The construction started on my place in March. We are now in May and here I am. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessive about details, about making sure everything is organized and planned down to the last detail. This is no easy feat in Argentina where what can go wrong...will go wrong. I even plan for that, with Plan B, C, and D. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and those of mine as well. This video should give some idea of what my life is like these days.
I have taken on an almost zen like attitude. I am living out of boxes in an apartment full of dust and grime. JerryBrown is with me and Maxi continues leashless in Banfield. I have no idea where most of my stuff is. I can't go into 95% of the boxes, because the painter has them stacked in a way that we just won't talk about. I cringe when I look at them. My kitchen consists of a refrigerator and a microwave. It is amazing how creative one can be. Who knew you could make pasta in a microwave, add olive oil and parmesan, a little garlic, some pepper, and you are set.
Taking all this into consideration, I don't think I have ever been this happy for a long time. I even catch myself smiling...a lot. People have noticed. There is something about my new place that is so me. In many ways it reminds me of my place that I sold in California before I moved here. It isn't nearly as large, but it has some similar characteristics. Maybe the best part is that after 14 years of living here, I have finally figured out how to remodel a place.
Buenos Aires is not a "go to Home Depot kind of place" There are no large emporiums of places to find flooring or cool light switches or deliveries from Amazon . We have Easy and Sodimac which are far from the same, not even close. That means, you must scour the city to find interesting and different materials. It means fighting with architects, workers, and everyone else. I love it.
I have been able to use my creative energy to design exactly the kind of place I want to live in. It is not perfect. There are some things that I cannot change, but I love it. I feel so at home. Not just my place but my barrio. In a way it is like when I lived in California, but better, because I am here in Buenos Aires.
People in my barrio are so nice. They say hello to you. They don't snarl at me, and no one barks "Where are you from" before I can even ask for what I need. I feel like the mascot of my barrio. Earlier this week I popped into the hardware store on the corner to see if they had something I needed. Actually, I wanted to buy a length of rope so I could start jumping rope on my terraza. The owner told me he was out and that he would have some more in a few days.
When I was going to work this morning, he called out to me. First was a nice good morning, and then he let me know that the rope had come in and to stop in on my way back from work. Shocking. When I did stop in, he actually held the rope for me so we could see how much I needed. This is not an isolated experience. So many places where I have purchased things, the store clerks or owners know my name, they are so nice. I can't wait until they meet Maxi. Or maybe I can. Los Demonios..