A lot of you often ask me about what’s different about living here in Buenos Aires from Fort Collins, CO, USA. This blog is going to be the selective results of a cumulative list I’ve been making in my notebook. (The length got out of hand so I’m going to publish them in 4 parts.) Some are things that give my dimples a reason to appear , some are just crazy things I’ve seen/heard, even more are little differences about my daily life, the rest are just a mezcla of all of these things 🙂 They all sum up to pure awesome though and reasons that the last 10+ months have raced by. So here it is:
101 Things About Argentina/the city/plain old differences From a Yanqui Perspective (In a totally disorganized order) Part I:
1. “Qué sé yo…” Ok so I have several favorite phrases but this one is definitely top ten. (What do I know…) Argentines use it in place of a shrug or sometimes just as a filler phrase–kind of like the way we say “like.” Kind of…qué sé yo…
2. When you’re 20 minutes late to class but don’t have a single worry because you’ll probably still get there before the professor.
4. A dog wearing a rain jacket (Ok seriously, I wish I had time to snap a picture but I didn’t…I was too busy trying to get to shelter. Stupid dog looked dry as a Colorado summer though.)
<<Only the dog was impossibly uglier (no offense intended, but I’m still pretty bitter…)
6. “Ojo, ojo, cuidado, cuidado”
7. When random people on the streets hear me speaking English (shame on me!), they sometimes high five me. I didn’t realize actually how often this has been happening to me until a couple of days ago when I was walking down Pueyrredon with Sol and she found it strange that a random man tried to high five me and I ignored him. She gave me a weird look and asked if I knew him; she probably still thinks that we have some long complicated history and he’s gone into my non-existent pile of “your-dead-to-me”‘s. If any of you know how much I love high fives, just beware that I’m still going to be slap happy when I come back, no matter how many random strangers sacrifice their hands to me in the spirit of Statian stereotypes.
8. <– This is the number of grocery stores within three blocks of me. 🙂 Win.
9. Traffic on the city streets is almost entirely made up of colectivos y taxis. This is on Santa Fe, a few blocks from my house.
10. Hailing the colectivo was particularly difficult to me at first. Now, of course, it comes naturally but I felt like an ungrateful, rude b***h doing it ten months ago.
11. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way. You will get run over. Do not pass the curb. Do not collect $200 pesos.
12. You can buy a nice bottle of wine cheaper than a less-than-quality beer. I have nothing outright against Quilmes or any of the common cheap beers, I’ve just been spoiled by Fort Collins microbrews.
13. Save your beer bottles! Two prices are listed at the grocery store for beers–the cheaper is only attainable if you brought your old beer bottle back in 😉 Hooray for recycling!
14. You buy some of your groceries at a Chino, some at the supermercado of your choice, some at a fruit/vegetable stand, and I suppose if you eat meat, the rest at the butcher shop. Probably all of it is delivered to your doorstep.
15. Although I don’t smoke marijuana nor am I in a cult, every time I drink mate with Argentine friends I feel like I’m a part of a ritualistic ceremony involving the complicated preparation and consumption of drugs.
16. You might lose friends, offend family members of friends, or even potentially get shanked for wearing the wrong soccer jersey in the wrong place at the wrong time.
17. You’re ushered to your seat at the movie theater and usually expected to tip him 50 centavos or so…that’s about 15 cents less than your grandmother used to stingily give you for mowing the lawn (a quarter…)
18. I like the spanish version of this song better. Plus Aladdin has an adorable Spanish accent, and I’m pretty darn proud of myself for being able to notice it. I wouldn’t have been able to tell any different accents when I got here. Now I have a good handle on Spanish, Argentine/Urugayan, Colombian, Mexican, and Chilean. The others are coming.
19. There are very few taboo subjects; everybody poops I guess.
20. The club is dead before 2 AM
21. Strangely named food products that make me laugh:
22. It’s uncommon to give birthday cards, but birthday letters…at least from what I’ve seen.
23. Common terms of endearment include: gorda (fatty), negra or negrita (black or little black one), and flaca (skinny)
24. It totally makes sense that flower stands also sell Oriental trinkets and incense. You hardly ever see one without the other in the city.
25. A typical McDonald’s hamburger costs $10–and yes, that’s AFTER converting it from pesos to dollars. The Big Mac is the only regularly, for Mickey D’s anyways, priced thing on the menu, but only because of the BMI (Big Mac Index dictates all Big Macs around the world should be equal in price, no matter the country or currency.)
To be continued…