With a mere 2 weeks left, my perception of time here has been warping. Sometimes it feels like I’ve got to do it all, NOW, because 2 weeks is nothing and before I know it I’m going to be leaving – like today, my last day of volunteering at the primary school, when the kids were wishing me a safe trip home and asking when I’d be back to visit. But a lot of the time, it feels like ages – when I’m sitting at my desk trying to study for an exam, or doing research for one of my various final papers and presentations, mostly. And that’s how I’ve been spending most of my time lately – I only had one class this week thanks to a feriado (Wednesday was flag day, so obviously the whole country gets the day off!) but this coming Wednesday I’ve got a final paper/presentation, final presentation and a final exam, one right after the other. So much of my time has been spent either working or doing something else but feeling like I really ought to be working. Ahh, the life of a college student. I guess this is partially an excuse for not having updated in far too long – I can’t imagine anyone really wants to hear about my piles of reading.
But I have been doing some fun things, even if I forget about them because I’ve been spending pretty much all of my time thinking about how much work I should be doing at any given moment. On Wednesday I went to La Feria de los Mataderos, a fair that takes place in the [very poor] barrio of Mataderos, and has a really great selection of creative and authentic crafts and leather goods – I ended up buying a pair of classic Argentine ankle-high brown leather boots, because, well, when in Rome. But what really makes this feria stand out, for me at least, is the food – they have an entire aisle dedicated to “artesenal” foods – bread, cheeses, olives, liquors, wine, pickled everything, dulce de leche, chocolates – as far as the eye can see. And once you’ve walked through the endless aisle of artesenal foods and your stomach is rumbling you can hit up any of the various food stands offering classic Argentine favorites – enormous grills, 20 feet long, filled with huge cuts of beef and skewers of chorizo – or empanadas, or locro, an argentine stew with corn and beans and I don’t know what but I ate it all and it was TASTY. And meanwhile, in the background there’s a stage where live musicians are playing traditional Argentine folklore music while a cleared space in front is filled with a variety of people, some in costume, dressed as gauchos or other traditional garb, some just in regular street clothes, dancing in unison in what I can only assume to be traditional folkloric dances.
|Traditional folklore dances on the main stage|
|Dancing in the streets|
|More dancing – note some of the outfits, not to mention the dance moves|
|Locro and a vaso de vino – what more could you want?|
Other than the feriado/feria, however, life of late has been little more than a tour of Buenos Aires cafes – if I can’t change up the activity, at least I can change up the scene, not to mention the food. But after Wednesday I only have one 12-15 page paper left (HAH!) and I’m home-free for a glorious week and a half before it’s time to actually go home to the land of the free. I’ve got some exciting stuff planned, such as a graffiti bike tour, which will undoubtedly make for more interesting material than sitting in cafes writing papers. Not to mention the inspiration that will stem from the nostalgia and self-reflection that will surely start to set in as I gain the full realization that this adventure is coming to an end. Until then – work work work!