jueves, 22 de julio de 2010

Child’s play…


Much has happened in the last couple of weeks, I’ve had man flu, spent a weekend at an Argentinean family’s country house, moved house, had an Español class….
My weekend of country fun with horses and other animals went a bit like this:
It was all very jolly, I’d made friends with this Porteños family over the last few weeks and was having a drink with them (in this pub…pubs are slightly different here, chaotic, random, and girls can generally drink for free…which means yes, you have two choices: 1. Find a girl 2. Dress as one)..anyway, dressed as a girl I was busy squawking away with my new best friends.
“oh you must come out to our house in the country. We’re going this Friday..you come, yes?” They asked me.
In England this is a happy, vague invite…”oh sure you can come, probably not this weekend, but maybe when I know you better…still, I feel good about offering you, and you feel good about being offered”. In Argentina it’s probably the same…so I promptly said, “oohhh god yes…id love to, me and you guys out in the countryside being all rugged and rural like..i’ll pencil it into my diary….brilliant.”

Well, it was all very smart their little house, in a special sort of country-club that has security all around…to keep the riff-raff out, there nothing like a healthy bit of wealth segregation. The house was cozy, and I learnt how to properly prepare maté (a kind of tea that is drunk religiously out here), had my first asado (bbq where meat is cooked slowly for about 2hours), gave a carrot to a horse and went paintballing as it happened to be a 15yr old girls’ bday party that Saturday and, yet again, I was invited. It is this final chapter that stands out above the rest….

Paintballing: arrived at the other family’s house, which was a kind of sanctuary for animals. I was told they had, at times, up to 150 rescue dogs..when I was there they only seemed to have about 50…a lot had died. I strolled through the doors to be greeted by thirty 15yr olds…all girls. Whilst in that room there maintained a consistent 120 decibels…I contributed greatly to this; “ahhhhhh
ohhhhhh im so god damn excited!!!! Hehheeeeheheheheeee…pink….flowers…butterflies..rainbows!!” I screamed.
In my excitement I bounded round the room skipping and throwing my hands around freely, knocking over the odd child.
Play time was over however. Lunch finished. My skipping came to an end and we began to be briefed on using the guns (the family had a friend who owned a
paintball company and had kindly lent them 30 guns for the day…which no doubt was an interesting conversation: “oh im really stuck for ideas for little buttercupflowerpetals’ party”
“well im just putting this out there… but what about entrusting them with a
paintball gun capable of blinding, bruising heavily and probably making someone infertile if directed appropriately? Its just an idea. I only brought it up cos I own a company that usually gives these sorts of weapons to 30yr old men on stag weekends…but this seems like the right thing to do.”

Either way, we were being briefed…I didn’t need briefing, I was British…the brief was simple: your were up against the Argentinian resistance looking to over-throw your Empire and attempt self-government…the fact that this resistance took the form of lots of small girls with dark hair and pig-tails didn’t change a thing. The objective: secure territory until things have settled and everyone realizes what a jolly bunch of fools they’ve been, and we can have nice cup of tea (which they’ll make), eat some cake (that they’ll bake...), and then have little Pablo run around our freshly cut lawns (cut by a string of children aged between 4-6 with hand scissors..the age is important as it generally corresponds with the weight…you hardly want a 20stone Peruvian housekeeper charging around your front garden) whilst I take shots at him with an air rifle ...ah, whatever happened to Colonialism.

After the man had finished his little pep talk I casually walked off to the woods where this blood-bath would take place. No sooner had I started my stroll when I heard this chanting, I wheeled around and was splashed with the image of lots of small Argentineans raising their guns in the air and, in Spartan esq. unison, chanting away. It was on. They had grown complacent and discipline would have to be injected into their primitive fibers; a lesson must be taught…it may have been her party, but I was going to be the one to make her cry if I wanted to…cry if I want to…you would do to if it hap…concentrate.

There is no winner in war, just a field of broken pieces that cut crude holes in mens’ hearts…that was bollocks. The wiser of the party came over to my side, the rest…they would stand against me, and in doings so would be crushed/heavily bruised.

Despite my ruthlessness, at first, I was all like “ooo can I really shoot a 15yr old girl, it’s a bit..you know..she’s only small..it seems a bit ... .” Never has a thought evaporated as quickly as it did that afternoon. From the moment I locked on to a member of the resistance and sent two shots hurtling at her legs, knocking her to her knees and into a puddle of her own child tears, I knew I had found my calling. If you haven’t already purposely set out to make a child cry, give it a shot, it feels great…no wander it’s so popular…not sure if there’s any need to waste money on adverts. It was child’s-play (really?), and by the end of the day I had effectively reestablished control. There stood before me a wood, filled with paint, but more importantly, crying children. I didn’t need to understand Spanish to know what they were saying; “we’ve been reduced to a bloody, colourful mess of shattered dreams. Yet, we now know that we are not capable of ruling ourselves. Therefore, it’s in all our best interests to serve this beacon of imperial power as best we can…”, or something like that.

My new apartment is significantly nicer, the building seems quite old and Paris-like(Parisian), my house mates are French, Columbian and Uruguayan. Conversation is going to be interesting…but I figure that I can spark up a pretty healthy trade: bread and wine from France, co….ffee from Columbia, and something from Uruguay…I’ve just looked it up and I’m told they’re big on their swordfish, so..swordfish from Uruguay.

I have more news that involve me getting lost in Buenos Aires’ equivalent of Brixton wearing nothing but salmon pink trousers, a sky blue t-shirt and a ‘take advantage of me I’m British and fresh out of public school smile’….. but I’m too tired to write…

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