Sunday, 21 February 2016

One month in Argentina (more or less)

So somehow or other, I left home just over a month ago. I’m not quite sure whether I feel like I have been here for ages or not. It feels like this month has flown past in the blink of an eye and yet leaving my family feels like quite a long time ago. I feel so removed from NZ so it means that I’m not really missing home or anything because it just feels like it doesn’t exist or that it's just waiting for me to return. Anyway here is my blog post for week 4.

So to pick up where I left off, Monday was a vey normal day except for the exciting fact that I had my first Rotary meeting. At 9:30pm I was picked up by my counsellor and together we drove to a small bar on the other side of the river. There was only about 7 other rotary people at the meeting and that was because it is the holiday season. This meant that I wasn’t having an official meeting, but rather just an introduction to some of the members and they were having a catch up/ It passed quickly and all the people were really nice. They asked me loads of questions and included me in the conversation which is always a positive thing. I left at about 12am and returned to my house for sleep.

Tuesday was the day when I was essentially home alone. My host dad was also around but he had to work for the majority of the day. It passed quickly with little incident. I remember that I blasted my music really loud when I was home alone which was really quite great and danced around like an idiot haha. I went for a long walk as well, taking the opportunity to explore. I also cooked for the first time that night for Benja and I. I haven’t cooked here yet because the meals are always meticulously planned and so I always help out here or there but I hadn’t actually done all the cooking before. Anyway I cooked my family’s traditional poached eggs. I mean if you’ve ever stayed over at my house you will know that this is a morning tradition. It was so funny to see the awe on my host dad’s face at the perfect poached egg I presented him on his face haha because my family here have no idea how to cook them. Anyway we also had a rice salad and a normal salad. It was really yum and he wouldn’t stop complimenting me for my cooking skills haha (even though it wasn’t anything special at all).

On Wednesday it was yet again another chill day (where I was essentially home alone) but at 5pm I walked over to Pauli (one of my friends) house. It was her birthday and so for about 4 hours, 20 other girls and I sat around a table and chatted. This was my first time I got the chance to meet the whole group and it was really cool. They were all really loud and talking over each other and so understanding was a bit of a mission. At one point they were trying to learn all the different swear words in English and teach me them in Spanish which caused much hilarity. It was really cool to be around people my age and just chat. I returned home at about 9 stuffed with peanuts (as peanuts were the only food I could eat). I got home and Vir, my host mum and Ignacio had come home so that was really cool as once again we had a full house.

Thursday was another chill day. I was supposed to be going into school with some of the rotary people to sign up and find out my course and what year group I was going to be in, however Adrianna (the woman who looks after exchange students) wasn’t in Bell Ville, so I can look forward to this excursion in the coming week. 

Probably the most exciting part of the night was dinner. We decided to make gf crepes. Holy sdifgafdawe, they were incredible. We had 2 crepes each, the first with ricotta, black olives and tomato and the other with mushrooms, onion and queso cremoso (which is essentially a creamy cheese). I don’t think I have ever been so satisfied in my life. Oh and we also had a side of home made “rustic” wedges. I was so full afterwards I practically rolled to the couch. That night, Vir and I watched a few episodes of How To Get Away With Murder. I have finished season 2 but it was good to re watch episodes and do something together.

On Friday, I remember feeling really tired. We didn’t really do anything in all honesty. I skyped my family for an hour and a half which was really really nice. I also went for a walk and we had a big bbq for dinner with Ignacio and his girlfriend (+ Vir, my host mum and dad). I honestly love the pork here. Idk what they do with it but quite honestly it is incredible. It was very great and I found that I was able to follow the conversation.

Saturday was a bit more busy. In the morning Vir and I went into town and did a bit of shopping and it was nice to be getting out of the house. We returned and all had a quick lunch and then Vir and I prepped to go to Isla Verde because she was supposed to be taking photos there and I was coming along for the ride. Just before we left Vir called Juli (her friend in Isla Verde) and due to flooding there (because of a big storm) we couldn’t go. Instead we spent our time by the pool and then I went for a long run. When I returned we had a quick dinner and then went out to the bank so I could pay for my rotary jumper and then to the ice cream shop so we could stop for a quick treat. I had dulce de leche (which is a kind of sweet caramel here that is to die for) with grated chocolate. Honestly this is how exchange students gain weight, but I mean I went for a long run so I figured I could enjoy the treat. 

After that we returned home and I changed and got ready to go out to the boliche. I went to Sara’s house and despite the fact that it had only been a week since we had last hung out one on one, I was speaking and understanding way more. This was really cool for me to see how only a week could make such a marked improvement. She finished getting ready and we then took a taxi to the town center. Once there we met up with all the other girls who we were going to the boliche with (there were about 10 of us and majority of them had been at Pauli’s house on Wednesday). We then walked through town to the house of one of their friends for the “previa” which is essentially a pre party. There were other girls there who were going to be at my school, but in the year below me and also a group of guys.

We danced and took photos and everyone screamed the lyrics to well-known songs (ofcourse I didn’t know any of them) but it was really really fun to just dance and be apart of everything. At about 3am we headed out to the boliche. I had a bit of a scare when I first arrived as the police were there and I didn’t have any ID to say I was older than 16 but I just spoke English and looked confused and after a few persuasive words from my friends, I was in. I was mainly with Candel and Sara but later on I was also with Manu, Caro and Viki. Manu is really really cool, very crazy and outgoing. Same with Caro. Viki is just so lovely and an honest to goodness nice person, same with Candel, and ofcourse I love Sara. I didn’t see too much of the other girls, except for Lucila and Anaclara and we just danced heaps together. And that was also just really cool.  Honestly all the girls are so amazing. Anyway I met a countless number of people and don’t remember any of their names but that’s okay, I have a year to learn them haha. At 5 ish I was getting tired, my phone was dead and I was ready to go home. Regardless I hung in their until 6 when it finished. 

Caro, Viki, Sara, Juli and I all walked together along the road for awhile as their were so many people and not enough taxis. I just remember my feet were killing me and I was so grateful when eventually someone picked us up, (I think a brother of someone). As we drove to my house it was really magical to watch the sun come up after a long night out. I came in and went straight to sleep, thoroughly exhausted.

Today is Sunday and I am dead. So tired. I made pesto pasta though which was exciting. 

Anyway, some thoughts/observations:

Something I’m finding hard is friends. Like yes I have a group of friends now, they aren’t from the school I'm going to but they have taken me in, I am always hanging out with them and they are honestly so crazy and amazing. The drawback though is that it’s quite lonely being with a group of friends, probably more so than being alone. Often they speak rapid spanish amongst themselves, each talking over the other and often it is very difficult to understand. At first you are a novelty, something new and interesting but rapidly you aren’t the centre of attention so much and then often it’s harder to be apart of the conversation and you feel like maybe they are only friends with you because you are new and interesting or they feel sorry for you. Then you don’t really talk much and especially in a boliche or a place with lots of people, often you can feel out of place, overwhelmed and honestly a bit like a hassle. It does get easier and honestly I know that this is only a small difficulty in a wonderful year. And I know my group likes me and enjoys my company (with the spanish I can speak haha), in fact last night I overheard some of the girls saying about how they really liked me and that I was a cool person so that’s always good to hear. I think it’s often just an overthinking thing and doubting life because it isn’t what you're am used too. I have also talked to some other exchange students about it and I know they are in the exact same boat so it isn’t just me. 

Something else I’m struggling with, is the fact that while I’ve been here a month, my spanish still isn’t fluent. I know that sounds really ridiculous but I had such high expectations of how my spanish was going to be perfect after a month-2 months. Like yes it has definitely improved but it’s nowhere near perfect. I think this may be because I haven’t been at school and so I haven’t really been emerged in spanish 24/7. This is one of the reasons I am so excited to start school. I am also very excited for English classes at my school hahah :p 

I also sleep a lot here, like 8-10 hours per night+ (except when I go out hah) and yet I am always so tired. I think it is because I always have to think and talk in spanish and it is very tiring and draining.

Something I love here, is food shopping. It is so so so different. We go to like a little place where you pick the fruit and vegetables out of baskets and there’s a whole cheese and meat section where you choose the cut you want and it’s just very very different. I love it! They have aisles for tinned things as well but there aren’t many and they are still stacked and presented very differently. For example mayonnaise is in a packet not a jar. It’s so cool and interesting.

Also another observation I made is that everyone here drives with their lights on, even in broad daylight. I asked my host sister about this and she said it is the law because it makes it easier to see oncoming traffic. It’s so weird but also understandable and apparently the crash rate has dropped significantly.

Some upcoming events are:

  1. Tonight I think I am going to Sara’s house with a lot of people, I’m not sure for what but yeah.
  2. Tomorrow I think I am going to Cordoba in a bus by myself. I am really excited for this because I will get to watch the scenery and listen to music and have some quality me time.
  3. On Tuesday there is an event in Cordoba in Laguna Azul with Rotary and all the other exchange students which will be so cool, and I think Charo is coming which is so exciting! I can’t wait to meet everyone. We are also doing wake boarding at the event and I am so excited.
  4. Schools starts in a week?!?!

So yeah, that’s about all for now. I’m going to try to keep updating every Sunday but honestly it’s probably the worst day to do it because I am normally so tired on Sunday’s haha.

Chao <3

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Isla Verde and life in the 3rd week

I honestly can't believe that a week has passed. I don't know what I have been doing this week that has made it pass so ridiculously quickly but as always, here is my weekly update.

On Monday at around about 1:30pm after a quick lunch, Vir and I jumped in the car and we hit the road with the destination Isla Verde in mind. We hooned down the highway (if you could call it that) past hundreds and hundreds of fields of crops, blasting music and chatting. We made a quick pit stop at the farm (my host family's) but couldn't enter due to a recent storm which meant that the drive way was a pool of mud and so we continued on to Isla Verde. It was very amusing because the roads were so awful and so we were going along at about 120-140 km per hour bouncing along the roads. It was like nothing I had experienced in NZ.

Once we arrived at Isla Verde we went to Vir's best friends house, Juli (a different one to the one previously mentioned), and it was honestly the most amazing house. It was so retro and art deco with splashes of colour everywhere and it was just like a dream house. She was so lovely and we all sat and chatted for a while because it was so hot outside that we couldn't possibly leave the house.

A bit later we moved the tables and chairs outside, only to be joined by Lucia and Kai Ka (that spelling is most definitely wrong), and we chatted some more. They were honestly such a lovely couple and Kai Ka had been to NZ and lived there for a year about 3 years ago so that was really really awesome to talk to him about home and what he did when he was there. Including working in Christchurch and Waiheke and travelling just about everywhere.

After that at about 10:30pm we crossed the square (which was a centre point of the town) and went over to this kind of American diner. It was really quaint and cute and I had meat with melted and cheese and salad. Something I found really funny was that fact that I wanted to order water (just a bottle of normal mineral water) and they didn't have it?!?! Like I had to have a fizzy drink? It was so weird and unexpected, not a problem, just very interesting.

After that we went to an heladerĂ­a (ice cream shop) and Vir and Juli got ice creams and then we went for a drive in the car around the neighbourhood. I remember that drive very clearly because I was freaking out that I had lost my wallet because I couldn't find it anywhere and so I have no idea what they were talking about but it stuck in my brain. Eventually we returned to the house where ofcourse I found it. I was so relieved haha. It was about 1am by this point and I was very tired and so I retired to bed.

In the morning, at about 11, we headed out to breaky at a little cute cafe and I had a coffee (which ofcourse I managed to spill everywhere) and orange juice. At about 12:30pm we left the cafe, went back to the house and packed up our stuff before getting in the car to head back to Bell Ville.

The journey home was very quick and soon we were back for lunch and chill for the rest of the afternoon.

The rest of the days, Wednesday-Friday honestly passed so quickly and I didn't really do much. Emma (my host mum) was sick, Vir was back in Cordoba for the week and the weather wasn't too great. I watched both seasons of how to get away with murder (which 10/10 I recommend) and yeah. One of the nights we went out for dinner which was really nice because it was a way to get to know Martin (my eldest host brother from Buenos Aires) better. However he speaks really fast and I am still finding him hard to understand haha.

However on Friday night I met up with Sara and Pauli. Sara is a girl who got my number from Susanna (who is a rotary member) because she is interested in going on an exchange and was interested in meeting me. Anyway I went over to her house at about 5 and we chilled and it was really really nice, they are such gorgeous people and really easy to talk to. A bit later another girl Yani (pronounced shani) came over and yeah it was just really really nice.

At about 8:30pm I walked back to my house and had dinner and got to know Ignacio's girlfriend Fatima a bit better as she stayed for dinner. We had an asado (bbq) and ate a lot of food. Delicious food and I finally had avocado!!! I was so stoked hahah. At about 11:15pm I got ready as I was going out with the girls to a boliche and at 11:30pm Emma took me over to Sara's house. When I arrived she was getting ready and shortly after that Lu came over (another friend of Sara's). We chatted and chilled for about 3 hours and then at 2:30 pm we went out to a boliche. This one was called Fusion and was much smaller than Limit (the one I went to before). It was a very intimate space and there weren't that many people there, maybe a hundred.

Something quite exciting, was that I got to meet the girls in sexto (year 13) at the school I am going to. They seemed really nice and although I think they were a little inebriated they were all very excited to meet me and all screamed that they hoped I would be in their year which was very cool to hear.

Other than that we spent our time dancing and chatting with people. It's really hard to talk to people in boliches because the music is always really loud and they speak very fast and so it's a mission to not only understand but to hear as well but it was cool nonetheless.

Lu went home with her boyfriend and Sara and I made our way back to my house, before she returned to her home and  I finally fell asleep at 7am.

I slept until about 1:30pm the next day and spent the rest of the day in a tired haze. Sara invited me to come out with her and her friends that night but I was so tired and just retired to my bed instead.

Something else I haven't mentioned is that now I have gluten free food and a lot of it! We went to this dietetica (it's like a diet shop) that had been closed for holiday's when I arrived but had now reopened and they had shelves and shelves of gluten free food. I now have gluten free empanadas (an Argentinian cuisine), ricotta, bread (decent bread?!?!), pizza bases and numerous other things. They had gluten free oreos and sweet treats as well which is just so crazy cool! It is also very near by and so it is very convenient!

Upcoming events:

 1) My first rotary meeting tomorrow, which I am very excited about.
 2) A return trip with Vir to Isla Verde this coming week because she has to take photos of a girl for  her 15th birthday (it's a big deal here). We are also hopefully going to go to the farm and stay there  because it is close to Isla Verde. I really want to go there as it is kind of like a bach but not at the  beach. The house is apparently very old and massive (with 8 bedrooms?!) and a pool and horses! I  really hope we make it there.
 3) School in less than 2 weeks
 4) Undoubtedly more fun with Sara and her friends

All is good here and although I'm really missing my family and friends, I am really happy here. I'm really excited for school to start though and for it all to become routine because I'm ready to really make my life here.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Boliche, Cordoba, Circus and more - week 2

So I have been doing so much in this past week that I haven’t written about yet and I have kept putting off writing it because I knew it was going to be time consuming, but here we have it. I’m really sorry in advance because it is very long hahaha.

The afternoon after I wrote my last blog post, I got a message from Stefi asking me if I wanted to go out to a “boliche” that night. A boliche (I now know) is kind of like a club but it is very very big and is all outside with areas for sitting and chatting, 2 bars (one on each side), in the middle a massive grass area for dancing and meeting people and at the front there is a big stage with a dj and flashing lights. Think of like Mt smart stadium when it is geared up for a concert but smaller and without the stands on each side. Anyway I accepted Stefi’s invitation and I remember at about 10:30 I had probably my first moment where I was missing my home and the comfort of nz because the boliche was such a foreign idea and I felt very out of my comfort zone. It passed fairly quickly and at 12 am I got ready, had a quick shower, put on a dress, did my make up and Emma drove me over to Stefi’s for 12:30.

Once Emma had dropped me off I had a quick house tour of Stefi’s house (it was massive, with an elevator?!) and then Carmen drove us over to a girls house where the “previa” (pre-party) was already in full swing. There were about 8 girls there and it was quite awkward at first because the music was really loud and so for me it was a fight not only to understand the conversations around me, but also to hear them in the first place. The girls were really nice though and super accepting of me, the majority of them also wanted to try out there English. After about an hour of chit chat and dancing a massive group of guys showed up. I talked to a lot of them and it was a lot more relaxed after that. It was also cool because Stefi was with me and stayed with me the majority of the time so I was never really alone. 

Anyway at about 2:40am I got in a car with 4 other girls and we drove over to Limit (the name of the boliche). We had to climb over this massive ditch that was obscured by grass (so of course I was the one to fall into it, even though I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol) and we headed for the congregation of people. Somehow or other we managed to get in a side door (I’m not sure how) but we skipped the queue and were inside the boliche. 

Basically the night passed with a lot of dancing, loud music and a blur of faces as I was introduced to a countless number of people with names I forgot the minute I heard them. It was interesting though because the boys were much more forward than any I had met in nz (for example a few guys said that they wanted to “accompany me home” which I politely declined) and the dancing was very different then that in nz but I had so much fun. The only person I really remember is a guy called Hernan who was crack up and I spent probably an hour just laughing with him and Stefi. 

Anyway at about 5:30-5:45am Stefi, Hernan and I jumped in a taxi and by 6am I was home. I felt really bad because the dogs of course went berserk when I arrived in the door and I woke up Emma (my host mum) but after a quick chat with me saying yes I had a great night and yes I was shattered I went up to bed. Then, and I am not sure why but Laura Facebook called me and we chatted for a bit before I fell asleep fully clothed, utterly exhausted.

The next day I woke up at about 1pm and the next vaguely exciting thing that happened, was at 3:30pm a group of girls that my host family knows came over. They were so so lovely and really inclusive of me. We drank terere which is mate with juice (in case you don’t know what mate is, it’s a herb that everybody here drinks with boiling hot water) and chilled by the pool. The only slightly different thing was that they were 14 and 15 so younger than Harry but I got on really well with them, even if they were quite young and I really love Juli (who is the family friend of my family). At about 7pm we went out and we all got ice cream and then went for a walk and finally I returned to the house.

I remember going to my room, having a shower and sinking down on my bed and feeling pleased that I had done all these things and met all these new people but just relieved to have a moment to myself. 


The next morning I was up at 7 am (remember that we go to bed late here so although I had had an early night by going to bed at 12:30am that only meant 6 and a half hours sleep, which for me is not enough to function on) having been waking up at about 10am every day previously and quickly packed all my stuff and trundled downstairs. I didn’t have time for breakfast so I jumped in the car with Emma and we drove the two hours to cordoba. I slept the majority of the way and remember waking up about 15 minutes before we arrived. 

I don’t know what I expected Cordoba to look like, but it wasn’t this. I guess I expected skyscrapers and it to look like Auckland but it was much older and not as clean. I met Vir in the foyer and we went upstairs while Emma parked the car. The flat was so cute like really small but with a balcony with a killer view and 2 bedrooms that seemed very spacious. 

We then went to a dietetica (which is like a shop for people on a diet) and we found a whole coeliac section. We brought some rice cracker equivalent, some jam and some choc chip biscuits. It was quite funny because in the house Vir had no food so my breakfast was jam and rice crackers every morning haha. Not that I am complaining cause they were delicious.

That day passed with numerous journeys. First we went out for a walk and then we went to a bistro for lunch. We specifically went there because they said that they had gluten free bread and that they had gf options. I had chicken with veggies and the gluten free bread came out too. The first one was basically still frozen and tasted absolutely disgusting. The staff at the bistro obviously saw or overheard that it was frozen and brought out another one that was hot but honestly it was just as disgusting. It made me miss the deliciousness of gf bread in nz. Anyway the rest of the meal was delicious and then after that we went back to the apartment. 

After this we went to this shop of Emma’s family friend to look at sculptures and after that we went to her house to look at some other ones. That was quite tedious because I was tired and it was very hot. Finally we went to a massive shopping mall and had a look around. Again I still wasn’t really feeling it and everything was very expensive, like 300 pesos for a t-shirt which is about 40 dollars. I was quite surprised by this as I thought that everything would be cheaper here in Argentina. 

We then returned to the apartment and Emma left to return back to Bell Ville while I stayed on with Vir. After that a friend of Virginia’s came over and we ended up going over there for dinner. It was really chill with Vir, her friend (Guille - I think that’s how you spell her name), her friend’s boyfriend (Nacho) and I. We had an asado (which is like a barbecue) and we chilled. They were really inclusive of me and Nacho went to Colorado to ski so I told him he should come to Queenstown. It’s really crazy how much pride and patriotism you feel for your country when you aren’t there. 

We left at about 12am and returned to the apartment to sleep.

The next day was much more chilled. I didn’t really do anything too exciting until about 2:30pm in which I explored the city with Vir and walked into the centre. Then she left to go to work and I met up with some other exchange students. I met Oskar (from Denmark), Auke (from Belgium), Claire (from Belgium), Daniela (from Slovakia) and later Amaya (from Mexico). It was really cool because they spoke in Spanish which showed fluency and love for the language but also made it harder for me to create a good impression and be really friendly with them because conversations in spanish with me are often slow haha. But they were all really lovely and I know when I am fluent it will be much easier and I will be really good friends with all of them. We drank terere in a park and then at about 8pm I went back to the apartment.

We had salad and scrambled eggs for dinner and then afterwards we went out with Guille to an heladerĂ­a which is an ice cream shop. The ice cream here is honestly ridiculously good and I know if anythings gonna make me gain weight here, it will be the ice cream. I had chocolate ice cream with almonds. The area we were in was super cute and reminded me of Ponsonby central with little stores and a bar at the end. 

We returned back and went to sleep. 

The next day we had a cleaning lady come to clean the flat. Vir and I again went for a walk and she was going to show me where she worked. We walked along the canal and managed to get all the way across town before Vir remembered that she forgot her key. The problem with this, was that if the cleaning lady locked up and left we would be stuck outside. We jumped in a taxi and raced back, managing to make it back while the cleaning lady was there which was a relief.

We then went out to get lunch. We went to this cafe a few streets over and it was so cheap. It was a meal, a drink and a dessert for about $10 NZD. Vir and I shared a steak and potatoes and a salad. It was so yum. We then went for a walk to the University and eventually came back to the apartment. We then had to return because our ride was here and we ended up coming back earlier than I thought we were going to due to circumstances with other people. I didn’t get to see Charo which sucks but it’s okay because Vir has an apartment there and Stefi is going to go there for school and I hope to visit her this year so I know that I will be back and get to see her soon.

The next day was a very relaxing day by the pool, reading with a bit of exercise mixed in with that. Probably the most exciting part was the evening. At 7:30pm Carmen (my counsellor here) came over with her daughter Stefi to take me to the house of the people who were likely to be my next family. I arrived and Carmen and Stefi stayed for about an hour before leaving me to have dinner with them. The son (Fede) was coming to NZ with Agustina on Sunday on an exchange so he was really interested to talk with me and find out about where he was going and things about NZ. He is going to Tauranga and I told him that he was very lucky because it is gorgeous there. It was really weird to see someone sitting in that position that I was in only just over two weeks ago. Anticipating and unsure of the future. He loves rugby and so I told him he would be alright. 

Anyway the family were so gorgeous and had an amazing house. They have another son called Carlos who is 19 but he is studying in Cordoba. So yeah he will be my host brother in the future. We had an asado and it was so delicious and they were all very polite and interested in me. I love them already. 

The next day was more of the same, chilling, pool etc. and the most exciting part was probably the fact that that night we went to the circus. When we had been driving back from Cordoba we had seen that there was a big top tent and caravans in one of the big fields and decided that we should go. We picked up Juli and her brother on the way and I was honestly so excited because I had never been to a circus that wasn’t in a theatre or some other superficial environment. The circus was really cool! They had no animals which I kind of liked. The acrobatics they did in the sky and with the trapeze was crazy but some of the stuff on the ground was the type of stuff I was doing in dance and I thought about how cool it would be to live as part of a circus. They also had clowns and one of the clowns was so funny and got some of the audience up onstage, that was probably my favourite part.

After the circus was over we returned home to bed.

The next day, which was yesterday, Martin (my oldest host brother) came home. It was really cool to finally meet him and he is so cool. We spent the afternoon by the pool, swimming and chilling (of course haha) and then that night we decided to make pizzas. We had a gf mix and I was honestly so stoked. Martin also tried marmite and he was the final person in the family to agree that marmite was disgusting ahah. I was supposed to be going out to the boliche with Juli and a group of her friends but in the end after much talk about it and calling home because I wasn’t sure what to do, I decided not to go because I was so shattered and I just didn’t feel up to a night out. So we made these pizzas and although it didn’t quite meet the NZ standards, it was pretty bloody delicious. After dinner, Vir, Emma and I watched a movie called “Room” and it was so good, honestly I recommend to all. Then we went to bed and fell asleep at about 2am.

Something I did this morning was look up the difference between Argentinian spanish and the spanish of Spain. I thought vos was short for vosotros and so didn’t understand why they still used the tu form  and also why they used “vos tenes” and not “vos tienes” for “you have”. If you are interested you can read why below:

Also I made a right dick of myself at the table today because I went to cut off a piece of meat and I couldn't understand why my fork wasn't stabbing the piece of meat and I looked down and realised that I was using my fork the wrong way. Ofcourse Martin saw and went on to relay it to the whole rest of the table (yes the other 6 people) who all laughed at me. I honestly think they think I have something wrong with me because every day I seem to be continuously dropping cutlery or doing something stupid. So embarrassing but also very funny.

Some interesting observations I’ve made:

  1. They always drink gaseosas here (which are fizzy drinks), like with every meal which is so different from home, and furthermore everything here is “light” or without sugar. I don’t know how I feel about it but normally I have water regardless. 
  2. People will make plans with you and if they leave it up in the air, it is unlikely to happen. Everything is very casual and people don’t take offense easily.
  3. Adding to 2, people call each other by insults endearingly. For example, gordo which means fat. 
  4. They have sal (salt) and aceite de oliva (olive oil) with everything, and not just a little bit, but a lot. 
  5. No one here has iPhones, they all have Samsungs or other androids. In fact that’s true about all apple products.
  6. Nearly everyone here has dogs (little ones)

For me, I know I need to work on listening more to conversations around me and not getting bored and daydreaming because I know it would help me so much with my Spanish. Furthermore watch the tv with my family and not read like I would at home and I have been doing here because it will help my spanish. 

Something funny is the way everyone mocks my accent, like my family will ask me what something is in English (especially my host dad) and I will say “table” or whatever and he will repeat what I say but it will sound ridiculous. So now my new name is “moji” because to him that is how Molly sounds when I say it. I also tried to tell him my family’s name and so now they are “huji”, “Crijtinja” and “Marjing”. It’s really crack up. 

I really miss bread, like the ability to just make a sandwich when I wanted one. Also salmon and avocado (2 things that were a daily staple in NZ) are so expensive here that we never have it in the house. I also miss the comfort and ease that exists in NZ and having to always be “on” here so that I can understand the spanish but I know this will get easier with time. 

So basically this week has been very busy and I have had a rollercoaster of emotions, sometimes waves of appreciation for where I am and how fabulous my life is and times when I miss the ease of NZ but I know with time Argentina will become my second place that I can call home.