Sunday, October 21, 2007

top five Moments so far

Spending a year in a foreign country is (in one word) overwhelming. I´ve gotten accustomed to trying to remember particular Moments where I really feel like I´m living, learning, growing, or truly experiencing Argentina.

TOP FIVE MOMENTS (in no particular order)
1. Standing in a field of corn with my friend, getting eaten alive by mosquitos, the sun shining down on us and the wind blowing through our hair. In my area, the land is completely endlessly flat and you can see for miles and miles, the only thing obstructing your view tall lines of trees. The sky appears unbelievable immense and overwhelming, the clouds right at your fingertips. After two seconds of absorbing all of this in, we began to run through the fields of corn completely carefree, my grandparents´campo rushing by as we were chased by literally packs of mosquitos.

2. At a rotary conference, my friend and I were hanging out on teeter-totters after eating dinner. Somehow we missed when everyone left to go back to the cabins, and we began to look for them frantically. When we realized that they left, there were about 40 bicycles by the side of the building, and we were in a communist community (no, seriously) we decided there was only one thing to do: snag some bikes and ride as fast as we could back to the cabins. We rode down a long, very dark, slightly creepy road, with really tall, impressive trees on both sides (i love argentinian trees. they´ve got more character than north american ones) as fast as we could, adreniline pumping, trying to catch up. I had tears running down my face from the cold wind in my eyes and in that second i really felt Alive.

3. One of my groups of friends has a tradition that I really have started to love. We all pile into the auto of whoever has a car that night, drive to this little unknown drugstore, and buy about 25 or 30 empanadas. After, we all pile back into the car, desperate to eat those supremely delish empanadas as soon as humanly possible, and drive out into the country to this random dirt road that leads to this random field that has a completely random palm tree just hanging out in the middle. We never go in the field due to the possiblity of stepping in cow poo in the dark, we just hang out, listening to chill music and eating empanadas and drinking grapefruit soda. somtimes there are about 8 or 9 of us, sometimes just 3 or 4. It is the greatest opportunity to look up at the stars and feel ridiculously tiny. When you really really want to explain something, like some crazy theory about stars and perspective, you´d be surprised about how much you can actually communicate when you don´t speak the language. One time, the Titanic song came on the radio translated into spanish. I started singing in english loudly and passionately, and the two other exchange students soon joined in. To balance it out, 5 or 6 argentinians began to sing in spanish and soon enough we were all standing in a circle, swaying, with our arms around each other, bilingually singing "My Heart Will Go On.¨The thought I had in this Moment of feeling totally enveloped in the sound (not necessarily the song, but the sound of all of the voices together) was that ironically enough, I could imagine singing the Titanic song with my friends in the states, our arms around each other, dramatically swaying back and forth. We are so much more similar than we think.

4. The first few weeks, we had painters in the house, fixing up all of the rooms. For this reason, all of the furniture in the living room was covered and pushed against the walls. To some, it would be a hassle, but to my little brother and cousin it was only one thing -- a really great opportunity to play extreme soccer. And thus, one formerly boring night, my host mom and I played soccer two on two against my host brother and my host cousin. We were so awful they were really just messing around with us, but it was such a great time and in that Moment I really felt at home. The best part was that they asked me to play again the next day :)

5. I don´t think written word can do this one justice. Just for background knowledge, the guitar player is my friend´s cousin, and we´re singing "El Sensei" by Las Pastillas del Abuelo.

Link if there are technical difficulties.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

so you want to be argentine...


1. buy bombachas de campo and alpargatas. ¨The bombachas de campo are made in different colours, styles and designs but the most popular colours are still the traditional: khaki, black, white, dark blue and dark green. These trousers are immediately identifiable because of the button they have at the ankle which is used to narrow them.¨ ( Alpargatas are a canvas shoe with a rope sole. My uncle Fede has an alpargata factory. If you can´t get any imported, you can always opt for This website sells shoes that were inspired by alpargatas, and for every pair you buy, they give one pair away to a child in need.

2. Drink maté. If you´ve read my blog before, you´ve heard about maté. Since pictures speak louder than words:


3. Chill to really good music. Dance to really good music. Listen to viejos borrachos singing really good music. And if you´re anything like me, learn the lyrics to some really good music everyday... but don´t ask what they mean. Oh awesome! you want to illegally download/search some songs? here´s a few to get you started
  • ¨Fotografia¨ - Juanes ft. Nelly Furtado
  • ¨En el Muelle de San Blas¨- Maná
  • ¨Me Vas a Extrañar¨- Se Te Pega
  • "El Sensei" - Las Pastillas del Abuelos
  • "Mi Dulce Niña" - El Chili
  • "Ella" - Damas Gratis (favorite song of my little brother :X )

Popular cantantes : Ricardo Arjona, Andres Calamaro, Intoxicados, Joaquin Sabina, Miranda, Bersuit Vergarabat, Fito Paez, CHARLY GARCIA, Shakira, Maná, Las Pastillas del Abuelos...

But do you know who is the most popular? AVRIL LAVIGNE. seriouslyyyyyy.

Andddd, if you want to hear something truly scum-tastic, try ¨Nena, a tu cola le falta crema" by El Empuje. I went to a concert of theirs! hahaha.


4. Learn some sweet Argentine slang. to begin with...

Che - you can use this like soooo or heyyyy or hey you! ¨cheeeeee, laura.... querés ____?" is a common usage.

Boludo/a - This is like "stupid face" but it is as harsh as calling someone silly. "boludo, porque no llevaste más cerveza?" Sometimes it is pronounced b´ludo, without the first o, to optimize efficiency in saying it many times in a sentece. "B´luda, donde estás... ehh callate b´luda y venga. venis, b´luda?"




5. Get sideswept bangs or really long hair, put on your converses, and go out at the break of dawn!

From primaveraaaa

...and get a really sweet nickname! above we have... delfina (delfi), josefina (jose), laura (lau, laurita, lauri, lora, lo, lor, lorita, malala, loravi), la pipi (i don´t even know her real name)