Two exams, two research papers, an oral presentation, and a much-needed weekend in Florida with the family, I can finally sit down and give my blog some TLC. The last two weeks have been filled with schoolwork and travel preparations. As of tomorrow, I only have five days left in Buenos Aires. I can’t believe my last week in Argentina has finally come, while at the
same time I feel as though I’ve been living here for a year. The last five months have been so emotionally turbulent I would only expect the fact that it’s my last week here to put me over the edge – but I’m surprisingly okay. Bittersweet has turned into gratitude.
Being in Florida for as little as four days I could already feel myself missing some things about Argentina. I am so accustomed to waking up each morning to a new adventure, a new problem to solve, that returning to the United States felt overwhelmingly easy. Being consistently uncomfortable and uncertain for five months, I suppose I’ve grown accustomed to that feeling and the survival mode of thinking. Of course it was incredible being back in the states, and it was hard to have to say goodbye to the family once again but on the drive from the airport back to my apartment in Buenos Aires I couldn’t help but feel a surge of gratitude and tranquility. A certain amount of appreciation for the crazy traffic, the Spanish on the radio that I can never and will never comprehend, the bright sun and 50 degree weather, the graffiti on every corner, the bustling streets, the pungent smell of my street: baked goods, fresh fruit, laundry detergent, and trash. Above all I have an overwhelming gratitude for having the opportunity to know these things, these people, and these places in the first place. I was back in my city.
In an effort to soak up all things Argentine before I take off, I’ve been striving to exit the “student & wanna-be-porteña” mode and enter back into “tourist” mode. First stop was a little deli five blocks away that specializes in fresh fruit smoothies and mouth-watering sandwiches that I’ve known about for ages but have never visited. Conclusion: not worth the wait and not worth writing home about. Second stop, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. If you don’t take anything else away from this blog post, at least know that this museum not only has a Monet but also a Renault. Almost as incredible as my dad told me time and time again after his visit. Although it feels nice to be back in “tourist” mode fully equipped with my camera, water bottle, and flats at all times, I was asked 3 times in one day where I was from – something I haven’t been asked in at least two months. Is it that obvious? For the next week I plan to keep checking destinations and restaurants of my list, and Saturday my Argentine friends are throwing me a going away party, sure to end in true Argentine fashion: just as the sun is rising.