Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Second Week Begins

As I write this, I'm currently a beautiful shade of burgundy-magenta. My virgin Minneapolis skin has taken a liking to the Argentine sun, and it's definitly showing. However, I'll be happily tan in a couple days, and it'll be all good.

Traveling abroad is pretty cool. Living in a country that speaks a different language that your own is hard, but still pretty amazing. The IES program is going really well right now. I've made a ton, for lack of a better word, new friends since I've arrived. It's very similar to the first few weeks of college. Everyone is trying to make friends as fast as possible and everyone is super open and friendly. Little friendship circles are starting to develop, but everyone is always up for meeting new people. Case in point:

(forgive my tense jumping)

Sunday Afternoon
After dragging myself out of bed, having only went to sleep roughly 6 hours earlier(read previous techno post), I decided I should take advantage of the nice weather. It had been rather Seattle-ish here since I arrived. It was cloudy in the morning, and it would rain in the afternoon, and then out of nowhere the sun would burst out and it'd be 85 degrees at 4pm. It's amazingly hard to tell what's going to happen with the weather on any given day. However, I digress.

So, seeing as it is Sunday and everyone in Buenos Aires(todos los Portenos) takes advantage of their day of rest, I decided to go to a nearby park and study some flashcards. I've been meaning to work on my vocabulary, so what time is better than a nice Sunday afternoon. As I'm walking down my block, I run into some IES students hanging out outside of an apartment. I somewhat knew a few of them, but we'd never really spent any long amounts of time together. We chatted for awhile and they asked if I wanted to go to the market with them. There is a HUGE craft fair about 2 blocks from my apartment every Saturday and Sunday. Seeing as they have such a grand cattle population, leather goods are everywhere. You can buy handmade leather sandles for $30USD.

Anyways, I cordially pass on the invitation because I really wanted to get some studying in. However, as I'm walking away, I just about kick myself in the ass. How on Earth could I pass up an opportunity to meet some more of my fellow classmates, and instead, sit by myself in the park and look at vocabulary flashcards?!? I quickly run home and drop of my flashcards and catch up with them in the craft fair. We walk around for a bit, looking at all the neat little items that local vendors produce. As we're walking, we notice a hillside with a lot of people hanging out. Turns out, there's a folk guitarist just about to play. We all pop-a-squat on the hill and hangout, talk, laugh, and listen to music for an hour or so. Everyone, except for us, has their thermos of hot water and their Mate(super popular drink). On a sunday, it definitely gets it's workout.

As we disbanded, they invited me to the dinner they were going to have in Palermo Viejo, a very nice barrio of BaAs. So, that night, I went out to eat with 7 people that I had just met that day. We had an amazing dinner. Salmon, sirloin, filet mignon, salads, 2 bottles of wine, a couple beer, etc. After thoroughly stuffing our faces, we got the bill.....

$400 pesos!!!

With tip, that comes to $450 pesos, or....about $150USD. For less that $20 per person we had an AMAZING dinner in a very classy area of town. It's great.

So, that was an amazingly longwinded story. However, it really points out the greatness that is occuring right now. Super friendly people who are all about making friends hanging out in parks and listening to music, and then having a steak dinner for almost nothing.

Life is good.

Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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