Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Yanquis en la Playa

Mar del Plata was an… experience, to say the least. Our group of 11 Americans stuck out like a sore thumb, but it was INCREDIBLE.  The beach itself was decent… reminded me of Virginia Beach (surrounded by hotels, reddish sand, silty water, and looots of people).  But at the same time, it’s a beach in Argentina, so all the rules and restrictions don’t apply.  At times, it felt like a baseball game, as Brazillians and Argentines alike walked the beach shouting to the world that they were selling fruit salad, watches, beads, ice cream, and pretty much anything else that you can think of.  After about an hour and a half of us searching the city for coolers and ice (two not-so-argentine commodities), we were finally able to relax on the beach with drink-in-hand and not a care in the world.  We had a blast kicking around the soccer ball, riding waves, and laying out on the crowded beach, and we quickly figured out why this beach was called Playa Popular.  It seemed like everyone from the city was there on the beach, and they were all looking at the pale American spectacle that was loud and English with two large heavily-used coolers in the middle of the beach.  Although we stuck out, we still had a blast, and our holiday weekend in Mar del Plata was off to a great start!

The night life… INSANE. After our second day at the beach (a much nicer beach about a 30-minute ride to the South on a colectivo), we had a nice dinner at a Mexican place and then headed out to the bars. Well into the night, we eventually made it to this boliche that was wiiiiild to say the least.  There were several rooms, all playing different music, and then outdoor areas to cool off from the steamy inner rooms.  It was the best night out that I had experienced to that point since being in Argentina. Incredible.

It seemed like our stay flew by in the blink of an eye, and in no time we were back at the disorganized bus station, attempting to make our way back into the big city.  It was an unforgettable weekend, and although the beaches weren’t the greatest, the food, people, and night life definitely made it an amazing trip!

Now as the smell of food wafts into my open window, I’m going to wander around a bit to see if I can find a librería to find some school supplies (although I doubt any will be open, being that it’s a Saturday).  School officially starts this week, and it’s definitely going to be hard to stay sane with the hectic and disorganized Argentine university system.  But that’s how this country is… and you gotta embrace it because in the end, leaving boliches in the daylight, eating 25-cent facturas, and being in the company of some of the nicest people in the world definitely makes it worthwhile.

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