I heard several times before I left that going on a study-abroad program for only a month was a very disorienting thing to do to yourself and I am now beginning to really understand why. I've done a ton of fun things here and had a blast almost the whole time but I spent the first couple weeks feeling slightly homesick. Every now and then, I would think about how great it was going to feel when I finally went home. Now, after about 4 weeks, I feel like I live here and I haven't thought much about going home at all recently; Now I'm going home in a week. I've gotten very used the the rhythm of things hear (which, arguably, is not that different from what I do at home: go to class in the mornings on weekdays, go out, drink, go into the city, go to concerts on weekends) and now I've got to go change it all up again.
As usual, new, exciting things happen every day. I've managed to play quite a bit of piano here recently. First, I found an entire music store district (mostly just one street, Sarmiento) downtown and practiced on a nice Yamaha upright until the owner tactfully kicked me out when he discovered I wasn't really there to buy a piano. I also recently discovered Vale's family has a piano and played on that for a while one day. Most importantly, I discovered via the internet an organization called Jazz Club Olivos that meets every Thursday at a bar/restaurant in San Isidro. The 'shows' are mostly impromptu jam sessions and I've been able to sit in on them the past three weeks and play a few tunes. I've always rolled my eyes when mom has called music the "international language" but it's really been true here. I can play music by ear with these guys easier than I can talk to them. It's been a perfect "jam session" experience. With all the new things I've experience here, I've used piano as a personal link to the familiarity of home.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
A lot has happened recently. We took a ferry to Colonia in Uruguay this weekend which was a nice change of pace. Colonia is a very small relaxed town and we had a a 75-80 degree beach visit the second day we were there. Last night I went with Tomas and some of his friends to a concert with a big percussion group called La Bomba. It was a very Folklife/Seattle kinda thing - lots of hippieish dancing and fitting substance and was a pretty good time. Also met Simon, a friend of a friend or something of Tomas' from England - a nice guy. He just got here and doesn't speak much Spanish so he was glad to meet me. About to go out tonight to Palermo to celebrate Mark's birthday/Nate's birthday/Nuevo de Julio (independence day). Check out fotos at http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=10735000#/album.php?aid=2282326&id=10735000. Until next time...
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Agh! I need more vegetables and less meat! It's pretty hard to eat a balanced diet around here when their are so many good meat options (milanesa de pollo, carne asada, etc.). I'm pretty settled into the rhythm of things now. Three strait hours of Spanish class Monday-Thursday can get a bit tiring (I've had trouble keeping my eyes open once or twice) but the teachers are doing a good job of keeping the material interesting and it's nice to have a bit of a schedule. I went to a party with Tomas last Thursday at an apartment in Palermo that turned out to be mostly inhabited by French students studying in Buenos Aires (his ex-girlfriend is French). It was pretty tough to keep up with things, particularly when conversations went back and forth between French and Spanish, but it was a fun and memorable night all things considered. It really made me feel like part of an exciting new international body of students. Learning French has moved a ways up my list of things to do sometime in my life. I also started talking to a French guy named Rafael about French rap (MC Solaar, for example, who, according the Rafael, is pretty old and not so popular anymore in France). He also plays drums and has a friend with a piano and we might meet up sometime to play music. I'm getting a bit more comfortable with Spanish; I was actually able to have an intelligent conversation for 20 or 30 minutes last night with Tomas about different music genres. Other notable things: I've got a cold, my camera seems on the verge of breaking, and I STILL have not found anyone with a piano I can play. But, all-in-all the trip is going great so far; Buenos Aires is beautiful (usually), people are amiable and easy to talk to, and there's more to do here than I could ever touch in a month