Today has been kind of a slow day, so thought I'd post a couple of funny happenings in the life of your favorite (only?) south american missionaries.
So the other day we're in this cel phone store asking about a phone for mom (we only have one between us that the mission gave us) and we're just cruising along conversing in spanish explaining what we're looking for etc and this guy suddenly asks me what company we're with. I'm thinking, well cool, here's an opportunity to explain that we're LDS missionaries. So I kinda point at my name tag and say we're with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he looks at me like I'm some sort of alien. And then it dons on me -- oh you want to know what cel service company we're with!! (ha ha) So I quickly recover and say we're with the local service company down here and we go on our way talking about cel phones. Ah yes, the trials and challenges of cross cultural communication. The guy probably thought these goofy americans are pretty slow on the up-take.
Not long ago mom was out doing a little shopping with her north american friend and they go in this little fabric store -- two north american women out on the town in the middle of the day minding their own business. So they're talking to this older gal about fabrics and clothes etc and pretty soon the gal starts asking them where they're from and how long they've been here and kind of admiring how they look etc, which isn't all that unusual -- they tend to think pretty highly of all things north american anyway. Well, before mom and her friend left the store, the gal wanted mom's name to put on her private list of eligible women -- to match her up with some of her male friends around town!! And mom always wears her wedding band, so I don't know what this gal was thinking but that kinda gives you a feel for the culture down here. I've since met the gal at the fabric store and she seems to be a nice lady so I don't think she had any dark motives, I think she was just trying to play cupid for some friends. Guess I better keep a close eye on mom -- some Argentine guy's liable to try to sweep her off her feet.
Lastly, we recently went to the doctor to renew mom's blood pressure medication and what an experience that was!! We go in this big clinic and ask for the doctor that we'd met at the English school and of course she's not there. So we ask for the cardiologist that our doctor friend had previously introduced us to and were sent upstairs. Of course it's like a zoo up there and we finally get to talk to the receptionist who tells us to go away and call her in the morning. So being the new kids on the block, we go home and call her in the morning for an appointment. Fortunately, she tells us to come in that afternoon. So we show up at 5:00 pm and wait in line to talk to her again. She confirms our appointment and says that'll be 200 pesos ($45) cash. Luckily we had cash with us and gave it to her which she promply put straight into her pocket and told us to take a seat. I was pretty sure that we'd just been scammed. But we took a seat in this crowded little area and waited for about an hour not knowing if or when we would ever get to actually see the doctor. Finally the door opens and the doctor whom we'd previously met motioned for us to come in. Once in his office, he was very professional and gave mom what looked like a thorough cardiac examination, using me as the translator along with a good deal of sign language. He explained that mom's blood pressure was a little elevated (no kidding after being down here!!) but otherwise everything was OK. So we get an Argentine prescription and go happily on our way -- but not before we got a receipt for the 200 pesos we'd paid the receptionist!! What an experience.
So there ya have it -- just a few of the experiences we're having on "Brian and Jan's Argentina mission".