Buenos Aires is wild. When I stepped off the airplane on Monday morning at the crack of dawn, the first thing I remember thinking is “I hope it’s not always this warm” followed closely by “do I actually know any Spanish??” Turns out that the temperature hovers around 80 degrees for a majority of the time, leaving us Wisconsinites covered in a sheen of sweat at all times. It also turns out that Spanish sort of sounds like gibberish unless you’re using 104% of your brain power at all times to make sure you’re not missing some super important information about I don’t know, obtaining a Visa and not getting firmly escorted out of the country.
From everything I can tell so far, the city of Buenos Aires is a place both full of life and rich with experiences and opportunities that don’t exist elsewhere in the world. Buenos Aires is also a city that takes some time to adjust to, something I found out the hard way the second day I was here.
Let me set the scene: it’s a Wednesday morning and I’m wandering the streets of my neighborhood lost and sweaty in search of the metro station and hopelessly late for a meeting, but with a fantastic queue of music keeping me sane. After 50 minutes, I abandon my search, making my way to the metro station that I was familiar with. Now mind you, 3 million people live in the city and another 5 million commute each day, which means that almost 8 million people have access to and use the metro daily. So the trains are very full. After a few futile attempts to board a train, I’m frustrated and even more late than I was before. All of a sudden my music stops. I assume the headphones had just been pulled out of the jack on the phone, so I check my back pocket, where my phone used to be and it’s gone. Second day in a foreign country and I was pick pocketed, that has to be a new record. I’m proud to say I rebounded pretty quickly though. I got a new phone, a SIM card, and even managed to make it to the next meeting relatively unscathed. Moral of this story is maybe don’t carry your phone in your back pocket.
On a more serious note, it’s only been a couple days but the differences between how daily life is conducted here and what it’s like in Wisconsin are worlds apart. You’re out in Buenos Aires until 3am on a Wednesday and your host mom calls you a real porteño. You’re out until 3am on a Wednesday night in Wisconsin and your roommates question your sanity. Dinner at 11 in Argentina, perfect! Dinner at 11 in Wisconsin, you’re cramming for an exam and forgot to eat so you panic and make ramen as a midnight snack. They’re both relatively minor things in the grand scheme of life, but they help to make a place what it is, so they’re important to note and to attempt to adapt to as much as possible. Although by about 9 at night I’m ready to eat just about whatever my host mom sets in front of me.