I like to say that my journey started pretty well. Do you know how flight attendants know what language to speak just by looking at you? Well, when I got on the plane last Wednesday, they talked to me in Spanish and I was pumped! That feeling didn’t last long. I was sitting next to an Argentine woman and I have to say I was flattered when she started talking to me in Spanish (in her defense, I did say ‘Hola’ first). However, it was way too fast, and I had to tell her to slow down, but we eventually managed to understand each other.
I got to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires Thursday morning, managed to exchange my dollars to Argentine pesos (in Spanish), met with my program coordinator and one of my roommates, Jaimee. We then headed to meet our host mom, Liz, whose birthday it was on that day. Liz is super nice and speaks minimal English. She also apparently knows some local celebrities. We might meet them (or have already) but I’m afraid I wouldn’t recognise any. That night, I had my first ’empanada’ (Argentine style cause they’re different in every country) and instantly knew I’d like the food here. They’re big on meat and carbs.
The following day, we met Alexa, our other roommate and together with Jaimee, we visited some historic sites during the weekend. A lot of people think that women have a bad sense of direction (or none at all). They might be right. We had some trouble navigating the city without Google Maps (none of us had a working phone with data yet), almost missed our bus stop (twice), but feel more confident using public transport now (yay!). Nonetheless, it was pretty cool being to places that were previously discussed in my classes at Notre Dame, like Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada (their equivalent of The White House), Cementerio de la Recoleta (where Evita‘s tomb is),…
Language-wise, it is slowly becoming easier to understand the accent here. Argentina is the only country that uses ‘vos’ instead of ‘tú’. Also, they pronounce the ‘ll’ or ‘y’ and ‘z’ sounds as ‘sh’, which really throws me off at times since I’m not used to it. Asking people to repeat what they said, and using signs have become an integral part of everyday conversation.
Tomorrow is our first day of class and I’m really looking forward to what is to come, especially more Spanish!