Sunday, August 12, 2007

Certificado Ushuaia

Certificado Ushuaia
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
I can hardly believe it, but this is the last entry from Ushuaia.

Eight months, some great experiences and photos, the whole 8 months on another BLOG in Spanish and tomorrow I'm gone, forever....well who knows? Never say never.

¿What am I going to miss?
My friends from here: Celia, young enough to be my daughter but who has looked after me all the way, helped with everything including the language problems and correcting my translations, shared mate and always been there. Amanda & Exequiel for all their help and friendship and patience.To all those at Finis terrae, Silvina and Adriana, my friend from El Video and all the other great people who have crossed my path.
The views and the mountains that are different every single day.
The colours and the beauty, the sunrises and sunsets. Magnificent.
The life of the streets and the people.
Lots of things.

¿What am I NOT going to miss?

The dogs.....
The dust and the mud, although I love the snow.
The dogs.
The hole in the bathroom roof and the almost warm shower every morning.
The dogs.
The nena running around upstairs at 12.30 at night.
Did I mention the dogs? They are barking now.

And the next adventure? After Buenos Aires and Back to OZ ...Who knows. Guess I'll just keep writing about it here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Addicted Plant

Ushuaia 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
I am very concerned about my plant, a gift from Celia when I arrived to brighten up a white walled rather sterile environment in my depto. The whole 8 1/2 months I have been feeding it a constant supply of Nag Champa and I am worried that Celia won't be able to continue the supply to the levels to which it is accustomed. I use a lot of Nag Champa, and although it is cheap here it is an extravagance, she also works incredibly long hours and just won't be able to feed the addiction as I do.
Maybe I will have to send money to keep it going or she can slowly wean it off it's constant hits?

The Sock Seller

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Every day, just like the Telebingo man, the sock seller is outside the Supermarket, rain hail snow and sunshine. He hangs all his wares in convenient gaps and waits patiently. He also has some cardboard to stand on now and helps return trolleys and with shopping, but doesn't smile like the telebingo man. He is Chilean and a little disillusioned with life in Ushuaia. He asked me about Australia and thinks it is the land of milk and honey, with no unemployment, but the grass always is greener...
Sometimes he has some sales, but the supermarket has the same goods so I don't know how well he does.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Telebingo Seller

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Every day, rain, hail snow and sunshine, the happy Telebingo Fueguino ticket seller is to be found standing at the door of my local supermarket. He is one of many around town. Apparently there is a draw from the local hall on tv on Sundays and these are the tickets he sells. As I don't have a telly not a lot of point buying a ticket.
Now, in the colder weather he stand on a collapsed cardboard box to keep the cold out, but always has a smile and is on hand to help with the trolleys, or the shopping if necessary.
The supermarket "guards' also double as trolley finders, unwanted product returners and general handymen, but are dressed officially in their security uniforms.

Botella al mar

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Just when I am leaving, everything happens. Lots of work and now a radio interview. This was on the local community station Radio Activa 98.9. Like all community radio the focus of the station is the local community: to form a community, strengthen the local identity and to encourage the participation of the community. They are able to exercise freedom of expression and are the "voice for those that have no voice" and aim to elevate the level of debate in society, but foremost the they are a collective for social change. During the week 36 programs are presented by 64 local citizens. You can read about them, en español here

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Further to An Observation.....

It's not just me, others have noticed it also: here

Friday, August 03, 2007

Reflexiones en español

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Si te gustaria leer mis reflexiones de un tiempo breve en Ushuaia en español está aca:

An Observation

I don't know whether it's just me being sensitive, but I have been in a number of shops lately and happily being served when other customers have interrupted with an expectation of being served. What I find interesting is that the sales person has actually attended to them, sometimes leaving me standing waiting. One actually commented later how rude the person was, but attended them all the same. Another came in looking for work and to offer her resume, interesting, she couldn't even wait until my purchases were completed. Great impression! on me, certainly not. But then maybe I'm just old fashioned and expect service.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Día Del Niños

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Well, we've had Mother's Day, Father's Day, Friend's Day, Independence Day, Tierra Del Fuego Day, Flag Day, Secretary's Day and probably a lot of other special Days that I missed, but as you can see the next one is the Day of the Kids. I suppose there are Grandma and Grandpa days and probably one for the pets as well!
The people days are usually on a Sunday and like ours I guess they are a great way to make money - this sign was in the Supermarket window after all.
We seem to have had an enormous amount of public holidays since I have been here, and naturally I don't know when they are. Usually the first clue is the lack of traffic noise in the morning, then I check to see if the business opposite is open, they open about 8.00am, and if not I have a pretty good idea it's a holiday. Next step is to check the calendar and find out just what special Day it is.. Just checked the calendar and I'll be gone before the next one - which is when Jose San Martin passed into Immortality. It's coloured but I don't know if it's a public holiday.

El Colectivo

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Most of the time, if I am not walking, I travel in the local bus, the colectivo. There are 3 that service pretty much all of Ushuaia, with the imaginative names of A B C. My buses are A and B and to go into the centre the stop is a couple of blocks away and both stop there. Line A takes me along the waterfront route and is best for town, line B goes up the top and this I use to get to the 2 schools, To come home both pass close by, but A stops right at my corner, which is great with a heap of shopping.
One of the first things I noticed about colectivo travel is that everyone offers seats, to we "older" citizens, to pregnant mums and to mothers with children. Very rarely do I stand, even if I say no, they insist.Maybe I am looking really old, or because I am an extranjero.
The other thing I love to watch is the drivers compulsive straightening of the paper money. A trip no matter how far, costs 1.25P about 75c Aus. and having the right change is not always easy, so they tend to get lots of notes and as we are driving along, most of them spend time straightening out the notes and putting them into a billfold.
It's such fun people watching.

Los Taxistas

Ushuaia Winter 2007
Originally uploaded by agypsy.
Some of my best chats here have been with the taxi drivers, on the whole they are a friendly and very informative group. I guess this is true in lots of places, but usually travelling by taxis is one of the last resorts as the prices are so exorbitant. In South America, it is often the only way to travel, the buses are very crowded and one has to be very aware of all their possessions, although that is not true here in Ushuaia and I do travel by Collectivo frequently.
But back to the taxistas, some don't talk, but most are interested in their tourists and like to practice their English, but also happy to chat away to me in español. I have had all sorts of conversations, including a classical music lesson on the way home from one of the concerts. I am sure he would have liked to take the long way home so he could finish my instruction. They are very honest and helpful, generally plentiful and certainly an easy way to get around town.
There is an upgrade version of private taxis, the Remis, and to use these you have to phone, but usually for me it's faster to walk to the corner and the local rank and the service is just as good.