Thursday, May 27, 2010

My 4 Day Weekend

Well, it’s been a while since I updated, but never fear, I haven’t given up yet. I haven’t been doing much, due to the current lack of expendable funds, but life is good nonetheless. Turns out lots of money isn’t a requirement for having fun, being with friends, and generally living richly.

The past weekend was a four-day weekend, thanks to the bicentennial celebrations here in Buenos Aires. 200 years ago, Argentina began its revolution for independence, which was won by General San Martín 6 years later.

I didn’t actually go to any of the festivities that were held in the capital, but I watched plenty of the parades on TV. The largest street in Buenos Aires, 9 de Julio, was closed off and there were various displays, attractions, exhibitions, and shows throughout the four days. Millions of people turned up to celebrate, congregating en masse in key areas throughout the city, which I avoided like the black plague. Milling throngs of humanity is just not my cup of tea. The effects of the celebrations were felt though, specifically in the fact that we didn’t have to pay bus fares on Tuesday (SCORE), in honor of the bicentenario.

I did have a good weekend though, despite my lack of adoptive country patriotism. Saturday was a going-out night, featuring a goodbye asado for a Danish friend from soccer followed by a late-night birthday party for another good friend. A bottle of wine may have been consumed solely by yours truly, but who’s judging. Topics discussed at said asado and party include: most Argentines’ lack of tolerance for spicy foods, brought on by my addition of a tiny spoonful of spicy salsa to the meat I was sharing with my weak-palated boyfriend, who proceeded to declare that his tongue was numb; the World Cup (of course); the origin of the word hydrogeology and whether English is more of a Germanic or Latin based language; and the efficacy of various pick-up lines in both Castellano and English, and the chances of scoring with the line “Would you like to come to the party in my pants?” Wrapped up the erudite conversation around 6 am and headed home, slept til 2 pm, woke up to rain, then did nothing for the next 36 hours.

On Monday the BF and I watched Argentina destroy Canada 5-0 in the last friendly match before the Mundial starts in a few weeks. Then on Tuesday, I went to meet my boyfriend’s family. Always a sweaty affair for me, sufferer of intense meeting-the-family-itis, the afternoon was lovely and no one ate me (which is always a fear). I met several aunts, lots of cousins, an uncle, a PRECIOUS six month old baby who unfortunately did not belong to the family, and Sergio’s mom. Everyone was very welcoming and kind, and the majority eventually got my name right, Amy being kind of difficult to pronounce correctly with a Castellano accent. Some of them might still think my name is Emilia, but oh well. After 10 months here, I respond to pretty much anything that even sounds close to Amy.

I don’t normally compare things from the States to things here, but as this was my first large family gathering of any nationality in months, I couldn’t help but think about how things were different and yet exactly the same. The food was different of course, most notably in the lack of vegetables here (besides potatoes). The customs were different—everyone kisses the birthday girl (or boy) after they blow out the candle, etc. But underneath the superficial stuff, it was quite similar to any of my family gatherings back in the States. The dynamics between siblings, discussions that begin lightly but degenerate into debates about politics or education, questions and catching up, kids in one room with the computer and older folk in another…it all seemed familiar, despite the fact that it was so different.

I’m still working from home as a writer, although I’m planning to start going into the office 3 days a week starting next week, just for a change of pace and to get out of the apartment for a few hours. I’m also still planning on coming home at the end of June for a 2 week visit, but have yet to actually buy the ticket. I’m loathe to part with 1200 USD, to say the least, but I think a visit home will be good for me.

And now some photos:
 Soccer crew at the asado

Group...getting late

Me and the birthday girl!

Sleepy time

1 comment:

  1. Just one thing:
    "most Argentines’ lack of tolerance for spicy foods"
    That can be with the Argentines than you know.
    In my case, much of my acquaintances can enjoy the more spicy Mexican or Indian meals. If you can visit the north-west of Argentina (the province of Salta, for example) you'll see that there are many typical dishes that use spicy sauce.

    Excuse my english, XD