I need to be honest. I must promise myself to be honest on this blog, my first blog, a project to maintain my sanity here in Argentina's darling province of Tucuman. A-ight, I'll cut out the irony. It's actually beyond beautiful here. A totally distinct culture brewed from a mix of the culture of cosmopolitan Argentina, indigenous values and a population growing like marshmallows in a microwave. I love it. And I'm also entirely overwhelmed.
I arrived in Buenos Aires last weekend, and was instantly swept up by the Fulbright commission. Imagine the smell of ambition, success, excitement and years of diverse experience. Now put that smell in a bus overflowing with baggage. (Literal baggage) This is my first impression of the Fulbright community. Entirely kind, overwhelmed with the stress of playing polite presenter to shit-tons of new people, and endlessly impressive. I met dancers, aspiring yoga gurus, political activists...and teachers, of course. And together we pushed through seemingly endless hours of meetings of teaching methodology, (very) general information about our roles as language assistants, anecdotes and warnings to keep up from embarrassing ourselves amongst a new culture and many a delicious lunch. Honestly, the weekend went by too quickly to deliver a proper resume. I just remember feeling exhausted by the inundating call for polite conversation, inspired by everyone's passion and generally anxious to get real answers. (Wow, I didn't know I liked lists so much. It's as if I can't pull through a single description without dispensing a thousand commas. Blech. Whatever, I think in streams I guess.)
The history is rich and jagged here. People are quick to talk, and quick to challenge. Everyone has a different opinion about everything, and everyone loves to share. Everything closes between 1 and 5, no information is available online...ever, but it's easy to find the people with answers. Everyone knows someone who can help. Everyone tells you to be careful when talking to anybody else. I've had the most delicious, cheapest pizza of my life, and also drool-inducing dark chocolate ice cream. And now, I'm nowhere near done, but needing sign off and schmooze with the company members at Teatro Ross. (maybe I'll get to teach some kids theater! A story for later. It involves puppets.)
Ah wait: the robbery. My camera was stolen yesterday. I know. It sucks. I befriended a guy in the park, and proceeded to stupidly join the seductive douche for a drink and discussion about life in Tucuman culture. The guy was a nervous, fast-talking type. And he was totally nice. The camera was in the bag under my feet at the bar. I think I might have looked away a few times to pay, or ask questions, or order something. Who knows. All I know is that suddenly the dude had to leave very quickly, and when I returned to my hostel I found my bag lacking a digital camera. I know, SHAME ON ME! I'm such an idiot sometimes. It's like I fail often to understand that creepy, realistic shit can happen to me too. Whatever, it's a good lesson. It could have been worse. He could have spit the consumption into my drink or something.
Hasta luego chicos. te prometo mas historias!