Saturday, August 1, 2009

Home Is Where...

Dear Chicago,

I only have a few hours left in Buenos Aries, and there is a lot I need to say before I go. A lot of what I learned I owe to Christina. The woman was so generous and helpful and patient with me. We discussed everything over meals – everything from recipes to her mother’s health to how much of a picky eater she is. She gave me a scarf as a going away present – this after 2 months of giving me the use of her hairdryer if I needed it, coins for the bus when I needed them and total access to her kitchen. She was actually so concerned that I wasn’t going into the cabinets for snacks that she sat me down and showed me how she takes spoonfuls of dulce-de-leche at a time and sits with the spoon in front of the TV. (Another thing I love is that she only buys ‘low-fat’ dulce-de-leche). She made extra food on days she knew I would be in the house during lunchtime.

Christina is a very different than most of the women in my life, and I learned a great deal from her. My last request this morning was a handwritten recipe of the tartas she made - and the recipe maybe my favorite souvenier from the trip. My going away lunch was FOUR milanesa steaks (yep, breaded and fried meat – and I have to say I love them) with a little salad. It was served on her TV tray with a mini tablecloth, it was adorable. [This was funny – she had packed up the dining room table because the condo-association came over this afternoon for a meeting. They use her place because its gorgeous and she’s single. The group met to discuss how best to fire one of the doormen! I got the whole scoop – sad really because I got to know the guy – but I guess he refuses to retire. It was a scene that captured my time with Christina in her home very well – a high energy situation with a bit to gossip about.]

Views from my bedroom in June:

Fish and vegetable rolls with calabaze (squash):

View of my bedroom:

Christina, Maria Eugenia and I:

I really had the best time living with Christina. Hopefully, Maria Eugenia can translate this post for her! The note I left was insufficient to express my gratitude - my Enlglish vocabulary isn't big enough to communicate my feelings; my vocabulary in Spanish - not even close. I did my best to thank her for her help, her cooking, her generosity and patience. I also left a box of chocolate. If there's one thing I know about this woman, I bet she has already eaten them by now!

Gracias Cristina - muchisimas gracias a vos para todo -

Home tomorrow Chicago,


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