I write this blog from the western argentine province of Mendoza, almost three weeks after landing in the country.
It’s amazing, thanks for asking. I have begun my new life (or at the very least my life for the next year) in good fashion. We have recently finished orientation at La Universidad Catolica de Argentina in Buenos Aires and started to feel at home in one of the world’s most amazing cities. My fellow amiga imogen and I spent the first two weeks in the eastern barrio (locality) of San Telmo before I moved into my new apartment in Recoleta. I will be renting a room from an older argentine woman for the next few months, she speaks no english…something i consider as a welcomed bonus 🙂 spanish practice time!! Basicamente I can’t complain about being sent to an amazing part of South America to learn the language and culture of a world I’m not accustomed to…cultural immersion!
Ya vos sos gordito?
Si! Yes. Damn! The food here is packed with mind boggling quantities of oil, fat and carbohydrates. Of course there are healthy options but I’ve been taking none of them, as was the case in India…I am now reaping the benefits of this life style! Soy gordito!
On another note we are slowly adjusting to the intricacies of Argentine Spanish or Rioplatense. The sound of the doble l in Spanish (ll) typically makes a sound equivalent to a ‘y’ in English. However in Argentina it forms more of a ‘sch’ sound (for lack of a better description in textual form). In addition there is the use of vos in place of tú (both meaning ‘you’ in the singular person). You get used to it and I have certainlty taken up the use of this anomaly, but it will remain a bit difficult depending on what verbs you are using. Mira, when one usually asks where are you from in Spanish the correct manner is ¿De dónde eres?, while here in argentina you would say ‘¿De dónde sos?’. For anyone who has learnt spanish you can imagine what it’s like trying to get used to people saying random verb conjugations at you! Podés entender mi problema! In place of puedes entender mi problema! Other than that the Spanish is coming along slowly, at a much greater speed than being taught in Australia could offer!
¿Por qué no estás en Brasil como planificaste?
Pues, i had visa issues when attempting to apply for a trip to florianopolis this weekend. It was to be my first brazilian carnival experience, one that was not to be. Basicamente it was just the one problem… I needed a visa and they weren’t willing to give me an appointment to start the process! The next available appointment would have been the 10th of March, the day after I was due to arrive home to Buenos Aires ( I Iike the ring of that last part ). Had I been born in the European Union or lived in another part of the world that wasn’t so renowned for being impossibly difficult for Brazilians to get a visa I would have been able to cross the border any time, any where. This was not the case for me. So my advise to any Australians wanting to travel to Brazil…especially with the upcoming FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympics in Rio… Be early with your visa applications!!!!!!
I have just gone paragliding today, saw the highest mountain in the western hemisphere yesterday (Aconcagua, high in the andes between the frontiers of Chile and Argentina) and have another 3 days in Mendoza, home to argentina’s wine industry before returning to start classes. In the year to come I’m really looking forward to sharing with you some (certainly not all) of my experiences, doing a little research about microfinance while I’m here, observing the upcoming presidential elections in October and generally boring half my friends to death!
Hopefully some will be excited about learning a thing or two, correcting me when I’m wrong, or just read for the sake of interest 😉