Friday, December 24, 2010

The keys to my castle in Buenos Aires

Now that I'm no longer in Buenos Aires, despite the occasional workstoppage which might have conspired to keep me there (and I don't mean my own), I'll tell you that it's a lovely place to be, but the joy of being at home is not lost on me, despite it being Christmas eve an the whole world a giant dose of silence, except for the music in Arabic wafting around from my next-door-neighbor's apartment. He's not Middle-Eastern or even North African, just a studier of Arabic, and I guess he enjoys the music. Who am I to judge, do I not sing Julieta Venegas from time to time? I'm not Latina, in case you didn't remember.

One of the things that was so notable about my stay in BsAs (That's how we roll with the abbreviations in Spanish) was the kickin' apartment I rented while I was there. There was nothing particularly incredible about it, except that it had a decent-sized kitchen, a dining room table, a loggia (like a laundry room), and air-conditioning (so lovely in Buenos Aires, not necessary in Santiago) and wifi. All things (minus the air conditioning) that are a bit lacking in chez eileen, and some of the many reasons why one day I must move.

But one of the things I liked best about the apartment were the keys. See for yourself:

The keys to my castle

I mean, have you ever seen anything more charming? Every day when I would come home from being out and about, I would think, I wonder what's going on at the castle (where castle is pronounced caaaaahhhh sel)? The way I figured it, I had a key to the castle, the moat (for boating purposes) and the catacombs. In actual fact, I had three keys for the top, middle and bottom lock of my door and one front door key.

I tried to regale other bonaerenses and/or porteños with my tales of dragons and flaming torches and my nifty keys, and they all pulled out keys that looked pretty much the same. Which was disheartening, but did not ruin my joy at saying caaaaahhhhhhsel at all.

And while the apartment was far larger and spiffier with all its extra space and rooms and stuff, I had to give it back to its proper owner, who must make a mint renting it out, and it turned out she wanted her keys back, too. So I returned the keys to the castle, moat and all, and flew back over the Andes, where fierce turbulence turned many a traveler Sprite and coffee-speckled, got the last seat on the centropuerto bus (a steal at 1400 pesos), walked into my building, and turned my plain old regular keys in my door to find, not a castle, but my palace all the same.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha! i feel the same way about the keys - so cool. i was even thinking of trying to buy some locks and using the locks and keys back home - the lock would confuse anyone!!

I use Buenos Aires Housing (http://www.buenosaireshousing.com.ar) when I rent in BA and the owner of the agency (Beatriz) even kept some old keys for me one time after I told her how much I liked them! very fun. So I laughed at your blog since I thought I was the only crazy one who likes the keys!

Safe travels!

hal said...

Yeah, Argentina has some pretty sweet keys.

John at LGA Airport Parking said...

I love wearing necklace, and if I was the one holding those keys, Id make one of them as a necklace. It's just sad that the owner wants it back.

Renée said...

Haha! I can't believe you wrote about this. The first time I got keys to an apt in Buenos Aires, I thought they were all fancy and special and all the Argentines were like "And? What's the big deal?" I referred to them as pirate keys for the longest time, don't ask me why.