Blue October- Not a Charmed Life

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November 1st 2016
Published: July 12th 2017
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October was rough. This month has been a grand convergence of all things unpleasant including cultural confusion, dysforia, and a wolf in sheeps' clothing who pretended to be Prince Charming. I got home sick around the 2 1/2 months mark of studying abroad. Therefore perhaps this was a normal 2 month slump for me? This time it was wayyyy worse. The first time, I experienced a 2 week period when I was mentally tired, could no longer understand Spanish, and the excitement and colors all around me seemed to fade. I came crashing down off my travel high and I would have given ANYTHING for a Chipotle burrito. Anything! It was melodramatic at best. This time, I sank into a light depression. I was homesick. I missed my car. I missed my bedroom. I missed not having to be clothed around the house. I also began battling with my hair. Like my beautician from the States so eloquently put it, "If yo hair ain't right, YOU ain't right!" As a black woman in Chile, I now know that that is so true!

About the wolf in sheeps' clothing, it was "Persistent Guy" from two years ago. Yep! We kept talking.
There was a reason I dubbed him "persistent". Yet at the time, I had no idea what all of that entailed. Now I do. Dating someone of another culture is no joke. It can be extremely hard. Assumptions you have aren't necessarily assumed by the other person and vice versa. This can lead to confusion, frustration, and hurt feelings. Even the pacing of relationships is different. Timelines for things are variant.

Lord! I'm glad that's over. I'm thankful that Isaac and I went to Mendoza Argentina at the end of October. That trip helped me snap out of it, not to mention keep me legal in Chile. My tourist visa was about to run out. It was a breath of fresh air, a shake out of the routine, and a time to clarify what I will and will not put up with. That has been key. Deciding what my non-negotiables are no matter what culture I'm in, and no matter what man I'm seeing. Even if I'm on planet Mars dating a Martian, there is stuff I'm not going to put up with. I felt the life coming back into my bones, the charge returning to my batteries. And honestly it was a combination of lots of prayer, friendship and rib-eye steak! Oh my gosh, Argentinians have outdone themselves! It ought to be a crime how good their beef is. Isaac and I lost our minds and had rib-eye steak (bife de chorizo) EVERY SINGLE DAY. If it wasn't for lunch it was for dinner but we had to have it at least once a day without fail.

At first we thought we had to spend a pretty penny to get quality steak but locals told us otherwise. Therefore, each time we ate cheaper and cheaper. On that last evening, we ate at a place that offered a rib-eye steak dinner with salad, drink and desert included for a total of only $13 USD! That steak was just as good as the first place we went, maybe even better. And the first place was pricey. It had a wine cellar downstairs and everything.

One afternoon, we ate at this cheap restaurant called El Rey de Milanesa. That was a mistake. If you're ever in Mendoza don't go there. Isaac joked that it must've been el rey de la milanesa mala! First, I choked on the air outside
because it was directly in front of a busy street, I'm asthmatic, and exhaust fumes are real. Then, the milanesa tasted like cardboard! The meat was so tough it was like it had been reheated 10 times. On another occasion, we couldn't decide between pizza and the famous Argentinian pancho, which is their version of the hotdog. We stopped at this sketchy joint around the corner from the hostel and it was terrible! Haha Isaac called it the pancho de porqueria. So, all of the food is not created equally in Argentina. However, we enjoyed joking about the bad quality so much that we didn't lose anything really. We still had a good time.

Isaac and I rode bikes around Mendoza which was lovely. There is this new free bike rental system in the Plaza de Independencia. As long as you check your bike back in every hour, and provide your identification and where you're staying, you can use the bike all day. It was refreshing! I felt like I was back home in Texas for a minute. It got very hot during the day. We rode around many plazas and parks, soaking in sights that we would not
have been able to see as easily on foot. We both almost ran over a few people, on the sidewalks but what can I say? Collateral damage! Haha! Besides biking around, and nearly eating ourselves to death, we took a tour with Oro Negro, saw a spectacular tango show in the evening, and bar hopped some. It was a relaxing trip, full of deep reflection and hard laughs. It was right on time.

For more on...

My initial homesickness: ┬┐Que?

Persistent Guy: Romance in Chile

Additional photos below
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Getting fancyGetting fancy
Getting fancy

They take you down to their private wine cellar, describe each wine to you and let you decide.

This wine was not cheap!

So good.

Getting cheaper but equally delicious!

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