Friday, August 15, 2008

La vida cotidiana (2)

Random observations.

1. Protein intoxication -

I don't know if it's possible to die from an overdose of meat, but if it is, that stands to be one of the main perils of life here in Buenos Aires. For ridiculously little money, one is regularly served enough meat (steak, veal, chicken, whatever it might be) to feed a small army. Green leafy vegetables seem dangerously lacking in the local food pyramid. And believe me, as a practising Irishman, it takes a lot before one acknowledges this situation.

2. Petrol pump attendants -

You thought New Jersey was the only place on the planet where drivers don't pump their own gas?* Nope. At the Shell station a block from my apartment, there is a whole cadre of pump-jockeys, ready to spring to attention at the approach of a Fiat.

3. Leadership secrets of the J.....!!!!

Probably the most sinister thing (OK, really the only sinister thing) I've seen here all week was the guy at the table next to me at lunch yesterday, who was engrossed in a little paperback with the ominous title "El líderazgo al estilo de los jesuitos", roughly translatable as "Leadership Secrets of the Jesuits".

*: based on historical memory - may no longer be accurate in 2008.

The plain people of Ireland: The Jesuits; them fellas were well able to beat sense into the kids. But sure these days, there's no such thing as corporal punishment in the schools. And look at what we have to show for it. Back when Noel was a boy up in Clongowes ....
The management: Oh, puh-leeze. Spare me your maundering reminiscences. Somewhere James Joyce is spinning in his grave.
The plain people of Ireland: James Joyce, is it? Sure yer man had a terrible dirty mind altogether. And now they're making girls like Nuala read that kind of filth for the Leaving Cert. What's the country coming to at all?
The management: (Sigh)

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