I feel like writing but I don't really have enough to say to make one post. Sooo, I am going to write the answers to the emails I get. Some days I get 20 or more emails. I try to answer all of them, but with my crazy schedule I cannot always do so. So here goes my notes - from Novitz...
MY HAIR and the hair of others...
My hair has always been radical. It has been every color you can imagine - blue, green, purple, and sometimes a mixture. I wanted to change my hair and I went to the sites of the best known stylists and hair care products to see what they were doing in the U.S. and Europe.
Buenos Aires is a fashion capital to be sure. We have our own designers. We have our own sense of style. People often comment on how well dressed they think people are here. Our styles are more influenced by Europe - Spain and Italy than by the U.S. Everything but hair.
Short hair on women is not something you see. Women here keep the same hair style they had when they were 12 years old. They just dye it blond. It is amazing. From behind you see a woman with long blond hair. Way past her shoulders, cascading down her back. Then she turns around and AAAGGGHH it is a 75 year old women. Kind of like Mirta Legrand and all her plastic surgery. The woman has a plasticized young face, longish blond hair, and the body of an 80 year old woman.
So you can imagine, Walter, my hair cutter loves me. He has to spend most of his days blow drying and ironing long hair. I am his creative outlet. Me, and the women that come to him that stay with me. We let him do whatever he wants.
But, I digress. I wanted to write about the reactions to my hair. Now that you have a little bit of background on hair here, you can see that I am somewhat of a radical. I never think about what others might think about my hair. I just do it.
On Friday when I went to dance with my new hair, I was a little surprised. Men were the "big" test. I got called bombon (a term used to describe a beautiful woman) a lot. One guy teased me and asked if he could have my autograph. Something that never happens to me is that several men drove me crazy for my phone number all night. One guy Felipe, actually came to my table. Sat down, gave me all his phone numbers, and told me to use them! (It is not considered good form to ask for phone numbers outright)
The women gave mixed reviews. Most told me they really liked my hair. That I looked very chic. There were several that wanted to know why I did "it". My funniest reaction was when I went to Gricel after Entre Tango y Tango. I was sitting with my friends Carlos and Nora. No one seemed to be inviting me to dance.
My friend Julio who I had been looking at crossed the floor and came over to glare at me. How weird. So I said to him "Juio, que haces?" (What are you doing?) He glared at me again, then realized it was me and came over. "What did you do to your hair?" he asks me. "Don't you like it?" I ask him back. "NO, I didn't know who you were. I came over because some strange woman was staring at me." He went on and on and on. I wanted to tell him, Julio put your glasses on, but I could not. So I just grabbed him and asked him if wanted to dance or not. In the middle of the tanda he tells me "well, you are still beautiful, but I don't like it." Sigh.............
Flying into Buenos AIres
The U.S. press has made somewhat of a big deal about flying into Buenos AIres. In March when we had a big storm the radar system got hit by lightening. First they said it was OK, but on closer inspection it proved to have problems. A new system was ordered.
In the mean time they have rented a system from Spain and are using an older system that is approved internationally. The press here printed some things about it. The military is running the show now. The U.S. press has printed articles that make it seem like flying into Buenos Aires is like take your life into your hands.
I was talking about this to one of my students who is an executive with one of the largest insurers in the country. He said if there was really a problem the U.S. and most likely many of the European airlines would refuse to fly into Ezezia. He said the U.S. pilots union is very strong and American, United, and Continental would simply refuse to fly here. It made sense.
One of my guests is a flight attendant for Northwest. She has flown for more than 10 years with them. She was due to fly out on Monday. I asked her if she was scared. She gave me a funny look and asked why. I explained the radar situation to her. "Oh that," she said. "No, I don't worry, because if it was bad, the captains of the planes won't fly." She explained to me that the pilots monitor weather and flight conditions as well. They can refuse to fly in adverse conditions. She said they often do even when the tower gives them the go ahead.
It appears the system used in at this time in Ezezia is the same system that is used permanently in Russia, China, most of Eastern Europe. The system in Brazil is considered in worse shape.
With this information I decided to launch a google search to see what I could come up with. It was pretty interesting. It appears the worst airport is in Swaziland. Most airlines refuse to land there. There were some surprises on my search. Like LAX is considered one of the more dangerous airports in the U.S. The ground radar system is considered inadequate for the amount of traffic. O'Hare often loses its radar capacity in the ice storms that are common in Chicago. Degaulle in Paris is another that has constant non-functioning radar. The point is that if you search, you will see that all major airports have had problems and continue to have problems.
Considering my search turned up many major airports in the U.S. that have radar problems you have to wonder why the U.S. press hammers at Buenos AIres as if flying into Ezezia were like flying blindfolded. Personally I am more scared of crossing the street in Buenos Aires than flying out of it.
Hey Baby It's Cold Outside....
OHMYGAWD! I am freezing to death. Anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows that I hate cold weather. No one knows what happened, but global warming sure is not an issue here. Usually May is nice fall weather. I remember several Mays here where it hit the 80s. Not this week!
Winter does not officially begin here until June 21. The last few days have brought temperatures en the 40s. I am so happy I did not sell my down coat. I would have died without it. (I know, I am a wuss) The negative side is that the usage of electricity and gas has gone way up. Businesses and government offices were not prepared. There were 40 schools on Tuesday without heat. We have a gas shortage and Chile is not too thrilled that we stopped selling to them...apparently it is cold there too.
It is supposed to get warmer today - 56 -58 and then stay in the low 60s. Hopefully this is not an indication of what our winter is going to be like. The positive thing is that there are less people around. Even the buses are less crowded. I wonder what people are doing....