MMS Friends

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Me mudé

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'll be back and I'll be millions

Those of you who know me will know how absolutely catastrophically bad I am at endings. I can't even finish a meal without slumping into depression. And the thought of closing my Buenos Aires chapter, even for a time, makes me too teary to even continue this post, so I'll move swiftly on. In four years I've written a book, learnt a language, had my heart broken for the first time, made some of the best friends I've ever known, climbed the career ladder and fallen in front of a taxi, loved, lost, loved, won, jumped out of an airplane, met the greatest soccer player ever, eaten meat again (don't tell me ma) and left my appendix in a public hospital. But the time came to saddle up again and move my lack-of-an-ass back across the Atlantic once more. So for the time being, I've left my home in Argentina and with it all that was the Buenos Aires Experience. Those of you who bravely persist in following my inane ramblings will find that, true to form, they continue elsewhere. I can be found at It's green. Like the country. And I'm blue to be leaving. But I'll be back, amigos, so get some rest if you can and if you can't bear it, follow me over to Dublin. I'd love to have youse.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

All that white space

These apparently are the countries I've visited so far. Remarkably concentrated, when you look at it, and far too much white space left. Gotta get moving. Meanwhile, you too can assess the red/white balance at this site.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A day in the life

I wake up to streaming sunlight and toddle into the shower, which beats me to a pulp. Ah, the delight of proper water pressure, more notable after the misty fallout of my electric shower in Ireland. I emerge bruised and awake, pushing back the shutters to greet the streaming sunshine. Ah, the delight of a blue sky, more notable after . . . Ok, need I say more? Ireland in October isn't famed for tropical weather. I would have a mate, but Clara doesn't drink it, so instead I amble out for some medialunas from Continental. Sweet buttery bliss. Course, before I can do so, I have to find my keys. They are huge, heavy bronze affairs, so weighty that my trousers practically fall down when I put them in my pocket. But the problem with keeping me pants up might also be in part due to my undersized culo, which falls tragically short of Latino proportions.
I wait for hours for the rickety lift to make its way up to the sixth floor. You get used to waiting in Argentina, and this ancient ironclad ascensor is worth it - I still get a kick out of the accordian-like iron doors that slide back stuttering to let me in. I´ve barely set foot on the cracked pavement outside when a young man passing by stops in his tracks to tell me how beautiful I am. It really isn´t a bad way to start the day.
I decide to skip the medialunas and head for the rotiseria - a kind of mini-restaurant serving potato omelettes and roast chicken - just a block away, where they bake the best bread in town. Then on to the supermercado for some creamy cheese from the deli counter, where a stubbled old man carefully wraps my selection in white paper and insists on a plastic bag, despite my protestations.
If it were a normal day, I´d already be on the bondi, or bus, headed for the Reuters office. But I finished there on Friday, and have a whole day of idling ahead of me instead. I come home to watch the live TV coverage of Juan Domingo Peron´s body progressing towards its new resting place. The poor fella has had some difficulty resting in peace, having been moved from grave to grave, then had his tomb raided where the grave robbers mysteriously cut off his hands, and now a decision to move him out of the crypt in Characitas to a weekend home in the suburbs. Everybody is very excited, and there´s a huge police escort accompanying him along the motorway. Commuters are advised to avoid this particular road. They´d be well used to this kind of carry on, what with road blocks being fairly commonplace in the land of picketers and protests.
It´s time to plan the evening already, as the options come flooding in. Buenos Aires is a very sociable town, and there´s always a dinner or a party to attend. So far I haven´t stopped, and each evening has been packed with activity, catching up with old friends, weddings in Tigre, dining in some of my favourite restaurants and generally getting caught up in the non-stop nightlife that characterises this crazy town. It´s exhausting, so today being my first real day off for a very long time, I´m thinking of indulging in the sweetest latin invention, the siesta. Then it´s all systems go until the wee hours, as Buenos Aires kicks off again when the sun goes down. I won´t get to bed before three, but it´s more likely to be even later.
Time flies in Buenos Aires, because I´m always having fun here. But I may require an entire Irish winter of serious hybernation to get over it all.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

en casa

I’m back breathing in the Good Airs, simmering in the sunshine, dodging the doggy do and staying out till way-ay-ay too late, and it feels like coming home. Part of it's the folks, mis amigos de años who've come trotting out of their daily swirl to twirl me around the city again. And part of it's the city itself, the cracked pavements and big trees, the lady-crazed Argie boys and their constant piropos, the number 50 bus and the garrolous taxistas, the cheek-kissing and meat-eatin' joy of Buenos Aires. It's also good being back among folks where vagabonding is the norm and slipping between languages doubles your chances of finding the right way to express whatever it is you're feeling. Which right now, in my case, is en casa.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


It was a sepia moment in a tiny room with fairy lights strung across the walls. We lay back on the sofa bed, our eyes on the shadowy ceiling, the room still warm with the end of summer, and a Ryan Adams song played all over us. Come pick me up. We were just a little younger than we are now, just a little bit before everything that happened afterwards. Living in a foreign country, both of us giddy with words and books and the newness of us and the sudden delight of our friendship. Both of us hovering on the brink of falling in love, and for a moment, we almost teetered into each other. The room held its breath, then shrugged and moved on. Soon after that, we gave our hearts to other people, and our lives drifted away from sofa beds and pick-me-ups. Now he’s in LA accumulating pages and I am back in Dublin, still caught in the great debates. But I remember books piled high on the kitchen table and the words of Marcus Aurelius that calmed a swell of panic once, and these things, along with his name in my inbox every some time, remind me that we are still affined.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the pickanick

Just back from Ireland's biggest boutique festival, whatever that means, the craictastic electric picnic . Highlights included the lep-around fabulosity of Jape, Paul Noonan of Bell X1's solo set with backing vocals provided by the exuberant offkey punters, and the thigh-slappin', crowd-hollerin' set from Crawdaddy Tent king Josh Ritter . That's not to mention the inflatable church with its cavalcade of weddings, the stitch-n-bitch knitting tent (very rock-n-roll), and the chocolate cake tea-party on a sunny Sunday afternoon for Anya's birthday. And Keith Harwood standing before the carousel at four in the morning, calling for "One more tune! One more tune!" every time it stopped twirling. Goooooood times.