Sunday, May 18, 2014

Next-door Home Makeover, DR Citizenship, A Lost Day, Tango Turco

As seen in the photos, my next-door neighbors (note sign in front) in an attached house are having a very large 2-story addition constructed on the back of their home, along with many other renovations. My house is the taller red house, with the second photo showing the view from my front steps. The owners expect the job to take 6 months and have moved out meanwhile with their small daughter. Alas, I’m still living in my own house, where banging and drilling of concrete, plaster, and wood goes on all day long both inside and out. Worse yet, their giant dumpster, emptied almost every day, usually sits parked right out in front of my house, not in front of theirs.  After many polite and not-so-polite requests, the foreman had it moved so that it’s no longer blocking my front door, just overlapping only part of my front yard. Still, that’s progress and I hope to have it moved gradually over completely to their side. If necessary, will appeal to city authorities.

 After a worldwide uproar, including from us at Amnesty International, DR President Danilo Medina has apparently sent the legislature a measure that would allow those descended from people coming into the country after 1929 and affected by the high court decision to opt for DR citizenship after all. It's supposed to go into effect June 1, which is pretty soon. If it should actually work, I must express surprise and also relief. Maybe all the pressure finally helped. However, people who have seen his proposal say the devil is in the details, also in the changes that the legislature may make.

 Last Friday, there was a huge rainstorm, but I had an interpretation assignment, so I grabbed an umbrella and set out gamely for the metro. But in a train inside a tunnel, there was an electrical outage and the train just stopped. By the time I made it to a metro stop to catch a bus to continue to my medical interpretation assignment, it was already the time I was supposed to be there. I asked someone else waiting for the bus if I could borrow her cell phone to tell the medical office that I was on my way, though sorry to be late. On that call, I found out the patient had come early, her son had served as her interpreter, and they had already left. So I went wearily back inside the metro station and came home, forfeiting my pay and also causing my agency to lose its half. To compound my problems, after arriving back home, I couldn’t find my keys and apparently no one was home. Thinking I might have dropped them, I retraced my steps to no avail, so I just sat out on my front steps—by then the rain had stopped—hoping someone would show up with keys. Well, finally, a housemate came home and opened the front door. Then another arrived and began a search outside and found my keys under a rose bush where I’d plucked off some dead blossoms, so all was well, but what a wasted day! The woman who found my keys is a GAO fellow from Argentina who had once lived in NYC and told me how she had lost her keys in Central Park and gone back the next day and found them, so she really has a nose for lost keys!

 With an old friend who now lives across the river in Arlington, Va., I saw a play at the Arlington-based Spanish-language theater, Teatro de la Luna, entitled “Tango Turco” or “Turkish Tango.”  I used to attend productions there with members of a Spanish-language book club. That was before I broke off ties after the dispute with my “nunny bunny” accuser which led to the writing of my newest book, Confessions of a Secret Latina. Although it had been some years since I had attended, I was amazed when the woman greeting us at the door remembered me by name! What a memory and how many people have passed through those doors since? My companion was less fluent in Spanish, so we sat in a rear row where surtitled translations flashed above. The staging and acting were excellent, but the work itself was a rather light comedy, as the title would suggest. My interpreting work in hospitals and schools is very basic, so after seeing that play, I found myself missing the more literary aspects of my Spanish-language engagement.

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