Thursday, September 24, 2009

Puerto Madero

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Today, we went on a little class excursion to Puerto Madero, pictured above. "We" included Monica (from Brazil), Ed (from England), and Ciro (el prof);

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Of course, I was there too (pictured below, with a bovine acquaintance)

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(note to self: work on that dopey grin)

This was my first time in Puerto Madero, which is B.A's version of London's Canary Wharf. Though it is undoubtedly an improvement over what was there previously (abandoned dockland), I found it somewhat soulless and interchangeable with any similar development in any other major waterfront city (including, for instance, the presence of a Hooters, as well as a branch of TGIF's, where the waitstaff were forced to wear demeaning comical costumes). Monica, on the other hand, finds it completely enchanting. Different strokes, and all that ....

It's ironic, but perhaps emblematic of the difficulties I have with it, that its signature bridge (seen in the first picture above), designed by world-famous Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava, was inaugurated (or whatever one does with bridges) on December 20th 2001. This was the day when the economic bubble of Argentina's Menem years finally burst, with riots in the city that lasted through the night. A day where police violence resulted in the loss of 32 lives.

As I may have reported earlier, many Argentines believe to this day that to utter the name "Menem" is bad luck, and they instead substitute the word 'Yeta' ('bringer of bad luck'). Shades of 'he who must not be named' in the Harry Potter books.

But it was a pleasant excursion and - hey - after a while anything is preferable to yet another discussion of the correct use of the subjunctive. Which seems to be all that is left to discuss, as far as Thpanish grammar is concerned. Because, quite evidently, its subtleties are infinite, and not to be grasped by mere foreigners.

Nonetheless, I intend to keep on trying!


Anonymous said...

The plain people of Ireland: Begob, but that's a very phallic looking yoke on that bridge!

gaelstat said...

You might be forgiven for thinking so (I certainly did). However, Senor Calatrava evidently would like us to believe that it is an abstract representation of a couple doing the tango.

Apparently he manages to say this while maintaining a straight face.

Yeah, I know.

Bravo said...

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