Where in the World Are You, Amy Scott?
Travel Blog • World Hum • 10.24.07 | 12:08 PM ET
The subject of our latest nearly up-to-the-minute interview with a traveler somewhere in the world: Amy Scott, a freelance editor. Her response landed in our inbox last night.
Where in the world are you?
On the second-floor terrace of a café near my apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
What are you doing there?
I’m at the café to do my Spanish homework before class in a few hours, but I moved to Buenos Aires this past May to soak up more of the city. I first visited on my round-the-world trip three years ago and have more or less been on my way back ever since. It’s my first time living abroad and I’m loving it.
What do you see around you?
Tables and chairs, people eating lunch. Beyond the terrace railing, there’s traffic, spring-green trees and lots of people out on the streets. Among all your typical big-city pedestrians, in the last five minutes I saw a woman washing the sidewalk in front of the mattress store across the street, a grocery-delivery guy and two pizza-delivery people, a dogwalker with about 10 dogs, a guy repairing a glass door on the pharmacy, and a cartonero—a man collecting cardboard and other recyclables from the garbage.
Got a pic?
What did you have for dinner last night and where?
As seems to happen to me a little too often these days, I had two dinners last night. First I had some soup at home around 7 p.m. because I was hungry and about to head out to an early concert. The concert ended around 10:15, closer to the typical porteño dinnertime, and my friend and I were hungry, so we headed to the nearest café, León Paley. When we ordered the “superpicante” pizza, our friendly waiter, guessing correctly that we were from the States, admitted that the superpicante wasn’t really that spicy, so he brought us a bottle of Tabasco. It turned out to be one of the best pizzas I’ve had here.
What are you listening to these days?
Tango, of course, from the classics like Astor Piazzolla to modern “tango chill-out.” Also The Killers, since I’m going to see them play here next month, and Julieta Venegas’s Limón y Sal and Cafe Tacuba’s Avalancha de Éxitos—good for practicing my Spanish! The Shins, the Beautiful South, and Amy Winehouse are all in regular rotation. And the music of friends like Alex Radus and Attica! Attica! keeps me company far from home.
What are you reading?
Sagebrush and Cappuccino: Confessions of an LA Naturalist by David Wicinas. It’s an interesting read for me both because I lived in Los Angeles briefly and because I’m now in yet another urban environment where there are few pockets of nature to seek out (and I admittedly don’t try very hard to find them). I also occasionally dip into The Argentina Reader, which I brought with me from home.
What did you experience in the last 24 hours that you’d recommend?
Last night I went to see La Bomba del Tiempo, a percussion group that’s a fixture in the city. It was a warm, beautiful night (remember, it’s spring here) so the group of 15 or so drummers and other percussionists set up outside. They improvise a lot, with the help of a conductor who uses interesting hand signals and a lot of personality to change the mood or the tempo—last night a guest bassist added to the mix, throwing in a bit of “Higher Ground” as well as a salsa number or two. Their energy is infectious, and there’s a lot of crowd participation—I’m sure many people would have loved it if they’d played all night instead of only two hours. For anyone who’s in town, they’ll be playing every Monday through March at a former oil factory renovated to become the Centro Cultural Konex (Sarmiento 3131).
Where in the world are you headed next?
I have to make a visa run next month and haven’t decided yet where to go. I’d love to get to Bolivia before the visa restrictions kick in in December, but I don’t have a lot of time between finishing a project and guests coming to visit, so will more likely end up going by bus to Santiago, Chile, via Mendoza (Argentina) or to Montevideo, Uruguay, just a short boat ride away.