It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The People Here

I know I sound like someone who just arrived and I am eternally gushing about how much I love this and how great that is, but the one thing that really stands out in this place is the People.

All of them... even when it is not all about me, how nice they are to me, how they smile at me, how helpful they are with my stumbling Spanish... I watch the way they are with each other and they always touch my heart with their ready laughter, the passion with which they speak and deal with things and the way they are with children.

When we first arrived, I noticed right away how people seemed to have Manners.. remember manners? when men let women go through the door first and people looked out for each other, someone would pick up something you dropped and give it back to you with a smile.

Even the young'uns, the young teens who generally are still wild animals waiting to be domesticated, will be respectful of adults and especially of the elderly.
I saw a kid, shirt tail hanging out of his school uniform, friends all standing around laughing and talking, stop ... walk over to an elderly lady, take her arm and walk across a busy street ..  She kissed his cheek, he smiled at her then ran back to being a rowdy teen with his pals. It was all I could do not to grab him and hug him and tell him to tell his mama how proud she must  be !

Some visitors comment on how people stare .. I noticed it when I arrived but it did not bother me, I have been stared at before .. my husband used to tell me, they are just looking at you because you are so beautiful. ( and anyone wonders how we have remained married so long?) and here, you know that the ladies will be checking out your shoes and just seeing how you are dressed, what women are wearing in other towns, in other countries.. comparing and just being feminine.

Now the men, well, they are like the men all over the world, they look , they admire but they are gentlemen about it. They might catch your eye, they might look away, they most likely will smile and just keep on walking.

I lived in New York City. I all too clearly remember walking past a construction project and dealing with the sounds coming from those men .. I was known to take the long way around to avoid walking past that sort of gauntlet of rudeness.
Here, they might stare, they might admire, they might have lustful thoughts, but you don't hear about them.

Because we walk our dog each day on the same streets and walk the same blocks, most people know us. We are just part of the place for them.
Now when the garbage men come along to pick up the garbage, they might wave when they catch my eye, but no yelling, no remarks, just a person acknowledging another person.

I could sit and People watch here all day long.
I get all warm and fuzzy over the young women with the babies.
I think that in a few years, if I age as gracefully and as well as some of the matrons in this town, I will be lucky.
I love watching elderly women with their friends.
They might look old to us but these women are really a bunch of 18 year old girls in old woman costumes, laughing, gossiping , trading stories and probably checking out the old guys walking by.

At the Milongas where they go each night or each weekend, you will see elderly people sitting around tables, laughing, talking and dancing Tango until the sun comes up. I would be asleep under the table, they are ready to go have breakfast somewhere with their friends!

I think we moved to the right place if I want to be somewhere that old people are still valued and who can still have interesting lives.

Because, you know, I have a feeling that sooner or later, I am going to be an Old Person.


  1. What a glorious, lucious post swimming in contentment. I wish the young people here were the way you described them, but for the most part it is the opposite. I think it has to do with the way a society views its aged.

    Lovely blog - I'm glad you visited me so now I can visit you!

  2. My Dad decided to go back to Buenos Aires about 10 years ago. My Sister and I were totally against it: we worried about him...what are we going to do if he gets sick?...Argentina is so far's not that easy to take a plane and go. At the end, he went back and I must say that even though we worry about him still, his life has improved 100%. He can visit the café every day, go out to lunch with friends, watch soccer in the middle of the day with lots of men his own age and talk about politics, sports and women all day long while eating all the food the Dr. tells him not to.Hey, at 87 he is ahead of the game! Living in BA has extended his life for sure even if he eats prosciutto, salami, empanadas and asado!!!LOL!!!

  3. YOU will NEVER be old! The very idea is sheer madness, who put this concept into your head?

    But..I know what you mean about people acknowledging each other. It's nice, it's respectful. I get a similar vibe in Italy most of the time.

    And it's nice that the young people treat the older people with respect. I think there's too little of that going on in the world. And perhaps that's the root of what is wrong with the world!


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