So much of my past four months has been made up of music of all kinds: Impromptu concerts, hours of mid-2000s music in every boliche, my own playlists pumped through my headphones during the morning walk to class, and shared music moments on the bus with friends. So I thought I’d share a soundtrack to my time in Buenos Aires, complete with music from a few of my favorite Argentine artists:
Song: Accidente, Las Ligas Menores
Background soundtrack: Rapid-fire Spanish which sounds like a jumble of noises and exclamations in my unaccustomed ears, the whoosh of the bus as it passes by several seconds too early for me to make it on, my own voice bumbling through a lunch order in Spanish, yet another Western Union employee telling me to come back in three hours when they have more cash, long conversations with my doorman in which I understand about 10% of what he says, the sound of wind whipping as I’m thrown from summer into a Southern-hemisphere winter.
Song: Voz de Gigante, Lucas Martínez y Inés Adam
Background soundtrack: The ding of the bus-stop button as I approach my corner, confused voices as I begin conversations in Spanish that I quickly realize I can’t finish in Spanish, birds chirping as I walk home in the pre-dawn hours, “un cappuccino sin canela,” water sloshing over the sidewalk stones during the morning wash, instructions on how to drink mate after an Argentine witnesses me doing it all wrong, the static from my phone as voices cut in and out on a call home, my host mom singing as she unloads the dishwasher in the morning.
Song: Una Buena Cosa, Candelaria Zamar
Background soundtrack: The neighbor kids’ voices floating in through my window in the morning, my host mom saying “estás despierta!” when I emerge from my room at 1pm on a Saturday, weird video game music playing in the climbing gym on a Tuesday afternoon, the background din of coffee shop conversation which I am beginning to be able to understand while I type up another lit essay, loudspeakers crackling from the trash trucks announcing something I’ve never been able to understand, students practicing for their annual school concert in the school across the street at dusk, the soft sounds of growing humidity and rapidly blooming spring.
Song: Fotos, Las Ligas Menores
Background soundtrack: My voice somehow still fumbling the lunch order although a bit less now, dinner conversations with my host dad about the upcoming World Cup, a different radio station in every Cabify as I traversed the now-familiar route between my house and Aeroparque during my final weekend trips, the freestyle open mic at Makena Club on Sunday nights, meat sizzling on the balcony parrilla, ice clinking against a glass sweating in the summer heat, lingering goodbyes and see-you-laters. Hasta luego.
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I'm a junior sociology and anthropology major at Carleton College in Minnesota. I'm also a prospective Spanish minor and I'm both excited and nervous to dive into a semester of Spanish immersion in Argentina. Although I go to school in a small town, I love cities and am endlessly fascinated by their different cultures and dynamics, so I'm especially excited to be living in Buenos Aires this fall. At school, I play club frisbee and write for my college's news site, and in my free time, I love to lounge with a good book, cook meals with my housemates, and enjoy the outdoors.