Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lost Horizons and Neon Signs (Ken)

This is my week off from school. My new class at Universidad de Buenos Aires begins Monday, so I have been trying to cram a lot in this week.

Today, I my goal was to see the horizon. I have been here just over 40 days and have not seen the point where the sky meets the earth since my plane landed. All I see are buildings. I have a new appreciation for the phrase "Concrete Jungle."

So I set out today to see el Río De La Palata y la Reserva Ecológica Cotenare Sur--the Ecological Reserve. During the military dictatorship of 1976-83, plans were made for a new city along the river. Sediments dregged from the river were deposited as landfill for this new city. As usually happens here in Argentina, the money "disappeared" and the city was never built. However, native trees and grasses took hold. The area has now become a nature preserve.

I walked from my barrio of Recoleta to Puerto Madero (you may want to take a look on Google Earth). It was a pretty hot day today. You can imagine my surprise to see this guy in my path. You don't often see these guys wandering across the trails in the Catoctin State Park abck home.

He stared back at me for a while, and it was only when I knelt down to get his picture that he strolled back into the treeline.

As I said, it was hot today and I knew I was going to do some serious walking, so, for the first time, I wore the combination of jeans and sneakers.

I have worn blue jeans with my brown loafers, and I have worn my Nikes to run, but I had not worn the combination. I felt like I was wearing a neon sign. I have not been approached by so many people asking of money since I got here. I look around at what the men are wearing, and I dress like they dress. I even bought clothes here to blend. But today, I dressed like a USAmerican and I looked like one.

Lesson learned. Tomorrow, it is back to dressing like a Porteño. Maybe it's just that I was self conscious about my appearance and that gave off that "I am not from here" vibe. I don't know--perception is reality. Tomorrow, I am back to altering my reality.


Jos said...

Yikes! That was quite an experience you had today. Great pics!

Now, what was up with the way you dressed? How do they dress? I fly out Sunday night to Mendoza. I have not given my wardrobe a second thought. . .

Tips, please!!!

emilyeffinconrad said...

that lizard thing is scary looking