Bulletins From BA #06
15 October 2012
¡Hola! there… Rodger French here.
Photo Update Alert: www.picasaweb.google.com/rodger.french
La primavera (spring) has at last arrived in Buenos Aires and I’m really ready for it. Not that el invierno (winter) here is all that grim. Indeed, the past three months have been fairly mild; although it is somewhat amusing to watch the porteños, world-class wusses when it comes to cold weather, layer up in quilted outerwear at the slightest provocation.
But with la primavera comes more foliage, more birding, and more women’s spring fashions, featuring less actual clothing. From my admittedly limited perspective, women in BA are generally a pretty stylish lot and do not mind at all if you notice. The men, however, except for older gentlemen in suits and scarves, normally tend to dress like Americans; that is to say, schlubs. Like me.
Fashion aside, the past few weeks have been pretty interesting. Anne has been out of town quite a lot on bidness and tending to family affairs, so I have been left solo to run amuck. It’s been fun. I enjoyed homemade empanadas (¡Más excelente!) with an engaging assortment of characters at the casa of a tango instructor/author and her partner, played music at an Embassy event at which hundreds of American expats (including me) cast their absentee ballots for the Nov. 6 election, and - hang on to your sombreros - had my first actual gig.
The short version: The husband of AJ’s predecessor, which makes him my predecessor, I suppose, was muy amable (very kind) in giving me potential contacts in Buenos Aires. One of those contacts is Stephen Page, an ex-Marine Security Guard married to an Argentine mujer (woman). Being a poet (as well as a Detroit Tigers fan and all-around good guy), he arranged a poetry/music event featuring the two of us and an expat Vietnamese-American poetess.
The setting for this auspicious occasion was the Ernesto Sabato Fundación, the late Señor Sabato being one of Argentina’s most celebrated writers. It was a high-class catered affair with wine and excellent hors d'oeuvres, and the place was packed. I confess to a bit of nervousness at the notion of performing tango on the acordeón for an audience of porteños, but I played respectably and they were most gracious. Even managed to sell a few CDs. En total, the event was un gran éxito (a great success) and the Fundación organizers were very pleased.
In other news, things are shaping up nicely here at apartamento 9-A of our edificio (building), the Victoria del Libertador. (Seriously; we even have a sign.) The Embassy “Welcome Kit” is gone, art is on the walls, and we’re getting a big-ass TV to replace the one we shipped that doesn’t work here. (Blew the mission on that one, I did.) Now if we can score one more twin bed from GSO, we’ll be ready for visitors.
Also, too, all of my security clearance paperwork has finally been submitted into the system, so, with a bit of luck, I might actually start working at the Embassy relatively soon. Meanwhile, I have a pile of music, tango and otherwise, that requires a boatload of practice.
Best of all, Anne is off the road for a while, so we can, you know, do stuff together. And just in time for la primavera.