Sunday, July 6, 2008

Friday, 4 July part 2

I greeted Julieta´s sister and Susana´s daughter, Maria de la Paz, who spent some time in the United States and was absolutely enchanted by our country. She is very eager to learn English, and to celebrate American holidays. Perhaps I´ll send her turkey this November, although I don´t know how that will work out, as we don´t eat turkey. Pumpkin pie, maybe. Anyway, she told me she had a huge American flag displayed in her place. I´m reminded of a British exchange student with whom I´ve interacted once, back in September at an 80´s party, who spent this last academic year at UVA. We had a model UN trip to Montreal at the end of January, and at least once every hour, he´d exclaim, ¨America, fuck yeah!¨ Paz is classier than that, I think. And mellower. Like a true American, she´s not a fan of fruits or vegetables, but loves most other things. It´s always fun talking to her.

I got ready for the night´s tango lessons with the sexiest attire and make-up I had on hand and met the group on the subte. The subte has a flat entrance rate, and the light goes red once it´s read your card and accepted it. If it´s green, it means no entrance, you need to swipe. I wonder if likewise, fire alarm sounds like elevator music. I finally miss the United States. Well, no. I´ve been on the underground in Chicago, Montreal and New York City. It´s Washington, D.C. that I miss. It took me a few swipes of my card to realize that I was good to go, and with each swipe, a certain amount was deducted. It´s a flat fee paid upon entrance. This is rather inferior to the DC metro system, in my humble opinion. To those of you who´ve never ridden the metro in DC, you pay upon exiting, not entering, and your card is simply scanned when you enter, so the number of stops you ride on can get properly calculated. That way you can´t get overcharged, and you don´t have to pay the same going one stop over as going ten stops over. Also, it´s a closed gate, and when you swipe your card, the gate opens. And the DC metro is far cleaner. And I realize that it´s in decline right now, but even so, it´s the best I´ve seen so far. I just wish the elitist snobs in the Tyson´s Corner area would stop filibustering the process of expanding the orange line so it will reach out to us Reston and Herndonites. Imagine, instead of parking at Herndon Monroe Park and Ride to take a bus to get to the metro station, that place could be my metro stop. Not that I´m bitter.

One interaction I´m sorry I had left me reminiscing about fourth grade in St. Luke´s elementary. One girl in my class was beautiful and stylish and rich, so she had all sorts of beautiful and stylish things too. And the American Girls collection of books, dolls and everything else was very much in vogue. (To this day, I´m a big fan of the books, which touch on all sorts of issues, like staying fair-minded in times of war, sexism, racism, class-ism, the works, although the merchandise, which is extortionately priced, not so much.) Well all I ever did was try to be friends with this girl, but even at the tender age of nine, she had learned how to ooze elitism. Suffice it to say, as far as she was concerned, I was her social inferior.
She was the kind of girl who´d demand all five American Girl dolls (in 1995, there was only Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha and Molly, and the Josefina got added, then Kit, then Kaya, and most recently, Julie. Right now, Kit´s movie is in theatres in the US, and it´s all about coping with the Great Depression, and it will probably hit home, and I hope it´s still playing when I get back.). She was the kind of girl who´d get them all, but then treat Addy like crap. Addy is the girl who grows up during the Civil War. Meet Addy is about Addy´s family´s escape from slavery in her cruel master´s plantation, going north to freedom. Yeah, Addy´s black. I don´t think fourth-grade-beauty-queen actually read any of the books in the collection, or if she did, I don´t think any of the stuff they touched on got through to her.
But let´s get back to happy thoughts, shall we?

No comments: