It’s funny how the longer I’m here, the less I remember that I’m in a foreign country. Yes, it seems obvious that I would acclimate sooner or later, but there are so many customs and differences that I thought I’d never get used to. I’ll be hurrying down the street, late for class just like I would be on any ordinary day at Northwestern and the conversations I have in Spanish just become commonplace.
And yes, I’ve finally made some Argentine friends. The girls in my drawing class have opened up a little, and we’ve been able to bond over topics that would connect girls in any language: boys, clubs and our disgruntled substitute.
This Sunday I went to the park with a few other Americans and some Argentines. The grassy haven was packed with families and couples spending the afternoon in leisurely bliss. I love how going to the park is such a common activity. Rather than spending time with people in someone’s living room or kitchen, they grab their thermos and some mate and head to the park. Vendors sell food and clothing near curious crowds clustered around street performers. It was a great experience, chatting in Spanish and people watching, all the while smiling to myself. This is what I came for.
Saturday night was the big game (Argentina vs. Brazil) in the most popular sport (fútbol, a.k.a. soccer). It would decide who would participate in the World Cup. Decked out like any tourists would be in brand-new jerseys, my friends and I headed to the sports bar that was supposedly the place to be for the big event. Unfortunately, a reservation made far in advance was required. So, we tried out a random bar that looked promising. We snagged a few stools, ordered a picado (a tray of meats and cheeses), and a few beverages. When the first goal was scored, the whole bar screamed with delight. We threw our arms up and cheered along with them. We quickly realized Brazil had just scored and that we had somehow ended up in a rare bar full of Brazilians. Great. And yes, Brazil won, but as they say here “sea lo que sea.”