Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Teflon Brain

My political vocabulary is sadly lacking -- in Spanish, that is -- but I understood "escandalo" in the headline this morning and asked hubby to translate the rest. Basically the article was about the "scandal of the suitcase" which is big news here. Don't you find political scandals especially amusing? This one has to do with a suitcase full of money (to the tune of 8 million) being transported in 2006 by a man who claimed it belonged to a company owned by the woman who is now president of Argentina. Back then she was just the wife of the president. Yes, she succeeded her hubby in the position. And the president of Venezuela is somehow implicated, too.

Anyway, didn't have time to read the entire article so I'll have to go back to YPF later. But it has caused me to play "imagine if..." which is a favorite game of mine. I like to try and figure out news stories just by the headlines, and then see how close my supposition is to reality.

You mean not everyone does this?!

My Spanish tutor said today that she's seeing improvement. I'm glad because I honestly feel like I'm spinning my wheels. So many new vocabulary words and I cannot retain them all. Or even a fraction. I find it necessary to look up or ask about the same words again and again. It's like my brain is comprised mostly of Teflon, and things just keep slidin' right off. *sigh*

After class I came back to the apartment and started cleaning. The little blue fuzz balls are still appearing but not in such huge quantities. Thank goodness! I just tried NOT to think about Spanish for a bit because my head hurts from so much concentrating. Now after a morning of cleaning and cooking I'm ready to buckle down again to my Spanish studies.

On Monday morning the hubby spent several hours trying to get utilities turned on and put into our names so the bills would come to us. Why would it take hours, you ask?

Well, at the gas company the man said he couldn't do anything without a copy of the rental agreement. Like it might be dangerous to start sending the gas bill to just anyone? Yes, their office had a copier but no they could not make copies there. It was 7 a.m. in the morning so it took a while but they eventually found an open photocopy place. And had four copies of the rental agreement made, just in case.

They weren't able to get anything done at the electric company because the office was barricaded by four big tough looking men, arms crossed and looking vaguely like bouncers in a bar. It seems the electric company employees were striking. Because some of their brethren were involved in that protest in Cordoba last month when things turned violent and some of the protesters began breaking store windows and destroying things. So they were put in jail. And their union went on strike in retaliation. But never fear! They were released Tuesday and all charges dropped. (I wonder if their release had anything to do with the blackout that occurred Monday night in a large section of Cordoba?)

And after all that we learned that the gas and electric had never been turned off at the house!

Oh, and to show solidarity with the electric company employees, those who work at the provincial bank also went on strike. I'm still trying to figure out if they're all part of one big union? Or do some unions just naturally sympathize with other unions, regardless of the type of work they do?

Striking is a way of life here. If parents can possibly afford to, they send their kids to private schools. Because the teachers in public schools go on strike every year. And the strike at the electric company and bank didn't even raise an eyebrow, people are so used to it.

Obviously I have much to learn about my new culture. From scandals in suitcases to strikes left and right. Which would all be much easier to understand if I could just remember my vocabulary! How do you say Teflon brain in Spanish?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Give-Away before noon on Friday!

1 comment:

rita said...

valijas y huelgas
cultura de corrupción

Ay, ay, ay, ay!