Today started out a little difficult because I had to wait for my bus for twenty minutes… and then I had to take my placement test. I didn’t get lost finding the building for the placement test until I was literally outside it, but oh well I was only five minutes late. And as we learned in orientation today, no one is on time in Argentina, so, oh well. The test was long and stupid but after we finished we went to look into the casas de cambio. I had googled what street they were on and we went there… and let me tell you it was craziness. There were people all the way up and down the street yelling “cambio!” (change) and finally we said yes to one woman and she brought us inside this building. The sketchiest part was I noticed that her leg was shaking.. girl looked superrrr nervous. But the man gave my friend 11 pesos for the dollar which is three more than the bank. I tried to change twenties but he said he only takes fifties, so I think I’ll try another tomorrow. It is legit and is more money and it will make my host mom proud of me. Part of the experience I guess 🙂 Then we went to the IFSA office and learned about how to get our VISAs, which was boring and terrible and will be a lot of work, aka I won’t cause you pain by telling you about it.
After that we stopped for lunch at a little place and it was a lot of food for really cheap, I think I paid like three American dollars. When lunch was finished and paid for, we walked for a while but then I split off from the group because I needed to buy my card for the bus (the card is called sube). They only sell them in certain little shops and then I finally found one after asking like ten times. Then at another little shop I added money to my card and added minutes to my phone. It wasn’t that hard and I communicated okay!
After that I got myself back to the next place we needed to meet. It was the same place that we have been for most of orientation. It’s very very beautiful. This is the room we have our lectures in:
And this is the porch in back:
And a better photos of the garden:
We talked a lot about culture shock and the aspects that are very different here than in the U.S. A lot of it is about men and things like that but also how kissing on the cheek is a greeting for all and how time is very different here.
When we were done I walked to my bus stop and on the way made some copies of my passport because the program needed the only one I had today. Then I made it to my bus, said the street and paid with my new card and got off in the right place. It was a major bus success! Then I got into the apartment by myself as well. This is a photo of the park by my stop:
After chatting with my host mom for a bit, we both decided it was a good idea for me to take a nap before dinner out with my program! I was really excited because it was at the Evita Museum. Though we didn’t get to go in, it was fantastic. Incredible. So great. I walked the few blocks there with no trouble (I can navigate the city (ish)!) and found myself in a beautiful patio restaurant. We had a four course meal paid for by the program. I was so amazed I only managed to take one picture, of the main course:
The picture is terrible, I know but it was dark and taking a photo with a flash would have been ridiculous. The photo gives that meal no justice. I sat at one end of the table with Sabrina, a really awesome member of the IFSA staff and some other students that live near me. There were twelve of us there. Sabrina and I talked a lot with my new friend Sebastian (he’s from England!). It was really fun. The bread was the first course and it was really tasty. Then there were salads and sodas with that. It was my first pepsi in the country and there is just something special about soda from a glass bottle. Then the main course (we had two choice and I chose ojo de carne, it’s a special cut of beef) and they were not kidding when they said that Argentina has the best meat in the world. It was incredible. With the meat we had red wine and it was also really good. And it also helped my ability to speak Spanish. When I said I was from Upstate New York, Sabrina asked me to explain what a crick was. It was ridiculous but also really really funny. For desert we had ice cream with what can best be explained as mousse in a cake form followed by tea. The night was perfect and so was the place and so was the food. We finished the night with besos (kisses) goodbye and I had a nice walk home. It’s crazy that I had dinner from 8:30pm to 11pm and that’s normal! It’s so so great here.