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Story of four corners: two bars, a square and a wall.

24/06/2003, tatiana saphir, buenos aires
  I enjoy to come to drink coffe to this old bar, write and think about silly things. Or listen to the taxi driversī discussions. Sometimes is better than reading the newspapers.

Today is Sunday and I have a rehearsal at 5 pm. Drinking a coffe is allmost a due after lunch -to be awake enough in this lazzy day wich everybody else is resting-. I decide not to drink it at home. I go to another neighborhood close to my parents house called “Flores”. A “barrio-barrio” (neighborhood). (That’s how I call some neighborhoods that still remain quite “genuine”, without that much contamination of contemporary urbanization... I won’t define all my idea now ‘cause it’ll take me the whole text and a lot of time.... may be some some other day, I mean big cheap-material buildings, small houses that look like the american style for country clubs in the middle of the city).
I go to a bar in a corner, faceing a green “plaza” (square, small park).
“Plaza Irlanda” (Ireland Square). Why is it called like this? I don’t know and there is no metal sign or monument that says anything about it. This question makes me curious but I allready know I’ll never find out.
Are there many “plazas” at the city with Country’s names? I can remember now “Plaza Italia”, “Plaza Francia”, and no more. Those two are two big and famous ones. The square where I am and the neighborhood I’m describing are not in the most popular maps. They’re part of the capital city, but not the main districts. Buenos Aires, by the way, is a huge city. Big, big, big.
The bar I’m in it’s a very old bar, I guess from the 40īs. It keeps that spirit without exhibitionism and still there are some signs of modern changes. Chairs are not from wood but from metal pipes. No wooden tables either but metal pipes legs with color plastic surface on top, imitating wood texture. I feel very sorry that one day someone thought about “modernizing” these objects.
This is a “remiseros” and taxi drivers’ bar. (A “remis” is a kind of taxi: a particular private car that charges you for trip, very popular, allmost same price than a taxi, call cars).
During the week, on working hours, they stop here to drink a not-so-fast-coffe, to do a little of “political gossip” or watch the TV. Then they continue their routine.
On the opposite corner there is a modern (post-modern?) bar I can see from my table. There is a concept behind the letters on its window and the colors they choosed. I feel they’ve imported to Flores a bar from Palermo (another “chicky area”). It’s modest but in the same design topic line: sooo cool! It’s allmost full of people. People there looks a little bit snob or it’s me the snobby one that keeps wanting to drink a coffe in a bar like the one I’m in? I breath another air in my bar, a more genuine ambiance or simply filled with more stories, with the weigh of the years.
In the third corner there is a big wall with some drawings and writtings. A perimeter wall of a Nuns' School Institution. In that wall says “Centro Deportivo Natatorio Plaza Irlanda” (Sports and Swiming Center Irlanda Square). I never knew if this was part of the Nuns or not. Each time I look at it I remember other swiming pool of another Nuns' School Institution where the “Jimena affaire” took place. A 13 years old girl was raped, murdered and found in the swiming pool of the school. I don’t know why this wall makes me remember that case.
On the fourth corner: the square, the park. People running in circles with their walkmans on. Kids in bycicles screaming for pop-corn or whatever they don’t have in their hands and soul.
I enjoy to come to drink coffe to this old bar, write and think about silly things. Or listen to the taxi driversī discussions. Sometimes is better than reading the newspapers.

comments [1]


bars and stories - 24/06/2003, toni_kan@hotmail.com
your story reminds me of another story.
a married man gets back home one night from the bar and his wife is crying. worried, he asks what's amiss and she says: why do u keep going to the bar? i know there is another woman. i know it.
the man is surprised and begins to explain, but she is not impressed.
there is another woman.if there is no other woman, why do u keep going to the bar?
the man sighs and says: i go to the bar to hear the stories.
and that's when the wife gets really angry and kicks him out.
but i find now that if you ever get writer's block or u get stumped for ideas, a bar is always a good place to go.
and it doesnt matter whether u are drinking or not.
so long as u've got one good ear.


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