Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Morning Buenos Aires.

Now we are both wondering the same thing. Why in the hell am I awake? I want to know, you want to know, every one is confused. It is 8:43 in the morning and I will you inform you all that I did not set an alarm. That's weird right? We all know me for my weirdo sleeping habits, that make records.

Well, I woke up early yesterday too and I have a theory as to why. Forever and always, when I have been excited about something or another, a trip, christmas, skiing, my birthday, I have a tendency to wake up early. Level of excitement=earliness of wake up time. It's a direct correlation. When I was around 7, I would wake up for Christmas at 4:30, sometimes earlier. Now, this tendency has declined the older I have gotten, because I think I get less excited about things than I used to but I'm still a pretty excited person, in general, goes along with the whole wearing your emotions on your sleeves thing.

Anyways, it hasn't happened as much in recent year, in fact, this past year on Christmas, I think my mother had to wake me up, this has never happened, I thought I was losing my inner child. However, I can now affirm that it is still there because apparently I am so excited about coming home, to levels of which even I was unaware, I have woken up early for a 2nd day in row, and I don't leave until tomorrow. That means that I will have woken up 3 days in a row, extraordinarily early, now using my direct correlation model, this would mean that I am so unbelievably beyond excited at this point, I just can't sleep. HELLO NORTH CAROLINA, HERE I COME.

So, yeah anyways, I leave tomorrow, which puts me at home in about, well in 45 minutes, it will be 48 hours exactly, which is tiny, miniscule and yet far too much time.

So you might want to know? What am I going to do on my last day in BA? Nothing special. I might walk around and take some pictures, I'm going to my favorite restaurant for lunch and then having dinner with my friends, they wanted to celebrate my birthday (which if you have forgotten is in 6 more days). I have to turn in my last paper today and really that's it. But for now, I think I might go lay back in my bed and pretend that I can sleep.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The end is near.

But is it really the end?

I'm not sure. I have been thinking about whether I should actually stop updating my blog after I leave. And the answer is not immediately. As much as I have had to say about living here, I have no doubt in my mind that I will have plenty of things to say when I get home about being at home. Also, I'm expecting a little recognized phenomenon to occur, it's called reverse culture shock. Here's what wikipedia says about it:

"Also, Reverse Culture Shock (a.k.a. Re-entry Shock, or own culture shock[7]) may take place — returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture.[8] The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock."

Now to me, this makes perfect sense, if I adjust to a culture, and to some extent, you have to adjust no matter how resistant you are, but upon return, I will have to readjust. And I have been making mental lists of all the things that will be different when I ge home, I will share a few. Here:

1. At home, in the US, the majority of people are fat. The obesity rates are just disgustingly high. In Argentina, it is the opposite. The rates of anorexia and bulimia are just disgustingly high. It will be like returning to the country of people who have been all the food Argentines don't eat. Seeing women eat in public, that I think will be jarring.

2. Toilets here are weird. They don't have flushers, they have either buttons on the wall (I don't understand how this works) or they have push in buttons on the top or the side or somewhere. Also, for some reason, the toilets here don't really take toilet paper, so there are always signs telling you to throw the paper in the trash can instead of the toilet, I rarely actually do that, but the lack of guilt I think could be a change. Also, most public toilets here don't have toilet paper. This includes universities, restaurants, movie theaters; I miss toilet paper (that I am of course not allowed to put in the toilet anyways).

3.I have not been in a car in well, 4 months 2 weeks and 1 day. Back when I went to Smath, I could get car sick after not having been a car since the last extended break, imagine the consequences of this interim. Also, most people in the United States have cars. I don't anymore, but I can drive mom's if I want, so that might be weird. Also, people tend to obey traffic laws where I live. They obey stoplights, they see the lanes as having meaning and they stop at intersections. OMG.

4. The main food group here is just different. The Argentine Food Guide Pyramid would go something like this:

dulce de leche

They have been known to eat a few vegetables to, but only on occasion. I will miss the copious amounts of calabaza (read: butternut squash), the batatas (don't exist in english or the US) and they tend to use mushrooms heavily, this makes me happy. Although, I will not miss the scarily common arugula. Oh, and I almost forgot, beets. It turns out that I love beets. Yes, the kind from Doug, and I will miss them, my mother doesn't provide them for me.

Those are just some differences I can think of now, but I will try to note as many as I can upon my return. I think I have started to forget what living in the states is like, small towns, cars, people smiling on the street in a non-i-want-to-rape-you manner. I can't wait to get back to southern hospitality.

This point reminds me, the other day, I was thinking about living in BA and how it has changed me and the habits of my southern upbringing. Absolutely everything is the opposite to start off with. You don't make friends, you don't talk to strangers, you don't acknowledge people on the streets, you stare at the ground. I asked my mother the other day if it was safe to look at people that you walk past and she responded by saying, yes and you can even say hello. Now, this is just unheard of, doing that here as a woman is just, well it doesn't exist and for a man, it's a come-on. I storm past people on the sidewalks, I cut off old people and I curse at people. I no longer understand sidewalk etiquette, because it doesn't exist here, not even slightly. Now, I sound awful, don't I? Only to you soft americans, that's what you have to do to survive here.

When I get home, watch for changes, I can tell living here has affected me, but I can't tell how and I want to know, because I'm not sure I am going to like it. Like for example, I will now kill you if you walk slowly in front of me or if you block the whole sidewalk with your whole damn family and the stroller.

So, as you may have ascertained, I have mostly finished my work. I have to turn in my final paper Thursday afternoon at 6 (which is not afternoon, but rather evening at home, showing how warped I am) to my teacher. I'm currently waiting for revisions from my academic advisor and that's about it. I need to start packing soon I think. Also, tomorrow, Spain plays Germany, you should watch.

That's really it, my brain is mush and now I sleep.


p.s. my host mother told me tonight that she is getting another host student on the 19th. her name is kristin. weird.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


So, I know I haven't really been updating my blog a lot recently but let me tell you I have been swamped with work and in fact, I still am. The point is that I have the best parents in the entire world and I just thought you should know. I will proper blog post when I finish my last paper.

But until then,


my parents rock

Friday, June 25, 2010

Americans dream about something right...?

The other night on the way to yoga, I was thinking about the american dream. Now, that may seem like a weird thing to think about but when you walk a lot by yourself, you have a lot of time to think. I walk a lot, and at night, I won't wear my headphones for safety issues, so the only thing I have to listen to is my own thoughts.

Anyways, the reason that this ran through my mind was because I was thinking about the ways I have changed. I know that I have changed as a result of this trip but as of yet, I haven't been able to put into words any actual changes, it's just a feeling I have. So I was thinking about my changing self when I realized at least one way I have changed. I am now much more able to see the good of the United States. I have never been particularly patriotic and in fact, I have never really liked being an American. Now while that hasn't completely changed, I am starting to see what it is that the american dream represents for the rest of the world. I'm not saying I understand what it is like to be living in poverty in a third world country or anything so absurd, because I never can but I have met people here who idolize the United States. They see it as a completely magical place. They want to travel there more than any where else in the world and this isn't just one person, I have met several people with these dreams.

There is definitely something to believing you can do anything and that is something I truly believe, that with proper use of resources and enough determination, you can do anything. However, I am actually starting to realize how american I really am in believing that. It seems, that in the rest of the world, you can't just do things because you want. Americans have it easy and I have also realized, quite a while ago actually, how much Americans just do what they want when they want because they want it with no real thought to anything else. It was never weird for me to look at someone in whatever situation they were in and think that if they wanted to change it, they could, but then I met my maid here. She's the third generation of her family to clean this apartment building and that astounds me, how many third generation of any type of worker do we have in the US anymore? It is much more common that a child will reject the family business and do what their heart desires.

I don't know why I was thinking about this. But it's making me realize how american my ideals and my approach to life are. I do what I want because I want it, I have a enlarged sense of individuality (for which I thank my mother) and I have a hard time understanding a lifestyle outside of grow up, go to college, get degree, get a job and there's life. I don't know what this means for me, it was just something I was thinking about.

Also, I wrote this post yesterday, and never really proofed it, so if it seems illogical or weird, just accept it and love me anyways. Also, today when the USA lost against Ghana in the world cup, I felt something weird, I think it was American pride. I wanted use to win or at least make it farther, I thought we should have beat Ghana and I felt sad when we lost. It is not only weird for me to feel emotion over a loss in sports much less watch a game of something, but to feel pride in my country and care whether or not we do well is just something new for me.

Anyways, I have to go to dinner now.

2 weeks and counting

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

El internet y el frío.

So, although I should be working on my mid-term that is due on Monday or my 3 other papers, I have decided to write here instead. For some reason today, my internet in my house is working. I don't know why, but I don't want to question it too much because this is the first time it has worked in several days, and of course the technician is coming tomorrow to fix it. Who knows?

Because my internet has not been working for several days, I have frequented cafés in the attempt to work, I will go and sit for hours, breaking records that only try to match my previous records spent in perkins library. However, I can only go to cafes so often and in reality (although I can never truly admit this), there is some work that I can do without my computer attached to the tips of my fingers. When I first started to realized this was true, I was amazed because I can't recall having done much of anything in the past four years without my computer. The majority of my arty stuff is on a computer and I write papers on computers and only last year did I take notes without a computer (this was mostly due to laziness of not wanting to carry my comp around). In fact, Nikhita and I were talking the other day about what it is like to write things, on paper. Who does that anymore? We were both fully in agreement that we can't think without the computer open in front of us to write. Now I ask, is this healthy? What does this mean for my and future generations? We are completely dependent on these machines but more than that, the internet. Yes I could theoretically write a paper without the internet because I would still have my computer, and in fact, the internet probably only distracts me, but still I feel a gap when I don't have access. In normal life (meaning at home in the US), I have internet access everywhere. I am one of those crackberry people who will google anything, anywhere, anytime. And seriously, when are any of us "disconnected"? By not having internet, this means I am only checking my email once a day, only responding to facebook and checking my blogs every few days, this is disconnected? I don't know, I don't know how this affects me or what it says about me but I'm sure it says something about everyone who is this way, meaning a good portion of the world. With laptops and smartphones and wifi enabled ipods, how long do we ever go without checking our emails? We don't.

Sorry, that was a rant but I can't help but think and also see that I have a problem, which reminds me, I miss my blackberry, a lot, like more than anyone should ever admit to missing an inanimate object, but I do. You should all expect me to attack you when I get back via blackberry.

Moving on (that's what we do in life isn't it?), yesterday was the first day of winter here. This means that you all, you who are in the northern hemisphere, are now in summer, does that mean it will get hotter in North Carolina? Lord, I hope not, I don't want to melt as I get off the plane, how anti-climactic. Anyways, it was the first day of winter and the high for the day was something like 55 degrees (Fahrenheit of course because I'm american and that's how my brain works). All day long, in the newspapers and on the news channels, there were messages about how this was the coldest day of the year and how everyone was hoping that this cold let up so as to not create the coldest winter in history. I'm being serious for the record. Also, as a result of this, the people are bundled. I have never even seen people who live in places where it actually gets cold wear two scarfs, but here I have seen that. Partly that is because people here will wear absolutely anything and also because if it goes below 70, they think they are going to die of cold. Now I understand that people are adjusted differently to cold weather based on experiences but I just cannot take these people seriously. Today it was in the 60s and people were wearing gloves, heavy winter jackets, several sweaters, scarfs y qué sé yo, everything you could ever imagine you would wear if you were in wisconsin and it was 20 below. I know I should be accepting and not judgmental, but I'm not and I will judge you if you ever try to tell me that 60s is cold.

In addition to this major excess amount of clothing that everyone argentine desires to wear, it affects us foreigners too. I am by far one of the more naked people in BA this time of year and that usually means that I am wearing boots, tights, dress and a sweater during the day and my leather jacket at night. That's naked. For some reason, even though any of us have ever seemed to think it is what we would call cold, we wear clothes like it is. For example, I have seen Lindsay, who let me remind you is from Wisconsin, wearing a sweater and her northface jacket with jeans and flats when it is in the 70s. Now that's just ridiculous. We feel for some reason obliged to dress like this. Literally every day we talk about how it's not cold outside and based on the reactions of the people, we get dressed thinking we are going outside in a blizzard, it never snows. (Sidenote: Apparently, 3 years ago, it snowed in BA. I have recieved this information from several different people. It's apparently a very big deal. This reason this interests me is because I would love to be here during snow, absolutely love it, because I cannot even fathom what people would do. Would they leave houses? Could they leave their houses? Would the city just stop moving? I think it would be utterly fascinating.) This reminds me also, I brought two jackets. One for medium weather and one for slightly colder, not cold weather. Well I haven't had to opportunity to wear my colder one, not even once. This makes me sad, because I love that coat and it's not like I can wear it when I get back home, apparently it's deathly hot.

So this is short and sweet, hope you enjoy for once that I didn't write a five page blog. you're welcome fans.

(I know I need to make my ego smaller, it's not all real, I swear)

love you lots
and lots
and argentina won
the US plays tomorrow

Friday, June 18, 2010

Work work work and more work.

Let me tell you about how bogged down with work I am. I am currently on gchat talking to Erik about whether I should go out tonight or stay at home and read some enlightening Amy Tan. After telling him how much I have to do in the next 2 and 1/2 weeks (assuming I want to finish with a few days to left to enjoy what I have left), he suddenly was fully in favor of me staying in and reading. Here, I will include you in my life.

That previous bit was written on Friday night. And I will inform you that my Saturday was not much more exciting, I stayed in both nights in an attempt to finish the Amy Tan book I am supposed to be reading. I actually just finished, it's a little after 1 on Sunday. The rest of my day will be spent re-reading short stories for my exam on Tuesday and tomorrow, I will attempt to learn everything I can about them all again. This is not actually very exciting. Last night at dinner, I made out a schedule of what I have left to do before I leave, in less than 3 weeks I might add, and I have every day schedule down to a t (is that the right form of that saying?). Anyways, I was also talking to mother on Friday night and she asked me the age-old mother question, "Did you put off everything to the end?" This is a question that she has asked me many times, and for once, the answer is actually no, or more no than yes. I mean yes there are things I have put off, but I actually have been really busy with work recently and I have been doing the best I can to keep up. It's so frustrating. For example, I got several assignments for papers only last week. And for one of my classes, the due date for my final paper is two years from the end of the seminar, so of course the mid-term is due the second to last class. However, because I am a foreigner, as I am so often reminded of, I have to turn in all my work before I leave the country. There is no leeway on this and so what I end up with is my mid-term due one week and my final due the next. Blah. Ok, I am going to stop talking about this now because it is causing me depression that I do not wish to have. Optimistic point though! Because I have so much work to do, the day where I leave will come quickly because every day is scheduled already. Woot!

Second thing that happened this week that is of interest and is most likely more interesting than me complaining about how much I have to do is something that happened on Wednesday. Wednesday evening around 7pm, my friend Nikhita and I were sitting in a cafe that is at the corner of my block, literally several hundred yards from my apartment but no more. We were both working on our computers (as I have no internet at my house and will expand on that later). We had been sitting there for a while, I got coffee, she got orange juice, we split a muffin and in essence, life was good. Then the strangest thing happened, a man walked into the cafe, reached from behind Nikhita while staring me straight in the eyes and took her computer that she was actually typing on. He then proceeded to run out of the cafe and somehow, Nihkita managed to run after him. I'm sure she would have caught (which potentially could have been very dangerous), but he already had a friend waiting on a motorcycle for him and they sped away. And like that, it was gone, robbery had occurred and we were standing dumbfounded in a café, not even able to speak. Nikhita asked if we could call the police and sadly every one confirmed our suspicions that it wouldn't do any good anyways. The police would likely not even write down anything we said, this happens to often, no one can do a damn thing about it. All of this, Nikhita's host mother later confirmed. So we left to go call her parents and try to figure out what to do. There were the normal bits of surprise, grief and then ice cream to try to calm the nerves, which helped of course. We have since then worked out a sharing bit for when we are in Starbucks (they have a security guard, I am now very conscious of where I take my computer), and her host mom and some family friends have made sure she is set until we go home.

The thing is, about this robbery, is that we were in the safest part of Buenos Aires. We were in the nicest part of town, which of course makes us targets in one since, but there is also supposed to be less crime here, I am supposed to be safe. Well, although I have never felt completely safe in Buenos Aires as I would in say, Kernersville North Carolina, I have felt comfortable. Don't get me wrong, of course I always have my guard up, from men making sexual gestures on the street to people invading my personal space a little too much on the subway or buses, but I felt at least safe-ish near my home. And to add to it, we weren't being stupid Americans. We didn't leave our computers just sitting on a table as we went to the bathroom (which we saw a girl do the next day at a different cafe quite close to the first) and we weren't ignoring our surroundings, we were being safe. We were sitting inside and Nikhita was physically touching her computer when it was taken. There was absolutely nothing we could have done, which helps a bit but also puts reality in a scary place, there is nothing we can do here to actually control out safety here. I realized shortly after that I am just fed up with this city, I can appreciate it for some things, but I want to be home, not for my food, or my family, or my friends or whathaveyou, I want to be home so I can feel safe at least for a little bit. And I know I am going to be living in NYC next semester and that it isn't exactly safe, but it's just not the same. Buenos Aires is a really poor city; these people don't have anything else. It also has one of the highest crime rates in the world, compared to Buenos Aires; I will be safe in NYC. I don't know, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'm really glad that we were okay and that nothing too traumatizing happened (like the girl whose house here got broken into or the three girls who were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight on a busy street), but still it just reminds that I am never safe and there is a feeling of constant stress knowing I can never be careful enough.

Okay, now we're moving on to the next biggest even that is happening in my life right now. My Internet (did you know that internet is a proper noun according to Microsoft word?) sucks ass. Literally. As most of you know, I have never had particularly good Internet while I have been in this country. It went in and out every ten minutes, if it even took that long and the majority of most skype conversation consisted of me leaving and calling back and then disappearing and then calling back and it was a vicious cycle. It never got better, it only got worse. It had gotten to the point that if I was video skyping and even clicked a link to facebook (which is not slow internet friendly), then it would cut out. Well, this was annoying (I would also have to go start the modem every 10-20 minutes) but I could handle it. Then Hilda moved in and when it went out for real, like I would to go into the other room and restart the modem, I could no longer go into the other room at night because Hilda was in there sleeping. This was annoying, but manageable, as I could always just go restart it in the morning. Well then the annoying thing happened, my host mother tried to get it fixed and now because of all her brilliant technicians coming in and changing wires and putting the modem in my room, I no longer have internet. It was out for several days straight and before that it would work in the lowest sense of the word, it was so slow at one point, I couldn't load pages, any of them on the whole internet. Then it went out completely and she had the technician come back. He tried to fix it, but said that we would have to call the cable company, that he could only replace the modem and he said it should be fine until the cable company came. Well, what he didn't know was that he was wrong. It worked for one day and then didn't work the next morning and then did work at night and then didn't work in the morning and then didn't work at night and then didn't work at all. This is where we are now and the technician doesn't come until Wednesday, and as I'm sure you can all imagine, this really is helping me get all my freakish amounts of work done...not even slightly. I'm stuck and I have to spend all my time in either Starbucks or at Nikhita's house, this sucks. I can't wait until I get home and there isn't a "problem in the area" that keeps from having internet access. OH and I will have my blackberry which keeps me constantly connected, Oh America.

Speaking of America, or at least specifically, the United States of, the place I call home, I've noted something recently. Somehow, during my time in Argentina, I have become more American. I have never been particularly American like, I always have certain qualities that identify me as what I am, but never any of that overt patriotism or inability to find other countries on the map or that desire to only speak English. However, since I got here, I've realized how truly American I am. I realized this when I was standing in Starbuck's, wearing Lindsay's northface jacket. All of that is American. I eat at mostly British or americanized restaurants here or some type of international cuisine because I can't actually stand argentine food anymore. I still dress very American like and well, then there's my accent and for those of you who haven't traveled a lot, even non-native English speakers can usually identify an American accent. It's the normal English that everyone knows and can identify. Anyways, I just thought I would note this and how I think it's weird that living abroad made me more American.

In contrast to that entire last paragraph, I have to tell you that somewhere in the midst of the World Cup starting, I have become a football (soccer) fan. I know things about the World Cup. I know players, for at least Argentina, I know the rules, I know why they do certain quizzical things and I can actually explain this to others. I have been following the quarterfinals elimination and when asked I can tell you when the next game is of at least the US and Argentina, I'm pretty much a connoisseur now. I watch games, I care, and I don't know how this happened. I think it has to do with a possible two things but these are just hypotheses. First, I really like both the Shakira song "Waka Waka" (in Spanish and English" and the David Bisbal K'Naan song "Wavin' Flag" and these are highly associated with the World Cup making me love the world cup more and want to watch. This is weak theory; please let me tell you the more likely one. Soccer players can be really hot, I mean completely gorgeous. They're not all bulky like football players and soccer is ten times more interesting than baseball, but mostly they can be really gorgeous and it makes it worth watching. I know I shouldn't say this out loud or rather type and publish it to the internet, but seriously google Gonzalo Higuaín or hell, anyone on the Brazilian team. Any sane straight female should really jump on this bandwagon, soccer is fun.

Oh also for those of you who are wondering if the entire city shuts down for the World Cup, the answer is yes and no. For Argentina games, YESYESYES (or SÍSÍSÍ), the whole country shuts down, but not necessarily for other games, life goes on but everyone knows and every café has the TV on the same channel. It's pretty marvelous to watch as long as the game isn't at 8:30 in the morning, like it was last Thursday, Argentina versus South Korea (for the record, Argentina won, 4-1, 3 of the goals were scored by Higuaín). There's another Argentina game at 3:30 this Tuesday also.

Little side note of Argentine culture, they love to use superlatives (and conversely, diminutives as well). This morning I walked into the kitchen and Hilda was on the phone (which is one of the three things she ever does, talk on the phone, watch TV and knit, she has a fascinating life) and I overheard her say "Bárbaro! Buenísimo, Buuueeeenooo!! Fantástico!" all in a row, just like it, that's a quote guys. It is the equivalent of saying, "OMG THAT'S SO AMAZING, LIKE SOO SOO GOOD, SOO GOOD, SOOO FANTASTIC, SO GOOD!" all in row, which just sounds ridiculous. Hehe.

Ok, so as another little side note. As a result of having so much homework and never having reliable internet in my house and also the cushy chairs and smell of coffee, I spend a lot of time in Starbuck's. Now, as I am sure you are all judging me "She's in Argentina and hangs out in Starbucks, how American" and on one hand you would be right, you can find lots of Americans/English speakers there, but there is a different stigma to starbucks here. Instead of representing the classic chain and the murderer to the small individually owned organic mom-and-pop coffee shop, it is what the young crowd does. In Argentina, that old sit down in a coffee shop and enjoy coffee like it is a meal thing is exactly that, old. And it's only what old people do. Here, the young crowd goes to starbucks, there are always massive groups of teenagers and a few couples showing their love for one another in the starbucks we go to. But all starbucks are like this, the other ones I have been to, have young businessmen, American tourists, and young people. That's just what it is, which is almost the opposite of in the States, where all the cool young people go to little shops with organic coffee, because that's what we do. And here, starbucks is what they do.

My point being, as I seemed to completely have lost it in my last paragraph is that I spend a lot of time there. I know I have mentioned this before. Either way, Argentine starbucks are celebrating their 2-year anniversary in the country this week and they are having coffee tastings and the like. So today, Pablo, the guy who always gets excited when Lindsay comes in because he knows her very difficult American name, comes up to us (Lindsay, Ami and I) and asks if we would be interesting in doing a tasting. We of course say yes, and he tells us it will be just like wine. Hehe, not that we ever want to do wine tastings again. Anyways, so he comes back, he walks us through the tasting and we door poorly with identifying the flavors and smells and whatnot even though we know ten-fold more about coffee than we do about wine, we still fail, it's still a fracaso. I still have a cold and Ami stills likes describing things as what they are, it tastes like wine, it tastes like coffee. So Lindsay is left to determine what the coffee smells and tastes like and how to correctly identify it. She does better than Ami and I. We all decide we like the stronger African one better and we can now tell the difference between African and Latin American coffee like we can tell the difference between young wine and old wine, we're experts and we need a hell of a lot of practice. Anyways, it was fun, we got two free French presses of coffee and free cookies for the tasting. Then he gave out free carrot cake, we are still unsure why we bothered to buy anything. :)

Ok, so there is a chance that this is the longest blog post I have ever done. I will try to write more often and have shorter posts that are easier on the eye. I'm sorry, it's really difficult between the homework and the internet. Oh and don't forget, I will be home in less than 3 weeks, which is less than 3 weeks. It's so close, I can almost smell the obesity and tobacco, WOOT!!

love love love and wordiness
happy father's day benny (and the jets)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I think the end is near.

So, yesterday I received an email from the oh-so-cryptic Ben, the step dad of all knowledge. It said "26 days" and other than sounding like a slightly shorter version of 28 days, I realized it's not that much time. I have a lot of papers and such left to write but that's not the most important thing. 3 weeks and counting.

Moving on, this past week was a bit hectic as I assume that all weeks in the future are going to be. I mean at least until I get home. I skipped my UBA class last monday because it was far away and I had a paper to write. Tuesday, I went to class but somehow in the course of my life became sick with what I will refer to as the plague. It was horrible, so Tuesday after class, I ended up laying in my bed and not moving, watching Dexter and thinking I was going to die. What made this worse is that I had already bought my plane ticket to go to Mendoza the next day, so I knew I had to rest. And I tried. It took me forever to go to sleep because I was having hot spells and cold chills and I had this nasty throbbing headache and I had a fever. It was really unpleasant. Then thank the lord, I finally slept. I woke up on Wednesday early than I desired to and watched Glee (which was a somewhat disappointing finale) and some more Dexter. At some point, I showered and dressed and we went to the airport and flew to Mendoza. And here we can move into the details of my trip.

We got to the hostel, it was really nice and cute and super safe. I went to bed almost immediately upon arrival and the others ate. I was asleep by 9:30. I woke up pretty early the next morning and checked my email and had breakfast and found out that we should already be leaving for our day at the wineries. We got the right bus to Mr. Hugo's and followed the map to our first vineyard, Trapiche. We took the tour, learned a lot about wine and realized how little any of us knows about wine. We did a tasting and Ami so genuinely commented that "it tastes like wine" when we were repeatedly asked what flavors we could taste in the wine? Leather, chocolate, tobacco, shoe, wool, sheep, dog, none of us knew what was going on. To add to this, I was still stuffy and when asked to smell wine, I couldn't really do anything more than suck snot. I was super classy. At this point, we were wine sipping without having eaten since breakfast and decided to go to one of the wineries to have lunch. It was the farthest away, the Familia di Tomasso and well, Ami bikes really slowly. Also, this calm country biking that you may have imagined is not exactly what we were experiencing. We were biking down the side of the main road that runs through wine country and there were buses and tractor-trailers and it was sometimes scary. At one point, when a tractor trailer full of wine bottles passed I realized what the most painful death ever would be. I used to think it would be slowly being eaten to death by a turtle, but I realize it may in fact be riding a bike on a road when a tractor trailer of wine bottles passes and the truck breaks somehow and all the wine bottles spill out, shattering on to you, cutting you all over while wine pours into your cuts. Doesn't that sound awful? Well, when the fourth or fifth truck like this passes by, less than two feet from you, you start imagining these types of scenes, like you were living in final destination or something.

Anyways, we had good lunch, more wine and then some more wine. We did some spontaneous yoga and somehow, our balance was off. Hmm. We eventually made it back to Mr. Hugo's to get our complimentary glass of wine. Well in Mr. Hugo's world, a complimentary glass is actually a complimentary unlimited amount of wine, where he continually fills glasses while smiling and speaking in Spanish to tourists, who mostly only speak English. It was great fun. At some point, we made it back to our hostel after Lindsay insisted on eating something from a place called Mr. Dog and I think the guy who works at our hostel thinks we're crazy. Although, he must not think we're too awful, we're facebook friends now, which is legit.

Friday morning, we woke up, slowly, all needing water. It was a very smart idea of ours to schedule our paragliding trip in the afternoon. We ate some breakfast and then avoided food, because apparently paragliding can cause nausea. This is true, in case you are wondering, I experienced it first combined with the nausea I got from the very bumpy, somewhat hazardous ride up the mountain. That would be the mountain that I then JUMPED OFF OF WHILE STRAPPED TO A PARACHUTE. OMG, it was so awesome. Adrenaline, Nausea, Cold, More Cold and then came the acrobatics. It was amazing, so amazing and I loved every second of it and I cannot properly describe to you what it is like to jump off a mountain, and I literally mean there are no words for the experience. I was speechless, but I got a baller picture of me in the air. It will be my new profile, don't fret.

So then, we returned and all showered because we were all disgusting, not from paragliding, from not showering for several days, because you don't have to when you live in a hostel. We went to the grocery store and bought groceries (only vegetables) to make ourselves dinner. Oh and we bought supplies or what supplies we could find in order to make chocolate chip cookies (because we were all missing them and thinking of home) and those supplies would come to delicious fruition the next day. We roasted butternut squash and batatas (which don't exist in English) and made some corn on the cob. Also, we made about ten times more food than we needed, but as I am most affectionately known as "the garbage disposal," it all worked out in the end.

For the rest of the weekend, we cooked more, we watched various movies and various games of the world cup. We baked, we became known as "the chefs" of the hostel and traded recipes with some new Irish friends. It was awesome and we essentially did nothing. We baked chocolate chip cookies which although very common in the US, are not so common worldwide and I had several people ask what we were making. We had enough to share with every single person in our hostel and everyone loved them, even though they judged our combination of milk and cookies and we judged their combination of beer and cookies. Also, in case you are ever in a country where brown sugar doesn't exist, for example, Argentina, then I have a solution for you. Instead of the usual present brown sugar, we substituted granulated sugar on a 1:1 basis and added about a tablespoon of honey based off an idea I got from googling. It worked perfectly, you couldn't even tell the difference. Also, they don't sell chocolate chips here in general, you can find them, but they're not everywhere, which astounds and confuses me.

Saturday night, we discovered a version of Spanish monopoly in the hostel. This was a win. We decided to play. It turns out that there is a reason I never play monopoly...I'm cursed. In a simple game of monopoly, I rolled 21 doubles. I went to jail 3 times because of rolling doubles 3 times in a row and I went to jail a total of 6 times (one of which I rolled doubles on the first try to get out). It was really creepy and we decided I was cursed because it is statistically disturbing to roll that many doubles. This led us to look up people who died on my birthday, because I am obviously the reincarnate (can you use that as a noun?) of some crazy evil dictator or algo así. Well, it turns out no one super scary died on my birthday, but the whole being born on Friday the 13th might have some weight in the issue. Also, while we were googling, I told Francisco (the night guy at our hostel) that I was cursed and he didn't believe me. So he pulls the game out of the cabinet and has me roll the die to prove I'm not cursed. Well, I rolled doubles, He still denies it and after we figure out no one awesome died on my birthday, he had me roll them again. I rolled doubles again. That's 23 times folks, be wary, you're my friends, you're next.

Sunday morning (awesome news show), we awake to finish packing and go to the airport pretty early. We make it back and attempt to do homework, not sure we ever did. This brings me to the next subject of my musings. I don't have all that much time left here. I have an epic amount of work to do, because the way school works here is no accountability for the majority of the semester and then a whole bunch of death at the end. So much fun. My goal is to be done by July 5th, so I at least have 5 days left in BA without a whole bunch of shitty work to do.

I've been thinking about it and I think there are actually some things I am going to miss about BA. It's started to grow on me a bit here at the end and I'm not nearly as unhappy as I was a month ago. I still hate my host family and I call them "las viejas" (which means old ladies) but she is now making me almost a separate meal ever night and this is helping. I still hate meat and can't wait to not eat it, but I've been able to avoid it fairly well in the confines of the city. The food is what has been causing me the most problem here, but soon I will have food I like. And once I stopped caring about my host family and what they think even slightly, life has been much better. I still can't wait to go home, but at least I know now that I can make it the last 25 days, which is now more like 24 and I will be fine.

All right, although I would like to keep writing, I have much work to do and really need to start doing that. Also, I should shower and wash my massively long hair at some point as it takes quite a long time now.

lots of love
lots of besos

p.s. i know that we are young and i know that you may love me, but i just can't be with you like this anymore, alejandro

^my new obsession, just accept it and watch the video, trust me, it's worth a watch and alejandro needs to beat bad romance as the most watched video of all time

p.p.s. i just put this into word to proof it because ami told me i was making mistakes and i really wish i could write papers this easily, it's 3 pages single spaced, damn