kinds of cultural things relevant to BsAs. It has a super sexy twist to the lesson, and feels almost as if you are watching a funny sitcom – also the intro theme reminds me of my favorite show “Arrested Development”.
I do not watch much TV, in fact I have not owned one in around 10 years. But there are some new shows out there that re define sitcom for me. My three favorite are; Arrested Development, The Office, and Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now I mention these in order to better describe the event I went to last night called “The annual Magic Awards”. One of my favorite characters from Arrested Development is called “Job”, and he is such a fool. He is a professional magician and you get these peaks into the twisted land of cheesy preforming magicians. Well, I just experienced that last night, in the real sense, here in Argentina. I went to the show because I had a friend doing a dance performance there and did not know it was “the MAGIC awards”. The whole production was so overwhelmingly cheesy I could not stifle my laughter at times. A completely other world. The presentation went on in Spanish – of course – and I did OK following the general idea. It is hard to just listen to the words and not be close enough to read the eyes and hand gestures. So much of language learning is inferring through the gestures. This is why Bueno, entonces…is such a great program. You get to listen to the language, but more importantly watch the expressions and see pictures associated with the lessons. All of this serves to better cement the vocabulary and cadence of the language into your brain. Well, this day is lovely so I am off!
Lesson 14 has mirrored my life in a pretty interesting way. Two things that have happened to me down here, both of which are quite hilarious. Once, when I was first learning spanish in my first week, part of my study routine was to head to the bar and have a beer to take the edge off the whole learning process. As it were, I was living with an Argentine woman, and came home fairly tipsy around 7 pm…that is like lunch time by Argentine standards. So, feeling abit embarrassed for my inebriated state, I decided to head into the shower and then put myself to bed early. To tell her this I say something along the lines of “nesecito la basura”, She quite rightly loks at me very confused, I then again state, this time with hand jestures to explain, “necesito la basura, lavo con basura”. I think I am saying that I need to use the bathroom, the shower, In fact I am saying I need to wash myself in trash. Dear god. We laughed so hard once the mix up was clear…
This was a hilarious lesson teaching the word – chamuyero – which stands for bullshitter. This is pretty funny because I learned this word yesterday in a little pizza place in La Boca while waiting for my dinner. I met some locals who were telling me NEVER to cross a certain street in La Boca, and other areas that were off limits because they are ran by gangs that will take all of your things. Also, it is super dangerous to take a taxi down through there as well, a woman was killed in a taxi recently so they could steal her bag…super sketchy.
The most god awful sound is outside my window at this moment making it VERY difficult for me to concentrate on my spanish class from Bueno, entonces…Mating cats in the patio making sounds that are similar to torturing babies, soulless ghosts searching for peace…it is horrible and I want to throw rocks. OK, I am a cat lover, I will not be throwing rocks, but I hate their sounds and I will never look at cats the same way again after hearing these horrible sounds of lovemaking. I am in a bit of a mood because I am tired and thoroughly drained after teaching a class today and following it with 4 hours of a private spanish class. When you really want to learn something it is incredibly draining because you put all of your attention into what is going on at the moment to try and understand the crazy words being so beautiful slurred together at you. The class 12 is pretty hilarious and right on par with my mood considering David and Jimena are both super cranky and getting frustrated and pissed with each other:
It is too cold, I am having one of those “what the f*#k” am I doing in BsAs moments when I could be stretched out on a beach in Thailand drinking cocktails, fire dancing at night, and eating incredible food?!!! AHHHH, Then I remember, when I break it all down to the real purpose, I am here to experience this incredible culture and learn to speak the beautiful spanish. I experienced a frustrating moment today when asking for direction to the art store….sometimes you think you are getting comfortable with the language and then a whole string of nonsense comes out and when it is important like directions, you are screwed. Amazingly enough my spanish class today covered these points, I am just going to watch it over and over on repeat…Lesson 11 was really helpful. AHHH, so cold in this enormous art space, I am wearing boots and my toes are still freezing…but then I think about the children you see in the streets with out shoes and I feel like a total spoiled baby with my abundance of socks, shoes, and complaints. I am going to begin working on a program with a friend to design a class to teach people how to make really simple shoes with very basic materials, often you can find them as scraps by all the leather factories, additionally the fabric stores lay out scraps.