Today I made a lot of decisions. Where to live. How to think. How to start my job. How to adjust my attitude to better my experience. What to wear this morning. Making decisions feels good. I should do this more often.
Since we last spoke, I've done a number of lovely things. First, I chatted with the secretary at the Arts school for nearly half an hour about his belief that Argentinean politics has become absurd. I then talked sexual experiences with a group of Interior Design students (the names of most I never caught), before heading to the tropical vacation-world that is Yerba Buena, a suburb of my city. Talk forest-covered mountains along the horizon. Long stretches of grass, thin streets lined with colorful one-story houses, and siesta-absorbed tanners of all ages resting along nearly every lawn. I was invited to the house of my friend Lenny for lunch. Before even taking my first bite of tamale, I was into a deep discussion of the Iranian-American experience. Then Bush politics. Then the Israel/Palestine conflict. There was a pause for some bananas and dulce de leche, but then back into talk of Obama's plans for the U.S. economy. It was awesome. Lenny and I jumped into a pool and talked about how well we fit our signs, and then watched "Love Me If You Dare."
I spent most of the next day wandering the streets after looking at an apartment in the center. It was hot, and I was in a very confused place. (This was before the decisions, remember) I ended up passing out (not literally) in Parque 9 de Julio. I was interrupted by a little boy who offered me a plastic rose. Not having money to spare, and properly New York-trained, I told him to keep the rose and save it for someone else. But he insisted. His name was Felipe, and he proceeded to sit with me and marvel at how strong my glasses were. He muttered some phrases in English, giggled, then asked every detail about how I learned Spanish and ended up in Tucuman. He asked me for money, and I told him I only had enough for the bus. Then he offered me 5 pesos as a gift. I told him to keep it, but offered him a granola bar and water from my bag. He wasn't in love with the granola bar, but he was beyond kind to me. He even gave me a proper Argentinean kiss on the cheek before I left.
I ended the night at a children's theater class at La Sala Ross. Picked me right up. Nothing is more inspiring than watching kids discover how awesome acting is.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in the Simoca pueblo with Hanah, my German hostel friend. It was definitely oozing with character, charm, and delicious empanadas; but the excursion also left me feeling very distanced. Have you ever seen a life totally opposite from yours and just felt an almost glass pane between you and that life? Like it's not even real. The poverty at this fair was incredible. But the strong community bond was undeniable. What sticks with me about the people I met at this fair is that they are so fortunate in their inherited culture and strong family, but do they know how many fewer choices they have compared to someone like me? Can you imagine life without the choice to do whatever you loved most? It's not like I saw sadness in people while they sold honey, or chairs made out of cow hide. There just wasn't any acknowledgement that another life exists.
I closed out the day at an adult acting class at La Sala Ross. I learned SO much. Stole every activity of course. And I practically prostituted myself for friends, lol. I think it went well.
Today I went to another asado at the house of my reference's parents. Juan, Adriana's 9-year-old nephew, wowed us with jokes, inspiring me to stumblethrough a translating a knock-knock joke. I spent the rest of the afternoon pushing all of my worries on my sister Sheeva. She helped me, and now I'm feeling less confused, and more thoughtful. I'm in Argentina. For reals. Damn