Last week was a whirl. Although the picture suggests otherwise, five hours of classes a day, plus homework, can be really time-consuming (and hard), but I believe that challenging yourself can only make you better. That week in class, we talked about immigration and discrimination, which made me think about the issue in Argentina. I live really close to Barrio Chino (the Chinatown of Buenos Aires), and for this reason, there are a lot of Asian people around. Other than that, I have not really seen many people of colour. Here, they refer to people with dark skin as morrachos. I know that because, as I was getting my hair cut, the hairdresser extensively explained to me that he would call me a morracha because of my “piel más oscuro” (darker skin). However, I don’t think he meant to be discriminatory since he went on to say that he had a 23-year old son and that we would make a good pair due to the difference in skin colour. Later, I talked to my friend Guillermo (pronounced Gui’sh’ermo because, you know, Argentina) about it. He told me that since most Argentines are descendants of Italians and Spaniards, there is not much discrimination in the country. They are also predisposed to immigration from bordering countries, as well as Asia and Europe. As such, Argentines are tolerant and accepting of others. However, there can be certain prejudices and stereotypes relating to Bolivians, Paraguayans, and Asians. He added that some of his friends from other countries have felt that people looked at them differently because of their skin colour.
My experience in Argentina has been great so far, and it’s hard to believe that it is soon coming to an end. My only complaint is that everyone in my class/program is from the US, which made it harder to meet locals. However, I found some ways around this. First, I joined that conversation exchange program at the university. I also try to talk to as many people as possible when travelling around or going out. Additionally, I created a Bumble* here, through which I met a few people (Disclaimer: if you are planning to use it, be careful, i.e. follow the rules** of talking to random people online).
Last Thursday, we went to a Tango show preceded by a Tango lesson. We learnt the basic steps and were certified. I am far from being a pro, but I intend to learn more (I added it to my bucket list).
I know I promised stories of adventures in my previous post, so stay tuned to read about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
*Bumble is kind of like Tinder (so basically an online dating app) except the girl has to talk first and has 24 hours to do so.
** The rules are:
- Do NOT ever give out sensible information about yourself, e.g your address
- Never agree to meet alone. Meet with other friends or in a crowded place, and always let someone know where and with whom you’re going
- Beware of cultural differences
- Do not believe everything you’re told
- Be SMART