Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday!!! x7

No, my birthday isn't until May. (And the picture doesn’t match the title at all. This is Katja and I during a dinner with all the exchange students in Suarez. We decided to get together, all eight of us. And I’ve been really bad about taking pictures so this is the best I have. Haha I’m such a bad tourist.)

But since I've been here, which is three weeks today, I've been to five birthday parties. I just got home from one and there's another tonight. So that's mostly what I've been up to. Besides starting field hockey, going to school, craving spicy foods and reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. (I keep dreaming in a jibberish that sounds like Spanish and it's driving me insane. The days when I read in English are the only days the dialogue in my dreams makes any sense. Thank you Howard Roark for keeping me sane.)

The birthday parties here are very different here. There are usually thirty or so kids (everyone from our class at school) and we sit in a circle and eat and talk (and they talk a lot here) for three or four hours. (Except for the fifteenth birthday parties, which are a huge deal and usually last until six or so in the morning.) Gifts are given sometimes and are usually very little things. But that's about it. They are very fun actually but it amazes me that they just talk for so long. Me, I sit and listen, follow the conversation and talk when I know what is going on. But they change topics so quickly, from blood types to cell phones and Michael Jackson, it's just hard for me to keep up.

They mostly just eat sweets at the parties. And you know you are in Argentina when everything you bite into has dulche de leche. Dulche de leche (literally sweet of milk) looks like caramel in color but is more liquid than solid. It is very very sweet andI like it, in modest amounts. But not in six layers or piled on every piece of cake. It is insane. Even the ice cream is dulche de leche flavored. ????
Last night was a really good night for me though. I went to my friend Eugenia's (I love that name) birthday party and talked for the whole time. It was incredible and for once I felt in on the conversation. It was once of my best moments here and I wish everyday could be as easy as that.

After the birthday party I went home and then took a taxi back to Eugenia's house around one a.m. (that's normal here) to go out with my classmates. I've become much more independent here. If need to get somewhere I walk, bike or call a taxi. If I need something I walk around until I find a store that sells it or ask someone on the street. It’s nice I guess but very different than what I did in America. It’s just that I can’t drive, most of the time there is no one to take me because my parents are at work and everything is so close that it isn’t really a hassle.
For a while I got sore throats and that gross sick feeling during the evenings and went to bed thinking I was going to be sick for a while. I woke up the next mornings feeling fantastic. The first time I thought it was really cool because I magically healed overnight. After feeling sick after six every night for five nights in a row I was just really peeved. Why couldn’t I stay sick long enough to miss a bit of school?

But now that has passed for the most part and compared to the other exchange students I’ve been in really good health. I am tired a lot and I try not to nod off in school, which is close to impossible when everything sounds like white noise. But I think I am finally getting used to the Argentine schedule and I’ve stopped feeling hungry during American meal times.

This coming weekend all the exchange students are headed to Mar del Plata and while I’m not looking forward to the drive I’m excited to meet everyone and hear about the trips we will be taking later this year! La la la yes, I’m playing hockey, I want to start dance classes and I think that’s about it!

Thanks to everyone for these weeks and thanks for checking up on me!


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