Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Spanish verb and other hijos de putas

A cat sounds like its dying outside my window. Several cats, in fact, are being murdered horribly. Dinner was a local specialty: beans, bones and bits of fat in a gelatinous stew. Yuuuum. Then humiliated myself by not having enough money to pay (!) and had to temporarily surrender my iPhone (quelle horreur!) while I went searching for a cajero automatico. But Cordoba itself is pleasant: a university city that unbelievably is as big as Melbourne, population-wise. Everyone you look at is under twenty-five. But that’s a noticeable feature of Argentina anyway: people are just younger than in Australia. No ageing population problem here. Like BA, it’s a hub of creativity and culture: the so-called ‘cultural mile’ in the city centre is a strip of one art gallery, theatre, museum after another – well, nearly. But to tell the truth it’s a little lost on me right now. For some reason all the hostels are close to empty – everyone is commenting on it – and I sorely miss some English-speaking company. I’m the ancient mariner in a sea of Latinos: people, people everywhere and not a one to talk to…

Though the Spanish bug is in my system now. Bug, I said, not fly! Such assistance would be entirely superfluous, trust me, in this the land of the fierce-eyed beauty – and I haven’t even seen Rio yet! I had a conversation in Spanish with the receptionist this morning – talking of the fierce-eyed beauty – and she couldn’t believe I only started learning a month ago and never took a class. Hehe. I do enjoy being a smart arse sometimes. I kind of hate it though that I have the bug. In fact it’s the reason I didn’t learn any Spanish earlier. I know what I’m like. Once it takes hold it won’t let go. I’m condemned to countless hours, days, months of work. I’ll be translating every thought in my head into Spanish in the shower. Goddammit. Just when I kind of finished with German.

May I also say: fuck the Spanish verb. The Spanish verb is a bastardo that should be run through pronto with a conquistador’s rapier. German grammar is a torturous turd of a thing too, until you get used to it – worse than Spanish on the whole – but the verbs have nothing on Spanish verbs. That’s because German is rather impoverished in its expression of tense. Whereas the Spanish managed to squeeze in a whole new tense between the present and the imperfect, probably just to torture victims of the inquisition:

“Conjugation or the Algerian hook?”

“Tough one, but … I’ll take the hook...”

Enough though on Spanish and languages. Tomorrow paragliding. The next day trekking. That should keep you all spared of any melancholy reflections about strangers on buses.

Oh and one more thing: the Argentinian beer of choice, Quilmes, is vile poison. They were probably extracting it with a catheter from those cats I heard before.

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