Hey, Argentina! Como estas?

So as the title of this post may or may not suggest, I’M IN ARGENTINA!! After an hour-long delay due to a thunderstorm in Miami, the group flight arrived safely on Monday morning. We had a bit of trouble getting taxis (the program took care of it for us, though) because it was raining, but I made it to my host family’s house and promptly took a nap, then unpacked and started getting used to living here.

My Argentine family is wonderful. The first day my host grandmother, Jolie (this is how you pronounce it, at least, but I think it’s short for Yolanda?) let me in and took care of me until Silvia, my host mom, came home from running errands. I was late getting in because of the taxi situation, but it was all alright. With Silvia came Gala, one of her six (I think?) grandchildren, who is in second grade and entertained me for much of the day. Silvia and her husband, Eduardo, have four children, two of whom live with them– Ignacio, the youngest, who is 22, and Federico, who sort of lives here. Sometimes. He’s been here for two of the nights that I have so far. Monday night I also met Agostin, Gala’s dad, and then we went out for dinner and a movie with Paula, Silvia and Eduardo’s daughter. Eduardo is especially wonderful– we had a super great chat last night but it means I didn’t get to bed until 2.00! Haha. They have all been super patient with my broken and nasty Spanish and I love them for it. I’ve had orientation for the past three days and will for the next month, but mostly I’ve been getting used to the city. Some things that are weird about Buenos Aires:

1. There are no shower curtains. Every morning when I shower I wet the entire floor but it’s completely unavoidable! There is a drain between the toilet and the bidet, though, and so to fix the whole wet tile thing you take this gigantic squeegee and push all the water into the drain on the other side of the room.

Notice that there is no shower curtain...

So I have to use this squeegee so as to not flood the bathroom!

2. You have to hail buses like you hail taxis. There are stops, sure, but busses don’t stop at every bus stop, so you have to hope you see them when they’re coming and let them know you want to get on. You also have to let them know when you want to get off by pressing a little button near your stop. Buses also don’t have a schedule– they kind of come whenever– so you better hope they’re running in a timely manner or you’ll be late to wherever you’re going!

3. The equivalent of Crystal Light here is called “Clight,” which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

4. People speak in vos, which is the same as the tu form but a completely different conjugation. I’m getting used to it.

5. Keys are crazy old-fashioned! They’re these big metal affairs and you could probably pick the locks with a toothbrush and a bobby pin, but they are so cool.

The key to get into my building. Well, the inner door-- that scary looking black one is the key to the outer door they close at night.

My room is also really nice. It’s quite large, and I have a GIGANTIC desk as well as a large closet.

We like books.

Silvia is also an artist (and artistry runs in the family), so the entire closet is covered in newspaper clippings and drawings! Even the inside is doodled up.

They really like the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.

The inside of a door. This is only half of my closet... the other door is even more doodled up but I couldn't get a good picture of it.

My host family has also had quite a few students before me, which is awesome because it means I didn’t have to buy maps of the city or even plug converters. Which is GREAT.
Basically, I’m getting used to living here but I’m enjoying myself a lot. I’ve never lived in a city before so it’s a totally different experience– Buenos Aires is the seventh largest city in the world!!– but it’s one I’m liking so far.

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