After over a week, after getting my Subte card, going through the process of registering as a student with the county, learning where my class is located, how to take the bus, etc–I’ve finally realized that I need to start enjoying Buenos Aires.
It sounds stupid, I know. And it’s not as though I haven’t been enjoying myself. I’ve gone to bars, parks, clubs, drum concerts etc. It just wasn’t until I met Vir, my student guide at my university, that I realized I’m going to be engaging in so many more awesome experiences, and it totally starts now.
I’m still learning, but I know right now that it’s my job to seek those good ol’ once-in-a-lifetime-experiences and I need to start stepping up.
Highlights: <–Actually, I’m going to start calling them “LowLights” because it takes the pressure off a bit. These aren’t crazy events in my week that are spectacular, rather they’re events that mean something to me…that I’d like to share and remember. Here goes…
1) I talked to this 15 year old skater kid in Palermo the other day. I’ve been totally in awe of the younger students here. They’re exactly the age that I want to teach some day because they’re already so passionate (well….everyone is passionate here! Seriously, ever corner of the street you see a couple going at it….but again, I really like that about this city!) and curious. We had a great, normal conversation. And that ‘s what I want to do here. Part of my tenants is to meet interesting people. This nice long-haired boy trying to do a twisty-turny skate board trick on the street– he was so interesting and I’m so glad I had the pleasure of talking to him (in Spanish, of course!)
(Disclaimer: Now, don’t get nervous, parents! I only engage in conversations in well-lit, nice areas with my bag around my body and with friends close by. I never go home with anyone or go into any alleys. You taught me well. Plus, if I need to, I’ll use some of my Tae Kwon Do action! KI-AP!!)
2. We went to the bar in Recoleta and it was really chill. I love the group of people I’m with because we all get along. No one is mean, no one is catty–just really cool. And that’s what I like. We also got the chance to get MEXICAN FOOD! Which was a nice break because Porteños surprisingly do NOT like spicy food. Weird, huh?
3. I had a really great day last week when we toured churches in the morning. I lit a candle for my dear friend Sarah who is now a SURVIVOR of cancer. WOOOOOOOOOOT!!!! I’m so proud of her. She’s battling a ton of pain and discomfort and she’s still the most gorgeous/smiley person I know. She is still recovering, but she’s so strong and I was so happy that I got to do this for her in such a famous and holy space. We then had an AWESOME spanish class with Leonardo, our professor. It’s so great to study again. Then I got to meet with Rose and Vir, our guide, and talk about how we’re having a SLEEPOVER this weekend and future travel plans to Patagonia and Cordoba! It’s so wonderful to know that things so amazing like trips to these beautiful places are actually possible! Finally feeling like I’m living for the moment, not for Fb. Plus, I LOVE sleepovers. En serio, I LOVE them.
4. My friend Fabiano visited as some of you may know! That was ammmmmmazing because I know the world is small now. There were moments when I was eating with him and his friends when I realized that we were speaking 3 languages during the same meal. I just thought it was so special to be able to communicate with others even if we come from different places and even if it wasn’t always perfect. I’ve kind of realized my love of languages recently. Who knows what will come of this. Language, I now realize, is just a way of connecting people together. We’re all very similar, you know. It’s a spectacular thing.
5. I biked around El Tigre today and learned a lot. I got to see people interacting in wonderful ways. There was one time when a woman got her hand stuck in the door on the train and immediately 4 boys ran to her and were ready to pry the door open. It was very interesting because at first the other 4 looked like the classic “punk,”–I was so quick to judge and was especially mindful of my bag. But then when the time came, tons of strangers were ready to help. In addition, you always, always, give up your seat up for children (not to middle -aged men though. I learned that quickly too.) You have to be very careful on the tren, but it was great to see the way people respond positively in an emergency. Again, pretty spectacular.
6. I was hanging out at Plaza de San Martín yesterday. It was so beautiful: pink flowers, huge field on a hill, giant Argentinian flag. My favorite part were these kids playing soccer. I watched and interacted a little bit even though I wanted to play. Why didn’t I? BECAUSE THEY WERE EXTRAORDINARY. Seriously, I was talking to their mothers–they play for club teams at 9 years old and ROCK. They can do a drop kick and get the ball to go behind them through the goal. Needless to say, it was a wonderful afternoon. I was so tired and sat down by myself and realized: this is it.
This is what I’m here for. I just have to keep seeking and I’ll find out more than I can possibly comprehend now. Even if it just means pretending to play soccer with 9 years who can easily kick my butt.