Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Sieze the Day, boys! Make your lives extraordinary!"

I've been trying really hard in the past week to really do everything I can to fill my time here in Argentina. I don't want to miss out on anything and risk the chance of never seeing it again.
I'll just go through the week, as always:
Monday - I went to my classes, which were pretty barren, because we had Tuesday off of school for the First Day of Spring/Student's Day!
Tuesday - We had wanted to go to the Lújan zoo, but a bunch of people ended up not wanting to go that day, and instead wanting to do what all other Argentine students would be doing... sitting in parks drinking beer/coke/mate (mah-tay). So I slept in, like any normal college student would do, and then I called up my friends. Jen and I decided that we would go to our favorite pizza place and then meet up with Michelle and Roxanne at this park later on. When we got to the park, there was a giant concert! I had no idea that it was going to be there, but it was. I missed the first two bands, but I got to hear the last one, so it was fun.
Wednesday - I had my Spanish midterm, and I'm exactly sure how it went. I studied with Jen for it, and I had already been asking the professor a ton of questions and doing my homework with my Argentine friend (he can't explain concepts, but he knows when things are right and wrong), so I thought I would do well. The test wasn't hard, but it wasn't the type of test I had been expecting, which threw me off a little bit.

There was nothing eventful about going to school on Thursday. But I did get 3 midterms back - I got two 6s and a 7. To me, a 6 feels like failing, but here, it's a straight up B (3.0) and a 7 is like a 3.5. So without much effort, lenient grading on the part of the teachers, and a strange grading scale, I am now confident that with my P/F I will not destroy my GPA at USC and have to beg my mother and father to make up for my lost scholarship. Holla!

Our cute little sampler
On Thursday night Jen and Sydney and I decided to go out. We were going to "celebrate the end of midterms" (actually, this was the reason we came up with while we were out). We went to this brewery that I had read about that's really close to my house. The meal was pretty expensive, which is why we're calling it a celebratory meal, and it was annoying because Sydney is vegan, and they were kind of rude to us about her special dietary requests. Anyway, we did this beer sampler and then shared a pitcher of the beer we all agreed on. I didn't really like it that much, but I didn't like any of the ones that Jen or Sydney also had in common, so I just went for it. After dinner we went to a bar in Plaza Serrano and met some Brazilians, and then we went to a club that was actually kind of lame (I'm really not a fan of most clubs). So, all in all, it was a pretty good night.

On Friday we had been planning to this bus tour that is Hop On, Hop Off, but we woke up too late and didn't want it to not be worth the money. Instead we went to the Japanese Garden and got lunch and walked around for a little while. It was so beautiful, but it isn't very "peaceful" because it's in the center of the city, not far from a huge avenue, so you can see the really tall buildings and hear all the cars while you're walking around inside. Also, they have coy fish that are so big, they're creepy. They had like bites out of them, probably because they fight for food with the other fish, and they started like following us around. So if you leaned out to look over the pond water, they would be there looking at you with their overly large mouths...
Jardín Japones
After the Gardens, we all went our own ways so that we could get ready to go to Tango and onto our respective nightly plans. Normally our nightly plans are the same, but this time I had a date! I went to Tango and learned a new move. I was getting a bit frustrated with the one instructor because she makes it out like it's our fault that there aren't enough men who want to learn tango and it's horrible that she has to have people switching partners. The other instructor, however, told me that I was "muy bien" and I was so happy!
My date went well too. It's funny because we went to a restaurant that I'd been to before, but he had wanted to surprise me with somewhere that has typical Argentine food. Oh well! We also got ice cream, and I out-ate him which I'm not sure is something I should brag about, but I'm pretty much a champion at eating, so I will.
Yesterday I woke up, and I got together with Jen for pizza, again, at our favorite place. They now have our order memorized down to who drinks the Coke and who drinks the Light Coke. Embarrassing or good customer service? After that we had planned on going to a park to lay out and read/do homework, but it was a little bit chillier than we had originally thought, so we tried to go find a movie to see. We went to two theaters and didn't see anything that we wanted to spend money on, so we just went home with plans to meet up later for my nerd-fest. Last night, Jupiter was really close and the Planetarium normally has telescopes set up on weekends for people to use, and they were doing a special thing for Jupiter. I wanted to go and a girl from school, named Abby, said she wanted to go too. When we completed our walk to the Planetarium, and took in the immense line, we decided it wasn't worth it to wait that long and we would go eat instead and just go to the Planetarium for a show some other time. There were literally 1,000+ people in line to use one of like 3 telescopes. I'm sad I missed it, but I also saw Jupiter without a telescope because it's was that close (I say it was that close because it is not physically possible to see a single star in Capital Federal, but I could definitely see this one...). On our walk back to civilization (aka through a park) we realized a bondiola place was open, and we went there to eat instead. It was so delicious and cheap! The owner of the bondiola place was really nice to us, and I'll definitely go back to eat there some other time. After we ate we played on see-saws for a few minutes, and then just walked into the main roads to take our buses home.
I stayed up really late, even though I didn't have to, watching my favorite songs on youtube with Spanish subtitles. It all started thanks to my friend Matias deciding that he liked the Taylor Swift that I played for him the other day, and wanting to know what all the words were. After that I started watching Taylor, Carrie Underwood, John Mayer, etc. It was awesome and I feel like I learned a lot, but it's also a lesson in how there's this gap in translations. You can really lose quite a lot from reading a translation of something than reading the actual thing...

Today we had, again, planned on doing the bus tour, but no one could do it, except me and Sydney, so we decided to wait it out for more people and instead we went back to the Feria de San Telmo and walked around. Sydney bought some things, I wish I bought some things, and we surprisingly found our friend Cameron in the throngs of people. We spent a lot of time there, and I loved it. San Telmo is such a beautiful part of the city, but it's really not safe to wander too far from the area of the Feria (if you're not Argentine). But after being there for a little bit we decided to walk to Plaza de Mayo and sit in the sun. While we were sitting and just talking I decided that I should just take the tour of the Casa Rosada like I'd been wanting to do, and we actually got in the last tour of the day! The building is really pretty and ornate inside, but I don't think it's as impressive as our Capitol building is. It also feels much, much smaller than our federal government buildings, but I'm not sure how they compare in size...

From Plaza de Mayo to the Obelisk
Now I'm just about to call my Mom, eat some dinner, and sleep a good night's sleep before the week starts all over again...

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