The Halfway Point

There are less than fifty days for me to spend in Argentina. Dread about adjusting to the lack of sunlight and shorter days in the states is already setting in. Milongas are going to be only for dancing because they’ll happen so infrequently it’ll feel like I can’t use them just to be social. Empanadas don’t exist in the U.S.! Why?!

Rosario

Everywhere there's water, I think of Bellingham.

The city of Rosario is about three hours to the northwest of Capital and is where my last tango teacher learned to dance and currently lives. The city is famous for having the most beautiful women (and a good chunk of the handsome men) who live in Argentina. Apparently, this is the one time it has ever been completely flooded with mosquitos too.

We started out at a huge buffet where most of my peers, and myself, loaded up on familiar looking food only to discover it didn’t taste quite as good as we had hoped. I started guiltily at the place-mats that told us food is a grace-given gift from God, while plates piled up on top. Not enough guilt to force myself to eat the blood-sausage I accidentally ordered at the parilla.

Pictured: People I already want to visit.

Argentine Sloth Hug

This expedition was probably one of the least controlled by ISA. We weren’t given a tour, didn’t have any of the monuments explained to us, they just put us in the city and said go. And relaxation ensued. Rosario has a similar climate to Buenos Aires, but with more green and less noise, all of which made me feel like I should have studied in both Rosario and BA. Day one was spent mostly frolicking in a playground (something young adults really don’t seem to do here, we got more weird looks than I expected), and then going to a milonga at night.

My last tango teacher, Layton, took me and some friends out to a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant, explaining that we had to eat in the tubs. After being offered a table, Layton asked for a tub, and we were led to the back where they had several bathtubs cut in half, with cushions on them. We all ordered some small things and split them, drinking wine and discussing the worldly things you expect international people to discuss. The milonga afterwards was in a quaint little place without too much space. The embraces in Rosario were a little different than BA; Layton accurately described them as “Yummy.”

Next day we went to the beach and just hung out. It was pleasant. There was sun and more mosquito bites. The bus ride home was pleasant and relaxing.

Por lo general

This last week I started my class perfeccionamiento. It started out a little slow, but is slowly starting to pick up. I’m enjoying spending time with my classmates, and we’re all having a great time just hanging out together.

I’ve been watching way too many of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries online.

Life in Argentina is good. There are empanadas, the exchange rate is nice, I’ve made some fantastic friends, but the end is coming up. In December I’m going to have to say goodbye to all of this. The city isn’t even my favorite part. Don’t get me wrong, I love that milongas run every night, that the bus system is exceptionally well organized, that I can cross the street however I want to, that people kiss when they say hello and when they say goodbye, that there are bidets, that I am in Argentina and that I can speak Spanish here. These are all wonderful things.

But not what I’m going to miss most.

I’m going to miss the people here who I’ve met.

Who I have come to love and am coming to love.

I’ll at least have motivation to take a road trip once I finish with university in the spring, when this whole process of goodbye starts over again. From having talked with several people, it seems that no one actually ever figures out what they’re going to do with life, but going around and seeing people and making friends hardly seems like something that could be ever called a bad decision.

That’s all for the pre-prepared nostalgia, I’ll hold off on the rest until just before I leave or until I’m back in the states.

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