Feb 232015
 
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Hablo un poco de Espanol.

This old coot is counting down the days.  It’s not the days until November 6 and the Presidential Election.  It’s not the days until Veteran’s Day.  And it’s not the days until Thanksgiving.  I’m counting down to December 4 when my wife and I travel across the Mason Dixon line to Houston, Texas and then on across the equator to Sunny Argentina.  Vamos al Buenos Aires!

The Argentine Flag

I can’t say for sure that the heading above translates as Hello! Cantankerous Old Coots.  My Spanish lessons so far only confirm Hola.  I don’t believe that Google would lie but I understand that there are subtleties that might escape on-line translations so if I said something I shouldn’t, dame un pase.

This trip we aim to function passably in Spanish.  In Italy, we just pointed or waited for someone to speak English.  In Argentina we intend to engage.  I have to say that learning Spanish by listening is muy bueno. The one problem is that I have no idea what some of the words look like in print and the sounds I mimic don’t correspond to the way we say those letters in English.  I may be able to converse but the printed word may turn out to be a complete mystery.  Qué desastre!

Still we are excited.  We hear that Buenos Aires is called the Paris of South American and the pictures we find on the web seem to confirm.  My wife will be busy taking pictures while I absorb the culture and drink mate.  Will I find anything to be cantankerous about?  Que sas!   Will I miss the dreary Winter weather in Sacramento?  No en su vida.

Tropical Christmas!

We will be arriving in Summer for the Southern hemisphere; December is equivalent to July up here and temperatures will be in the 90’s with humidity.  This suggests that we will celebrate siesta during midday even though it is apparently not so endemic in Argentina as some other countries.  We don’t have definite plans and no big urgency like we might have on a 5 day trip.  I have always wanted to take a vacation where I could actually take a day off instead of rushing from one place to another.  Como un pollo con su cabeza cortada.

Still there is work to do.

Meanwhile, during the countdown there are details to arrange.  For the Venice trip I reached a near panic state during the last week.  It was completely irrational and totally unnecessary but I just couldn’t turn off the worrying about imaginary problems.  Right now I’m convinced that I’ll be fine when the countdown gets close but who knows.  Argentina is not Italy.  Buenos Aires is not Venice.  United Airlines is not Iberia.  My wife may have to knock me out just like last time.

I still have Spanish lessons to complete, cell phones (or Argentine sim cards) to arrange, and details like airport transportation and getting Pesos before we go.  And then, of course, we need to book Tango lessons.  So much to do.  Tan poco tiempo.

 

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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