I still don't have keys, nor have I begun my jobs. BUT, I refuse to sit idle. These past two days, I have pushed myself on this city, and I think I'm getting a good response.
Yesterday, I spent the morning watching BBC's mind-blowingly complex/awesome show "Skins" on Youtube. I waited for what seemed to be hours for someone to wake up and open the door to let me out. (pause to acknowlege the waiting............)Finally, I hit up the center to meet up with Eric, the other Fulbrighter aca (here). It was weird being so exposed as American. Together, our growing Argentinean accents faded, and quickly we dissolved into English. Hearing Eric's three simple goals here (none of which really involved much pressure to weave into the workings of the country) made me calm a little in my hurry to become Tucumano. But while Eric looks at this year as a break, I can't help but struggle to cherish every second of this experience.
In the evening, I met up with Paul, a 27-year-old from Seattle who decided to move here to get a Philosophy degree. We bought some beer from a corner store, then popped a squat at a table right in front. (they provided us with plastic cups) In between his gawks at passing women in short skirts, we talked about gender relations in Argentina. He admired what he believed to be an understanding between men and women in this country as a compromise between female empowerment, and machismo. Everyone is very sexual here, and while many girls can be empowered to express their sexuality, men also feel that they have the right to sometimes objectify women. I disagreed with this admiration, and told him that I felt the culture pushed boys and girls to personify roles they might not really embody. The discussion pushed into race relations and feminism. It was frustrating, but fun. I need to be challenged more, I think. Anybody want to debate affirmative action??
After another night and day of "Skins" obsessing, I went to my first yoga class. I was not only the only male, but also the only person under 40. YAY! It was hard translating all the body parts, and also difficult to close my eyes and remain calm when not totally sure what was being said, but I definitely felt calmed. Yoga is...interesting. I think it might be really important. More on this later.
After the body-flexing, I headed to Barrio Norte for an impromptu conversation group with some of the friends of the girl whose apartment I was going to rent. (My English teachers all just had a spasm as that run-on sentence was written) We talked generational differences, and politics in Argentina. They are nervous about the country's socialist-leaning president, and are confounded by how rebellious teenagers have become. I opened up about my sadness for Argentina's striking farmers. We drank Mate (YAY, TRADITIONS!!), and then giggled our way to cerveza. I think i might be making friends!!
And now, more Skins. Is anyone even reading this?