La semana con dos asados
It’s almost too much. But it never is.
You know those moments when you realize the extent of how much you enjoyed something? I used to study Happiness a little bit and realized that sometimes the most fulfilling, enriching part of an experience is the part afterward when you reflect and say, “Wow.” It’s the beauty of the structure of our lives, really. I used to think that it was strange that everything died (back when I was a weird, philosophical kid. Wait, I still kind of am. Okay, so I haven’t changed much.) I thought, how strange that things come to an end. Sure, I had heard the idioms, I’ve heard the cliches that talk about this sort of thing, but I didn’t understand really why Eddie, my blind dog, had to eventually pass after years of navigating our house just fine without vision. I didn’t understand why eventually there wasn’t another slice of my mom’s cakes readily available. I still don’t sometimes.
I think I’m starting too though. And even if I don’t understand the complexities of life and death, longevity and brevity applied to the inner workings of a universe and it’s creation, I understand one positive to it all: after something’s happened in our lives, we have the opportunity to remember it, to think back and say, “Dude. That was awesome.” And you almost gain more pleasure from this recall experience too. It’s a pretty good two for one deal, this whole living thing, you know? Multiply this phenomenon by millions of appreciated moments and you get one awesome life. As my Boston friend likes to say, “Wicked.”
Opps…I’m not suppose to come to this realization until the end, am I? Shoot, let me explain.
It was a week unlike any other….
I had TWO ASADOS in ONE WEEK! Okay, Americans, listen up. An asado is a HUGE MEAL O’ CARNE (meat). When I say it’s huge, I actually mean ENORMOUS. You eat intestines, cooked blood cocktail of things–just tons of different parts of the cow and all of it is wooonderful. I mean, just awesome. Why?
I got to spend the weekend in the Providence with my friend Rose at our friend Vir’s house. It was so fantastic to get to know her family and to literally speak English for 2 days straight. You’d be surprised at how often people want to speak English when you’re abroad.
The next opportunity was an asado at our friend Young’s residencia to celebrate our friend Tsu’s birthday. One of the highlights of the night? When another person in the residencia spoke Japanese. Poor Tsu has had COMPLETE immersion because he only speaks English and Spanish here and he’s still learning both. It was so special when he could relax his mind even for a couple minutes and speak his language. The asado was delicious and it was the best because we were just sharing everything together: food, silverware where we could get it. You know in literature how the author always uses meals as a means of bringing the characters together, a form of communion? Yup, this was one of those moments.
Did I tell you about the Tango dancing? I didn’t mention the Tango? Well, I know how to Tango now. I’ve taken two lessons and of course feel like a pro. Just kidding, it’s extremely difficult! We went to Botica del Angel (actually where I’ll be taking one of my classes this semester! Teatro!) and learned from the pros in a beautiful museo de Tango. It was a fantastic afternoon and that same week us IFSA folks went and tried our luck at a real Tango club. Here, anyone can ask you to dance. We got to dance with some experienced Porteños and it was definitely an experience to remember. I learned that the old men are some of the best (just watch their hands, though!)
I’ve gotten to know a lot of the neighborhoods here. Each a little different than the rest. I’m enjoying learning how to cook, knowing the markets, and getting a feel for the history here. This city is RICH, muy rico, of what seems like everything, in an almost oxymoronic sort of way, you know? It’s beautifully crumbling, tittering on economic recovery, it has a mix of different ethnic backgrounds while the people seem to be mildly racists, is a country with a female president while there’s still a prominent machismo mentality, and parques that seems to create an illusion of love and tranquility amongst the honks and whistles of a typical city block. Again, it’s a beautiful and intriguing thing. And I love living here.
For now, I’m enjoying living in a moment of reflection and learning to let loose a little more each day. What I mean is, it’s too easy to think and get comfortable with your anxieties. It’s easier to be scared sometimes, it’s easier to hesitate, rationalize, justify. It’s easy to walk away.
Right now, I’m walking toward something beautiful. It’s different, but I can’t wait to sit back and say, “Wow. DOS ASADOS and….” well, we’ll see what I’m marveling at next.