Rachel showed this video to me today. Apparently it’s just gone viral but I only saw it today. It gave me a much needed laugh (I think I have SARS or something…*) because it’s so random and I sometimes feel like I’m seeing just as much randomness in my daily life. The elevator scene in the music video seems a little less outlandish when your bus ride to school at 7:15 AM involves seeing five of these artistic beauties along the way (Note that the movie is sponsored by Citibank, oh what pride!).
And please note that I wouldn’t post this potentially offensive material on my blog if it weren’t already in lifesize version on my street corner for public viewing. Anyhow, the dancing makes my naive gringa grin unfurl as I try to wrap my head around the idea of Sexy and I Know It, Jump On It, and Soulja Boy all rolled up in a single egg roll (not at ALL meant to be racist, I love egg rolls 🙂 The vegetarian kind at least.) Sometimes, I feel like my life here is like this video–so random and foreign yet awesome.
I feel like I’m at the following place on the culture shock graph:
I’m still loving everything and being here but I’m starting to miss my friends and family back home quite a bit. The language barrier has a completely different character than I thought. It’s really easy to make friends but making GOOD friends and having deep conversations is exhausting. I know you guys can’t probably imagine me being quiet but I’ve probably been quieter here than ever in my life! I can usually follow conversations at the dinner table, among Argentine friends in class, and even between people at the bars, but I just can’t add anything to them for the life of me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons I’d love to say (surprising huh? :P)–I’d love to make little jokes, to tease people, to share my own stories on the same subject–but everytime I open my mouth the entire conversation has to stop while everyone helps me stumble through what I’m trying to say. What started out as a little teasing comment becomes a huge ordeal and by the time it’s understood it seems really stupid and pointless. Commence feeling like an idiot. So I find it easier to just keep my mouth shut until I have everything mapped out in my head and am sure that people will understand and laugh at my joke. When I am successful people seem to enjoy it even more, probably because I seemed boring and unwitty or because they’re surprised I actually understood. Either way, it is really difficult to express your personality without being able to relate to people and be witty (although I’m not witty, I’m not slow either and I can be funny sometimes…) It makes me miss easy banter back home, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. 🙂 Everyday is characterized by even more and more little successes in my conversational ability. I live for the moments of pride I have when I successfully make my family laugh at the dinner table.That being said, you may have noticed the “Everyone Else” on the culture shock graph above. That’s me making a HUGE generalization, but it really feels like everyone else from my program has started to complain quite a bit about the differences and is having a bit of a hard time. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not unhappy to be here, far from the contrary. But I don’t think they’d mind heading home for a week or two. My brother, Cody, who works a lot in the UK told me that every little difference would be like throwing a coin in a bucket. At first they sound really cool hitting the metal, but then the bucket starts to get heavier and eventually overflows and you can’t carry it anymore. I can easily identify most of the coins–having to separately weigh produce at the grocery store before waiting in line for over 15 minutes to check out, the 45 minute commute to a 3 hour class that could be summarized in 15 minutes, having to dress up all the time, even for a quick trip to the grocery store. But for now, my bucket’s still manageable and I’m really happy here. Maybe I feel like I’m not as close to culture shock as the other’s just because I am planning on being here for more than a semester. I came mentally prepared to spend a lot of time here and I don’t want to resent it so soon. Besides, when you get to take a picture with the Joker, how could you not be thoroughly excited to be here?
And on a random note, in what culture would this sound appetizing? I’m pretty sure this burger company set themselves up for failure 😦
Love you guys!
*Ok, don’t freak out, I don’t really have SARS, jeez. But I’m pretty sick and it is no bueno and muy feo. My host mom insists that the reason I am sick is because I go out without a -30 degree rated North Face fleece, two scarves, and one of those winter hats with the stringy ball on the top of it. In my defense, it’s like 60 degrees out and I wear my leather jacket and maybe a scarf. I may look like a pelotuda to everyone else, but I’m pretty sure us Colorado girls know how to prepare for cold weather 😉 And if you know me at all, you’d know you’d be well aware of any discomfort I was feeling because of my lack of proper apparrel for the weather 🙂 But I digress. It’s probably because my body’s a little preoccupied with being on the other side of the world to worry about trivial things like my immune system.
Posted on September 3, 2012, in Fall Semester, Travel and Study and tagged Argentina, Buenos Aires, culture shock, Gangnam Style, language barrier, standinginargentina, strange, Study Abroad, Travel, weird. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.