Saturday, July 12, 2008

Over halfway done...

A few days ago, I marked the halfway point in my study abroad trip down here to Argentina. I leave the country two weeks from now - and it actually makes me a bit sad to think about that. I was talking with Marta last night at dinner, and she was describing to me how, once you travel enough, you no longer have a single place you feel you belong and call "home". Essentially, once you travel, when you're in one place, you want to be somewhere else, but once you're at that new place, you want to be where you were before. I can see that happening to me too - I am going to miss Argentina when I get back to the states.

Anyway, since my last blog I had my first birthday in a foreign country. I turned 21 on July 9, which also happens to be a national holiday in Argentina (Independence Day). There are many streets with July 9 as the name, as you can see in this picture. I think that's pretty cool. So, I went out with some Argentine friends for dinner to a place in Palermo, which is the "cool" part of town for college students to go, apparently. We were all joined up by the other people from the UW program, another of whom had the same birthday. After dinner, we all tried to go to a local nightclub that one of the Argentines had a connection at. However, that didn't quite pan out - the girls got in really easily (and for free?!), but us guys didn't have such luck. So we gave up on that and ended up going home. Moral of the story that all of us guys learned: You can't get into a club easily in Argentina unless you have boobs.

Birthday-day there was no school so we all hung out at my house here first, and then later at Mark's, for some good food and cake and all the wonderfulness that comes with birthdays. It was a relaxing day. One of the host brothers here had an American football, which we played with, but he ended up impaling it on top of a pointy fence at a neighboring house due to a bad throw, thus ending the life of the only American football in this entire country. We all mourn the loss of this football.

The pictures you see below are from a recent trip to the Recoleta - which is essentially a gigantic collection of family/individual tombs in downtown Buenos Aires. They are absolutely gigantic, and I could have spent much longer looking at everything than the hour I had there. The picture of the black tomb with flowers on it is of Eva Peron, an Argentine political hero who was the first lady to President Juan Peron from the mid-40s to the early 50s. Essentially, she is somewhat analogous to Princess Diana in terms of popularity here, and also had an early(ish) and sudden death. Anyway, lots of people go to her tomb every day to pay respects, and this was easily the most busy place in the entire Recoleta while I was there.

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