Sunday, September 13, 2009


As I write this, Paddy's plane should be taxi-ing down the runway at Ezeiza, ready to take off for Washington Dulles. It was a wonderful week - great weather, great food, many long leisurely conversations, with just the right amount of cultural and tourist activities thrown in (I am in awe of Paddy for taking advantage of the free tango lessons at her hotel, as well as scheduling her own private lesson with the instructors).

Inevitably, this afternoon we ended up at the Evita museum in Palermo. Which was not at all tacky (as I had feared it might be), and quite a bit more interesting than I had anticipated. With a great gift shop. Here are a few pictures:

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I even got to satisfy my matchbox quota for the week (note that they double as nifty refrigerator magnets):

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Finally, before Paddy left, we got to satisfy our prurient curiosity and check out the street where Governor Sanford's mistress lives (only one street over from the Evita museum, though I should stress that we have no way of knowing whether or not it is the particular block indicated on the sign)

street of the mistress

I am, of course, sad that Paddy has left. But tomorrow begins a new week, with fresh challenges. Such as my role as editor-in-chief of the inaugural edition of the school's newsletter. (No, gentle readers, I didn't ask for this honor - some have greatness thrust upon them). The good news is that I will have both morning classes with Ciro for the week.

And so, good night.

What's that? The taxi scam? Maybe some other time. Oh, all right. Let me start by saying that, after it happens, you ask yourself - "how ever could we have been so gullible?" The answer is twofold. First, it all happened so fast. And second, if you never trusted anyone, you'd have to spend your whole life lurking in your apartment. Which, ultimately, seems like it would be a far worse fate than being taken for an amount that, in the general scheme of things, was pretty negligible. Far better to be in a position to have such a misadventure, and to be able to laugh about it afterwards, than to spend one's whole life sheltered from such escapades.

A final note of practical advice. Should you find yourself in an Argentine taxicab, be ready to pay with small bills. Should the driver tell you the notes you just handed him are fake, DO NOT HAND HIM ANY MORE NOTES*. Instead, just get out of the taxi, while offering to take the matter up with any available policeman. If you can write down the number of the taxi while doing so, so much the better.

Naturally, of course, we did none of these things. And were taken for suckers instead. Fortunately, not for a particularly large amount.

Luckily, this was a very minor blemish in an otherwise perfect week. And now, really, I have to go to bed.

*: this was where we really messed up.


BlueBlueMosque said...

I'll see your Argentine taxi driver and raise you an itinerant postcard-seller in Istanbul.
It is funny now that I think about it. Worth the $5 I ended up paying for half a dozen cards instead of about $1.

gaelstat said...

It's funny how even the memories of bad events become treasured memories. Because, if nothing else, you get a good story out of them. I'm sure there's a slew of neuroscientific and behavioral research that explains how our brains modify memory to minimize trauma and cognitive dissonance, but - hey - in the the end, it's just one more thing to laugh over in retrospect.

Anonymous said...

Strange. I just got back from two months in China and never once had a problem with taxi drivers. Speaking of bad events, have you ever tasted the butter tea in Tibet?

Pb said...

Evita and me! Am saving this for the annual holiday card. What a wonderful time, David! Miss you...


gaelstat said...

Butter tea in Tibet sounds as if it could be in the same "culinary" (I use the term loosely) league as casu marzu. No, strike that, nothing is in the same league as casu marzu*.

* You may be tempted to look this up. Be warned, you do so at your own risk. And for god's sake, don't click on any pages that have pictures on them!

Anonymous said...

"Because the larvae in the cheese can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in) when disturbed,[1][8] diners hold their hands above the sandwich to prevent the maggots from leaping into their eyes.[4]"

Yes. I am sorry I looked it up.

gaelstat said...

Well. I did try to warn you. But, noooo - you had to go look, didn't you?