Sunday, July 6, 2008

on tombs and machismo

One time just for shits and giggles, I checked out the Not for Tourists Guide to DC from the library. It´s part of a series of books that help people that have to spend lots of time in some place. I believe there are editions for Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, LA, Philly, San Fran and Seattle. NB, Amy: I highly recommend getting the NFT Guide to Seattle. I really wish there were one for international cities, and I wish one of them could be Buenos Aires, and I wish I´d have that one in my hands.

Our GMU group took the subte to the Recoleta artisans´fair. I had left with 76 pesos, and after buying a purse, a coin purse, earrings and a necklace, I was left with 23. Then I went to the front of the cemetery, where we were meeting at a certain time. I looked around, took a few photographs, and realized all we needed was a man pushing a cart screaming, ¨Kulfeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyeh!¨ and we´d recreate Thana. It´s just got to be Buenos Aires´sister city.

As this excursion was a GMU event, lunch was covered, so I naturally went for the most expensive items on the menu. We met Alejandro´s fiancee, Natalia, and we got to taling about flirting and boys and stuff, and I told them about my argentino friend who hit on me at my least attractive. I said, ¨I learned that the less you obsess about being found sexy, the sexier you´ll be found,¨in English, because I can´t say that in Spanish. Well, Natalia probably couldn´t translate that thought in Spanish into English, so Alejandro translated, and Natalia replied, ¨¡Claro!¨ (¨Obviously!¨)

We found Evita´s tomb, surrounded by tourists, of course. One boy in our group remarked that it´s a bit like the Arlington cemetery. The desecration via tourism is the same, at any rate. Arlington is nowhere near as grand as Recoleta though. Evita is buried with the rest of the Duarte family. Actually, Evita had a hard time getting the last name Duarte. Her mom´s name was Ibarguren, her dad´s name was Duarte, and Evita was an illegitimate child.

Evita´s destractors say she didn´t so much help the poor as hate the rich. I´m reminded of a South Park episode showing Bono walking through a village in Africa, gladhanding and going, ¨Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!¨I have that same impression of Angelina Jolie, actually. But as far as hating the rich goes, I kind of don´t blame Evita for that. She had the hardest time growing up just because she had the misfortune to be sired by a stupid manwhore. Stories like this give me a rush of affection for my own father and of gratitude for the relative lack of machismo in our household.

Oh, and I met a Brazilian woman and got to use some Portuguese I learned this past semester.
But getting back to machismo:

Machismo is when the sex shop doesn´t stock the I Rub My Duckie vibrator (looks like a rubber duckie and can function as one too), nor does it stock the Screaming Octopus (a little bullet sheathed in a silicone covering shaped like a mauve octopus) nor anything else that´s actually designed for women´s pleasure (You mean such a thing exists?!), but instead favoring handcuffs and videos with names like ¨Anal Violation Part Sixty-Nine¨ and other items that make me cross my legs and the knees and ankles. It really upsets me that so many men exist in this world that are turned on by this shit that it actually sells. And instead of a sweet, non-threatening lady running the shop, it was a lecherous-looking man. Brenda and I got the hell out of there. We were on a quest for the bank anyway. She was, at any rate.

We got directions from a man who asked if either of us spoke French (perhaps we gave ourselves away as non Hispanic), and I piped up, ¨Moi, je parle français!¨ He wasn´t a native speaker, he was Argentine but had studied in Paris in his youth, and he butchered French Argentine-style. Thing is, even when Argentine´s are butchering cultures, they sound classy. I daresay I had an easier time understanding him than I ever did trying to catch what was said in Le journal. And their most ridiculous of dances, like these few songs they played at the dance hall, even those, looked better than our own electric slide, macarena, what have you. The francophone Argentine man led us to the bank and it worked out just fine.

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