Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Confessions of a Drama Queen

After discussing with Jackson the length of time we will be spending in Buenos Aires, I came to realize that I'm a spoiled, American woman. I might at times go as far as saying princess. Living in Chicago, I would have never considered myself to be spoiled or a princess. There are definitely people in the USA who would win the prince/princess yearly award over me. In our own ways , we all become spoiled royalties when we step on foreign soil. Take the movie Sex and the City, when in Mexico, Charlotte carried chocolate pudding in her purse because she was afraid to drink and eat in Mexico. This is a clear example of fear and princess-material, but most americans are afraid to crap in their pants if they drink faucet water in a foreign country. I'm not like Charlotte in that aspect. However, two weeks in Buenos Aires has made me think of all the luxuries I once took for granted.

I confess, I'm not completely comfortable living her yet. There are too many things I miss and I hate that I do. Not only have I turned into a spoiled princess but I've turned into the person who can't stop talking about her hometown. I'm not carrying chocolate pudding in my purse but I am missing how with the push of a button, I can get Mr. Barkys, Patanol, Allegra, a great hair cut with Paige and even thumb tacks. Even laundry becomes an issue. In Chicago or any city in America, you go to a laundry mat or if you're lucky you have a washer and dryer at home....I wasn't that spoiled as to have a washer/dryer. But here, I could be wrong because I still have to investigate this further, you take your clothes to what looks like a laundry mat so that someone else does it for you. Now here is where more of the spoiled Erika comes in play. If your like me, I have specific ways of doing laundry. I don't like completely drying my jeans because they shrink, this goes for my t-shirts as well. There are certain fragrances of laundry detergent that I cannot stand. In other words I'm picky. So yes, I confess that silly things like this diverts my excited and enthusiasm of Buenos Aires. I confess that the dog shit and crap on the streets drives me completely insane and overprotective of my dog who by the way used to have the bad habit of eating things on the streets. I confess that the walking chimneys is irritating my throat and worsening my allergies. I confess, I'm afraid that the pollution is going to turn my lungs black...of course, I'm exaggerating. I confess that I'm not thrilled with the buses. The trains, FANTASTIC!!! Buses not so much. I believe this opinion will be debunked once I've figured out the routes. I confess, I don't want to use el voseo. I want to keep my peruvian roots alive. And if peruanos say chompa than for crying out loud why can I not say it. Okay , I admit that's over the top because I can't ask for a chompa if that's not what they call it here. I think you get the gist though. My confessions have opened a door I was too scared to go through. But, I will courageously walk through it. I'll put my confessions in my backpack and continue on this journey. I don't know if my walking shoes will take me to two years but I guess only time will tell.


Claudita said...

Hi there,

just found your blog - don't know exactly what, but something just chimes with me - probably your honesty - about being scared, about not liking things. I changed countries once, quite some time ago, I didn't admit it was a big decision (well, it didn't seem THAT big)or that I missed anything ... and sometimes I feel it's coming back to haunt me now. I wish you all the best for your one or two or...years in BsAs - it's an amazing place, but also too intense, too noisy, too poor, too rich, whatever...and the collectivos ARE scary...

Erika Borbor said...

Hi Claudita,

Thanks for reading my blog. BsAs is a bittersweet experience for me. In think, I will be less scared as time passes. I'm definitely looking forward for the spring/summer in BsAs. Oh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the collectivos are scary.

Tina said...

Hola Claudia,

I think it's totally normal and okay to feel these things.
The sooner we acknowledge that we miss things or don't feel so hot about certain other things, the sooner we will find out what we do like and where we fit into this great big city.
Ah, Buenos Aires - it's a city that is so intensely beautiful but so intensely chokes at the same time.

I must admit that the laundry was a bit of a hurdle for me too. I like that I can just throw my things in a bag and take them to someone else, but I admit that I wash my jeans at home by hand so that they do not shrink. It's a pain but I can't bear the thought of them being stuffed into a dryer with overly fragrant fabric softener. ;-)

Erika Borbor said...

Hola Tina,

I think you meant Erika, instead of Claudia. I'm Erika, the chica with the blog. No worries, though:)

Thanks so much for commenting. Its comforting to know that other people felt the same way I do. I think you're right. Once I get all of the cons about the city out of my system, I'll be able to fully enjoy the pros. I have to admit; I already like the evening tradition of a cortada, some tea with a medialuna:) I think once I start working, my perspective will also change.

I'm glad to hear you wash your jeans by hand:) I thought I was silly for thinking of doing it myself. If you don't mind me asking, how much does a place charge you to wash clothes?

Thanks for reading my blog:)

Tina said...

Oops! Sorry Erika :-) I guess I was typing too fast! ha :-)

One correction (though I could be mistaken) - Cortado is actually the name of a drink (coffee "cut" with a bit of milk), while the hour that you are referring to in which one might have a cortado or some tea and a snack is usually called "merienda".

A load of laundry in my neighborhood is 8 pesos (to wash and dry)...

Ooh just got your comment on my blog, will head over to check it out! :-)

Erika Borbor said...

Hola Tina,

Thanks for the correction:) I don't know why, even though I know that cortado means coffee of some sort, I keep referring to merienda as cortado. I'll have to catch myself when doing it:)

miss tango said...

Ooh the laundry thing. For a few months I had to take my clothes to the laundry, and most of my things I hang to dry so I was constantly telling them not to put things in the dryer. Which of course they just thought I was insane for this request, so I ended up washing most things by hand. Like you I am picky with the scents too.

Last year we bought a washer AND a dryer. Having a dryer is a total luxury here. Thank Gauchito Gil we have one or our entire apartment would be permanently covered in clothes in various stages of drying.

Erika Borbor said...

Hi Miss Tango!

Thanks for the entry and checking out my blog.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that is rather picky when it comes to laundry. Just last week, I took the bed sheets, towels, and blanket to the laundry. Let me just say that is the last time I take laundry to that place. They did a good job, except the smell was overwhelming. Everything smelled like it had been hosed down with starch. This week I'm going to try a self service laundry. I prefer to do my own laundry. Like you, there are certain things I don't dry. I don't want to have to tell them "okay, wash this, dry this, but don't dry that." If this doesn't turn out, I will have to wash everything by hand.
Thank you for telling me your laundry woes. You and Tina have been really helpful:)
If you don't mind, I'll add you to my blog roll.

stilllifeinbuenosaires said...


I'm glad I found your blog. It's so cute! I, too, like your honesty. As I mentioned to you and Jackson, I always feel too naked to spill it all--be my true self. Your voice rings fresh and genuine.

You are not being a princess at all. Life is harder here, and I can understand your desire to do your laundry your way. I would be terrified someone would shrink my jeans and wool sweaters or lose the pair to every sock. ;-)

Erika Borbor said...

Hi Mandy!

Thanks for checking out my blog:)

Like you, I was a little reluctant being honest in my blog, but I really wanted my friends and family to get a true sense of how I was doing, so I went with being naked and spilling it all. Sometimes, I worry though that in my blog, I give Buenos Aires a bad name. So, I try to balance out the happy times and the not so happy times:)

I'm going to add you in my blog roll:)
Keep me posted about Monday. Did we say 4pm? Jackson might stop by for a little while.

stilllifeinbuenosaires said...

Let's meet out front at 4:00. It'll be my first time there, too.

Glad you are coming!

Erika Borbor said...

Sounds great!! See you Monday at 4pm:)