Settling in has been made much easier because my friend Alex, who I was at kindergarten with, now lives in BA with his Argentine girlfriend Ani. Fucking strange how the world works. I was thinking of our kinder photo, with these two little fat-faced kids, and wondering what odds you would have got that 22 years later they’d both end up in Argentina. Anyway, those two have been really good at giving me an induction and providing instant Spanish dictionary services. His proficiency is the more impressive considering he was always a music and computer geek rather than a language one. Today they took me to dinner with Ani’s sister and some friends in what I was told was in “inter-cultural exchange”. After two hours of rapid-fire Spanish, I reckon I’d tripled my repetoire. In return they got to practice some English. I also got cake. Really really good cake. I think I came out ahead, on balance.
Also, I got my first Spanish joke yesterday! This is exciting, because understanding Spanish is much harder than cobbling together some half-arsed sentences of my own. We were talking about redheads, because Alex is one. Ani was asking how rare they are in Australia, because Alex is apparently the only one in Argentina. (Note to those getting a hard time back home: there is a country where beautiful women find you exotic and irresistible.) Alex said there were six at our primary school. A couple of hours later, Ani asked if I’d had a girlfriend in Australia. “Yes,” I said in Spanish. “She’s a redhead too.”
“Ah,” said Ani. “Uno de los seis?” (“One of the six?”)