Saturday, July 23, 2011

Orientación – Semana 1: Terminado

Thursday Julie y yo paseamos por el barrio (walked around the neighborhood) and looked at different tiendas (shops) and then got café con leche (milk).  I’m usually not a huge fan of coffee, but this was REALLY good.  It wasn’t bad without sugar (but I put in a pack anyway) as it is very rich and has a much different flavor from American coffee.  We also got a tiny cookie with jam on top (like a thumbprint cookie).  When it started getting dark we walked home.  

My host mom was working in her office so I went up to my room to wait for dinner.  We had pollo (chicken) milanesa – which I’d never had before, but was really good, basically a lightly breaded, baked chicken - and mashed potatoes.  It was pretty late when we got done so I showered and went to bed.

Friday morning we had orientation at 9AM so I had to get up at 7:45 (ew).  I had yogurt and granola and took the bus to orientation.  We a session on las concentraciones y investiagciones dirigidas (which was very repetitive, basically the same thing as the previous day, but some people still asked questions they had already given us the answers to – twice).  We had a short break and I went to put money on my monedero (card for the bus) and then got a chicken empanada ($4 pesos-$1!) that was delicious. 

Next we had a short, small group session where they gave us a packet of information on the classes and school, and we talked about UTDT (the university I’m not taking classes at).  We had another break, so Julie and I walked around and went into a farmacity (a big chain of pharmacies in BA) so she could buy a straightener, but they wouldn’t let her use her credit card because she didn’t have her real passport.  We went back to the corner bakery and got tartas for lunch (basically a savory pie with different possible fillings).  I got Tarta Napoletana, which was cheese, ham, and tomatos (it was ok, but I though there would be more tomatoes and less ham).  Julie got a Tarta Nueva which was ricotta, chicken, spinach and cabbage (it was really good and I might get it next time).  I also got a small little pastry that was delicious :)  

We went back for another academic session which was a presentation from USAL.  I had a really hard time understanding the woman who spoke as she had a very heavy Argentine accent and spoke muy rapido.  We had a very short break and I was almost falling sleep so I bought a coke and a small milka (same brand I had in Europe, with a cow on a purple wrapper) chocolate bar with dulce de leche.

Our last session of the day was castellano, which was actually the most interesting/helpful.  First we went over castellano rioplatense and the differences between and how the vos conjugation works.  We did some pretty simple exercises with print ads, vos is much simpler than tu, as only 2 verbs have irregular conjugations (ser y ir).  Then we went over some common Argentine words that are different or unique from other types of Spanish we may have learned.

We got our first homework assignment, which I actually think seems very fun.  We have to go out into the city and take 10 pictures to represent different moods – I’ll be sure to post my pictures when I take them.
Julie and I rode the bus to our stop and then walked home.  When I arrived my host mom had a visitor so I went to my room to look at the class listings we had received and wait for dinner.  

My host sister joined us (for the first time since I’ve been here) for dinner, which consisted of a tortilla (kind of like a frittata) made of eggs, potatoes, and onions with a salad that was dressed with lemon juice (they don’t seem to have salad dressing here).  Everything was very good, and I tried some carbonated water (which I think tastes a little weird).

When we finished I went upstairs to get ready to go out with some friends.  We went to a bar called Congo about a 7-10 minute walk from my house.  Julie and I went and met some people there.  We ordered drinks (Jack and coke that was ¾ Jack…).  Andy brought one of his “host sisters” (he has two girls from Colombia that are boarding at his host Mom’s house) who has a birthday on Sunday (32) and was very pretty.  A little later I got a Quilmes, but it wasn’t as good as the one I tried at lunch, and Andy told me there were 2 different labels, and that one was better than the other.  

When we left and walked home we passed my host sister on the street with a bunch of her friends.  I said hello, but it was a little awkward because tonight at dinner was the first time we had talked for more than a few seconds.  I went to bed and slept very well until around 10:45 when I got up.

I’m off to explore the city a little more, but check back for an update and pictures tomorrow!

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