February 15, 2009

I am the spin cycle

From Alice´s travelogue --

Yesterday I decamped to a hotel, with air conditioning, a bed that doesn´t feel like a massage table, my own bathroom, speedy computers with keyboards that still show the letters, a full breakfast (landlady was a tad short on food), and the amenities to which I am, apparently, quite accustomed.

But what did I do after I arrived? Laundry. (Don´t laugh.. Yet.) At home I have raised domestic incompetence to a high art. When last I washed my comforter in the laundry room at home, I flooded the whole place from washing machine to dryer to door. (The machine was as tall as I was, and so I couldn´t see how much soap I was supposed to put in. I guessed wrong....)

So, for the first time in countless years, I did the wash. By hand. (Which you may not find nearly as entertaining as I did, but so it goes.)

First, I worked out an entire system for the process. The clothes got scrubbed (piece by piece) in the bathroom sink, then rinsed in, yes, the bidet, and finally rolled into a towel that I stepped on to squeeze the water out. Then I hung everything all over the room and draped some underwear on a chair. And, in keeping with my mom´s idea of the purpose of a hair dryer, this morning I used the one in the bathroom to dry my socks.

(Okay -- laugh now)

I have one of the most beautiful views in BA. I overlook the cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. It is full of architecturally fascinating mausoleums and it is a huge tourist attraction. A woman sells maps for 6 pesos ( less than $2) at the entrance, and you can take a guided tour if you like of where BA´s most illustrious have come to rest. This is high-end real estate, and if you have to ask the price of admission, well, you won´t be worthy of a place there.

Requescant in pace are the words carved above the entrance. Given the amount of traffic in the cemetery, it must be a challenge.

I just realized that while I don´t usually visit cemeteries, all over London, famous people are buried under the floors of the churches that are tourist sites. One year, I tried to avoid stepping on them, but most of the time I´ve been there, it hasn´t bothered me in the least.

None of this is meant to be morbid. I´m just free associating.

I´ve read over some of my previous travelogues and noticed some funny redundancies; I have been fixated on the quality of the toilet paper, which, when rereading it, seems like a very odd thing to write about, particularly more than once.

One observation that I can´t understand why it took me so long to achieve; wherever you go, if you want to see obnoixious or culturally ignorant Americans, go to McDonald´s. (A place that seems to be another fixation this trip, and a place I usually ignore at home.)

It is another symbol of how the world perceives Americans, and once again, I don´t think it´s one that reflects well on us. On the other hand, at least no one hates us here, and I don´t have to pretend to be Canadian as I have in the recent past.

It is Sunday, and I´m taking the day off. One of the amenities here is a pool, and I´m planning to use it. What joy.

Any and all news is welcome.

lots of love,

Alice

2 Comments:

Blogger The Misanthrope said...

I love your travelogues. Maybe you should put them together in a book.

11:09 PM  
Blogger the only daughter said...

I am not laughing (much) at your laundry adventure. I've done just what you describe many, many times.

3:53 PM  

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