Journal 14 - January 8


buenos aires journalI have been lazy with my journal. The fact is there is so much going on everyday!

On December 4, Sunday, I went to the Recoleta area. It definetely became an adventurous day. I didn't exactly know where I was going but I looked it up on a guide book and accessed a map. Recoleta is known to have a big market in the park on Saturdays and Sundays. It was a nice warm day to take a walk. I passed the museum of Bellas Artes which I thought I might go to later on, it was already 5pm. I reached the park that was swarming with people and little stands. There were little shops with artesanal accessories, clothing, candles, cultural products, and etc. All very interesting in their own ways and so entertaining to look at.

I stopped by an artesanal accessory stand, the guy had leather, silver, beaded things that were really nice. He started talking to me, telling me to try them on. I tried to sound unenthusiastic because I just wanted to check things out before getting them, there were millions of stands there. Then, he suddenly told me, "I'll make a necklace just for you. I make everything here and it's my work, so let me make you something.". What can I say... I said okay, I liked original things and it would be interesting to see what he would make for me. One of his abilities were to make things from one piece of wire, he said he would use that technique to make something. He told me to come around to the other side of the booth. People were laying down on the grass, a group playing conga drums of Afro-Cuban rhythm, sometimes dancing... a nice peaceful Sunday. He asked me if I liked trees. Yes, I did, I was just thinking how nice the trees sound with the wind going through, the night before at the Terraza. He started curling and bending the wire, transforming it into a shape that was still not complete. He said he was making a tree called "Sauce Lloron". It's a tree that grows on the bank of a river. The leaves droop down long almost touching the water. We can see this tree at the Tigre river near Buenos Aires. It took him approximately half an hour or so, while he attended some people who stopped by his booth. We chatted some, trying to communicate as much as possible. Suprisingly, we were talking about Buddhism religion and its philosophy, art, nature, and more general things. He was from the Andes Mountains in Peru, his family believed in Buddhism, and they were artists in these crafts. He believed more in nature, but he liked the philosophy that buddhism has. He liked my name Naomi because it had a mysterious feel to it, and he was creating the necklace with a meaning of beautiful adventrues to come. The necklace became a tree, with the wind blowing from one side, making the leaves swirl to one side. Simple design, but pretty. He hooked it on to my neck, and I thanked him for it and the beautiful time. It was something special because of the special moment of encounter that we had, just talking on this beautiful Sunday, meeting an anonymous person but making some connection.

buenos aires journalI left the booth happy, with the necklace hanging from my neck. I stopped by alot of booths, mate cups, belts, clothing, more accessory, all very original and pretty. By the time I got around almost all the booths, it was already 8:30. Some booths were shutting down, the sky was getting dark, and I didn't get the chance to go to the Bellas Artes museum. Oh well. I was getting kind of hungry, and I was supposed to meet Gabriel at La Glorieta milonga. So I started walking, looking for a place to eat. I didn't feel like going into any of the cafes around the park, they were big, tourisy, and I could not rely on good tasty food. I found a building called the Argentine Cultural Center or something. It was still open and looked interesting, so I stepped inside. On the second floor, there was a big shop called Puro Diseno, with Argentine designer products. It was all contemporary designed stuff. There were cool bags, clothes, house accessories, office supplies and furniture, etc. All very very very great designs! There are many good designers here in Argentina, I guess the mix of culture brings together many different tastes and senses. I guess I spent a long time there, I was the last customer to walk out of the shop. Now, it was almost 9:15 and I was starving!

I was looking at the restaurants next to the store. They were all very contemporary style, wine shop, restaurant with nice lightings and interior design. All very fashionable, I wanted to eat in one of these restaurants, but eating alone was not exactly what I wanted. I was trying to figure out which restaurant would not be weird, if I ate alone, looking at the menus. Then, a young guy stood next to me looking at the menu, and suddenly asked me if I knew if the food at this restaurant was good. I told him I didn't know. He started to talk to me in English. He was from Germany and said that some restaurants are not as good as it looks, so he was looking for some decent food. Well, I wasn't sure but it looked good indeed... Then, he asked if I was alone. Yes, and was he. Yes. So we kind of figured that it might be a good idea if we just acoompanied each other for dinner. Things like this happen sometimes on trips, I remembered some of my back packing trips in Europe...

So, we sat down at the seats on the terrace. Their was a nice cool summer night breeze. Trees surrounding the building, and the moon was hazy. A perfect summer night to sit and have a good dinner. I ordered a salad, he had some salad and risotto. We had a bottle of wine, he said that he would like to take it back to his hotel if we don't drink it all. It was very interesting to be eating with someone you didn't know, and to be drinking wine together. But it was all very fine, and everything seemed natural. This is one of the things that really happens on trips! We talked about why we're in Argentina, he was there to study flying as a pilot for half a year. About all the other trips we've made, he's traveled to so many places and countries, more than I have, and we just talked about that. The cultural differences between each country, and the people there. About gastronomy, food, wine, restaurants... It was all very very interesting, and an enjoyable conversation, so much we had in common even though we've never had any contact before. So, we had such an enjoyable time, that the dinner finished off around 11pm..! Whoopsy, I could not make it to the Glorieta. We exchanged contact, you never know, we might be travelling in the same countries again...

I was very pensive. In my university years, or when I used to work at the hotel in Japan. I would meet so many different people. People who've lived such a different life or experienced things you've never done, or live a life so different. Each time you meet someone, you get such big motivation for life, and you surprise yourself at how many things you can still have in common with that person. You gain new perspectives, and share the ones you have, and in these moments you feel the great power of living in a big world, that there is so much more to discover. I love this feeling, and these are one of the things that bring me my passion and stimulation for my life. Sometimes I almost forget this, I'm really glad to have had these encounters again this day...

I called Gabriel at the apartment. I missed the Glorieta, but I would head back. I took a taxi ride back, feeling happy and fulfilled. Just feeling this moment of breathing air, like you waked into a new life. I got back home, and talked forever about the adventure this day to Gabriel. I was happy but pretty tired, I had walked around alot, and so we did not go to the milonga after all.