Monday, June 8, 2009

arbolito

at 7:45am i was at the bus stop this morning, it's just around the corner from my apartment. even though it's winter, the temperature was only in the 50's. i should be thankful for that, but i still miss the summer morning weather.

a line started to form for the bus. i was third in line. after a couple minutes the bus appeared. all three of us put up our hands to signal the driver to stop. he didn't even slow down, he just zoomed by. the same thing happened to the next two buses! why didn't he stop? i think the answer is, because he just didn't want to.

i taught two students at the same office this morning, then i left to head to another office in the centro so i walked about 6 blocks to the subte. as soon as i walked through the turnstile, to wait on the platform, i pulled out my book. the train arrived and i got on almost without looking with my nose buried in the book. when i sat down i could feel many people around me. there was also the normal sounds of the hustle and bustle, but there was also a violin playing. i looked up but didn't see anyone playing the music. it almost felt like i was in a movie since i couldn't see the violin player. i continued to read, but then stopped to enjoy the music; it was really beautiful. at the end of my ride i gave the musician 2 pesos. i don't normally give my money to the beggars or to the street musicians, but he moved me.

when i left the subte i rushed down 'florida street' (a pedestrian street). as i rushed down the street i passed an 'arbolito' (which literally means 'little tree' but this word is used to describe the shady characters who stand in the middle of the busy walking street in a suit and tie and chant the word 'cambio' (exchange)). there is one 'arbolito' character that i love to smile at. he looks like the shadiest swindler you've ever seen. i've now made it a habit to smile at him when I walk past. when he sees me, even though i don't speak a word, he says 'dollars' knowing that i'm a foreigner.

2 comments:

krebiz said...

i give money now and then to buskers. basically, when i like the music. it's not like they're sitting on their arses, shaking a cup. they earn the dollar :)

your roomie sounds fabulous. i love living alone but i'd probably be like you if i were to move to another country- i'd really want somebody around.

i'm so impressed with your spanish! you speak it for hours! the way you describe it makes me laugh too, with people giving you looks. i remember in the early days with C, at times he would say something, and i just had no idea. actually, that still happens to us, hehe.

yillabean said...

hahaha, don't be too impressed with my spanish until you hear it. you'd think after 6 months of living in a spanish speaking country i could talk the talk. i really have no idea what i talked about for that amount of time? i am very happy and proud of myself being able to... but there is no proficiency in the mix.