…on the road again…
Today I leave for another sojourn out of the country, this time way down to the southern hemi to Buenos Aires for three months of studying tango music, spanish, and the age old art of charring a good hunk of beef. It’s always a bit nervewracking getting ready to leave the country; you’ve got to put all your affairs in order, call your credit card companies, put the cell on hold, photocopy every piece of government issue ID, print out boarding passes, get enough cash to exchange and last but not too much that you start to sweat from thinking about how much you’re carrying around… buy reserve toiletries, wash and dry your clothes on super-hot one last time because who knows the next time they’ll see the inside of a machine dryer, map routes and itineraries, charge the iPod and camera, etc… It’s all very meticulous and anxiety-inducing, but once I get moving it’s good and I’m operating mostly on instinct.
I’ll be revisiting my youth by crashing in hostels sleeping six to a room for the remainder of the month before I can (hopefully) find a more permanent living situation (hopefully) with natives so I can (hopefully; did you know that using ‘hopefully’ in this context is grammatically incorrect, as it literally means I’ll be doing these things ‘full of hope’? which in this case is actually true as well) improve my spanish and learn the local culture, and yes, with so much hope in my heart, maybe be invited to one of these mythical weekend asados (bbqs) I’ve read about that sounds essentially like the ritual sacrifice of so many cattle in someone’s ranch-house in the suburbs.
I know it sounds like I’m hyping the beef consumption aspect of this trip a lot, and if you didn’t know me you’d think that was the entire reason I’m going down there (and if you do know me, you probably know it is) but it’s not, it’s more like… a huge perk. I’m hoping to have the chance to learn about another culture not only via its people but most importantly via its music which is something I haven’t had the chance to do yet; a shameful thing for a composer I must admit. The way we sing as a people says a lot about who we are as a people, and this world is too damn small to not enjoy that collision course on foreign turf. The fact that tango music just happens to be among the most beautiful music on the planet is again, just a huge perk.
What I do hope is that what castellano I do have will help me land a room a helluva lot easier than it did in Madrid, where I was telling scores of renters that I was “interesting in your bedroom” before Señor Luis, the bespectacled and bearded sire of MuchoMadrid hostel oh-so discreetly slipped me a scrap of paper with the correctly written, much less suggestive phrase.
So as I’ll be using this forum as my primary diary (I dislike mass emails as much as the next guy), keep your eye out for more (mis)adventures. If you don’t see anything written here in a couple of weeks, call my mother and arrange for my bail.