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  • Directly on the other side of my bedroom door is the kitchen and dining area, the telephone, and the door to my host family's apartment. You can see all but the kitchen (which is farther back on the right) in this photo I took from my doorway.

    Whether or not I intend to, I inevitably overhear quite a bit from my room. To say that I understand any of it, however, would be rather generous. On this particular occasion, Matildé (my host mother) was having a highly enthused conversation with one of her friends who lives in the same apartment building and also occasionally hosts international students. In fact, about a year ago, she hosted a student with whom Angie (the other girl staying at this apartment presently) is good friends. The conversation lasted for quite a while, but I just recorded a random piece in hopes that some day I may be able to listen and actually understand a bit more.

    I know that at some point Matildé mentioned both Angie and me, and I know that she talked quite a bit about food. When it comes to knowing what the general topic or purpose of the conversation was (or how much of the conversation was actually about us), however, I really have no idea. I'd say the situation is remarkably close to when you're young and you overhear the muffled voices of your parents or teachers or other adults talking from behind a closed door, and you know that your name has been mentioned at least at some point, but nothing more. Except for in this situation, the problem is comprehending the words rather than hearing them. Nonetheless, in both situations, there is absolutely the same odd feeling of embarrassment. Especially now in knowing that someone who listens (perhaps you?) will easily understand the whole thing and be amused by my complete uncertainty. I'll admit, I can certainly see the humor.

    (This is the first in an indefinite series of stories primarily offering sound recorded from my room in Buenos Aires. One could perhaps appropriately assume that I am not yet comfortable enough to record sounds and take pictures elsewhere.)
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