Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coming Home: Life After Study Abroad

Being home has been great and well, weird. It's a bit like walking back into a life that isn't yours anymore. Despite how it felt, people moved on with their lives while I was gone. My sister's belly has gotten so big! My brother has moved into his own place. Even the animals have gotten chubbier. While at first it was a bit disorienting, it's now become more and more evident that things won't be the same way that they were before I left. Because not only has everyone else changed, I've changed and that's a bit hard to deal with.

Sharing some Argentine culture with my family!
Luckily, the usual boredom that accompanies returning back from an exciting trip abroad will be short 
lived, because I have so much to look forward to! With a baby on the way, a million friends to reunite with and my final semester of school fast approaching, I have no shortage of things to do. 

One of the biggest things that has come with coming home though is the questions! Which believe me are not a problem because I could blabber on about Argentina for hours (oops already do!). But there are some really common questions I get that I know find hilarious because they seem so obvious after having lived and breathed the Argentine lifestyle for four months. So I decided to address the most common questions I get!

Question 1: Did you just stick out everywhere as an American?

Like most big cities, Buenos Aires is a total melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. But it turns out that Argentines, at least the ones in BA are generally very "white." Like the United States they are a country of European immigrants and the majority of the indigenous people were marginalized and live in the rural areas. So, in short I didn't really stand out from the locals that bad, until I started talking that is!

Question 2: Did you just eat Mexican food all the time?

I did a post previously on the most common foods I ate in Argentina, but generally it was a little bland in flavor compared to what I'm use to (lots of Mexican). Not to say it wasn't good but sugar and salt were the only spices we really used.

Also it was SO MUCH BREAD. Pretty much everything was breaded or involved bread in the meal. Now I love bread just as much as the next girl but it took it's toll. Besides bread, every meal included meat and a lot of it. Argentina is not a vegetarian friendly country!

Question 3: Did your family speak English?

If you haven't seen some of my previous posts, you should know that I adored my host family. They were a huge factor in making it an incredible experience. Fortunately, my host mom spoke English which allowed me to have more in-depth conversations about the culture, politics, history that would have been impossible with my limited vocabulary. But I spoke to my host Dad and sisters only in Spanish which was great practice!

Overall, I was surprised at how few people spoke English in the city. In the tourist areas it was pretty common but once you venture out you are probably on your own with whatever Spanish you can speak.

Now that it's done I'm excited to get started with my next adventure! As of right now the plan is to go to Spain/Italy? this summer. I've also applied for a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Malaysia but that wouldn't be till January 2015, if I get it. Even though I'm not totally sure of my future right now I'm excited to see what happens!


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