Hihi. What’s up chicas y chicos?
I am just fine. It’s now a week that I have arrived in Buenos Aires. It has been a calm week. Yeah, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrright! No, it really hasn’t been a calm week.
My flight was LONG. By long I mean many hours, like never ending. I flew from Cleveland to Washington DC and from DC I flew to Buenos Aires. The flight was almost 11 hours. That’s a lot. My seat was located in the middle of the airplane. I firmly believe that my seat was literally in the center of this huge airplane which made everything a lot worse. I felt trapped the whole time in there. I would fall asleep and have nightmares of me getting drowned in an ocean or falling off a really tall tree. Finally at around 5 am I threw up and that was basically the end of my nightmares.
In Buenos Aires airport, this one girl who was probably in their late 20s, early 30s, stopped me before walking out the airport. Apparently she had seen my Iranian passport in my hand and wanted to introduce herself to me. She was also Iranian. Though, she was second generation Iranian-American. She was really sweet and kind. Those of you who know my obsession with Iranians, should stop laughing at me right now. As you can see this time an Iranian found me. I did not (well, haven’t yet) looked for Iranians in Buenos Aires. But that is also in my agenda.
Anyways, I took a taxi to the hotel where I was supposed to meet up with the rest of the people in my exchange program. There are 120 students in my program. 119 American students and me….well, ok, I guess they have counted me in as an American, too. So although everybody else had gotten there 2 days earlier than me, people were (and are) freaked out and confused about everything. I started to talk with two of the girls and we went out to lunch together. I ordered Mediterranean ensalada(salad) and the guy brought me a bowl full of cold pasta with cream cheese and when I glanced at him disappointed, he said, “ Ensalada” and left. So, yeah, I had cold pasta which is called salad in here as my first meal in here.
Oh, life is so hard…just kidding. I am having a good time in here and can’t complain. That same day, we all met up with our host families. The lobby of the hotel was like a madhouse that evening. All the host families and students were there. The director of our program would yell out our names one by one and we would be introduced to our ‘families’. But you know what was really cool? I was standing at a corner with my suitcase next to a friend and while I was waiting, I saw a lady standing at the other side of the lobby all by herself. I looked at her again and decided that she was my ‘host mom’. I walked towards her and said, “Eva?”. She was surprised that I had recognized her. I don’t know how, but somehow her face and outfit matched the tone of the letter that she had sent me in the United States. She lives all by herself. She is 35 years old and has a MA in psychology. She has a boyfriend who is 2 years younger than her and I was told that his passion is music. I met him a few night ago and he made me a lot of mate ( a kind of drink that they drink in Argentina. It’s kind of like tea). Eve, my host ‘mom’ is a vegetarian and since I am a vegetarian, too, that is working out pretty well. I must say there aren’t too many vegetarians in here.
What is really surprising to me, is that I have developed an ok sense of direction in this country. Again, those of you who know me, know how horrible I am when it comes to understanding directions. Lol. But in here I function with a map and so far I have been able to find everywhere, take the subway, bus or walk everywhere without getting lost. This really does surprise me, especially because Buenos Aires is a very bid city, like Tehran or NYC.
I went to a tango show last night. There is a national tango festival happening right now. It’s really cool. Last night three different bands were playing different kinds and adaptations of tango. It was fun. I must say that the ‘loneliness’ factor that I mentioned in my previous letter to you guys is still there. And there are so many times during the day that I miss you all so much and wish that you were here. It would have made all these beautiful things here ACTUALLY fun….
I registered for a couple of classes at the catholic university today. It was a complete mess. Things that there administrators were saying were really hard to understand. They were speaking really fast Spanish. And in general, I am terrified in terms of classes. I don’t know how in the world I could survive in classes with Argentinean students. I have to take some classes at this huge university, too, called University of Buenos Aires. I have been through this kind of not-understanding-the-language experience in the US. But this one somehow seems harder and more overwhelming.
Regardless of all of these fears, I am excited for the next few months in here and think that no matter how incomprehensible things are, it will be a very good experience for me. I needed to get out of Ohio, Oberlin and anything else that is related to the US or the Middle East. Take good care of yourselves. Ok?
p.s. Last night when I was walking back from the Tango show, a guy took off his pants and everything in front of me and a few other Argentinean girls who were walking a little ahead of me. This is called an authentic argentine experience, no? For those of us, who know Tehran, this shouldn’t be an odd thing at all.
A big south american hug for all of you(some of you more than the others....just kidding)