Day 10: I / by Sarah Kakusho

I had an interesting late morning. After Castellano, my friend and I wanted to grab a pre-lunch snack so we stopped by Café A. We met up with couple of other people, who just happened to be in the film track and sat down. I ordered café con leche con medialunas [croissants]. I spent my time there discussing courses and whatnot, drinking my cup of strong coffee, followed by what I thought was a soft drink, but turned out to be a nice thing of tonic gin.

I had downed nearly all of what was in the cup they poured me until I read the bottle they left me with the rest of drink. “Bebida con alcohol.” It tasted like Sprite. So, I was like, wtf and didn’t have anymore. I sat there talking with my friends until they had to leave for a meeting, so I got up and walked home to take a nap, because I was getting tired. I felt relaxed… I never realized how tense I am till today. It’s quite weird. Hahah. I guess sleepy and relaxed is all I get when I drink?

Anyway, point is ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s muy importante to understand what people say and what you read. Mmhmm. Ahh, but that was my WTF of the day. Well, it was a nice pre-lunch get-together. I learned much more about the people I call friends, which is a plus. It’s easier to understand people, where they’re coming from, when you know about their background, their tendencies, their hobbies, and stuff like that. It was nice.

Outside of that, I met with my tutor/academic advisor/Castellano en cine professor/COPA program director to talk about what courses I want to take. He mentioned something very interesting about Soka students. He says it’s very interesting to see all these different types of people, who come into the program, but people from Soka are always nice and friendly. T~T That’s an expectation to live up to.

So, turns out I WILL be taking the placement exam for Universidad de Buenos Aires, just for the hell of it. There’s no oral part, so I think I have some chance. It’d also be fun to see where I stand in Spanish at this point…since comparing myself with other people can be slightly misleading. The class I’m possibly looking to take there [yes, there’s just one] is Cultura para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos / Culture for Peace and Human Rights. Patricio [my advisor/everything else] told me that it’s a competitive class to get into because it serves kind of like an intro course for one of the concentrations there. We’ll see. I think if I’m able to take that course, I can concentrate my movies based on those themes.

Afterwards, I went to Patio Bullrich, a mall that’s a few blocks from where I’m staying. My host mom recommended it to me, especially a couple of stores that she was sure I would like, named Akiabara and Jazmin Chebar. It’s really nice…and expensive. I went there to buy some jeans/pants/warm clothes/scarves, but I couldn’t find anything under $A150. It was insane, so slipped into the book store instead and bought two books about Argentine film [since Argentine, and probably most other Latin-American films are socially or politically geared] to prepare myself for theoretical, critical film courses I’ll be taking. I could use them for my Capstone, too, when the time comes, of course.

I went out with a different group people today to a benefit gig for a save the kids kind of thing. They had Argentine folk music, which was sooooo good. Amazing. The violin. The guitar. The accordion. The percussion. Everything was running through my veins. It was really fun and I realized how much I need music in my life. I miss playing up on the stage and just having a great time. A lot of the COPA people ended up gathering there. A separate group from COPA from others came and they sat across from, and then the owner of the place, who was like 50, and the rest of his people just started talking to them the entire time. We kind of felt sorry for them.

Then towards the end of the awesome performances, he came over to our table and started pointing at us and trying to guess our horoscope signs. He had a hard time with mine. It was kind of weird to have a finger waving at me with a defined thinking face in front of me with nowhere to go. Apparently, he keeps a collection of emails of all the girls that’s come to his restaurant. We didn’t give him ours…of course. I’m so glad I’m used to the whole argentine kiss custom now, because I’m sure I would’ve been slightly petrified if I hadn’t, when he gave me a kiss on the cheek while trying to leave.

It was fun though for all of us, I’m sure I can vouch. We were all laughing, drinking, some of us slightly drunk, and just having an awesome time. This is what I was missing out on. Just a night out and hanging, chilling, even with people I only know by face. I met more people in my program, and a couple of people who don’t care much for clubs and drinking as I do, but enjoy lounging at a bar listening to really good live music. Hopefully, we can find some places to hang out at over the semester.

I realized I can’t go pretending I can make it on my own. I have to begin thinking that the people in my program are no different than my classmates back at Soka. I have to think of them as my classmates for one semester, which I will grow, fight, and overcome struggles with through this study abroad experience. For one semester, I have to separate myself from the 2010 dynasty of Soka and create a different experience that only I can experience, especially because I’m the only one from Soka in the Butler Buenos Aires program.

Tonight, I live.