Day 1: "Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires" / by Sarah Kakusho

I don’t know why even for a second I was thinking that Buenos Aires would be different from any other place. Okay, so aside from Japan, Argentina is my only foreign country endeavor, and to be completely honest, they don’t change much. Culturally, there may be a gap, but humanity hasn’t lost hope. People here are much nicer than Americans. Or maybe it’s the fact that I actually look foreign. *gasp*

Well, getting out of the plane was no problem. Actually nothing really was a problem. I think the only thing that surprised me was how people drive down here. And, you know, I heard stories about it, but to see it first-hand was a different experience. Lanes are nothing but a myth and the moment someone tries to cut in front of you, you’re so close you could reach out the window and touch the person’s face.

So, aside from that, I live in on 9th floor with an Argentine English teacher. She’s really nice and helped me to get settled pretty quickly. When I first got here though, I thought the housekeeper was my host mom. I was slightly confused for the first hour or so of my stay, but that’s okay. We had lunch, and people in those travel books weren’t joking when they said that porteños like to talk about current issues, much more than Americans do. I was also surprised how much my host mom knew about the governmental situation in the U.S. Props for being informed.

I think one of the least of my concerns revealed itself when I was realized how much I took for granted, just simple every day conversations. I knew conversationally, I’m not as proficient, but I had thought, I wouldn’t need to talk much. But I realized today, speaking is an essential need for communication. I guess speaking English makes you forget those things.

Aside from that, my first day here in Buenos Aires was nerve-wrecking, but also fun. I was able to talk to the program director in Spanish. To describe Buenos Aires, I would say that it is as wet as Florida when it rains, cold as California when it gets cold, smells like Tokyo, and everything else in between. I get to explore more tomorrow when I meet the rest of my study abroad U.S. amigos.