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How to be Properly Unprepared for Buenos Aires

We’re standing in line, rather a mob, waiting to get into the building – I start to prepare myself for the cirque du sole of Argentina.

But I wasn’t ready…

The room is dark and brimming with people; you can only see a few people in front of you. Everyone still has their coats on. Drums and wild screams pierce the darkness and a blob of beings fly over our heads; most of us duck down in sudden fright and sheer confusion. Neon lights flash, allowing glimpses of limbs, heads, bodies. The room grows dark again and we chuckle amongst ourselves at the oddness of people flying above our heads. We await the next peculiarity.

We weren’t ready…

A low humming emigrates from further in the distance, getting louder and faster and closer. A man appears in a white suit walking briskly on an elephant sized treadmill. The treadmill stops and a ruffling begins in the background; we spin in circles trying to locate the sound, helping them wrap us in an aluminum bubble. Pink lights illuminate the foil wall that encases us and two women appear in “Matrix” like fashion running along the wall. Our ears are bombarded by a mixture of shrieking and techno beats; our necks are craned with such dexterity; our eyes blink rapidly to ensure the validity of what we see.

I wasn’t ready…

For the spraying of water at the end of that show. For the cold that creep into my bones because I was prepared for spring, not winter. For a quaint little room of my own. For the blandest food in Latin America. For the sweetest host mom who tries hard to cater to my dietary restrictions. For the many stares as I walk down the street because of my hair, my blackness. For a group of 16 people who were enjoyable to be around. For the VERY late nights in boliches (dance clubs). For the beauty of Buenos Aires.

We weren’t ready…

An adventurous spirit corals our group as people make plans to go on trips to nearby cities like Cordoba, tourist attractions such as Iguazu falls, and local artistic finds in the form of fairs, book stores, and chic cafe's that sell decadent ice cream. We aim to explore every inch of Buenos Aires and somehow manage to do well in our classes. We want to meet Argentine’s but find it hard to deviate from the comfort of our group. We travel in packs, scaring off locals with our American-ness, our English, and our sheer size.

Almost ready...

Week three has commenced…my host mom has instructed me to create a list of things I want to see or visit in Buenos Aires because six weeks will go by quickly. I haven’t written one out, but I’ve compiled it in my head and have even checked some things off it. I wonder which thing will present itself to me as a reminder of my unpreparedness this week. I’m ready to not be ready.