Blogs are dumb, but....
So despite the fact that I think blogs are lame, especially when written by college students, I have deemed it necessary to set aside my oh-so-imporant values in order to create opt-in updates on Alleen's Argentina Adventures. Because superlong unwanted emails are worse than stupid blogs. So for those of you who are interested in how go things in Buenos Aires, this is the place. For those of you who don't care, your inbox will be free from my grasp.
So... it's hard to figure out where to start, seeing as how I've been here for 3 weeks and haven't sent out more than maybe 3 updates, to a few people, that really had little to do with what I've actually been doing. The first 2 weeks were orientation, of which I remember very little. A few things that stuck in my head: we have about a 50% chance of getting robbed, a slightly smaller chance of getting hit by a car, and an even smaller chance of being kidnapped, but if that happens, it's not a big deal, we will simply be thrown into the trunk of a car until our parents pay the ransom of around $400, no harm done (don't worry mom, it's not going to happen); instead of ignoring the seemingly rude comments of men we pass on the streets, we should analyze them and give them credit for how clever they are; classes at the UBA will be terrifying, but if we raise our hands and attempt to talk socialism in broken Spanish, we will gain some respect. So overall, they painted us a pretty picture of Buenos Aires.
Jokes aside, things are going well. Thankfully, I have an excellent host mom who cooks delicious food and talks slowly enough for me to understand. She is retired and never married or had kids, but is well traveled and has hosted several students. Our apartment (complete with a 24-hour security guard to prevent any kidnappins) is located in a cute, middle-class neighborhood called Almagro. There's another student who lives in the same building, which can be helpful when new bus routes turn into us wandering lost through the city for 2 hours. I've made other friends, too, which is nice. The group has yet to include any Argentines, though, so our Spanish improvement remains stagnant.
This week we start classes, which is already an ordeal. The second weekend here marked the end of orientation, so the program took us to Patagonia for 4 days. Specifically, we were in Bariloche, which is the lakes district of Argentina. It was all hiking and mountains and vistas and English-speaking. So when we got back, we were shocked to find out that our Spanish had peorado (worsened) mucho and we were now expected to figure out a class schedule. And not just any schedule, we were gifted a period of "shopping" where we are recommended to try 3 classes for every 1 class we choose. This amounts to two weeks of running between 3 different universities on the opposite sides of Buenos Aires for 2 weeks. Not fun. So that started yesterday. Don't really feel like talking about it.
In fact, I think I've said enough. I've given a good enough first-glance at how things are going. Buenos Aires is full of challenges and awkward moments, but it's been amusing getttin through them.