Friday, September 26, 2008

Confusion and our common day


I used to understand language. Sure, math was my strong point, but I always enjoyed writing papers and reading good literature. Now, my day job consists of proofreading things like this...

"...compared with delta line spectral pairs (LSP) VQ, which correlates with the state-of-the-art split vector quantizer (SVQ) commonly used in both EVRC-B and EVRC-WB, demonstrating dramatic reduction in spectral distortion (SD)..." Spanish practice has come through reading my friend Carlos' book that often spits out colloquial like this (by the way, assuming you don't speak any Spanish, this is strange even for people who DO speak Spanish):

"¿Quién so'vo' y que queré' acá adentro, forro? La'sapatiyas se las di a este boludo..."

...and my current passion, tango, is based on a whole new body language I can't even begin to express in words. Incidentally, it is NOT the same body language that is used in salsa as Joo so delicately suggested to me after a week of crushing her muscles into an awkwardly incorrect frame.

But of course it's a pleasurable chaos where I feel free to take my time getting lost, wander around in all the confusion, and relax with Joo for a good meal to ground myself. Our daily schedule goes something like this...

11:00 am (or whenever my bladder wakes me) - I descend from our loft, turn the computer on to check if we have any translation assignments, turn the heater on, boil some water for my mate and JooYeon's Patagonian fruit tea (in the rare case that she's awake), and begin working on my proofediting while I munch on some wholegrain bread and dulce de leche (like caramel).

2:00 pm - Joo wakes up and comes down. If I'm working, she makes me breakfast and if I'm not, I prepare breakfast for her. Either way, she takes a chunk out of the big white bucket of kim-chi in the fridge. Then we map out the day's schedule and half-watch some CSI or Law and Order while we try to build our Spanish by reading subtitles.

3:00 pm - Joo starts on her translation, and if it's a difficult one, we do it together. Some times this takes us fairly late into the evening and other times, there's no job to work on. In that case, we go out to walk around, shop for groceries, get Joo's cafe con leche at her favorite cornershop, and occasionally go to a far corner of Buenos Aires (like Koreatown). Some times I take a nap to compensate for waking up early (10:30, for instance).

6:00 pm - Tango time. We try to average about one 2-hour class per day, although there are evenings when we just stay home, throw in our "La Cumparsita" Tango CD, and combine YouTube tutorials with all the instructions dancing around in our heads from various teachers.

8:30 pm - Lunch. This varies from picking up some Middle Eastern Schwarmas in the downtown Florida strip to sizzling up a steak and veggies or whatever Joo whips up at home to our favorite pizza place where large muzzarellas go for $3 apiece.

10:00 pm - We finish up any translation work either of us may have abandoned from earlier in the day, then relax with some TV, a movie, or occasionally an online word game. I work on our blog, Joo writes emails and surfs, some times we Skype a friend or relative.

1:00 am - A light dinner. And then lots of late night silly time filled with more tango practice, conversations, cleaning, drinking large glasses of chilled agua con gas y Terma Serrano (carboned water with Argentinian herbs), jacuzzi, researching our plans for next year, etc.

3:00 am - Lights out, but not bedtime. We still have about 30 minutes to lay in bed and reflect on the day, our friends and family, our life back in Korea, the honeymoon so far, ponder finances, plans for the future, etc.

There's a lot more little stuff here and there, but that should give you a pretty accurate overall view of what our life looks like here in Buenos Aires (note that it's significantly different from when we're on the move with our backpacks of course). Who says plane tickets are expensive? We just bought our tickets back to the US finally... for $185 each, taxes included!!! December 9th. Yes, there is the slight catch that the departure is from San José, Costa Rica, a couple thousand miles north, but that will work out perfectly for us to be able to spend some time in some wonderful countries as we gradually head north in November-early December! If anyone has a few extra days around Thanksgiving, let us know and we can meet up in Colombia...


  1. the little characters at the beginning of the blog, are they on signs or where do you find them? Mom

  2. San Telmo is the art district and so there are these beautiful graffiti characters everywhere! Daniel

  3. We are getting up at about the time you are going to bed! -Dad

  4. Hey Daniel and Joo, we're practicing our Serbian by reading subtitles while watching CSI: New York and the occasional Law and Order (we're not as sure when that one comes on, sometimes we just "find" it).