It has been three weeks since I’ve arrived in Buenos Aires and I have been meaning to keep everyone updated with this blog, however settling in to this big city has been a wild ride.
My first impression of Buenos Aires thus far can be summed up in one word. Extraordinary. I am in awe of this city and its culture and how distinct it is from any place I have ever been.
At first the shock was unreal. After an excruciatingly long plane ride, I arrived at the residence hall in San Telmo at around 5:30AM. I managed to find a fellow IES student who was on my plane and we split a cab to the residence hall. Being out of practice and combined with our lack of sleep, our Spanish was terrible, yet we managed to check in and find our rooms. When I arrived early on that Sunday morning, my roommate was no where to be found. I was alone and panicking about what I had just gotten myself into. The WIFI was refusing to cooperate and all I wanted to do was let my parents know that I had arrived safely. Frustrated, I gave up and decided to take a shower after my day of traveling. Everything seemed to be spiraling out of control. I couldn’t even get the water to a comfortable temperature. After a burning hot shower, I decided to try to sleep even though the sun was rising and my nerves were still on edge. Just as I was pulling the covers over my body, my roommate waltzed in. Not knowing she was German and that she spoke English, I tried to speak to her in Spanish. When I realized we could converse comfortably in English I was relieved. Suddenly, the loneliness faded and I did not feel completely overwhelmed. There was at least one person in this city who could understand me. That was huge.
Now that I am thinking back about how panicked I was when I first arrived, I laugh. Like everything new in life, we learn to adjust. I may be the type of person who would rather slowly wade into a pool than to dive head first. But I don’t think there is a way to study abroad without diving in head first. You have to go big or go home. Especially with the language barrier, I had no choice but to push through and make mistakes, stumble and fall. But putting the language barrier aside, this city has definitely taken some getting used to. The culture is a lot more relaxed and the men are very confident in the way they approach you…they are not quite the gentlemen I am used to. Everyone seems to be living at a slower pace, living in the moment. They seem to value each others company more than Americans do. While we are moving on to what we think will be bigger and better, Argentinians are basking in the sun, enjoying a cup of coffee with their neighbors, playing music in the streets, sharing kisses over a glass of wine…the possibilities are endless. It makes me rethink my values and how much Americans are focused on the future instead of the present. We are always working and striving for more money or more comfort, thinking that one day it will all pay off and that we’ll finally be happy. But then I see the people here, and yes they might have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, but they also are enjoying every minute of their life. They make the time to do the things that make them happy. They are constantly smiling and dancing, kissing and hugging. They have a passion for life, for every day of the week. This is something that I am completely envious of, desperately hoping their glow might rub off on me. But I take all of this in and I don’t attempt to digest it quite yet. I am learning and observing and taking in the life that Buenos Aires has to offer. And if one thing is for sure, I am already falling dangerously in love with Buenos Aires.
“Cada día te quiero más que ayer y menos que mañana.” (“I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow.”)
More Blogs From This Author
<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Victoria Nieto. I am a junior at Ithaca College majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications with a minor in art. My hope is for you to be able to see Buenos Aires through my eyes as I immerse myself in the beautiful country of Argentina. I hope to see more than I can remember and to remember more than I have seen. For me, these memories will be everlasting.</span></div>