viajo otra vez la semana que viene…

Next week I get to return up North for a quick trip and will end the week with another quick with my Mom (yay!).  I’m very excited to go and be able to see family again since I usually travel only once a year.   In light of my trip I wanted to share some travel vocabulary with you.  Learn it, use it, enjoy it!
el viaje- trip
el vuelo- flight
el agente de viajes- travel agent
las maletas- suitcases
el boleto- ticket
el auxiliar de vuelo- flight attendant
el piloto- pilot
el pasajero- passenger
el equipaje- luggage
el taxi- taxi
el aútobus- bus
el tren- train
el aeropuerto- airport
viajar- to travel

los taxistas

It’s about that time….you know what time I mean…election time.  Well, Election Day is some nine months away but we get to hear about all the candidates, all the scandals, all the snide remarks….etc. And I will be the last one to give away my political views, but I do remember where I was this time four years ago.  I was in Cordoba, Argentina…studying abroad and only hearing news from the U.S. every few weeks.

And where did I hear most of that news from?  The taxi drivers.  They knew more about the American political system and government than the average American (sad, but true).  Almost every time I jumped in a taxi, the driver would begin a conversation…”¿De dónde vos?”  And once he found out I was an American I was grilled on my political views and knowledge of the candidates.

I was very intrigued by some of the conversations I had in a taxi cab and probably one of the best wasn’t about politics at all but about the American people.  Once while riding in a taxi, the driver asked me about where I was from in the U.S. and the states that I’d visited.  When I replied that I had only really been up and down the East Coast he asked, “Why is it that Americans can send their children to other countries when they haven’t avidly traveled their own?”  I have to admit I was struck dumb by his response.

At first I thought, well the U.S. is so big…and I only know a handful of people who have been to every state.  But in reality, Argentina is almost as long as the U.S. is wide and practically everyone travels all over the country by bus.  So, I guess the truth is (that most) American kids (and adults for that matter) do travel but we don’t have an extensive transport system…and only a vague concept of geography.  You can disagree with me, but ask a high school graduate to name all the capitals of every state and where to locate them on a map…better yet try other countries…and then we’ll talk.

After all my musings, I realized that the driver had a truly valid point.  So, as much as I wish I could be studying and romping around another country during this election period, I am thankful to be home and see it as an opportunity to learn more about the candidates, the economy, and government.  Thank you Mr. Taxi Cab Driver!

la inundación

Right now we’ve been getting (it seems like) almost a solid week of rain and grey days.  I guess the one good thing I can say is that it’s been nice and mild so far.  Anyway–these wet days remind me (in a way) of some of the rainy days I experienced in Córdoba, Argentina. 

In Córdoba, when it rains, it pours–literally.  I arrived in Argentina in early February 2008, the end of the Argentinean summer and we had a few days of really heavy rain.  So heavy that almost all the streets were flooded and taxis refused to drive on the streets because they didn’t want to get stuck in the river of water.  Yes, you could probably jump out the taxi window and go for a ‘not-so-refreshing swim.  I don’t blame the taxi drivers for not wanting to drive in that (taxi drivers are a whole other story).  Unfortunately, on one of the first river-street nights my friend and I decided to go to el cine.  We obviously didn’t realize how badly the streets would flood.  So, a taxi came to pick us up, then halfway through our trip to the theater the driver decided the roads were too bad and he told us to get out of the taxi.

Lesson Learned:

So, after (forging the river) walking back to our respective houses we decided that going out in the rain in Argentina was not such a good idea.

At least the rains in the southeast haven’t been as severe this week and hopefully my friend the sun will return soon!