So when there's not really anything to talk about and you want to kill and awkward silence, you talk about the weather, right? I guess I'll do that.
We're in the middle of fall here in La Rioja but it's still as hot as summer. Well, for the most part, anyway. For a few days we had a cold snap. Generally when thinking about hot latina girls, you envision a dark skinned babe in an agreeably revealing T-shirt, or perhaps a provocatively short skirt, no? (Or for those who prefer men, a dark muscular guy in a white guinny-t and baseball cap). Well, when the weather gets a little colder, all the hot latinas (and latinos) put on tight sweatshirts and jeans, or trendy sweaters or full length athletic pants. And manage to remain incredibly sexy. I am really digging these girls with long sleeves. In fact, I almost feel it's a shame that Latin America is not a colder region of the world, because latinos in fall/winter clothing are stunningly attractive.
And now for some other stuff and junk.
I started working as an assistant cook. This is worth mentioning because I'm in the middle of the desert in rural South America, and I'm preparing authentic, home-cooked chinese food. I guarantee you that this is the only chinese food that exists in La Rioja. As it turns out, there's a pretty large group of chinese students, maybe 30 or 40, attending UNLaR (Universidad Nacional de La Rioja) to learn spanish. What the heck? Anyway, I started helping out in the kitchen where the Chinese professor's wife prepares food for the group. It's Lilian the head cook, a few (Riojan) college kid, myself, and whatever Chinese kids pop in or out. Communication takes place in a fun mix of chinese and spanish, with words of english thrown in from time to time. I learn a few new words in chinese, translated for me into spanish, for which I have to consult my dictionary at times to find the word in english. qie means cut (cortar) like cut vegetables. chao means sauté (saltear), as is chao fan - sautéed rice (Chow Fun?), and chao mian - sauteéd noodles (Chow Mein?). In case you were wondering.
Oh, and the food is really good. Especially a treat in spicy-food-deprived La Rioja.
I discovered another thing that doesn't change with culture: petty bickering between married couples. Everyone knows what I'm referring to. Proof that this exists in the US can be found on any American sitcom. The bickering exists in La Rioja equally - my host parents love eachother very much, but my host mother never fails to point out that my host father has put on a few pounds since last year. My host father is ready to pull my host mother's hair out when she tells him not to put so much salt on his milanesa, which, he mentions, she didn't cook well enough. He likes to address her with the nickname la gorda (fatty) - which she pretends not to hear.
As an extra layer of proof, the bickering occurs between the chinese professor and his spouse at the University. Every day professor Martin Yao tells his wife Lilian "You use too much oil in the chao mian. Don't use so much oil. David, she uses too much oil, don't you think?" It wouldn't matter if she cooked without a drop of oil, Martin would still say she uses too much. She points out, in a completely non-accusing voice, that it's been how many weeks since he helped out in the kitchen? And that he bought the wrong kind of carrots at Walmart.
I'm going to sponsor a contest. Who's parents (or spouses) bicker about the absolutely most retarded thing ever? I'll wait for emails from my readers. Please describe the topic over which they bicker, and include their ethnicities (Italian, Indian, Koran, Irish, etc). If I get a really good reply, I'll include it in one of my posts - I promise to protect your privacy. No names will be mentioned. (or, if you don't want it published, tell me and I won't post it.)
I'm expecting reports of arguments over really stupid things. For example, couples arguing over which paper is better to buy for the printer, B1130J or M3220K? or arguments over which side of the dishwasher to put glass cups in.
Email your responses to email@example.com. The winner will receive a surprise gift from Argentina.