olá! bom dia! no, that’s not spanish, it’s portuguese. i’ve decided that it’s the next language i want under my belt. while some of you may question my motives, the end result is the same. why stop at bilingualism? taking a look at the makeup of south america, there are actually more brazillian portuguese speakers than spanish speakers on the entire continent. brazil is one of the fastest growing economies, right up there with india and china. if that’s not a testament to the usefulness of portuguese, i don’t know what is. it also helps that the language and its speakers are among the most beautiful i’ve encountered. since it’s so similar to spanish, i’m gonna try to learn it on my own a bit before taking classes so i can be prepared for my much-anticipated trip to brazil after the program is over. sooooooo excited!
what else is going on? my spanish is really improving, that much i can tell. small talk is no longer the stress factor it once was. people understand me the first time when i order, the importance of which can not be underestimated. i’m also really getting into the swing of the schedule here. nothing for breakfast, coffee mid-morning, big lunch, snacks until late dinner. no, going out every day of the week is not sustainable. i’ve really limited myself to thursday-saturday, unless it’s a special occasion. my internship is swell, the kids there love me and i love them. our interaction is a little less verbal, but meaningful all the same. my teacher is really experienced and efficient, so i’m trying to pull from her book as much as i can for the future. for the most part though, i just watch the class go about it’s daily business, which is exhausting enough. annie’s been gone for un rato, and i miss her. i know she’s having a ball though, and she’ll be back soon enough. this weekend is CRYSTAL CASTLES @ CROBAR which i’m sososososo excited for. turns out i might be going by myself, but i honestly couldn’t care less. i know it’s sort of a niche band, and while my friend sandra was going to try to go, the tickets are sold out and who knows, i might make some friends. also, this friday we will be doing aerial dance lessons, like those featured in fuerza bruta. i’m unbeleviably excited about that as well. there’s a lot for us to look forward to on this trip, and i need to take the opportunity to salute the program organizers. it takes a lot of hard work to plan all of this stuff for us and still have a smile on your face. we’ve got some great stuff coming up, including a viaje to uruguay and another to patagonia at the end of the program. ¡que suerte!
things are a changin’ over at fitzroy, as sandra’s moved in and jez and römano are out. jez has moved just a few blocks from us, but sadly römano is likely leaving a couple of days. i am really sad to see him go, but i know it’s just an excuse for me to visit him in mexico. he’s certainly not a friend i’ll soon forget. the only thing that remains is to make sure he goes out with a bang!
aparte, i’ve been having a crazy amount of fun lately. i’ve really relaxed and let loose, but at the same time really matured as far as my partying is concerned. it’s tempting to drink a whole lot and pre-game to save money, but ultimately you end up tired, drunk, and making bad decisions by 2AM. pace yourself, and ye shall succeed. wednesday, i met up with a kid i met from tufts university who’s also studying abroad down here. it’s crazy to think how different people’s experiences here are, in every sense. we went to a brewery called antares and enjoyed some good german beer and a sophisticated atmosphere. it was a nice change of pace from the dark, almost seedy bars that i’ve been frequenting lately. after that, we checked out a place called stiges, replete with drag show and a couple sketch balls. being that it was wednesday, we called it an early night and went our seperate ways.
thursday was a funky night. greg and i went accompanied by an argentine to this very american place called jobs that i may have mentioned earlier. a pitcher of beer and two games of pool later, we were off to meet up with the folks at fitzroy. let’s just say that there was a disproportionate amount of sleeping with shoes on by midnight to the amount of partying i was doing. i’m going to chalk it up to crazy argentine drink-slipping practices.
despite all of that, i was up bright and early in preparation for a little excursion to tigre, a small town about 30 minutes outside of the city. after bonding over resacas, we hopped on a ferry, saw some not-islands, walked around the pueblo, ate somewhat unappealing parilla food, and wandered around a nondescript fair, all the while transporting to an alternate universe where social rules don’t really apply. don’t ask me to explain that, i wouldn’t know where to begin.
friday night’s plan was a party called “fuck le fashion,” contributing to the most hipster/athens-like night i’ve had thus far. the only bad thing about it was that i wasn’t prepared. my clothes were too mainstream, the sides of my head weren’t shaved, and i had showered only hours prior. to be honest though, i had a really good time. none of the pretentiousness that one normally associates with hipsters is present at this monthly fiesta. for the argentines, the hipster movement is rightfully acknowledged as just another counterculture fashion movement, not an excuse to be a prick about music and old things. in fact, while there was a good bit of indie electro-rock pumping through the speakers, lady gaga and the backstreet boys were just as prevalent. and that’s the sort of anti-trend mix that i could get used to.
saturday was tranquilo, though i found myself with the spins later in the day, countered with a quick nap before dinner. indian food again, this time a more ritzy place with kerry (our activities coordinator) and her boyfriend david. la pasamos muy bien and afterward, greg and i’s energy reserves were spent. good thing, since we were off to the ranch in the morning. la estancia was something, alright. i met the love of my life, a modern day che guevara, who conjured up this beautiful ritual horse, and then promptly plucked my heart from my circle scarf. oh, and my jeans ripped as i mounted a horse.
of course, i needed a drink. by eleven p.m, i had scarfed down two not good burgers from mcdonalds and was shuffling over to jez’s new place. after a tiny bit of fernet and a bit of taxi-wizardry, we had arrived at palacio. it was then that i remembered that this shape-shifter was called something else on friday and that i had entered for free all while handing over 50 pesos of my hard-earned cash. it was a very cool scene though, much classier than i’m used to around here. not that there was any shortage of hard drug use all around us, but the sunglasses were all significantly nicer. by 2:15, the lights were on, and the journey back home began.
time to begin again. hello monday. nice to see you again.
man, these day-by-day blogs are a pain to keep up with. it’s worth it though! i’m not promising anything though. let’s blaze through this, shall we?
recover from friday’s events. not much to contribute here. almost climbed a tree. ate a big burrito. lazy. THEN I WENT TO FUERZA BRUTA AND IT CHANGED MY LIFE. seriously. it was a concert/show/experience that has no dialogue and no story. just visuals and emotions. it was a very sensual and spiritual experience. expect more talk of this soon.
droids take bad photos, it doesn’t matter
best brunch in existence. set menu price. super-swank hotel. met the owner, he’s from the jersey shore. we bonded. toms river REPRESENT! got a personal business card. after that, nothing.
first day of internship, finally. LOVE my niños. they are precious, and i admire the teacher i’m shadowing for all of her energy. rest of the day rather uneventful. went over to fitzroy, learned that open bar is my downfall. ROMANO WHERE ARE YOU I MISS YOU?
SPAIN V. ARGENTINA GAME! or so i thought. chugged um club soda before the game, got dehydrated, greasy ass choripan munchies didn’t help. i was gone before kickoff.
these are getting really bad, i know. give me a minute to catch up! to reward all of your patience i’ll put up a slideshow or something. chau chau piglets!
TIENES 45 AÑOS!?
last night was unbelievable. in so many respects. i must remember this night. the only way to start off would be to blast modjo’s “lady (hear me tonight)” from the 90’s. it was theme of the night. from the point that we got in the taxi and heard this song on the radio, i knew it was going to be a magical night. and it certainly was. i asked the taxi driver to turn the volume up as we sped off into the seemingly gold-lined distance. we went to this great bar called milión and proceeded to get loose. the place is fancy, with soft lights and a breezy patio area. if i could afford it, i’d make it my go-to bar. it’s not expensive, but it’s not cheap either (which we’re used to). they serve dinner there, so i’ll likely be back in short order to sample la comida. once we sat down jez and sandra met up with us and we shot the shit for a while, talking of fine whiskey and wacky restaraunts. a short time later, rebecca, kristin, gracie, trang, and jessica all met up with us. a bottle of wine and cat cameo later, we were on our way to crowd favorite amerika with a k. you guys already know how much i love that place. i don’t need to reiterate how dangerous open bar can be. it was magical once again, and i now have a half-dozen nigh-undecipherable contacts in my phone. i’m sure they were all nice.
he doesn’t think its weird, why should you?
as the night progressed, dances were had, people got lost, stairs were misjudged, and the place was packed. sometimes i can’t really fathom how i spend so many damn hours dancing without noticing the time pass. every minute is something new. at a solid nine am i was getting off the subte and into my cardboard cama. how i’m still alive is yet a mystery. chalk it up to the mega burrito with 3 (count em, 3) tortilla shells that i ate as morning after food today. life is good. tonight, fuerza bruta!
five things i can’t stand about argentina:
(because i don’t want this to be totally one sided)
not in the “i’m standing still in a taxi” sense, but in the this is the third time my life has flashed before my eyes because a bus tried to cut me off while i was crossing an intersection. A PUBLIC BUS.
4. government-induced paranoia
these people are terrified of everything because the government says so. it’s really nuts how much propaganda and fear-mongering goes on with hardly anyone batting an eye. fears of crime and recession keep the public locked on their television sets—brainwashing at its finest
3. lack of ubiquitous google maps
not every place has a listing. not every place is where it’s supposed to be. and i don’t have a data plan. so the wandering continues. i’m not ashamed to say that i might be technlogically dependent.
i know this will get better, but at the least couldn’t it be a little more consistent? hot then cold then hail then hurricane-class wind following closely by monsoons make it hard to dress weather appropriate
this is all me, but after a few weeks of abusing my poor body, i have succuumbed to consumption… or at least it feels that way. i’m sick of sitting inside. so maybe i know why i’m sick, doesn’t change the fact that it’s taking FOREVER to get over. UGHHHHH
i hope none of you read this one. not my best.
cerveza, cerveza, quiero tomar cerveza!
if you don’t know what i am referring to, stop right now and watch the video underneath this post. it’s legit hilarious. a fifteen year old girl from the andes drinking her sorrows away with a voice like a (fallen) angel and terrible music video production? comedic genius. granted, it’s a little dark, but equally catchy. if you’re hooked, check out the reggaeton remix and tribute to isreal videos on her channel. you will hear more from this chick, promise.
on another note, things are slowly but surely slowing down. believe it or not, this is good news, very good news. it means less wandering, at the very least, which at the end of the day leaves your poor legs lifeless. class has started, weekly activities scheduled, more sleep (hopefully) to be had. let’s be honest, i’ve been treating my body quite poorly recently, and it is starting to show up in terms of my health. congestion, fatigue, dry cough, the works. just gotta keep in mind that this is a marathon race, and as tempting as it would be to go to glam tonight (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) i know i gotta stay in and re-coop. which means downloading mussaaaaaaak! recently loved? jj and delorean, both amazing electropop bands. jj’s jj n˚2 has this really eerie cover of lil wayne’s lollipop that is simultaneously shocking and magnetic. recommended if you’re into what wikipedia calls “balearic beats.” whatever that means.
as for the highlights of the week, indian food immediately springs to mind! good ol’ romano took annie, greg, and i to this offbeat restaraun slash bar called Bangalore. aside for being super reasonable price-wise, the curries were to die for and the slightly claustrophobic anglo-indian bar setting was actually quite lovely. aside from that, the other day the “tripod” (as we are apparently now called) discovered [okay i can’t refer to myself in the third person, this blog is too self-important] the best alfajores in the entire world. okay maybe not the entire world, but i eat a lot of those little buggers, so i already sort of consider myself an expert. they only sell them in one kiosk in the whole city, but we’ve found it and i’m proud.
(UPDATE: the old bat lied, they’re everywhere)
curry r’ us, mmmm
aparte de eso, class is going well in that we’re not doing a whole lot but i’m still interested. win-win. this post is taking me forever to write. i’m just gonna call it now. lyzas<3