Friday, September 19, 2008

Futbol Saturdays

First, a story I forgot to mention earlier. When you start work here in Argentina, your company makes you take a physical exam. There's no appointment for these things; you just show up and take a number. This was an assembly line exam, and after each step, they sent you back to the waiting room. I really had no idea what to expect and I had a lot of trouble understanding what anyone was saying. However, checking boxes the form with my list of prior ailments was pretty easy. Syphilis is pronounced the same in every language. No, I do not have syphilis. I don't have anything so I just checked all the "No"s, except of course, for dolor en rodillo (knee pain). It was all a bit surreal - almost Kafka-esque. Eventually, I made my way through the system. It began with a chest x-ray. Then I was called into a room to have blood taken. The old woman taking the blood wore no gloves. The cloth beneath my elbow was not changed before or after my vein drain. Then, I was told to give a urine sample. The urine sample was then given back to the same woman who takes people's blood. Turns out she's also the cookie lady, giving an alfajor and a token for the coffee machine to each person in return for their urine. So in the middle of puncturing my arm, there was a knock on the door, someone came in with a full cup of urine, was handed a cookie and a token, and then this same women went back to my exposed vein. You can imagine the thoughts running through my head during this process. I wasn't about to complain. It's not like my Spanish was good enough to communicate my concern anyway. It was my third day. Later, a doctor asked me pertinent questions, examined "all of me," and tested my vision. Turns out one eye is better than the other, but only on the bottom row of letters. At age 33, I still don't need glasses. Wooh! Last, they hooked me up to some weird EKG machine with suction cups attached to my torso. Those left a mark for two weeks. I suppose I passed all the tests because they didn't send me home. So, ready for work with a clean bill of health. At least I had one before I went in there.

An infinitely more festive occasion was two weeks ago when Ursula and Juan invited me and several others over for Asado. In the states, we would simply call this a barbecue, but Asado carries other connotations here. It's not simply grillin' burgers in the backyard. These are familial occasions where you invite anywhere from six to 12 people over, grill out, and make an entire day of it. Here's Juan, taking charge of the meat:
El famoso Juan

Then you bring the meat to the table on/in a metal box that you also load with coals. There are about 38 different types of meat - ribs, chorizo, steak, blood sausage, chinchulines (intestines, but the Spanish sounds much better, no?). Perhaps it's simply that Juan is the man when it comes to Asado, but my first one in six years did not disappoint. Honestly, it not only lived up to all the gorging I did last autumn, but surpassed it - all in one meal. Here's what the first (of three) batches looked like when it hit the table:

After all the eating, we set up camp in front of the TV to watch some futbol. Obviously, I mean soccer, but it's getting harder and harder to figure out the best way to make the distinction. I can say "futbol Americano", but when it's futbol non-Americano, I have to say futbol-futbol which just sounds dumb. Argentina battled back to tie Paraguay even though they had one player ejected, so it was pretty fun. The tie did make me feel a little let down by the affair (not even an OT period), which makes me have to question my prior stances on overtime in futbol Americano de Universidad.

Also, only a quick hitter, but I just signed my lease and move into the new place mañana por la mañana!

Lastly, I have been keeping up with my other blogs, so just in case you want to see what else is going on, here's a quick summary of the postings from each.

Road Games
Notre Dame game Preview
Notre Dame game post-mortem

Fighting the Youth
Lollapalooza Sunday Review (way late, natch)
Random Chatter I
Random Chatter II
Random Chatter III
New Music Recommendations for you!


Kozy said...

The plate of meat looks better than a plate full of bitter-ballen!!

When I come to visit I want my own appointment with the cookie, urine vamp. She sounds like fun :)

pat said...

Por favor, esta este sterilizado? No? Voy a morir? Excelente. :)

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