Day 19: 08.08.08 / by Sarah Kakusho

Today’s my host mom’s birthday, and I didn’t find out till 7:00pm… She’s 48 today.

I got soooo sick earlier this morning…around 4-ish. There was a war in my stomach. I rolled out of bed and laid there for a while before I crawled into the bathroom. I was thinking of all the possibilities of what got me so sick. And then, I had orange juice this morning…or rather attempted. The difference between me today and me yesterday is that I couldn’t smell or taste anything yesterday. Today I can. So when I tried to have a glass of orange juice today, it was bad…really bad. It didn’t smell too good. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what got me sick, because yesterday, I guzzled down a whole cup.

I swear I thought I was gonna die… in a house that I’ve only stayed in for a few weeks… in a country that I don’t live in. But, then when I woke up this morning, it was as if nothing happened. I wondered if it actually happened or if it was a very vivid dream. That was my thought of the morning. I was kind of reluctant to get out of bed, afraid that that pain would come back, but my first class in Argentina was today.

I was kind of nervous, because I missed the first day of class for this course, so I didn’t know what to expect or what I had to do for homework for this class. I got to di Tella, and it was swarming with people. It reminded me of high school actually. I guess because SUA is an outdoor school [or at least half of it], attending a school that was solely indoors just gave that high school feel. I guess it would have to depend on where you come from.

So, I knew the classroom number, but I wasn’t sure if it had changed or not. I didn’t have time to ask because I got there right at 14:45, when class was supposed to start. I stood outside of the classroom, pacing around wondering what to do until someone was about to walk into the classroom. I asked her if it was the Arte y Cultura de Modernidad class and she was like yea. I got in and class hadn’t started yet.

The class itself when it started wasn’t all that bad. It’s interesting. How culture refers back to art constantly over time. Art is just a culmination of references to the past. And, even though I like the class, I can’t take it because I would be taking more than the maximum amount of credits allowed for Soka. So, I’m gonna fall back and go to USAL to take Historia de la Cultura instead. Hopefully, I can still take it. X/

I was told that the kids at di Tella are kind of stuck-up because it’s one of the most expensive private colleges in Argentina, and I only thought that it was an exaggeration. But it wasn’t. Some guy from a different exchange program asked a group if he could join their discussion, and they just shrugged him off. And when people walked by, they would sneer at me. I was used to it, so it was okay, but I was kind of disappointed. I heard USAL is much friendlier, so I’m glad I’ll be able to take a course there.

On the way back from class, I ran across a closed-off street and there was Chinese festival [di Tella is near Chinatown]. I was trying to think of all the possibilities of why they had one at this time of year, and then I remembered the Olympics started today! I’m watching it as I write this. So, I walked down the street and looked through all the vendors. The whole setup of it itself reminded me of Chinese New Year with all the lanterns and streamers and stuff. I continued walking and I found an Asian market. I bought a few snacks there. Good stuff. Definitely noted on my map for a second visit.

When I left and walked toward the subway, I ran into another street where there were vendors that had blankets laid out with all of their goods. I’m not one to wear jewelry, but I love the handmade bracelets here. I get so tempted every time I see a vendor selling them. Afterwards I stopped by a local kiosk and bought a chocolate bar that’s pretty popular here. It’s so rich. Definitely one of the best [affordable] chocolate I’ve had. Next to the kiosk was a small used book store. I only stepped in for a second, but there was a whole section for English books. Should’ve brought my books to sell here. XD

I’ve definitely stopped going home as soon as my plans were done. I take the time to stop and look around to see if there’s anything that interests me. Today was fun.

I’m slowly getting used to the way Argentines do things. I just walk across the crosswalk if there aren’t any cars, even if the light hasn’t yielded that it’s okay to go; I don’t just walk anymore, it’s power-walking; I just sit down at a café, rather than wait for someone to sit me down; I know which door to stand by to get off a subway, rather than waiting for the doors to open to see which side I get off; I bought a 10-trip subway card, so I don’t have to wait in line every time I need to get a ticket; and I’m finally able to say a few with a Castellano accent.

I’m breaking away from routine. I get off one stop earlier on the subway so that I can walk the rest of the way and see a different part of the city.

I need to keep myself entertained somehow.