“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.” –Kurt Vonnegut
This quote is kind of how I have been living my life, recently. And even though I only found it last night, it seems to be an appropriate descriptor. I know it seems kind of backwards because Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in the world, but living here has been teaching me to loosen up. For one thing, they have a completely different sense of time here– no one is ever early, and most people are consistently about half an hour late. Which means that here my inability to get places on time puts me right in the sweet spot of arrival!
Basically, this entire experience has been teaching me that what happens, happens. Sure, you still have to put in your part of the effort. You have your own responsibilities. But you can’t help, for example, if your colectivo never shows up. You can’t help if the subte is having delays. And people here understand that. It’s teaching me to relax a bit, and I think that is a very good thing.
Another important lesson learned– DON’T BE TIMID. My friend Rachel certainly has this lesson down. This weekend we went to San Isidro, where half the streets are lined with orange trees. They had the most beautiful fruit! I mean, really. Look at these guys. Good enough to eat, right?
Well, Rachel decided that she wanted to eat one. The next thing we knew she was standing with only one boot on, the other in her hand, outstretched towards our tallest friend, Kelly. And even though we were in a pretty populated area, with people walking up and down the other side of the street, in broad daylight, Rachel somehow convinced all of us that it would be a good idea to try to get one of these oranges.
And you know what? It was a good idea! In some of the photos I took you can see people’s reactions in the background and gosh, are they hilarious. A lot of them are a mix of confusion and jealousy, of course. Who wouldn’t want an orange?
I think the best part, though, is that when Kelly finally knocked a low-hanging orange down by hitting it with Rachel’s boot it rolled out into the street… and as Kelly walked casually to get it, a guy from the other side of the street started sprinting to get it before she did! He was joking, of course, but it really showed us how light-spirited people can be, even towards some wacko bunch of girls hitting oranges out of trees with a boot.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. The orange was awkwardly tart, but it just means that we’ll have to go back in a few weeks when they are really ripe. San Isidro is gorgeous, as well. Kelly’s friend has a friend who lives there, so he met up with us to show us around the city. Gosh, is it beautiful– it’s right on the coast, so there are lots of wonderful views. Historically it’s a kind of get-away town, where people who could afford it built gigantic weekend homes, so the architecture there is pretty spectacular, as well. For a taste, look at the church:
Really, I think a trip back wouldn’t be too much of a pain.
Until then, it’s time to enjoy spring in Buenos Aires! In addition to being the first day of spring tomorrow, it’s also the Day of the Student so no one has classes! Wheeeee! As of right now, a few of us are planning to go throw a frisbee in the park and enjoy the day. In the meantime, today is 60 degrees and I’m off to enjoy some sun before my class in the basement of UCA. Later, gators! Hope fall (my actual favorite) is treating you all well back in the States.