Thursday, March 26, 2009


I just returned from Spanglish, a language exchange gathering that happens three times a week in Buenos Aires (one of which, on Thursdays, is at a bar just a few blocks from our flat!). I arrived shortly after 7:30 and paid 15 pesos (around $4 US) in exchange for a drink ticket and a table assignment. I traded my ticket for a glass of vino tinto from the bar and headed over to table 16. I was soon joined by two porteños (Buenos Aires locals) and we were instructed to converse for five minutes in English, then five minutes en Español. After 10 minutes, the Spanish-speakers rotated tables and I was joined by another one or two porteños. For the most part the whole 10 minutes of each group conversed in both languages, with each person practicing their language of choice.

Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and patient with my Spanish, which is still muy despacio (very slow). The Argentines explained phrases in both English and Spanish. I really didn't need to help anyone much with their English, as most of the people with whom I spoke were already quite fluent!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous walking over to the bar, even though it's only a few blocks from home. This evening was the first time Ken and I have been separated since we arrived a week ago. We only have one key to our flat, and the key is needed both on entering and leaving the apartment, as the doors can only be locked from both the inside and the outside with the key - so we've gone everywhere together since we got here. Codependence much? Anyway, tonight Ken went to meet our new friend Dave at an event for techies (Palermo Valley, "la Comunidad Web 2.0 de Argentina" (I'm sure you can figure that one out without translation!)) so I was on my own for Spanglish. It was a blast, and I can't wait to go again next week - if not before, in a different neighbourhood.

P.S. These are our keys. Ken especially loves them because they are old-timey.


Bob Bannister said...

You could try this phrase out on your landlord "Nos gustaría más teclas casa" though there is some danger than in Buenos Aires it means "we would like to have a threesome" - very curious to find out what your baguette vendors have been saying each day as well - thanks for the entertaining updates!

aaronyo said...

Ahhh... I miss those keys. We had needed our keys to get out, of our San Telmo Apt, too.

I loved the cockroach story. I could hear you guys saying every word of that dialog.

Sounds like you're really getting into the Spanish! Awesome! I'm sure you won't regret it.

Btw, I wasn't waiting outside while my wife got her ultra sound -- sheesh, who does that?

MoM said...

What amazing and wonderful experiences! I am so proud of you!