Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Big Day-Wednesday

Today was a true test of survival in the city-taking the bus! Here they are called los colectivos so when you say autobus, people look at you strangely. After eating toast, jam and tea with Jose y Marta I went to catch the bus downtown for an interview. I gave myself 2 hours to get there just in case. Marta told me it would take an hour so I wanted to be safe. Flores is not that far from the center of the city but the buses stop every block and when I say stop, I mean glide. They rarely come to a complete stop unless there are 300 taxis in front of them. 

I sidle up to the bus stop (la parada) with the other people heading to work (at 10 am-people do not do things early here and I love it!). When the 106 shows up, the other people flag it down. I wait next to them in line but the woman in front of me doesn't get on so the bus starts to pull off!! I grab onto the front of the door and it drags me a few feet while I bang on the window. As I said before they do not like to stop so if you're slow, you WILL be left. The driver finally lets me in and I learn how to put my money in and say where I'm going. They only take coins and I found people are not happy making change so Marta suggested I try the bank. Oh banks...always coming in handy!

I arrive close to my interview after a crowded bus ride to the city center and hop off at Plaza San Martin. For my arrival, they have a large military band set up including some generals and important looking folks standing around (see Shutterfly pics from the day). I watched for a bit along with many other people in awe at this random site. They didn't play any music while I was there so I wondered close to where my interview was and window shopped along with thousands of others. I think that Argentines love the shopping! The city is full of large expensive stores with very modern clothes and shoes. Similar to Chicago's Magnificent Mile but all over the city.

I arrived a few minutes early to my interview and waited until the director was ready to see me. The interview went well but I'm not sure if its exactly what I want to do. The job would be teaching business English or social language for people working in International companies-very different from preschoolers. The social part would be the same but on a whole new level. Instead of 'use your words, not your fists' I may say something like 'sj I would be taking over for a teacher whose dad got sick and he left on a Sunday leaving the school in a bind. I would take over his class until December and this man worked a lot of hours. I may try to work a few hours and then also take Spanish classes. The director wants me to answer her tomorrow by noon so we'll see.

After the interview, I wondered around looking for the parada for a bus to Palermo where I was going to see an apartment of a friend of Tatianas'. I looked lost and this friendly woman pointed me to the correct stop and the best bus in perfect English. She knew as soon as I opened my mouth and spoke Spanish with a terrible accent that she should speak to me in my native tongue.