51. Fall (Autumn ❤ ) lasts for months here!!! It’s incredible when compared to the couple of blissful weeks we get in Colorado before the harsh winter sets in. I love it.
52. It’s uncommon for a 20-year-old student to be living on their own. Kids live with their parents for many years after colegio (high school) usually.
53. No Thanksgiving 😦 Sometimes I forget that’s a strictly Statian holiday… Click here to read about my Thanksgiving in Argentina.
54. Feriados (Argentine days off) are more common than owls at Hogwarts. I remember reading an article in the local newspaper last semester that claimed that government workers in Argentina technically only work 4 days a week because of the profound amount of feriados and their two weeks of mandatory paid vacation. Read this for a better understanding of just how many holidays there are.
55. If you didn’t know, I have a severe addiction to greasy, buttery, slimy, good ol’ ‘Murican movie popcorn. You know, the kind where you leave the movie theater feeling like your throat has been lined with plasticwrap? Mmmm irresistible. Well, that doesn’t exist here. The most popular option at the movie theater is kettle corn. Kettle corn. KETTLE. CORN. Don’t ask me how I I find the strength to wake up in the morning in a country that prefers kettle corn. I may not if they didn’t have dulce de leche.
56. Apparently there’s a whole different kind of deck of cards that I didn’t even know existed–Spanish cards. Our “regular” version of cards here are called “poker cards” but they’re actually less common than the other kind which are used to play truco among other games. I’m still struggling to get an idea of which suits are which and their values and such. My whole world shattered pretty much once people told me the suits were coins, cups, clubs (as in the type of weapon, clubs, not the clover-looking ones), and swords.
57. Music in English is apparently a single genre of music–at least according to some radio stations here. One station playing at a party I went to with my host brother sounded like I threw my mom’s, brother’s, six-year-old niece’s, and philosophy teacher’s music libraries onto my hard drive and threw it on shuffle. Rap=rock=pop=classical=reggae=metal=>English ( => means “if” in math…)
58. 30° conjures up images of icicles and snow in below freezing temperatures to me, but to an Argentine it’s the peak of summer. (Farenheit4Life!)
59. There’s this incredible invention of a fourth meal in between lunch and dinner–called merienda, or tea time. I’m waiting for them to come out with an after midnight one.
60. The Simpsons. Everyone here is enthralled. I don’t know if they’ve ever been so popular in the states. Ever. Argentines love them.
61. It’s actually very uncommon to shave here, everyone waxes. It’s much much cheaper to do so than in the states, so I can understand the appeal, especially with the warmer weather and more time to expose legs and so on. I’m a fan, but there’s no way I could afford to keep it up in the USA. It’s more expensive to shave here though, plus the razor options are limited to crappy disposable gas station equipment…nothing like Intuition or Schick Quattro with replaceable heads and all that fancy dance.
62. It’s not so bad in the capital of Buenos Aires, but the more rural areas of Argentina are full of street dogs. Some are clearly diseased or have bugs and are “hecho de mierda” as they say here; some are adorable and cuddle-able and sweet; all of them I want to adopt and love and care for. 😦
^^Ciruela spent the night keeping me warm in Maxi’s hammock in Simoca, Tucuman, Argentina and shared breakfast with us in the morning. I seriously considered taking her with us.
^^Me getting a hug on New Year’s from the most adorable attendee. I miss my dogs.
63. A regular Argentine “horario“: 8 AM–Breakfast/wake up, 9 AM–Start of workday, 1 PM–Lunch time, 5-6 PM–Tea time, 6 PM–Post Office and official-seeming businesses close, 8 PM–Closing for most shops and stores, 9 or 10 PM–Din din, 11 PM–After dinner coffee/postre/tea, 12 AM–Think about pre-gaming/going out, 3 AM–Go to the club, 7 AM–Get early McDonald’s/Get home from club. Sleep? What’s that?
64. Libraries here are primarily academic. Not every little kid can get excited about getting a library card (Pagemaster nostalgia) because you can’t usually check things out either. It’s not like back in the US where you can check out The Hulk on DVD, Dirty Dancing on VHS, Ke$ha’s new album, a couple of audio books and a paperback sappy romance novel. Those things cost money, which is why Argentina is world-famous for it’s second-hand book fairs and markets. After working in Interlibrary Loan for two years though, I realize that not even a badass book fair beats free.
65. In general, people here are much more aware of politics and their role in government. Maybe it’s because of their recent tumultuous past, maybe it’s because voting is obligatory (not voting is punishable with fines and such), but either way people seem to take much more of an interest in what’s going on around them. Again, this is just my opinion based on observations.
^^I took this video of the cacerolazo (cacerola means pan and people flood the streets banging on pans and marching to the Casa Rosada to protest the government, hence, cacerolazo) on the 8th of November of last year.
66. Grades are not given as A, B, C, D. and F. Instead you get a number 1-10. Four or above is passing and 10 is really really hard to achieve (theoretically), probably the equivalent of AAA+++, at least in my experience. Grading practices and philosophies are much different altogether.
67. Naturally, being on the opposite hemisphere switches the seasons. This means that it’s summer in November and my name makes no sense. Why would I be named Autumn if I were born in summer??? Nada que ver…
68. The majority of broadcasted television is originally in English and can either be dubbed or subtitled. It’s kind of adorable when you hear the names of Statian shows in a Spanish accent. It does hinder my Spanish language learning though when I can watch TV in English all the time.
^^La beeg bangh theeeuhrreee. Somos…Warner!
69. If you understand much Spanish you may have noticed in that last clip that they use military time here for most things. If you wonder why, read #63 and think about what it would mean if you said to a friend you wanted to meet at “three”…
70. People speak Spanish. Alright. That is kind of a dumb and obvious difference, but it still surprises me to this day–especially little kids speaking Spanish. It’s so adorable and strange and boggles my mind to think about growing up speaking something other than what I grew up speaking. This is very difficult to explain. I give up.
71. Most everything you buy here, from your groceries to a new computer can be paid for through a series of cuotas, or quotes. It’s actually really cool and I would so use it all the time except you have to use a credit card to do so. In the end I would never end up saving money because of extravagant international card usage fees.
72. When I first printed a paper for class here it looked like I was trying to cheat by setting my margins to 2 or 3 inches. I wasn’t though. It’s because they use a different paper size here. It’s bigger, so a five page paper here is actually 5 3/4on regular-size letter paper.
^^It doesn’t look like much but it adds up.
73. For Girls: There’s no applicators on tampons here. In fact, tampons are really not that popular. I was/am shocked. Weird.
^^Really not a very tasteful tampon-brand name….
74. Deodorant is also weird and different. It doesn’t usually come in the traditional stick you rub on. There are some that are like liquid roll-on but the most popular are the sprays. It’s hard for me to understand how this is effective but people here smell nice in general so I guess it is…
75. Coca-Cola is incredibly popular. I call it Argentine water simply because they drink it like I would drink water. If you’re in a restaurant asking for water is very rare. This may be because there’s no such thing as free water–see spoon story in my next post (#83)–but I still find it incredibly strange. They even give this magical Coca-Cola to little kids who drink it like Kool-Aid.
To be continued (one last time…)