MMS Friends

Monday, June 26, 2006

rocky and roll

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Que partido!

I was so nervous I ate my flag.

Pero ganamos! Vamos Argentina!

Friday, June 23, 2006

what I'll miss from here

Oh. And cheap depilation.

what I miss from there

Me little sister (who is actually 28).


I live with a British diplomat now. Please don't tell my mother. Yesterday, he came home and collapsed dramatically on one of the several couches in the apartment. Diplomacy requires a proliferation of soft reclining surfaces, it seems. But yesterday's swan-like sofa dive was because he had just spent another day arguing about the Falklands / Malvinas. I'd imagine that kind of wrangling can take its toll. Perhaps this is the secret Argentinian weapon: wear them down little by little, so that diplomat after diplomat becomes so exhausted politely defending the British position on the islands that they eventually surrender, depleted. Afer all, nobody can keep up a tirade like an Argentinian. When it comes to constant, unyielding dialogue, my money´s on the Argentinians over the English every time.

My other British diplomat friend (you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, after all), went through the same thing on Saturday. After another week of Malvinas in the headlines, with Argentina reiterating before the UN their demand that dialogue on the sovereignty of the islands be reopened, we ended up at an asado where the local contingent sought to take advantage of the presence of a representative of the British embassy to bang on about the islands once again. Being Irish, I felt a natural affinity with the Argentinian position. But there was my diplomatic friend, attempting with admirable politeness to avoid offending anyone while being attacked from all sides by agressive Argentinians. As he listened to the local contingent reminding him of how cold English people were, how they never invite you to dinner, how nobody ever smiles in England, and how they really should give back what isn't theirs, I couldn't help but feel sorry for my old china, who is almost constantly beaming and has on several occasions fed me free of charge.

At the same time, I didn't hesitate to point out that I was, in fact, Irish. The great thing is that this not only exempts me from this particular argument, but there's also the implication that we paddies fall into the "our enemy's enemy is our friend" camp. God bless the accident of birth that made me Irish. The worst I ever get is being slagged off for uncharacteristic sobriety. And that's a lot easier remedied than giving back the Falklands.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

breathing through gauze

"It's like breathing through gauze," he told her. And her heart squeezed, pumping dizzy air inside her. All the things she said. All the things he didn't. Now he wheezes oceans away and she is gasping for breath.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Oh the beautiful game, and the dizzy delirium of living it today in Argentina. The joy of watching the boys clock up six sweet scores, with almost effortless precision. By now, I am one eighth Argentinian myself, having lived four of my thirty two years in the land of dulce de leche and Diego. And if what I experienced today is the equivalent of just one eighth of the heart-clattering ecstacy that pounded in the average Argentinian chest today, I have no idea how anyone survived.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

African sunrise

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

change of barrio

Folks, I've come up in the world. From Monserrat to Recoleta. You'd hardly recognise me these days. I even have a washing machine in my house! And a security man at the door. There are lush, green open spaces visible from my balcony (I have a balcony dontcha know) and a garage where my neighbours keep their cars. Needless to stay, it´s not my place. I'm temporarily lodging with my friend the British diplomat, whose fridge is twice the size of my previous kitchen, and five times as full. But I miss the crazy, curly lady who manned the newspaper stand at the corner and kept offering to reiki me, and the huge, iron eyebrows of el gallego who ran the hidden shop on the corner of Solis, where you could by cream cheese dusted with flour and wrapped in thick white paper. I miss the 168 and the 50, Congresso plaza, living six blocks from Clara and meeting on Belgrano, I even miss the shrunken t-shirts that came back from the chinos who laundered my clothes. There's no doubt about it, the little street I'm living on now is pretty, central, and without the sweet stench of rotten rubbish I'd become so accustomed to. But it ain't Monserrat my friends, and Monserrat, well, it's always going to be the neighbourhood where I did a lot of growing up. It's mi barrio.

Monday, June 05, 2006

comings and goings

I'm just back. And Lars is going. And then I'm going too. And then I'm arriving somewhere else. All this to-ing and fro-ing is gut-tugging me. I went to Cape Town for three days. Then I came back to Buenos Aires where I have one more month, before going on to Madrid, London and then Dublin. I don't know when I'll be back. With all this churning around inside me, with all this pulling out of me as I walk through these streets that are my current, one-time, long-time home, my good friend Lars announces he is leaving in days. So my goodbyes are already beginning. Beginnings and endings. And with this ending, a return to Dublin and the four years in between.