Day 14: Good Morning, Little Miss Sunshine / by Sarah Kakusho

Today, I woke up to the morning sun shining bright. It was the first time that I was able to see the city so brightly lit, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the sun. It felt like Christmas. The air was crisp and the rooftops were steaming. The streets down below were bustling with life and the whole world seemed to shine under the long-awaited sun. It was like a scene out of a typical Christmas movie. It kind of made me miss the smell of the dew on the grass in my yard.

I don’t think I could live in a city-city, such as Buenos Aires. I need some green in my life. I need the smell of grass in the morning, when it’s just lushly right. I need the sound of the trees and bushes rustling in the wind. I don’t mind waking up to the sounds of a lawnmower or a leaf-blower. Over here, I get pollution in my lungs, and the loud construction noises flooding my ears. I miss hearing nature’s voice.

Wow… I sound like a hippie.

I’ve become attached to the parks around here. They’re really nice, and well-kept [outside of the excessive littering]. But, in the end there’s no escape from the grasps of the city. The sound will always echo and the smell will always permeate.

I mention this because I met up with Erika again today in Plaza Italia in Palermo [we were giving each other our locales based on the Barneys that were giving out balloons XD]. They have some of the nicest parks. They even have a botanical garden. But, it was horribly littered. Newspapers, beer bottles, broken glass, papers, envelopes, plastic bottles, ice cream and candy wrappers, plastic bags… It was disgusting. And, people were still visiting as if it were normal. Today, we even saw a kid throw his ice cream wrapper on the ground.

Seriously, where did the respect for nature go?

Anyway, on a different note, Erika and I got to explore, I’m pretty sure, the entirety of Palermo…which is one of the biggest barrios in Buenos Aires [barrios are like…mm… think Shinjuku : Tokyo :: Palermo : Buenos Aires]. We were walking around everywhere, and we even saw some of our friends from our respective programs [on the same street, too!]. I bought a scarf! Me gusta mucho and muy warm.

We were so hungry, so we sat, ate and talked for a long time in a restaurant bordering Palermo Viejo and Palermo Soho. The food was good and relatively cheap [?]. We’re pretty sure we walked so much, we walked off what we ate. We discussed what we should do as 2010 Buenos Aires for the board. We just love 2010 that much. Hopefully, next time, I’ll get to meet up with Kelsey, too, and have fun.

Aa… our class is AWESOME. 2010 is AWESOME!

We called it a day and headed toward the really, really crowded sub station. I got on my train and ended up getting stared at…again. But it was okay. I didn’t get too bothered, because I just stared back. It was an undeclared staring contest. Then, it kind of just ended after a huge group of people, including my opponent, got off at the next station. I think I’ve grown used to how the trains move. I don’t need to hold onto anything anymore to stay balanced. It’s kinda like skateboarding… kinda.

I met with a friend after a couple-hour break in my room. We met at a nearby café and just talked about how our weekend and stuff, and ended up planning an excursion for tomorrow around the barrio that we live in, Recoleta. We’re gonna have fun tomorrow.

She was also telling me that she visited a church and was able to get a trumpet to play [cuz that’s what she plays]. I was so happy for her, because she had said she missed playing it. It made me miss my keyboard, and playing the piano. I’ve been composing music in my head and transcribing them into my computer, so hopefully, when I come back, I can get to recording them.

What surprised me about this meeting with my friend was we were both speaking Spanish, as if we were fluent. I was so amazed at myself, cuz I always compared myself to her [she’s way, way better than me] and felt that she was frustrated because I talked too slow or stuttered too much, but today, I felt we were both on the same level and for a moment, I thought we were having the conversation in English, because of how fluid the conversation was going. And, I had this thought:

Learning a language isn’t solely grammar, vocabulary and all these rules and exception. It’s more fluid. When we focus less on the construction of a language, and more of the aesthetics of a language, we’re more likely to understand it. I was thinking too much [I always do] and that stopped me. I was always too worried that I was gonna say something grammatically incorrect or use a word the wrong way, but in the end, I was able to get my point across, somehow.

I realized this also when I was talking to a vendor at a small feria near Palermo. We were having a conversation about mate [mah-teh], a type of tea that’s drunk here. I was able to have an interesting conversation about mate with this man, regardless of how much I sucked pronouncing some of the words he was using.

I think at some point in our lives, we don’t have to listen to every word that’s being said to us to fully understand something. Language is understood, no matter how it’s expressed. Language is an art, a means of expression, no different than composing a song, drawing a comic, making a movie.

We put together words to create sentences, and then string them together to express something to someone. As long as we have the heart to express what we want to, our words won’t be empty and somehow the person receiving these words will understand.

...Not that I’m saying I can do that yet, cuz I can’t, but there’s no other way, but to move forward, right?

“When all you’ve gotta keep is strong / Move along, move along / Like I know you do / And even when your hope is gone / Move along, move along / Just to make it through” – “Move Along” by The All-American Rejects

End – Week 2: On My Own Two Feet