Friday, June 4, 2010

Hot Water? What is that?

Since we're on the topic of anniversaries (well, I'm on the topic anyway), today marks my one month anniversary of NO HOT WATER. Yes, it has been one month since the hot water tank in my building broke and I made a joke about it taking three weeks to get a new one. Ha. I'm laughing.

Actually, the new tank is here, in the building. It arrived earlier this week and is sitting next to the elevator, taunting us all with it's promise of easy showering and painless dish-washing, the scoundrel. But, considering that this is Argentina, it could easily take another month to get the thing installed. And no, that is not a joke this time.

The sad thing is, it's standard. Things just take forever to get done in Argentina, and I'm sure there are is a vast array of opinions on the "why" of the matter, from vicious cultural stereotypes to the more apathetic "It's just like that." Personally, I don't really care why things are so slow here...I've just kind of accepted it and moved on. 

It helps, as I patiently watch my bathwater struggle to a boil on the stove-top, to think of others in the world who have never had hot water available with the turn of a tap and to remind myself of the all the good things that I have going for me in my life. Either that, or I pretend I'm a medieval princess.

"Accept it and move on" is such a harsh way to describe the process of adapting to a new culture and a new lifestyle, but it's pretty accurate when the person doing the adapting has chosen to be where they are. Since I am here voluntarily, I have chosen to live with the bad things about Argentina as well as the good accept them and move on. 

Other things to which I have adapted in my (relatively) new Buenos Aires life:

-living without a microwave, car, air conditioning, clothes dryer, or hand mixer (what? I like to bake!)
-the absurd amount of salt that is dumped on to savory foods
-ditto the absurd amount of sugar that is ladled into anything that is even near the realm of sweet
-the mild temperature (50 is now cold)
-olives on my pizza
-having to wear real clothes when going to the supermarket...unfortunately for me, sweatpants and hoodies are NOT acceptable attire
-being stared at, commented on, and generally appraised by complete strangers
-the direct and interrogative nature of most Argentines
-the lack of vegetables in the Argentine diet
-the "late" schedule: eat lunch late, eat dinner late, go to bed late

*Disclaimer: Note that these are not complaints, merely differences to which I have adjusted. When I go back to the States at the end of June for my two-week visit, I fully intend to suffer reverse culture shock (more about plans for the visit later).

Anyway, my water has heated itself so I go now to bathe (laboriously) and then partake in the weekend's festivities, such that they are. I think I'm actually getting taken out to dinner this weekend, since the BF just got paid for last month. Joya!

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