Posted by: Phoebe K | June 14, 2010

Don’t cry for me, Argentina…

Okay, so it’s been way too long and I’ve not updated since the Bicentennial…oops. The semester is over, people have left, my family came, and I’m now in Peru. So much has happened I don’t even know where to start.

Well, exams weeks were definitely not fun. I cared very little for my Pop Culture essay (which I posted previously), but got an A- so yay! Thanks, Fermin. I actually got into my Borges essay, about history repeating itself and the likes, and of course whenever I start getting interest in that silly old fart of a writer, I get a worse grade on the paper. Ni importa. I completely gave up on my Reporting stuff, which I know is awful, but I’ll explain in a bit.

For La Lengua, I worked really really hard on my presentation, which was covering graffiti in Buenos Aires. I’ll post more pictures or something one day, but the day before it was due (nothing’s better than a procrastinated presentation), I went to 6 different barrios in 7 hours and took more than 350 pictures of graffiti, almost all different ones, mind you. It was fantastic. Doing so, and completely alone and sans an iPod, made me a tad regretful of not spending more time around the city I called home for 4 months. I was truly exploring new parts for me–two Subte stations in Flores, Caballito, the edge of San Telmo and La Boca, the inners of Once, and more– and I fell a little more in love with the city I claimed to grow weary of. And then I worked on the actual presentation, which kept me up all night. I really appreciate professors that let us work on something of which we feel a passion for, in any sense, and Mariano’s final brought it out in me. I tripped a lot on my vocab and speech, but I think he could tell that I really cared about this presentation, his class, and what I was talking about. I think it helped my final grade infinitely, yay! (I even put a picture of a graffiti-ed wall that said “Bad Romance” at the end, which I think he liked, kekeke.)

Oh, well, the reason why I didn’t care as much as I definitely should have for finals….I was leaving soon. We all were. Did we really need to bogged down by silly finals when we should’ve been enjoying our last days in this amazing city? The answer is claro que no. So I enjoyed myself. With my friends, on my own, with new acquaintances, with old, and then some. I allowed myself to fall again for the city that had captivated me for this long and yet brief time.

Anyway, we had a despedida (farewell party) for NYU near my house, and that was a fun night. Layla, Arielle, Rachel, and I basically party hopped like only true-Porteñas can, from Layla’s mom’s art opening (she had a few paintings of cats up, and we went to support her amidst old rich people and champagne and tinto vino), to Mariano’s new exhibit opening at MiauMiau (because we HAD to support our favorite sassy prof!) and got kisses on the cheek from the curator himself, and then to the NYU shebang, and boy did it she-bang. It was an open bar and minimal foods, which meant everyone got piss-drunk and danced crazy. I don’t even want to go there. NYU should know better than to give its students free booze! Haha no complaints anyway, I took enough fun pictures of my favorite people being all tipz to enjoy the night. And of course, I accomplished one of our goals this semester:

Oh, Mariano.

Kekekekekekeke. I took one with him looking, but I feel this one best presents his glory.

The rest of the semester is a blur, and not one that was alcohol-induced at all. A few fails, too many laughs, too many goodbyes, copious amounts of food that didn’t have to do with empanadas or alfajors (YAY), no tears (yay!), and mixed feelings all around…for me, anyway.

Emma, my adventurous roomie, off to Mendoza and the rest of Argentina

Noel, Lily, Me, and Layla after our last meal

Layla's last day.

My host family! Margarita, Fermin, and me

I have taken something in the ballpark of 10,000 pictures while being here, and I encourage you and whomever to look through them to get a better sense of my experience here, because words only go so far. Sentiments are better left to the senses rather than feeble attempts to explain them through words.

Some notes I jotted down while riding a colectivo somewhere:

I’m heartbroken. By distance and time. The right moment never exists, it seems. I fell in love during my stay here, though with nothing and no one quite tangible. Argentina showed me a whole other side of life I refused to even consider before, one of tranquility and self-pacing. Unrooted lifestyles without looming deadlines, where your first priority is happiness, and anything else is just an add-on, a convenience for you, an added dose of “miravos“. I ride the 39 3 without fear, without rush. Muros marked by grafiteros and tags woosh by as cabs honk their anachronistic honks and old gents and ladies wobble across the painted pedestrian paths. Children play on merry-go-rounds, oblivious to their motherland’s pain and suffering and instability of yesterday and today, dogs defecate on already-stained sidewalks and their walkers pay no heed. Cartoneros get a head start on the night, collecting cardboard from stores not quite yet closing up shop. Porteños use their sobreactuacion to get their points across, waving hands this way and that in a very Italian-esque manner, adding in as many “rrrrr’s” as one tongue can really roll and handle. Students puff their cigarettes as a queue forms in front of the banks, waiting for 10am (and show no surprise when the locks retract at 10:32am). The smell of car exhaust fills the lungs of natives, ex-pats, and tourists alike. Girls, intoxicated by life and maybe a drink or two, hobble in their black boots or too-high heels, regretting their footwear of choice. Bikes zip in and out of traffic, wearing a death wish on their backs, it seems. Monedas spilled on the ground are quickly snatched by the eager. This is life. This is love. This is Buenos Aires. And now this is me.

Masomenos, I love Buenos Aires. There was so much I hadn’t yet seen, but then again I had experienced more than I could ever have imagined to. Some say my four-month stay doesn’t constitute a proclamation of Capital Federal as my home, or one of them. I completely disagree. Because, obviously, home is where your heart is. My flesh, my being, my soul, my love, my everything was in and slowly became Buenos Aires for those amazing few months. I could go on and on and on about everything here and gush and whatnot, but I guess you can scroll through previous entries for that. A few highlights of this semester abroad:

The Coldplay and Beyonce obsession we first experienced upon arrival.

Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got a Feeling” playing at every boliche, every bar, and then repeating in our heads. We got annoyed, we got drunk, we got happy, and suffice it to say, we knew the song couldn’t have been a more appropriate pick to describe our new experiences.

My taking creepy pictures of couples making out in the park (on the bus, in clubs, in restaurants….the list goes on), of Sexiano in class and wherever else I could manage, and of all my friends (those are–mostly–in the private album, no worries guys). I’ve found my back-up plan of being a PI or papparazo if all else fails.

Forgetting a time when the ll in words wasn’t pronounced like “schhhhh”. And being terrified when we heard people who said it differently (i.e. Cordobeses, with their oddly-used “zzzz” sound)

My immensely unhealthy diets of medialunas, Paso de los Toros, empanadas, avoiding alfajors, and eating all the CARNE CARNE CARNE that I could handle (I’ve yet to find a stopping point)

Meeting my wonderful friends and making up too many inside jokes to remember, and then laughing so hard so much that I never have to use 8-minute ab workout videos again. And nicknames, oh the nicknames we made. 🙂


Uh, SEXIANO. ’nuff said.

I can’t even finish the list, because there isn’t an end. I love everyone I’ve met here, of NYU and not, of Buenos Aires, and…not. I’ll keep posting some stuff on here relevant to BA, just to entertain myself if anything.

I’m currently in Peru, leaving for Lake Titicaca in the morning, and after, Cusco/Machu Picchu/the Amazon. Blah blah blah. But can I say…leaving Buenos Aires was the strangest experience. For weeks I’ve been eager to get away, to get back to REAL food options, to get back to the FAST and STRESSED world I have come to love, to see my friends again and brag of my tales and give them their awesome souvenirs. But….climbing into that cab and driving away from Capital Federal–in the rain, mind you–I felt…nostalgia. I just wanted to jump out and run back to Palermo, open a Quilmes and relajarme. Stepping onto that plane in Ezeiza, and flying away from the land I’ve feared, gotten annoyed with, adored, admired, and fallen for…my heart sunk. I was more anchored to the silly city than I had admitted, than I had thought.

I love you, Buenos Aires. Gracias por las memorias, las experiencias, el mejor tiempo de mi vida. Y ahora, vamos a la proxima aventura.


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