Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Communication... say what?

My weeks are always crammed with stuff. That's how I've always liked it though. It keeps my mind off all the other things swirling around. My favorites are:

  • What am I going to do when I go home? Reverse culture shock?
  • How am I going to go back to my old friends after experiencing so much that they don't understand?
  • And my family? Whooa buddy
For the most part though, my mind is here is Buenos Aires (or Bs As as the Porteños abbreviate it to). Besides my current addiction to American television (Desperate Housewives? Grey's Anatomy? Brothers and Sisters? The Deep End? Come on!!), I'm pretty detached from the States. The past few nights my family has been asking me more substantive questions. Does everyone in your family live in Michigan? That's pretty typical in the US for kids to not live in the same State as their parents, right? The US is the land of opportunity, right? And my personal favorite- When you go to Mc Donalds, do you eat your fries or hamburger first?

I am trying to talk more at dinner. It's a lot easier when it's not a 5:1 Argentine to American ratio. Like any big family, they tend to all talk at once. Which I love!! Except for the fact that I understand nothing when they all talk at once. And then, when they all ask me the same question, at the same time, my answer almost always consists of "¿Cómo?"

I especially love when I'm asked the same question in two different languages. The oldest child, Manuel, bless his little heart, thinks I am completely incapable of speaking Spanish. Now, I mean, I'll give him some credit. His English is twice as good as my Spanish. But if I wanted to practice my English, I would have gone to London. I'm not stupid kiddo. Just a little slow. And I usually understand what you're saying, especially when you're not saying it to me. : )

Back to my dinner conversation- I try to practice as much as I can. But the last time I tried to hold a major conversation, it was an epic fail. Let me elaborate-

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Briana. She was having dinner with her host family- all five of them, which is a rarity. Her host mom lovingly asked her about her classes and Briana explained that a few of them were more difficult than she had imagined, but she was doing fine. Then, her host father asked which class was the hardest. Briana quickly replied "Economía" (meaning her globalization and economic based class). Her father asked her why. With a fiery passion, Briana responded that she absolutely HATED economics and what her teacher was instructing her and that it went against everything she believed in and cultural studies had taught her. Her host mom, not fully grasping what Briana had just admitted to, said to her the worst four words possible: "¡Fernando (her host dad) es un economista!"

Immediately Briana remembered that one question she had been meaning to ask her host dad- "¿Cuál es tu profesion?" Only one word flashed in Briana's mind at that moment... four letters.. I'm sure you can guess. Luckily for Briana, she is quick on her feet, and recovered (in spanish) by spewing stuff about needing to have a wide view of the world by studying subjects you both like and dislike. Her father gracious agreed and all was well. Since then, Briana has refrained from profound statements, in spanish, at dinner.

So, lesson of week #3- ASK YOUR HOST DAD WHAT HE DOES BEFORE RAMBLING ABOUT HATING ECONOMICS. I still haven't officially had that conversation about him, so I'm not exactly sure what him being an economist actually means, as in if it was just his major in college or if it's part of his profession now... No sé. Figured I would just not say anything about it for a while... Maybe then my SHAME will wash away. Hahaha

Alas, I am ready for another week in Bs As. I have my litre of water, contraband stash of Oreos, Doritos, and FRUITLOOPS, and no centavos on my prepago celular. Chau for now- My flipflop and I have a meeting with a moth that is circling around my room. Apparently in Argentina, they don't believe in putting screens in windows. : )

Sidenote- I went to some really pretty places this week.

Floralis Generica- Big metal flower, sitting in a reflecting pool, that opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. AMAZING!!! I went with my lovely friend Raquel, during an adventure in our barrio se llama "Recoleta."
It seriously is MASSIVE!!

(More pictures located on my facebook yo!)

1 comment:

  1. Haha, I don't put it past you with you and your host dad.
    I'm in love with the metal flower. Do you think anyone has ever gotten trapped overnight? I mean, it's surrounded by water, so someone would have to be really determined, but it had to have crossed someone's mind to try to get in that thing, right?