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Published: September 5th 2011
Besides tons of walking...
i'm living in a room that already has 2 girls in it. so it's a little cramped. my bed is just a mattress but it doesn't really bother me. we moved around the beds and furniture so that it's not so cramped and our room has become quite the hangout for the 5 of us.
sept 2 was my 2nd day here and i had orientation at my school in recoleta. my host brother jose drove us in their van to school but we were pretty late because there was so much traffic. The orientation was pretty scary because they tell you about all of the bad things that can happen to you down here. but my impression so far has been pretty safe. my school program directors are gabriella, pamela and nahuel. nahuel is pretty funny. he was telling us that the nightlife is crazy here. they don't leave the house until like 2am and stay out until 6am. so he was saying to be careful and not think you need to be wasted by 2 cuz you won't be done then. also he was saying that its really common for people to live
with their parents until age 30 or so. however its considered rude to bring home a date if you know what i mean. so they have these things called tellos which is basically like an hourly hotel where you can um...bring your date. we were all horrified. but apparently it's really common here and not sleazy at all. weird...
after the orientation we all walked to a restaurant and had lunch. i ate so many carbs. nahuel said that they love carbs in Argentina. he said they like their pasta in between 2 buns lol. at the restaurant, they just kept bringing out more and more food. there was bread on the table and then we had empanadas, followed by gnocchi con salsa blanca (white sauce), helado (ice cream), and champagne and cookies. (oh and i've decided to eat meat down here. not a ton...but some. because i think it's pretty unavoidable.) after lunch we all got on a bus for a tour of the city. it's a really beautiful city and the architecture is incredible. lots of parks, museums, embassies, art, etc. i learned that i live in the north so it goes belgrano, palermo, recoleta, el centro,
san telmo, la boca. those will be the neighborhoods i spend most of my time. apparently as you go further south the areas get a little sketchy. i'm Happy i live in Belgrano. we got off of the bus in la boca. which is the pretty colorful area you always see in postcards and pictures of buenos aires. its the neighborhood where tango was born and where the la boca futbol team plays. the buildings were pretty cool. but i'm not sure i'll go back. it was kind of sketchy and its where a lot of the slums are. they were saying that you should never go there at night. idk we'll see if i feel more comfortable later.
after the bus ride we went back to the global campus in recoleta and it was time for everyone to go back to their homestays and residencias. what? susanna (my housemate that is also in the program with me) had no phones, no keys, and no idea how to get home because jose drove us in the morning. pamela recommended that we take a taxi so we calmed down a little. we went with 8 students to go get cell phones instead but by the time we made it to the cell phone store it was closed (apparently everything here has really inconvenient hours). everyone was pretty disappointed and decided that at 6pm we all needed to de-stress and go get some drinks. we found a door that had a sign for happy hour (which is 5 pesos off the price not half off) but weren't sure how to get in. later we figured out that we needed to be buzzed up and ended up in a bar/restaurant that kind of looked like a club from the states. we all got a big pitcher (3 liters) of beer for 60 pesos ($15) and split it between the 8 of us. then we took a cab home with 2 other boys that live in our neighborhood. crisis averted!
the next day i went on a run with one of my roommates. it was cool to see more of the neighborhood and realize that its pretty safe to just go running around. (oh btw it was probably 65 out but everyone here wears full on winter clothes to go running in.) afterwards we went to the atm and the store. i had my first mate, which is like a really strong tea that they drink here in a communal cup that gets passed around. the backyard at the house here is really pretty and peaceful so it was nice to just relax and talk with my other housemates. Susanna and i decided to join the girls at a church service not to far from the house. everything is new and exciting to me, so i agreed to go, not really knowing what to expect. oh and we ate at mcdonald's before. apparently its really popular here and a little fancier. well it cost like $8 so i'm not sure i'll be returning any time soon. the church service was really similar to the US. in fact they sang all of the same songs just in spanish. but it was really really long. we left after 2.5 hours but it was a really cool experience and i would love to go again.
today was cold and rainy and the girls from the house that go to belgrano had a race so susanna and i met another girl that lives in our neighborhood and went to el museo del arte de espanol (the museum of spanish art) followed by some lunch. the museum was cool but small and the real treat was the garden outside. so pretty (i finally decided to take some pictures). we ate at the equivalent of chipotle, called california burrito. i know its not very cultural but we were starving and it was the first place we found that didn't look super expensive. then we walked home, showed our friend lisa the house and walked down to the park. then we parted ways and here i am. i know this is super long but everything is new and i want to remember all of it. tomorrow is my first day of school and i'm very nervous to take the subte and get there on time. i'll keep you posted! chao!
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