Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm buying a coat and other things I have learned

So much to mine and every other study abroad student's delight it is mucho frio in Buenos Aires! It's not like I was completely ignorant of the fact that it is currently winter in South America. I knew that, but the internet said (my first mistake) that it was going to like 50F at the coldest and probably in the 60s F. It's much more like 40s F during the day, that's not counting how chilly it is at night. My Argentinian Madre even said that it may snow, for the first time in 50 or so years!!! Just my luck!

Drinking hot Argentinian tea

Besides the weather, there are a few other quirky things about Argentina I wasn't expecting, well actually Buenos Aires specifically. Their Spanish is a little odd as in the ll doesn't make the y sound, think "como se llama," you probably said that like yama. In BA it's pronounced shama. The double ll always makes the sha sound. It's kind of weird at first, but you get over after someone says it to you a few times. 

The next thing I had heard about was the Boleches which are the dance clubs. I knew that they were supposed to be crazy but jeez lousie. They're absolutely insane!! And the dancing is like a weird salsa, techno mix, it's not at all typical Americano dance club dancing. Last night I even managed to order a drink solo. I did fine until it came to paying and I couldn't hear a thing the bartender was saying. Combine loud music with very basic Spanish knowledge and you're going to get a lot of que's back and forth. Talking to another person in the Boleche is the worst. I can get through the "como se llama" and "como estas" but then they say something else and I just give them the deer in the headlights and say uhh "no hablo espanol, lo siento!" 

I can't wait till I know enough Spanish to have conversations. The people here are insanely friendly! Men and women alike want to talk to you and know where you are from and what the hell you're doing in the visa office of Buenos Aires. It's really wonderful truly. Last night on the way home from the boleche we met some Argentinian college students and talked with them for probably an hour about school and learning Spanish and music. It was awesome and something that I could never imagine doing in the United States. 

The view from my window. 

You've probably already figured this out by now, but I am in love with Argentina. It's the most incredible city I've ever been in and it already feels like home. But then again that maybe because my host madre is the most incredible woman in the whole world. I said I loved dulce de leche so she went and got some immediately. We've spent the whole day walking around Palermo (our neighbor) checking out the stores, the mall, the bars district and talking about everything. Most of our conversations are 50% Spanish because her English isn't great. It's crazy that just 3 days ago I was completely tongue tied when anyone spoke Spanish to me and now I'm carrying on conversations partly in Spanish. 

The best advice I've gotten so far is to use what words you know. No matter how few words you know use them. To an Argentinian passing by I probably sound really confusing saying half the words in English and my numbers and other words in Spanish. I've even done it on the phone with my mom. I responded si to something she said instead of yes. I realize that's small, but it's a step in the right direction. It's truly incredible how fast our brains can learn. 

I won't bore you anymore with yammering on about random things. Until my next post! 


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