I would like to spend more time writing about my experiences in Buenos Aires, but I have too many words and surreal memories to be written in an adequate time period. And honestly, I don’t want to spend a lot of my time writing about my adventures when I can be living my adventures. I’m lucky to have a little down time now where I’m not ready to fall asleep.
To start, the past few days in a foreign country could be described as amazing, out of this world, frightening, and maybe even a little draining. Nevertheless, I am more than content with where I am and incredibly excited to learn even more about it. Leaving the U.S on a rocky ground wasn’t exactly the way I intended to go into the next six months away from the people and things that I know I’ll miss, and it’s disappointing that things ended up that way. I haven’t been able to give too much thought about it until last night after a lovely 9 PM dinner of Chinese food (si, we eat Chinese food here too, besides empanadas, dulce de leche, and lot’s of meat). It’s a lot to process, but it’s not the most important thing to deal with right now, so this is where all that ends. No more writing about it for the most part.
Despite that, my experience here has been a good one so far. I started class today with my fellow study abroad friends (Contemporary Argentine Experience), and even though it was only three hours long, I feel like I came out of it having enough of an understanding of Argentine media and some politics that I could have a conversation with my lovely homestay family. It’s also just another reminder that everyone here is a victim of the pick-pocketing experience, which hopefully I won’t have to deal with.
Though beautiful, the city itself is a bit dangerous if you really don’t know how to wander about it. There’s a lot of theft (as mentioned), and apparently abduction is a thing here too (no jokes, Steffi’s homestay sister told her). You really have to know your way around the city when traveling as a non-native, and when you’re on the street walking, you aren’t supposed to be using your phone or flashing money (that’s kind of a ‘no shit’ thing though). You’re supposed to be wary of your surroundings as you walk while focusing on your destination. Honestly, I just try to look like I know what I’m doing, and do my own thing, but it’s hard to blend in with the Latin American people with the phenotype that I have. I haven’t been addressed too many times by the guys hanging in the streets (it might be my manly swagger that throws them off), but even when I am addressed, I don’t really understand it anyway, so it never bothers me. Maybe if I knew a little more Spanish, I’d get a little peeved, but I wouldn’t ever go out of my way to start fights with Argentinos (and I suppose Argentinas).
We’ve been walking a lot these past few days. In the past two days, we’ve maybe done 14 miles put together, to give you a better idea of how much we’ve been walking. It’s a lot… especially for a person with hip flexor problems; I’m wicked sore on one side of my body as compared to the other side. But walking is great, especially in the semi-tropical climate. The bus is super cheap too (up to 4 pesos, or about 50 U.S cents per ride). So obviously, transportation isn’t a problem here. It’s easy… once you figure out where you’re going in the huge city.
Today Steffi, Danny and I were trying to find a museum for one of our mandatory ‘field trips,’ and it took a bit of a walk to find the bus stop and then the ride itself took a long time. While on the bus, we passed some of our other study abroad friends on the sidewalk trying to find the museum. Of course, we were like “HA we’re going to be there first, suckers.” NOPE we actually ended up going to the wrong museum, and it probably took us another thirty minutes to backtrack and find the one we were actually supposed to go to (Malba, in case anyone is interested). Despite the hour delay, all in all, it was a great time getting lost and doing a bit of sight seeing in between that and our final destination (which was attained eventually).
I’m sure there will be many more stories about us being late, missing tours, getting lost, but having enjoying every moment of it (except the parts where we get hungry, thirty or tired… no bueno).