Friday, April 23, 2010

Canadian-English-Speaking-Colombian-Named Pri... Perspectivas

This week. Ugh this week. Many a test. Many a study session. Many a freak out. Many a good friend. And many a judgy- wudgy Argentine.

1st Argentine:
I was sitting at McDonald's with my friend after a horrible volunteer experience. Just enjoying my "Doble McNifica," speaking in English and having a really good time. Then this woman, about 70 or so, next to me asking (in english) "Where are you from?" So I respond in Spanish (it's just a natural reaction now), saying we are students from New York, but studying here, yadda yadda. And she looks at me and says "No. Where are YOU from?" So I repeat it all.. in spanish again. And she looks at me and says "But you don't speak American english..." This coming from an Argentine.... whatever.

So she begins to talk about the fact she is a journalist, yadda yadda, and has roadtripped through Ohio, Michigan, and Canada. And she keeps on talking about Canada. Canada this, Canada that. So finally I ask her if she is insinuating that I speak Canadian English. She responds with: "Well yes. You speak like a Canadian, but she (pointing to my friend) speaks clearly and friendly." Well thank you Argentina for judging MY english. Muchas Gracias. It was all in good fun though... right? My friend and I got a great laugh about it.

Argentine #2 however, was not so enjoyable

2nd Argentine:

I came home, took my nap, got up, did some homework and then for some reason went into the dining room. I saw the good table cloth out, with the good china on it, and heard a strange voice in the kitchen. I knew what this meant- Dinner guest.

So, I looked horrible, sporting track shorts and an NYU sweatshirt. Met said dinner guest (DG), she seemed nice. Cultured. Apparently a friend of the family. Initally, she assumed I spoke no spanish. My host mom informed her that I understood most of what is said, but DG just assumed I still didn't. So she spoke to me in English, I spoke to her in spanish.

She found it necessary to translate everything for me. Which I mean is fine... I guess. Except that if I wanted to speak in English, I would, because my host dad is definitely fluent, two of the kids are close, and my mom and other sister understand english. But I do not want to practice my english, so I speak spanish. But still. That was fine. I can handle that.

Then she asks me where I am from. I tell her I go to school in New York. And she persists on knowing where I am from. So I tell her (still in spanish) I am from a city in Michigan that is an hour North of Detroit. "WHERE?" So I tell her I am from Flint. And she scoughs, which is always great because then I know what is coming. But still, she caught me off guard.

DG: "The Infamous Flint Michigan?" "Umm... es posible.." and my host dad, now joining the conversation, wants to know why she is calling Flint "infamous." Our conversation went as follows:
"No les dices sobre Flint?"
"Sí... un poco..."
"Ohhh *scoughs* Ja! Pues, Confesa ahora."
"Confeso? No... está bien..."
"Well... Flint, a veces, en partes especificios, no es muy seguro. A veces, en esas partes, es un poco peligorso..."
"Un poco? En serio... Un poco? JA! BASTANTE! Well, Briana, at least you don't live there now."
"Mi familia vive en Flint..."
"Well. At least you are ALIVE."
"Yes. And so is the REST of my family..."

At this point, my host dad, picking up on how not comoda I was, said "Bueno..." and changed the topic.

What made her think that she knew more about my hometown than me, I shall never know. But she surely did have guts to tell ME that MY city is "bastante" dangerous and that "at least I am alive." If you have never been to Flint, if you have never seen the city, then, honestly, Callate la boca. I do not want to hear your shit. You are Argentine, so please do not act like you know all about MY país. I politey ate the rest of my dinner and dessert and then left to my room. I did NOT tell her goodbye. Go suck an egg DG.

Besides that, this week has been pretty good. After tests, I have had lots of time to hang out with different people. It's nice to get some diversification in there every once in a while. As my time ticks down in Buenos Aires, I am in a really good place. Happy with where I am, where I am going, and how far I've come.

Buena vida.

No comments:

Post a Comment