Monday, February 23, 2009

Two days

Man I can't tell you how free I felt in the air. Even though I was squeezed between two gentlemen on a 12 hour flight to Buenos Aires. It's rare to not have a single place to be, to be unreachable, to be unneeded. Anyway after a read of the paper and three sleeping pills later I was in Argentina. 

I stepped outside the airport, the automatic glass doors opened, the weather was great and I had no idea where I was. After lighting a cigarette the offers for a cab started pouring in. A guy came up to me and asked me in Spanish where I was going. I told him I didn't know, which was true and I realized I should figure that out. My computer didn't get any wifi, so I bought an hour of Internet for $6 pesos and found out where i was going and how
 much i should pay; not more than 110 AR$. I was solicited to be taken to my address in central BA for 140 AR$. I told him no more than 100, he said 120, I said 100. so i got it for 100, about $35 US.We talked about the weather, which high school Spanish classes had prepared me for, and he got me there really fast and told me which parts of town to avoid. It wasn't an official taxi, just a midsized Toyota or something. It was from him I realized what a different dialect Argentineans had. I told him i was going to 1835 Avenida de "Mayo" and he repeated "Avenida de mazzo." those small differences would make learning the language a bit harder. 

the people here sound like Italians speaking Spanish.

When I arrived at the hostel I was shown around by the door man. The smoking patios are to die for. A huge hole graces the middle of the building, like a sky box 20 feet long where you can see th
e tip of the sun or feel the rain on your face. I'm staying on t
he bottom floor where i can look up through the middle of the building. 

on the top floor is a bar and the roof with a great view of the city.
 Dale, an Irish guy, insisted I sit next to him when I entered the room. He bought me a beer and wants to play music with me here at the hostel. I brought my tiny microkorg keyboard and he his guitar. Than this Icelandic guy I met was leaving,
 with luggage in hand and on his way out, he realized he couldn't bring a bottle of champagne he brought in Argentina with him on the plane and gave it to us instead. Then i slept in my room for 5 hours.

When I woke up it was near 10pm. I drank some more 
beer, this time with a Canadian and a 20-year-old fiance management major girl from Chicago, and went back to bed around 2:30, to get a good nights sleep for orientation at 10 in the morning the following day.

One of the little things I've had to adjust to is not having a cell phone. I never know what time it is, and i don't have an alarm clock. Not to mention I've found myself reaching in my pocket to call my roommate Kyle when I see something cool. Anyway, I woke up at 1045 and clumsily ran around getting my shit together while this tiny little Argentinian woman swept the room. 

Speed walking through the streets i felt like an Argentinian, I had a place to go and wasn't jus
t gawking around, although I was, just in really fast glances. 
I had no map just a piece of paper with the words "left, right" and different street names I had written in haste while looking at google maps downing a cup of coffee 5 minutes earlier. The hostel workers laughed at me
 fumbling around when I told them I was late for my first day of school. 

All the international students were on a photo taking exercise to familiarize themselves with the campus. I found the auditorium and said to some staff member, "hola estoy muy tarde para la orientacion." and they told me to wait there. 

I watched a power point presentation in Spanish on culture shock and took an exam to determine my Spanish skills. it was hard. After the written portion was an oral exam. I sat next to this guy from some danish country or something and his Spanish was awesome. and I was like, where the fuck does this guy get off being better than me at Spanish when my native language is more related in grammar and form and I live two fucking hours from Mexico. anyway i did ok
so tonight I walked out into the plaza congreso. I forget sometimes that I'm in a capital, there were drums and dancing and an overall neighborhood feel to the place. dog walking, old people sitting, and vendors right next to fenced-off-dirty national monuments. and now I wait for tomorrow. hopefully I can wake up in time for class, I think I'm going to buy an electronic watch manana.  

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