It is crazy to realize that I have now been here for almost eight weeks. Time has flown by, but it still feels like I have done so much. At this point I think that I have really adapted to Buenos Aires—I still remember an early conversation I had with my host mom about how different some parts of life in Argentina were to me when I first arrived. We were talking about how time functions here in comparison to the U.S. I told her that for me, eating dinner at 10 or 10:30pm is really late, as a common time for American families is around 6 or 7pm. To this she simply replied, “vas a acostumbrar,” or “you will adjust.” She was right—I definitely have adjusted to life in Buenos Aires, but after almost two months here, I have found that there are a few things I don’t think I will get used to:
- Time. The initial surprise I expressed to my host mom about how late everything is here has not changed. Eating dinner at 10:30pm, los boliches (clubs) getting crowded at 3am, and arriving home at 7 or 8am is not strange or uncommon. This schedule often makes me miss meeting friends at dhall to have dinner at 6pm…
- Jamón (ham). Argentines put ham in/on everything. I went from rarely eating it at all in the U.S. to having it nearly every day here. This may seem like a small detail, but when you find ham in your salad on several occasions, you notice.
- Accents. I was warned that Argentines speak with a fairly strong, particular accent. They pronounce “ll” as “sh” instead of “y,” which is what is taught in school/how basically everyone from other Spanish-speaking countries would pronounce this sound. So where I would say “yo quiero que llueva” (I want it to rain), Argentines would use a different pronunciation and say “sho quiero que shhhueva.” Although not everyone has such a noticeable accent, it is oftentimes hard for me to understand those who do.
- Plataformas. These are a type of platform shoe that every woman here seems to wear—while some could pass as normal footwear in the U.S., other pairs are ridiculously tall and I often find myself doing a double take as I watch some women wobble across the cobblestone streets or to their seats on moving busses.
Although I may not “get used” to these (and many other) parts of life in Buenos Aires, I appreciate them all the same. Differences in routine, custom and culture is a huge part of what makes being abroad so special (and as cliché as that sounds, it is completely true).