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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Speak Spanish? Don't Move to Miami

I can't tell you how happy I am that I lived in Argentina for a year. Beyond the life experience aspect of it all, had I not learned Spanish, I would be in WAY above my head here.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, speaks Spanish here. It's not the "second language" spoken, it's definitely the first. Everyone that you meet speaks to you in Spanish first, not even thinking that you might not speak the language. Should you NOT speak Spanish, they'll reluctantly switch over to English, should they themselves speak English, which is pretty much a crap shoot. I live in, what is said to be, a Puerto Rican neighborhood. I'm not sure if the majority are, indeed, Boriquas (the word for someone from Puerto Rico), but everyone sure speaks Spanish.

That being said, I fit right in. Case in point:

I was at the gas station across the street looking for beer, and an older gentleman just started speaking to me in Spanish regarding a brand of beer he was looking for. Not, for one second, did he think that I didn't speak Spanish. I helped him find the brand he was looking for, happily flexing my Spanish-speaking muscles.

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