Dos más dos is the latest -absolutely hilarious- movie by Diego Kaplan.
It’s about 2 couples, Diego and Emilia (Adrian Suar and Julieta Diaz) and Richard and Betina (Juan Minujín and Carla Peterson). They have been first friends for over 10 years, and the husbands are partners in a clinic. One day Betina tells the other couple that they are swingers, Emilia and Diego are both shocked but intrigued as well. Seeing how great Richard and Betina are as a couple (they are all over each other) and realizing their relationship could use a serious boost, Emilia wants to go for it too, but her conservative husband does not agree at all.
This leads to the most hilarious situations, where the 3 of them try to convince Diego, and even when they finally drag him to a party and several beautiful women are all over him, he still feels uncomfortable and refuses…
It is a great movie, even though the ending is quite predictable (but then what do you expect?).
Don’t miss this movie, in the theatre or at home, but don’t watch the trailer, it shows way too much of the movie!
So today, to my big disappointment, she was mentioned again : the saint, responsible for the the heavy thunderstorms around the end of the month august. She is called Santa Rosa.
It turns out that she has completely lost track of time. She is due around the end of august, a few days before and after the 30th, and here she is tormenting us, day after day after day for a few weeks now, actually from the day I got back from my trip. It is so early in the month that I didn’t even think about her, although I was surprised there were such heavy thunderstorms in the middle of winter. Where I come from, they only occur after heat waves. That means they are quite rare. Now I lost count of how many times I jumped up in bed, startled by the loud thunderclap. Because here, because we are in the city and the concrete seems to enforce the loud bangs, and maybe because we live in an old apartment and the building shakes and the windows rattle endlessly, here it all sounds so much worse then where we used to live. Its louder and it seems to last forever.
Now today I was told that if Santa Rosa comes early, say, about a month early, that she stays all month. So we should brace ourselves for another 2 weeks of rain and… sleepless nights. Although one does get used to about everything, right? When a friend of mine complained about the loud thunders keeping her awake last night, I realized I had slept through them.
And I realized I have -again- Argentinized : I go out less and less and less… It rains too hard and even with boots and an umbrella you get wet.
So looking in my fridge, I know it is time for Santa Rosa to go and leave us in peace.
The weather gods haven’t really been at our sides lately, and there are even more rainy days to come. Now that the Olympics are coming to an end there is no excuse to stay inside and it is more then time to get away from that TV screen and do something. And I have the perfect suggestion for you, go to the Festival de la Luz!
This Festival (until mid to end septembers, check out the calendar) is all about Photography. From exhibitions to conferences to workshops, and this during 2 months in different places all over town. But not only in Buenos Aires and several other cities in Argentina, there are 27 light festivals in the world, all trying to promote photography and photographers internationally, through international cooperations and through exchanges.
Here in BA there is so much to do, that it is maybe impossible to see it all. I have only just started, and went to Centro Cultoral de Recoleta. This exhibition was quite big, and impressed me so much that I already decided to go back.
Just a few that struck me :
Arturo Aguiar from Argentina, whose photos are a game of light and shadow, and absolutely stunning. He calls it poetry and it is, it is not just photography…
Jana Romanova from Russia, she is showing a large group of photos of sleeping couples, expecting a baby.
I also loved Fifi Tong from Brazil who exhibits a photos of elderly, all +100 years old. Next to their age, you can see one of their quotes, which are easy to connect with the look in the persons eyes… Really amazing!
And what do you think of this Argentine Marcus Lopez? Ok, this one doesn’t look so attractive on this photo, but you should definitely see the real one… it is amazing!
These are just a few picks, just to give you an idea, but there is a lot more to be seen!
Check out the calendar and check out what is near you, and if I come to something else worth seeing I will keep you posted!
Actually, I speak Spanish, I read Spanish, I sing in Spanish, sometimes I even dream in Spanish. I am getting more fluent every day, trying my best to fit in the typical often used Argentine words like ‘viste?!’ ‘Miravos!’ ‘En serio?!’ ‘Ya está!’ But I am not advanced enough to put an ‘este’ between every 6 words nor do I use ‘Che’ or ‘Ni en Pedo!’ yet.
I go to school in Spanish and know the photography-terms in Spanish and not in English nor in Flemish. I call the girls chicas even though they all speak English with each other. I order in Spanish when I am abroad. I always say vamos instead of let’s go and que? to show my unbelief. Spanish has definitely become a part of my life.
Yes, I am quite pleased with my improvements. Or rather, I was.
This week classes resumed after an extended winterbreak. A new teacher enters the class and starts reading the names of the students.
the teacher raises her head and looks at me,
“De donde sos?”
I blink. Ya está! I say one word –acá- and I already blow my cover?
I look at my classmates and make the ‘what the heck’-sign, (swipe the back of your hand over you under-chin) and they smile and nod. Yes, it is that obvious. Hmmm. It seems like there is still a lot of work to be done. It looks like I will have to stay another couple of years, at least! Yes!
21st of july, Axel Red, Batle of the golden Spurs, Belgian National Day, Belgie een geschiedenis zonder land, Flemish, goedendag, goudensporenslag, Pain Quotidien, Raymond Van het Groenewoud, Walloons, Why on earth
It took me a while to realize that B.N.D. stands for ‘Belgian National Day’. Obviously this post comes with a bit of a delay, as the Belgian national holiday is on July 21.
Maybe you already know that my country of origin, Belgium, is quite a complicated one. As a matter of fact I am now reading a book called “Belgium, a history without country” (België, een geschiedenis zonder een land), a title that is, unless you are Belgian, just a tiny little bit confusing.
The boarder between the two linguistic parts of Europe, Romanic South (Latin based languages) and Germanic North (German based languages) runs right through the middle of this little country. Belgium is in fact just the mere sum of Flemish, Walloons (French speaking) and Brussels (bilingual). We are Flemish, Brusselaar/Bruxelois or Walloon, but no Belgian.
Our differences can go so far as that our country has been without a government for about a year and a half, fighting over little details between the different communities while the economy in the whole of Europe was taking a serious downfall. We, Belgians, had other things on our minds.
But I wonder, are things changing? Or is it just (my) perception? I am already less fanatic Flemish and more Belgian then my parents ever were, and my kids call themselves Belgian. No doubt about that. Ok, Flemish Belgian. Things aren’t changing that fast.
Now I seem to forget the day, a couple of years ago when we were still living in Belgium, that I got a phone call from my sons’ school : he had (together with the rest of the schools boarding boys) detention, as they were very proud to having revived the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag), a battle between Flemish and French that took place on July 11th in 1302, which the Flemish won. Probably the only battle ‘the Flemish’ ever won, but well. All the Flemish boys in school had ‘attacked’ the Walloon boys (who go to school in Flanders because their good parents think it necessary for them to learn Flemish, and because schools in Flanders just happen to be better then the ones in the south of the country), only this time they didn’t use the geldon (goedendag) but pillows, and the teachers made an end to the fight long before the Flemish kids had a chance to win it a 2nd time.
So I guess you are not surprised that I am late writing about the national holiday, as yes, we never ever celebrated it. It is just a day like any other. But when I, just a few days before the 21st, saw the invitation to the ‘BND’ in the ‘Pain Quotidien’ (a popular Belgian breakfast restaurant) in New York I was tempted to go and see the performing artists, Raymond Van het Groenewoud and Axel Red, and when my daughter saw the invitation she went completely crazy and cried out: “Mom! We must go!”
(Raymond singing the ‘classic’ ‘Je Veux l’amour’, his desperate cry for love)
And so we went. It would be her first, and also mine, BND. And on a hut sunny afternoon in NY we went inside a dark theatre, where Raymond was giving the best of himself, where everyone was drinking beer, eating waffles or French fries, and singing as loud as they could, while waving little Belgian flags. The national feeling was very present, but the strangest thing was, Flemish and Walloons were as one and they spoke (guess what) English to each other, which is -both for the Flemish as the Walloons- their 3th language.
But although the concert was great, and it felt good to have some typical Belgian food for a change -I don’t drink beer- it wasn’t exactly a spectacularly fun feast, but it will definitely not be forgotten. It was our first BND, and we were in NY.
N.B. The Flemish also have a national holiday, which is –contradictory- no holiday unless you work at the Flemish ministry, this day is the commemoration of that battle of golden spurs on 11th of July in 1302.
Argentina is automatically connected with Evita. One of the typical reactions to whoever I say that I am living in Argentina -one I already get bored- is that they start singing “don’t cry for me Argentina”. Of course, that is the Evita everyone seems to know, the one of the Broadway musical.
If you want to get a touch of Argentina, this Broadway show is the one you should see. Not only is it the story of the wife of an ex-Argentine president, about all the spectators –at least all the ones that sat around us- are Argentine. About the only word you heard after the show during the standing ovation, was “maravillosa”. With the Argentine accent, of course.
I once read that every Argentine seems to have an opinion of Eva Peron : they either love or hate her. And she is probably hated as much as she is loved. All we can say that she (and her husband) changed the country for ever.
In the musical she is presented as the bad person, which did come as a surprise to me. Although I knew some of the songs –my parents used to have ‘the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber’ record- I didn’t know the musical. I must admit that I wasn’t looking for Argentina when I went to see the show : I went to see Ricky Martin (who plays the role of CHE). Because –whatever his sexual preference might be- I absolutely love him. We even postponed going because he was absent 😉
And I was pleased with what I saw. It was a great musical in the typical Broadway style. Ricky is exactly what I expected him to be. But –I am sorry guys- I didn’t like Elena Rogers. I know she is very popular in Argentina, but I didn’t like her looks (she is tiny, not at all as Evita) and I didn’t like her voice as she seems to be shouting at the top of her voice instead of singing : she kind of spoiled the songs.
But don’t let this hold you from going to see the show when you go to New York, and if you are in Argentina, don’t miss the Evita museum. Although it gives a one sided view on her life (just as the musical gives the other one), the museum is nice, and the restaurant is absolutely the best, especially in summer if you can sit outside on the terrace.
Eva must have been a charismatic person. There is a myth in my family that my grandmother (who has since long passed away) wrote a letter to Evita on which she actually received an answer. What the letter said nobody knew, nobody has ever seen it, so we can even doubt it’s existence. But I guess that is why it is called a myth…
Coming back from a long trip abroad, I was struck by negativity. People complaining. Prices have gone up again, the import restrictions are really starting to show, and after winter holidays it seems clear that it is virtually impossible for Argentines to get dollars to travel. What will the future bring? Is a question often asked. But also they ask me why I came back, or why we are still here, living in Argentina. The word ‘2001’, the year of the last crisis, is mentioned more and more. People seem to be preparing themselves or at least bracing themselves for bad times to come.
Maybe I am imagining things. After all I have spend about a month abroad, completely careless and relaxed, not having to worry about security, walking around with my camera in full view even in subways and in the dark. Away from the ‘world’. And in full summer.
And after all, Argentines have always liked to complain. Should we take them seriously now?
But the import restrictions are real. My husband being in imports we know how hard it is to get permission to import. A permission that has to be renewed for each physical import. My husband spends half of his time in the ministry of economy, or at least twice a week. He still gets his permissions, but many companies don’t, or they just get tired trying and sell their company or just close it down (like the luxury brands in avenida Alvear). And it is true that dollars are hard to get, at least at the official rate. But easy to sell at the blue rate (about 30 to 40% higher).
This week I got caught by the rain. My head still in the wind dreaming of my -seemingly long gone- holidays. I had forgotten to check the forecast and hadn’t even looked up at the skies when I left home without umbrella. After a couple of blocks on my way back home, I already started to feel the raindrops on my bare skin, under a few layers of clothes, when it started to really poor. I saw no other solution but to hop into a taxi as waiting for the bus would have soaked me completely. To my surprise the first cab I saw was empty. Usually, at this time of day, and in the rainy weather, all the taxis are full. The driver seemed ill, and he started to talk. He apologized for his state, but he had just come from the police office. He had been robbed by a couple who had put a gun in his waist asking for all his money. He then had to drop them off at villa 31 (one of the worst shanty towns). After that he had gone straight to the police station where they asked him to pay 20$ to open up a file. He told them he had no money, as he had just been robbed! And then the officer advised him to just leave it like that. If he would make an official statement they will just come after him and shoot him or steal his car. It’s better to just let go. The man was clearly still in a shock, and so was I, by his story.
My second shock I got when I looked at the meter. Almost 20$ for taking me 8 blocks to my house. Prices have certainly gone up.
Yes, things are definitely changing. Or am I really still suffering from the (summer-holiday) blues?