Just another firefly

Since this is a new blog, I should explain the name. The reason this blog is called Firefly is twofold: No. 1 because that is the English translation of the name of the Village I live in – Wauwatosa – though I think our native American predecessors the Potawatomi spelled it differently.

No. 2, I like fireflies because the females are always buzzing around town, always on the go, checking out the scene – trying their best to connect with other fireflies, in one way or another.

I like being on the go too and connecting with my friends whenever I get the chance. I nicknamed my Vespa Lucciola, which means firefly in Italian – among other things. I call her Lucy for short. (Don’t laugh; my friends all named their Vespas too). Oh, and this is my old Vespa in the picture.. I have a Portofino Green 150LX now.

But I am still glad as hell to be away from the 13 million inhabitants that swarm in BA and am reveling in simply flitting around in the back yard – just like the fireflies were doing last night before the storms rolled through and blew them all away.

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Goodbye, Argentina

Casa Rosada

Buenos Aires, that big big dirty loud partying city is 6,000 miles on the other side of the world again.. I have returned home and feel like it was all a dream.

I will probably never get there again… but it is great to have pictures to prove that I was there. I cut my trip short 2 days to avoid that “F” word again – Freakout Time. I discovered I am not a solo adventurer, no matter how many Lonely Planet books I read. When I was alone in BA, I felt as though I had somehow died. It was awfully weird.

How do people do it?

If there is a next time, I bring my friends to keep me company after work is done.. that’s good insurance against going crazy.

So many people, so little breathing room

Where did all the people go? That is what I was wondering a few days ago when our annual meeting ended.. I know now.. they are on the streets of Buenos Aires…. so many people .. vendors, turistas, policia, children, couples linked arm and arm, soccer fans… this city is overflowing with people and cars and trucks and buses and taxis and motorbikes and on and on….

I admit to feeling overwhelmed by all of the noise…. so I have retreated to my hotel…

BA a Chaotic City

Taxi ride from downtown BA to Boedo took an hour in heavy traffic. The city unfortunatly could be called Malas Aires, it is so dirty… it is raining all day…. now am in the small hotel lobby trying not to be homesick.

why is it that when I am in one place I long to be in another???!!!

I HATE BEING HOMESICK….

the hotel is nice though. the walls are yellow, and Spanish tile floors and an outdoor patio garden.. very quaint.

Where did all the people go?

It’s over… the Congress that is. As suddenly as it began – POOF.

Que interesante.

The delegates have all gone to catch flights back home…. all the scientific posters are scattered across the floor and spilled coffee has left stains on the pretty tablecloths… the AV guys have packed up the equipment, the temp staff has vanished and we have been packing our boxes for 3 hours.

My first Congress last year in Paris was a breathless affairthat left me with feelings of trepidation. Would I ever survive another<<? At the time I didn’t think so. But here I am again – a survivor.

Buenos Aires is a lot like Paris and then again it is not. This time around I knew what I was doing, more or less. When you don{t know what you’re doing it can be quite frustrating. I didn{t get frustrated this time around, only very tired like my colleagues.

Maybe that’s why it sped by …. registration was un lio – a blur.

That’s good… I like the frenetic pace of hundreds of people rushing by me with befuddled looks on their faces .. .reminds me of my days working at the newspaper! …an adrenalin rush like no other.

Now it’s time to kick back and take in the sights and sounds of the ‘Paris of Latin America.’ I won’t be able to take in a tango show quite yet… tonight it’s Italian, on the boss.

But I’ll take it and save the tango for another night when I don,t feel so turista norteamericana.

Cry for me, Argentina

I felt like sobbing into my fluffy hotel pillow when I finally got in to Buenos Aires early last Sunday. After two flights, one sleepless night next to snoring passengers on the plane, winding queues at customs, and a crowded hotel lobby of soccer fanatics, wealthy guests and nary a room to escape to, I was spent. My head hurt, my heart was beating furiously, my mouth tasted like sawdust… traveling can be just this side of insanity.

Boo hoo.

Sleep? Ha ha. Early Monday morning, the first day of work at my company’s annual meeting the “F” word came to mind, on several occasions. OK, well not THAT “F” word, but I could have used that one, too. No, I mean “F” as in “Freak Out Time.” Registering hundreds of foreigners and then giving a presentation to 25 physicians about why they should surf our Web site.

Yeah, I was freaked. I needed my Mommy.

But it’s Wednesday night already, the panic and stress have subsided to low grade levels, and my colleagues and I have retreated to our respective rooms to secretly consume large glasses of Malbec and rest our sore feet.

Buenos Aires is beautiful at night.. the sunset is pretty, but the moon looks backward and I cannot tell where the sun rises.

Maybe tomorrow I will learn more about this mysterious, loud, foreign place and hopefully the “H” word doesn’t come to mind.

But now, I will drink and not think.

Remember third grade history class?

I remember in the third grade during history class, staring at a foreign country in my book called ARGENTINA. I wondered to myself, momentarily, “Why do we have to learn about THIS place? It’s so far away, it’s almost like another planet. I’ll NEVER go there.”

That was in 1970. Flash forward to 2010… and I am leaving for Buenos Aires tomorrow to staff my organization’s annual meeting after months of planning, dozens of meetings, and preparations that make a UN Conference seem like a walk in the park.

This is nerve wracking, weird and not the least bit frightening. My head is about to explode with the managing of minutia that is required of a successful staffer  – and I am one of 13 who have been working on this conference all year long. But I’m just a little cog in the wheel, a teensy weensy part of this huge conference being attended by 3,500 doctors who will be pursuing their own professional goals while I pursue mine, whatever that may be.

People from all over the world are coming, with all different expectations, needs, problems and who knows what else. You never know what will happen when you bring that many people together at one time.

OMG.

I did this last year in Paris, so I don’t know why I am all freaked out about it…. maybe it is because this is finally my dream come true, though I didn’t know it in the third grade: to visit a Latin American country, get paid for doing it, and get a little fun in afterward. But why oh why did I decide to stay for five days afterward???!!!

Ugh.