culture

Despertate! Esto no es normal. Todos a la calle!!!

Spent a long time on Monday, 6-Nov, applying to more and more South Korea teaching programs or politically sensitively self-titles Korean programs. It is very tiring but after handling similar online applications over the last 5 years I know it’s all worthwhile. I’m certain I’ll be accepted by several.

During the day I also watched and listened to Al Jazeera English Live Stream – great website; two main stories of the day – the US election and a pedophilia scandal in the UK. I found the whole US election as highly entertaining yet pretty much pointless. It saddens me to hear that $2.4billion was spent on both election campaigns. How? Simply, most of that money was spent on travel and ads on US TV in the “Swing States”. That’s pretty messed up, right?

I found out about the US election results early on Tuesday morning. Even though I don’t really think it matters it’s good to see people giving Obama a second chance. He hasn’t done anything in the last four years to warrant praise but at least he’s not so eager to use the military as was his opponent.

Whilst getting ready for my evening class on Wednesday power was lost to my part of the city and the subway was suspended. No problem except I couldn’t contact my school to tell them I couldn’t make it. As I’ve never written down the contact number and there’s no electricity it was impossible to reach them. Nothing surprises me in this city. The heat must have fried a circuit or too many people were using air conditioning and overloaded the system. My solution – open a beer!

On Thursday night there was a major demonstration held on the streets of Buenos Aires. The papers are calling it the biggest in a decade. I didn’t see any of it. I asked someone what they thought about it a little before it happened. They told me that they didn’t agree with how people were expressing themselves. They were referring to how people here bang on kitchen utensils – I saw people do it in Spain too, hitting pans and pots. You see, that’s what they use to do here in 2001 during the major economic crash which took place. The person I talked to said to use the same tactic was insensitive “in 2001 they did it demanding food and jobs, now they’re doing the same thing to ask for US dollars – it’s wrong”. I understand and sympathize but some people here think the situation is just as bad as ten years ago. Argentinians have been unable to exchange their money to US dollars, without great difficulty, since last May.

Over the last few days I’ve asked many about the protest that took place on 8-Nov. Most support the action but have no illusions it will change anything. The President has made no formal comments apart from a little joke to the press. I hope more marches and protests are planned for the near future. It was nice to hear similar actions took place all over the world by expatriate Argentine communities.

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