Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Electric Bill, It Is Arisin'

It's fun to check out the newspaper from Cordoba whenever we pop into the YPF for coffee. I try to decipher as many headlines as possible with my limited vocabulary. One today caught my eye because I was pretty sure it was telling me our electric bill was going up.

I turned the paper so hubby could see and asked, "What does this say?" He began to read and muttered, "I don't know."

And I said, "No say 'no se'!"

I made a bilingual funny!

"No se" (pronounced exactly the same as "no say") means "I don't know" and I refused to believe my fluent hubby didn't know what it was saying. But turns out he really wasn't sure. He left Argentina when he was 20 and wasn't in the habit of reading (or even being interested) in anything of an adult nature. What 20-year-old cares what the utility companies are doing? And there is definitely a subset of vocabulary unique to each area of life.

But he tried to figure it out, translating for me as he went along. Sure enough, I was right, our electric bill is going up; 37% on average. Apparently the more you use, the higher the rate.

It would seem the electric bill has, up to now, been artificially 'frozen' at an unrealistically low rate. Concerning the higher rates, the reporter wrote: "If it is so, we are quite sure 2008 will remain on the calendar of the decade as the year of the thawing of rates, without anesthesia, a product of the political decision to go back to making the rates actual."

More bad news for the average citizen. This on top of news that property taxes are rising (by as much as 100%), pensions are being cut, and inflation continues to...well, inflate.

I'm also watching CNN in Spanish. It helps to be able to see what they're talking about but I'm still only catching about a quarter of it. It will be nice when my hearing speed catches up to their speaking speed.

La cabeza hurts by the end of the day.

Tonight we cooked dinner in stages, using the one pot, skillet, two-burner camp stove and toaster oven at our disposal. It was quite tasty if we do say so ourselves :-) Empanadas (meat pies) and a beet and carrot vinaigrette salad. Isn't that just the purtiest salad? I love the bright orange and purple combination.

I've never made empanadas before because I cannot make edible dough. It's weird because I do fine with biscuits but any kind of pie-like dough is beyond my ability. But here? You can buy empanada wraps at the supermarket! MY JOY KNOWS NO BOUNDS. The hubby is pretty happy, too. I conscripted him into service, to put the empanadas together. For your viewing pleasure and empanada education, here's how it's done:


86 My Social Life said...

You guys are cute :) and dad did well under pressure!

s hoyt said...

Hearing you and Ivan talking in the background while showing how to make empanadas was so very homey! Actually brought some moisture to the eyes. (Also, I will try that method of pleating next time! although "next time" might be a while since I don't have access to tapas de empanadas.)

Christy said...

Thanks so much for your frequent updates! I know we haven't seen each other in years, but I am so enjoying thinking of you in SA since I remember hearing your dreams of being there.

rita said...

I was missing reading your blog! Busy grandmothering over Labor Day and then the Upland festival and parade. I participated with the church for the first time. Fun! After all that too exhausted, ha!
And here I am at Mother and Dad's for three days of training in Reality Spanish program. Alan too. Over lunch we commented on M & D's great language skills and could envision same learning, maybe sooner, for you, Kim. So, "no say 'no sé'"!
The empanadas look yummy!
No speakers here to be able to hear you? :(