Crunch Time (plus some Halloween and Elections!)

Yes. Ahem.

So, I know that if I were a mother and this blog were my child, someone definitely would’ve called DYFS by now. I know there is no excuse– I should be writing something regularly, no matter how short and crappy and unrelated it is– but the honest truth is that I am hitting crunch time, and crunch time has been gnashing me between its nasty, plaque-filled, yellow molars.

Mostly right now I am fed up with my professors, and having slept 2.5 hours last night to complete a presentation that my prof ended up derailing anyway, I think I am allowed to be.

Anyway. I owe you all a post (or two) about Iguazu, but before I get into the nitty-gritty of three weeks ago I want to give a quick update.

 

First of all, Happy Halloween! I know it was yesterday and I know I celebrated it on Friday, but whatever. Even though I am in South America where my host parents even told me that Halloween doesn’t exist, this Friday I ended up having the scariest costume I think I have ever pulled off.

Long relationship tree about to go down right now, but it was my friend Rachel’s host sister’s friend’s birthday on Friday and she wanted to go to this halloween party with her girlfriends dressed as zombies, and she was sweet enough to invite me along as well! I got to Rachel’s house at about midnight after fencing– which is fine because porteños don’t even think about leaving until at least 1.30– and hung out with the porteñas while Rachel did everyone’s makeup.

I swear, Rachell is a genius. Using only mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, and lip liner from the drugstore, she made us all look like zombies. Seriously! By the time we left for the party we all actually looked like we had died a few months ago. It was so, SO great. And then when we got to the party I got hit on by a dude in a priest costume, which was even more hilarious given that I was basically dressed up as one of Satan’s incarnates.

Here is a picture of us eating the birthday girl (thanks to Mane for the photo):

And look, at the bottom left you can even see a glimpse of my gold leggints!!

Almost more exciting than the whole zombie thing, on October 23 (two weeks ago) Argentina held its presidential elections! I know I’ve talked about the presidential elections before, but actually experiencing them was so much cooler than just speculating about them.

First, I went to see where the vote actually takes place. Because voting here is obligatory (you only don’t have to vote if you are over 75, I believe, or some ridiculous distance away from your jurisdiction), I expected it to be an even worse version of our voting locations in the US. Meaning, I expected there to be a pretty large line.

Well. As an aside, I have a secret for you– I’ve never actually voted. I was too young for the presidential elections and didn’t get my absentee ballot in time to vote in the last election, but I’ve certainly been to polling places with my parents and I remember there generally being a line of some sort.

Anyway, the long and short of is is that Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in the world and everyone in the city has to vote. A lot of people in one place generally means a line, right? On top of that, they still use paper ballots, which means that voting takes a little while. If they want to vote for candidates from different parties for different offices (a split ballot), they actually have to rip the ballots up to get the people they want to put them in the gigantic box on the table.

Surprisingly, there was absolutely no line. People were walking in and out of the school quite freely. Basically they walked in and found their name on a gigantic list, which then directed them to a table somewhere in the school. At these table they showed their ID and then checked off boxes on this gigantic sheet of paper, which they then put into a box sitting on the table.

Also surprisingly, there was no privacy when voting– as someone walking past the tables I could just take a peek at who everyone else was voting for, which didn’t really gel with the US idea of a private voting space with the curtains and whatnot. I was also shocked to see members of the army walking around the school with guns. I’m not entirely sure why since voting hardly seems like a dangerous activity to me, but I guess they’re there to guard against fraud or demonstrations or something? I’m not really sure.

About a month ago there was a preliminary vote, so everyone already knew that the incumbent Cristina Kirschner was going to win again this round. This meant that the Plaza de Mayo (or, the plaza in front of the Casa Rosada, the White House equivalent) was filled with people starting at about 5.00 on Sunday evening, waiting for the election winner to be announced. By the time I got there at 9.00 everyone was going completely crazy. There were people banging drums, setting off fireworks, waving flags, and chanting. There was a lot of choripan and a lot of pot smoke floating around. I know, right? At a government event! But being in the Plaza was so great. The crowd’s energy was so spectacular and even the sheer cantidad (number) of people was impressive.

Writing this blog post has absolutely exhausted me. I guess that’s what not sleeping will do, maybe? But oh, well. Off to chip away at my mountain of work before dinnertime, but I promise– PROMISE– that I will be back soon. Love you all, dear readers. Thanks for bearing with me!

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