Day 33: I Swear, After This, I’ll Never Get Sick Again… / by Sarah Kakusho

The story is the same. Kusho is known only to get terribly sick once a year and usually that happens during break or vacation when it doesn’t interfere with anything.

This year is different.

I missed 3 days during spring semester and missed one day of Spanish. Yes. And now, I am in pain. Yes, my body is aching, terribly. But, I am okay. It’s just irritating that whatever position I put myself in, I am not comfortable and my head spins. Yes. The horrible aftereffects of getting hives. My inability to feel just how hot or cold it is outside has got people staring at me for reasons outside of what I’m used to.

I was in my bright orange shorts and a hoodie today.

Despite feeling slightly light-headed, today was a productive day, not that I wanted to be productive, but I had to.

You know, the luxury of living inside a dorm is that you have everything necessary and important close to you [yes, the concept of necessity and importance can be argued, but let’s pretend to be brainwashed Americans for one second].

I was out of clothes. I needed to do laundry. To be quite honest, I miss being able to just walk up to a washer with my own detergent and do my own clothes for $1 per load, then putting it in the dryer for $0.50, waiting for it to finish, and then going through a nice relaxing folding trance where you can just forget about whatever shit you’re going through. I miss that.

I have to pay extra expenses here, just to get that done, at almost $5.50 per load. And today, when I went to pick up my clothes, I ended up getting someone else’s socks too. Yes. I miss doing things by myself.

The reason I miss it NOW is because of this.

ATMs…all of them. No me gusta. I realized why it only spits out 100 pesos at a time. Because no one else uses them. I wanted to pay my 32 pesos at the laundry place with a 100-peso bill, but they didn’t have change. They didn’t have 68 pesos that they could spare, and still run the business to give change. That’s the thing here, unless you go out to eat an expensive meal or go to a big store like Musimundo [equivalent to Best Buy], you can’t break a 100-peso bill…which is usually the only bills you get out of an ATM.

Que problema. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been withdrawing weird amounts every week from ATMs like 490 pesos, or 530 pesos, just to get the smaller bills. But, today, every ATM I went to told me to withdraw in increments of 50 pesos. So, I had to suffice with a 50-peso bill, which in reality is much better than a 100-peso bill. But, you get what I mean.

ANYWAY, that was my peeve of the day. Outside of that, I walked around the streets, just for the sake of walking. There’s definitely a difference between walking for the sake of walking and walking for the sake of getting somewhere. You definitely notice more when you’ve got nowhere to go. You notice how business men who walk with their [I think] colleagues wear the same suit and tie; how even dogs stare like the people do here; how every morning, business owners and landlords mop their section of their sidewalk; how homeless people have their own places to call home; how people who go through trash wear brand names like Adidas.

Little things like that. It’s pretty cool.

Oh, I also noticed that people who give out fliers on the side of the streets, don’t try to give me one, oh, except the people that hand out “English classes at UBA” fliers. I get those ALL the TIME. My friend yesterday brought up a very good point. She said, “You probably get asked all the time if you’re an exchanged student.” It’s very true.

After coming here, I’ve realized things like that. The United States is very unique because people from everywhere are there. People are slightly more used to having people of other ethnicities around them. But, places like Argentina, it’s almost homogenous. So, if they just happen to see someone that looks slightly different from them, they stare. I’ve gotten used to it. It’s not that big of a deal anymore. Just smile and say “Hola.”

Another thing I’ve realize since coming here is that cars and buses are disgusting. The world could do without them. Seriously. I blew my nose today and realized just how much air pollution is getting sucked into my system. Yea, I know. Gross. I’ve been taking the subway, which I’m pretty sure is much greener than cars and buses. It’s the one place where I can breathe without choking on the amount of soot and exhaust that comes out of the cars the rev around the streets [though I’m probably breathing something else].

So, when I get back on campus, I’m buying a bike, not a car. It’ll be my way of transportation from the campus to the town center. It’s cheaper, it’s healthier, and it’s a faster means to get from point A to point B than on foot. Yes. I’ll do my part to help save the earth. 8]

“Human life is indeed wondrous. You may be ill physically, but as long as your mental state is strong, it most certainly will exert a positive influence on your body. There may be no better remedy than hope.” – Daisaku Ikeda.

Still fighting strong.

P.S, I want to buy an air freshener for my room, so that I don’t always smell cigarettes, but is it in anyway disrespectful to my host mom? O_o

P.P.S, Angela Aki is my hero.