Thursday, November 19, 2009

no hay mal que por bien no venga. i hope.

Last night was not a good night. You know that saying that bad things happen in threes? Last night I got hit with number two, and I just can’t wait to see what the third one will be!

The first bad thing to happen came on Tuesday, when I returned to work after taking a few days off while my best friend was here visiting. I arrived at the office only to find someone else sitting in my seat, so I went and asked my boss what was going on. He rather rudely informed me that he wanted to try someone else in my position and asked me to take the rest of the week off, and that he would let me know on Friday or Monday if I should come back. I was a little shocked at first, and upset, but this quickly turned into anger and indignation. I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to get rid of someone while they are on vacation, or at the very least it’s certainly not fair. But, in the end I think it is for the best. As they say, “No hay mal que por bien no venga.” Loosely translated, it means there is no bad thing that doesn’t come with something good. I really did not enjoy what I was doing at that company, and I often dreaded going into work in the morning. This might be the push I needed to get out there and find something I love. So, if my boss ends up calling me and says that I should come back, I really think I’m just going to tell him to put it somewhere the sun don’t shine. Yes, I need income. And yes, that job provided me with income. But at the same time I don’t want to waste days of my life doing a task that bores me, at a company that doesn’t respect me. Not my cup of tea.

What is my cup of tea is the level of kindness and generosity my friends have shown me. When I came home that Tuesday morning, my roommate Benja was very supportive and immediately started throwing out ideas and contacts that he could call on to help me out, and actually picked up the phone and followed through with them. We spent the morning updating my resume, job searching online, and thinking up various plans of attack. I also told my friend el Negro that I had left my job when we were talking online, and he immediately called me at the house to find out details, see how I was doing, and invite Benja and I over for some mate and relaxation. So we went over to his place, had some medialunas and mate, watched Ice Age and The Bourne Ultimatum, and just hung out for a few hours with Anna, Agustin, and Chimi. Once again, the sheer niceness (is that a word?) of Argentines overwhelmed me. I’ve known these people for less than a month, and some of them only for a week, and they were all offering words of support and encouragement as well as promises to keep their eyes open for any job possibilities. They really made me feel better about my situation, and I know that something will turn up eventually.

In that vein, yesterday I went and met with a woman who is a long time friend of Benja and his family. Benja just wanted to introduce me to her because she has a lot of contacts and might be able to find me a job somewhere. She was really nice and turned me on to a couple of networking events that I’ll go to, just to mingle and get my name out there. As I’ve said before, I really believe it’s who you know, not what you know, and at this point I know enough people here in Buenos Aires that I’m not starting from scratch, so hopefully that makes this job search easier.

Anyway, the second bad thing to happen came last night. I was snoozing, having fallen back asleep after the first mosquito attack and subsequent massacre of the night. I really need to figure out a way to deal with these blasted mosquitoes because they are ruining my sleep! Every night I get woken up at least twice by that god-awful “Eeeeeeee!” in my ear, at which point I immediately freak out, slap spastically at my ear in vain trying to smash the little bugger, then spend the next 10 minutes stalking him around my room until I finally manage to corner him and beat the daylights out of him with my flipflop. It’s less satisfying than you would think though, considering it’s MY blood that ends up smeared on the wall (see Exhibit A)

I digress. At about 3 am, my little nugget phone just dies. Lights up, shows the Nokia hands joined in friendship, then just goes black. Lights out. Donezo. I play with the battery, bang it on the table, blow on it, shake it, all the traditional cell phone resuscitation methods but nope. Nothing. Eventually something shows up on the screen: Local Mode. WTF is local mode?! However, this changes after about 5 minutes to say Test Mode. Again, WTF is test mode. GAH! I need my phone! It's my only connection to the people I've met here in BA, the only technological sign that I exist. If I don't have a phone, no one will be able to call me and invite me out to dinner or to go dancing! PANIC! But nothing I do will make this phone turn on, so I give it up for dead and go back to bed, wrapped in a sheet against the invading mosquitoes.

So, no job and no phone. Makes my to-do list for today pretty simple: get job, get phone. And maybe some more Off while I’m at it...


  1. Hello. Not sure how I came across your blog, but I enjoy it. My best advice for the mosquitoes is to turn on a fan close to you. The air will keep them from buzzing around your ear. I hate that, too, and have done the exact same trot around the room in the middle of the night. Made me laugh. Hope that helps.

  2. Two things. 1) Go to your local chino or ferreteria and buy the most amazing mosquito deterrent EVER. I have no idea what it's called, but it plugs into the wall and you can either buy little cards to insert into it nightly OR (my preference) a bottle of liquid you screw in that lasts about 45 nights. Turn it on an hour before you go to bed and turn it off when you wake up to save liquid resources. I bought one 3 days ago for 18 peso and haven't had a mosquito attack since! Side note: I swear I deliberated the couthness of posting my own dead-mosquito-blood-smear photo on my blog and cracked up when I saw that you did it! This transitions us into our next point. 2) You are awesome. Can we hang out??

  3. allcraz2: Thank you for that suggestion, I feel kind of stupid that I didn't think of it before! We might have to patent the Midnight Mosquito Massacre...sounds kind of like an amusement park ride :) I'm glad you enjoy reading the blog, it's pretty fun to write as well! Hope you keep coming back!

    ElizaBeth: 1) I am going to buy one of those things TOMORROW! Or rather, Monday, considering life in Argentina annoyingly shuts down on Sundays. And I thought twice about the blood smear as well, but in the end decided to go with portraying the harsh reality of life in the wilds of Argentina!! and 2) Yes let's hang out! Drop me a line whenever (I'm on BAExpats as "amymiranda," creative I know) and we can meet up, maybe compare bug bites? Hasta pronto!

  4. AHHH I am experiencing the MMM right. nowwww...this guy's going down! So ironic, I was just noting to myself how big that blood smear was and bzzzz maaraaaaaaa eeeehhhh.
    Well, seeing as we have some common ground, I would love to hang out with you girls sometime! I'm on BAExpats too, "Charlsi". Let's plan something soon eh!?

  5. And I'm allcraz on BAExpats. If you plan something, let me know!

  6. Hi Amy... Hope you still enjoy your stay in argentina.
    My name is laila, and i am (trying) to enjoy my holiday here in Buenos aires, but as i can read in your blog, it can be a problem in the nights because of the F..... mosquitos... I can read that you got a good advise, but I dont understand where you by it ore, whats it called.. my english is not so good. So if you have had experiences with this please write and expplane more about this wonder, because its really amazing, that you cant find a netting in this city. I even spend a hole day finding a big trekking outfit store, but they didnt have... please help - thanks laila

  7. Hi laila...the thing I got that really helps with the mosquitos is a Raid plug-in that you stick in an outlet. If you go to this post here: you will see some pictures of the Raid box and the plug. I bought mine at a big Coto, but I'm sure they have them in other stores, maybe in the house-cleaning section. You have to buy both the plastic plug and the refill container separately, but they should be right next to each other.

    If that doesn't help I recommend getting a fan, because it will blow the bugs away and make it cool enough so that you can sleep with a sheet over you for more protection.

  8. Life in Argentina does not shuts down on Sundays. It goes to another interesting places.