Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New appartement

Last weekend I moved in to a new apartment. It is a little smaller than my old one but it does have several advantages. First of all, and most importantly, it receives a lot more light. My last flat was on the second floor and had a beautiful view on a brick wall. Even my plant, native to the Amazonian underbrush where light rarely reaches, was complaining about the lack of sun.
The new flat, on the other hand, is on the seventh and last floor of a much more spacious street and is daily inundated by a flood of natural light. I am afraid my plant will die of shock but it is a risk I am willing to take. The only negative thing about this new view is that it is reciprocal and I will have to get used to the fact that people living in the flats opposite can see in to my room. I have already traumatized an old lady by walking out of the shower naked and smoking a cigarette next to the window before realizing she was staring straight at me.
I spent the weekend exploring my new neighborhood and am pleased about what I have found. Recoletta is probably the trendiest area in Buenos Aires and my street, a scant two blocks form the central square is quite up market. While signing the contract the other day I had a chat with the owner and it turns out he is a very interesting person. In his early seventies, Rafael, is a surprisingly energetic old man and has a lot of stories to convey. He tells me that he fought alongside Che Guevara and Fidel in the Cuban revolution and was a personal friend of both. He shared a flat with the Argentinean fighter for several years and even accompanied him to China in order to meet Mao Tse Tung.
He shows me several objects, including and African mask, which were given to him by el Che. He also describes the years, during the sixties and seventies, when Argentina was ruled by a military junta led by General Videla. As a left wing writer he experienced a lot of problems and more than once, armed police, smashed the front door of his flat, the same one where I am living now, with axes and arrested him. I quite like the idea of living in a home which, in small way, is an integral part of this country’s history.
I did experience a strange awaking the first morning in my new home. I woke up, quite groggy from the previous night’s drinking. I slowly opened my eyes and got quite scared when I saw a man staring back at me. I stared in to a pair of black eyes, which were staring just as intensely back at me, for long moment before realizing that I was actually looking at my own reflection. I had totally forgotten that there was a large, golden mirror placed directly over the bed!


Anonymous Marcelo said...

Did you know that Che Guevara actually lived in recoleta for a couple of years? Maybe it was even the same house!

3:13 pm  

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