There have been some great and some not so great times since my last post. Last week was the birthday of Majo (my favourite) in the office. She works in communications. So I decided to make her a cake. The only problem was the ingredients! I couldnt find coca or plain flower anywhere so in the end I had to make it with whole meal bread flour and real chocolate (ended up being over 450g which is like two blocks of Cadburys chocolate). It was all rather stressful because I was super scared that I would end up serving an awful cake. It turned out fine (thank god) and was quite the hit! Majo seemed to appreciate it anyway. Sergio (the guts of the office as I call him he eats everyones food all the time) polished off the whole remaining half so it was a little disappointing that there wasnt any left for Majo to take home with her!! But oh well. I took some photos of the grand event and you can see some of my work mates.
With Paula (intern from colombia)
Left to right: Paula, Howard (US intern), Claudia (lawyer), Alejandro (accountant – the one who has been to Australia)
Alejandra and Paula
This is how they cut cake in Argentina
Majo (Maria Jose – communications) blowing out the matches!
On Saturday I was invited out to a tango milonga with Adriana and a group of Argentines from Bariloche. They are all ski instructors who spend the winter teaching in Bariloche and then move to Canada to for the winter over there. Sounds like absolute hell to me but to them they are absolutely living the life. Either way they are certainly not spending nine hour days in front of a computer screen so they are doing better than me! Super fit as well!
The Milonga was held in a large dance hall. Lucia, a friend of Adriana who she met rock climbing had made reservations for us. We were sitting right on the perimeter of the dance floor. There was a bit of show by the tango crew. Which, to be honest was sensational. Until then I had not been able to really enjoy tango. I dont love the music and the dance itself seems too stiff. That was before I had seen it done right!! Wow! It is seriously magical. Of course all the magic was lost when I later actually attempted to dance it!! After the show of tango there was kind a comedy skit thingo where the host runs around and shoves the microphone in peoples faces and asks them questions etc. I couldnt understand a word so I just sat smiling at all the commotion! He he! Then to my horror the guy runs over to me and pulls me onto the dance floor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No no no no no no!! He then grabs one of the dancers from their group, the music starts and I have to dance!! Oh dear. I was shaking from my fingers to my toes. You could bottle it and call it hell terrible!! The worst part was that my dance partner actually waved for the music to stop not the host! Oh please! I have never danced tango in my life and now I have to do it in front of all these people! The least he could have done would be to pretend to enjoy it!! Ahh! Oh well. Returned to the table to raucous cheering and many drinks waiting for me so wasnt all bad! Alter that we all took a class a tour various levels (Adri and I, the only foreigners in our group, the only ones in the beginners level). The class was fun but the dancing afterwards was accompanied by usual beginner awkwardness and I had more fun watching the show offs rather than actually dancing myself. I did have quite a few very persistent partners who insisted on dancing so I was dragged up a few more times before Adri came up with the fabulous idea of going to a salsa club!! Ha ha sneaky!
So we soon found ourselves in San Telmo in a Cuban salsa club. It was pretty amazing!! Filled with Cubans waiting at the doors for partners. We were rushed onto the dance floor to salsa, meringue and bacahata the night away. Was certainly a lot more fun than previous salsa experiences!! There were a few crazy LA style salsa dancers there but they looked ridiculous among the incredible Cubans. No amount of flicked fingers in perfect egg shapes can amount to the incredible Cuban body movement. The night ended with the opening of the curtains (No I am not kidding thats how they call the end of the night here) and Adri, Lucia and I caught the bus back to Palermo in harsh daylight of Sunday morning along with a bus load of others coming home at what is considered a normal time for a night out in Buenos Aires!
So after not really experiencing a Sunday May 25 2008 at all, I was still feeling pretty tired yesterday Monday back at work! Maybe the tiredness can help to account for the gravity of awfulness which yesterday brought. I am embarrassed to say that it was the first day that I cried at work. It began when Sergio entered and began to ask me to do something. None of which I could understand. He then asked me if I understood to which I said no. After the third time of him explaining it to me I still had no idea. I began to totally panic. I was thinking there is no way I can get out of this situation. I will never be able to understand what he is saying but if I say it is all ok he will expect me to produce some sort of work. Eventually a brain bolt told me to tell him that yes I understood most of what he was saying but I would appreciate it if he would please send me an email just outlining his instructions. Score. He left. I then received the email. The email was equally incoherent but I thought if I forwarded to my home email address that I could ask the girls at my house that night. I am still getting around my work email and the I dont really understand all the terms. So to my horror I pressed the button I thought was forward but which actually turned out to be delete. Intense panic! Sergio had just spent over 20 mins trying to explain this thing to me, he had then sent me an email and I had promptly deleted it. The thought of having to go and talk to him again to tell him that I had deleted it was beyond comprehension. It was then that the uncontrollable tears started. What had I been thinking that I could actually do this!! Lovely and poor Howard, the intern from the US was caught completely off guard! He jumped into action and in his English (we always speak Spanish so I hadnt heard his English before) punctuated with the F word more than twice in each sentence he told me that I was doing so F**ing well and that this was so F**ing hard and that I needed to give myself some more F**ing credit. Enter stunned Majo who found me balling my eyes out. Que pas que pas Whats happened, whats happened? Which I answered between sobs that I had deleted the email. I think this was all beyond her comprehension. Why on earth was I crying simply because I deleted an email!! She then promptly went to Sergio and told him to resend the email. I got the new email and all was resolved. Thank god it was almost home time!!
Turns out Sergio wants me to research Paraguayan law which is a civil system (that is a system very different to the English Colony systems) so there are no actual translations for the vocabulary he was using (there are no civil systems in English speaking countries) so the concepts he was asking me to research are not even within my English vocabulary. I now understand why it was so hard!! Oh well! I suppose it cant get more embarrassing than crying at work!
So last night I went to my samba class and then came home and ordered Criolla (traditional dish of Argentina with beans, beef and chorizo sausage) to be delivered to the house (its free!) And Maria and I watched TV and drank some wine. Just finished Tuesday at work and all good so lets put the whole crying thing behind us!!
posted Tuesday May 2008