This week has been filled with me learning to appreciate the differences.
Difference #1- Walking. When you walk here, you don't look up, you look down. The sidewalks are one reminder that you are in a developing nation. They are pieces of crap. Some tiles move. Some are cracked. Some are even missing. So for those of us who have issues with balance, every day is an adventure. Do you have a conversation with someone and risk falling flat on your face (anyone who knows me understand the likely hood of this) or do you look at the ground, being a hermit, and running into every single person in Buenos Aires?
Difference #2- Eating. People here don't really eat. But they think you do. For the first few nights at my home, my mom would give me these HUGE portions of food. Like enough to feed two people. What are you supposed to do with that? I don't want to be rude, and not eat, but eating all of that food was a task. Eventually, I think they figured out that I really don't eat for like 5 people. Just for one. And my portions have significantly decreased. Sidenote- It's also really hard to avoid cheese or milk when eating out. I am popping like 5 lactaids a day... which is a lot.
Difference #3- Time. What is time? Being on-time? Schedule? In Buenos Aires, people are chill. 1230 really means like 115... maybe. Everything is laid back, no one is ever in a rush. So you put a group of anal-retentive NYU kids in a city where the pace is slow... it's a pretty funny thing to watch.
Of course there are more differences- I tried to eat a hamburger last week and got this thing that was, well scary. Tried to help my friend refund an adapter she had bought, and was basically told "We don't do that here" (Argentine attitude included)- but now, instead of being angry and thinking as I walk down the street next to an unleashed dog "I hate this place," I have developed an ability to respect it?
Some things are still a little too cray cray for me- Like men don't wear wedding bands. Wha? You better believe that if I have to wear a piece of metal marking me as yours, that you will have to wear one too hombre. Machismo my culo.
My point is that I am happily progressing along the adjustment line. Ya gotta acknowledge and accept the differences before you can progress right? My low point probably involved getting my laundry done (which was super cheap) but when I went to pick it up, closed. My friend definitely heard the extent of my 4 and 5 letter vocabulary (as did the rest of Recoleta).
But en este momento, I'm pretty tranquila. My classes are progressing. My chicas make me life enjoyable. My familia is great. Instead of looking for American food that I like (before this trip I would have argued that "American" food didn't exist, but not any more..), I am beginning to find some stuff typical of here that I enjoy. Like tostadas? Basically a grilled cheese minus the grease. I also found that most places do have ketchup, so I can get papas fritas con ketchup, which is seriously auh-ma-zing. I'm adapting and we all know how I feel about change.
Hope everything is going well in the States. I feel so out of touch even though technology makes keeping in contact so much easier.
Sidenote- Apparently "copy and paste" translates as copy and paste. And according to my host dad, everything that is written nowadays is just copied and pasted from something else, which a few words changed around.
(So there ya go Anna. Happy now? Get out of class so we can go get some tostadas con papas yo!)