Maté-Maticas

Awww…it feels so nice to sit.  I’ve been running around since the crack of dawn this morning (9 AM haha) and doing errands and such so I’m feeling a bit cansada.  This post really doesn’t have a particular focus so if you decide to continue reading be prepared to try and follow my stream of consciousness.  It’s a chaotic atmosphere, my mind.

Anyways, today I had several goals, most of them which I met 🙂 I had to go with Christine to buy PotterCon tickets, then we were going to go to the maté store, then I had to go to my local cell phone company AGAIN to deal with yet another headache of a misunderstanding, and through it all I had my eye on this alpaca sweater that, for now, resides in a shop across the street that I have been trying not to splurge on.  It´s actually pretty cheap because it´s on sale (only 100 pesos, which is about $20) but I still should test my resolve and refrain from buying things that aren’t necessity.  Maybe if I successfully get a job or if I do well on my first project next Thursday or something I will reward myself.  But it’s hard. Humph! 

I’ll start by explaining PotterCon.  Yeah, it’s like ComicCon but with Harry Potter.  In my opinion it’s a therapy session for everyone, including myself, who still haven’t recieved their Hogwart’s letter (Do you think owls come all the way to Argentina?)  Throw out the boring muggle clothing, go to the park and find yourself a magical looking stick because for the next eight hours you will be challenged to duels, sorted into houses, and maybe even meet goblins and house elves.  I don’t have any Harry Potter stuff, and if I did I don’t think it would have made the cut and apparated to Argentina with me….but I’m still kind of excited in a nerdy sort of way to eat a chocolate frog.  We found out about it from this girl we met at the hostel in Córdoba.  She and her boyfriend, from Rosario which is about 4 hours outside of Buenos Aires, were there enjoying their first vacation together.  She’s very excited and keeps posting on my Facebook and liking everything.  It’s kind of adorable 😛  Anyways, tickets were sold out so we’re going to have to buy them at the door on Saturday. 

Then we went to the mate store recommended by a director from our program as not having crappy tourist quality tea supplies.  You may have seen a couple of pictures on my Facebook of the mate I bought and been worried that Argentina has turned me into a drug addict 🙂 

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In all actuality, the supplies to drink mate, the ritual, and the effects of mate are all similar haha but I can quit whenever I want I promise!!!  Haha, but no really.  Mate is like caffeine (matteine) but it just makes you feel soooo much better than coffee.  It doesn’t make your heart race uncontrollably, keep you up at night, or make you shake.  You just feel genuinly healthy and awake.  It’s amazing.  There’s an entire culture surrounding it and very specific customs.  It’s a social thing kind of like hookah would be (except you’re not destroying your lungs!) and it’s even more common in Uruguay.  You can tell a true Uruguayan from a tourist because of their third limb, the thermos of hot water they wouldn’t go anywhere without.  I bought one while I was in Uruguay.  It came with a car charger, a wall adapter, a shoulder strap, and a side strap if I wanted to carry it as a clutch..wouldn’t wanna be in a bind without my hot water! Below is a picture of my thermos, yerba (the tea), and mate/bombilla (the gourd you drink it out of):

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Water costs money at every restaurant you go to but they’ll fill your thermos with hot water for free.  It’s fantastic.  You drink mate out of a little gourd after a complicated preparation process.  It doesn’t taste very good (like bitter tea with an aftertaste of tobacco) but once you associate the taste with the feeling, you’re golden 🙂  Anyways, you drink it through a metal straw called a bombilla that looks better suited to cooking heroine. The tea looks like drugs too. 

Bombilla-short-straight_med
Bombilla_2

I think it’d be like the perfect way to quitting smoking actually (although I don’t smoke.)  It would give you something to go do for five or ten minutes every so often (like a smoking break) and then give you a little energy and relaxation several times a day.  I’d recommend it if you can figure out how to make it and find someplace that sells it there (drinking it from tea bags is really really not the same.)  Learning the social rules is a bit complicated without a guide though.  I think, though, that I’m going to be thoroughly addicted to maté and all of the customs that come with it by the time I head home.  Ready yourselves 😉

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Anyways, after the mate stuff, Christine went home to eat and I headed to the cell phone store to fix my phone.  Although it’s been sending texts and making calls just fine over the last month, it wouldn’t send them anymore…I ended up going to a little branch store like 5 blocks from my house, where they told me I’d have to go to a bigger store to try and get it fixed at the mall…which was like twelve blocks.  But before I went I talked to the guys working at the counter for about twenty minutes to a half hour about Argentina and studying here.  Everyone is just so friendly and interesting to talk to.  One man working there had never even been out of Buenos Aires and he was around 40 or 45 years old.  Apparently that’s not that uncommon.  He and his coworker were both completely perplexed as to why I WANTED to be here over the US.  They told me to come back anytime if I had any questions or if I just wanted to chat.  It’s interesting just to hear other people’s stories.  Anyways, I went to the cell phone store and got everything sorted out.  They’re always very helpful…but my service
is just mediocre and I have a hard time understanding my bill/getting things to work 

I was successful by the way in not buying the sweater!  It is still sitting in the window waiting for me to have a reason to reward myself. Anyways, gotta go to bed early for Uruguay tomorrow, I’ll talk to you all later!  (I wrote this on Friday and it is now Monday so I already went to Uruguay!  Sorry if it was really confusing because I was talking as if I’d already gone and such but I’ll post about that next…)

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About Autumn Standing

I love words; my name is made up of real words, even. I am studying Global Tourism and Spanish with a minor in Business Administration at Colorado State University but this year I chose to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That's why this blog was born--to keep my beautiful family and friends informed of my whereabouts, thoughts, accomplishments, and mistakes.

Posted on August 25, 2012, in Fall Semester, Travel and Study and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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