Sunday, July 21, 2013

The First 24

This is being posted a day late due to my lack of wi-fi at the original host family house. 

Hola! I’ve survived my first 24 hours in Buenos Aires, quite splendidly actually and all without even a single tear! I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I thought it would be harder/scarier than this. Sure I’ve given many a person the deer in the headlights stare, but it’s been easier than I expected it to be.

People have always told me, about going abroad, that people will know English, which may be true if you go to tourist areas. But I am living in Belgrano soon to move to Palermo which are both residential barrios (neighborhoods).       Tourists typically do not venture out this far so me expecting them to know English is just like if we were expected to know Spanish everywhere we went in the US.

What I’ve figured out is that I should expect just as many people to understand English as people that would understand Spanish in just a regular neighborhood in the US. So not very many people. They seem to know a couple basic words (sometimes). Like everyone on the subway said excuse me instead of saying it in Spanish after they heard me talking to another student in English.

You don’t realize how often you say words like okay and yes automatically without thinking about it. It’s been challenging to force myself to say bien and si instead of English. Though I don’t know very much Spanish at all, muy basico, I have been trying to use those few words as frequently as possible to at least get used to saying them.

The city is very interesting. It’s huge and everyone drives like a maniac. There are no real road rules like stop signs or lights or staying in your lane or tailgating. People kind of just do what they want and honk whenever they can’t. It’s a little scary crossing the street, but I’m sort of catching on.

There is also graffiti EVERYWHERE, even though we’re in a nice barrio. It’s kind of weird. Plus people don’t pick up after their dogs, which is definitely gross.

Today I ordered my first dulce de leche all by myself (well with my friend Crystal telling me what to say right before) but I was pretty proud. By the way, dulce de leche is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in my whole life. I also exchanged money, in Spanish, by myself (no one can come up with you).

Overall though BA is wonderful and I think I’m going to learn fast because no one speaks English and dinner and breakfast are conducted only in Spanish.

To all of mi familia y amigos reading this I love you!

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