I’ve never considered myself a particularly spontaneous person. That isn’t to say that I’m not open to trying new things—I most certainly am—but I’m definitely one who thrives off of concrete plans and a fairly organized daily routine. However, I’m realizing on the eve of my third month here in Argentina (WHERE is this semester going???) that these past months have been incredibly spontaneous…and in a slightly surprising twist, I’m enjoying every unplanned moment just as much, if not more, than the planned.
From deciding to accompany my host mother to the teatro on a random Tuesday evening, to attending a previa (pre-party) at an Argentine’s house that ended up lasting until 5 am because everyone was having too much fun to venture anywhere else, to finding myself on the same bus as my UBA profesora and chatting with her about literature, traveling, and studying abroad for the entire 40 minute ride, these impromptu events are indisputably what’s making my time here so memorable. Honestly, even striking up a conversation with a taxi driver is exciting because I’m able to learn more about the city and its inhabitants, as well as practice my castellano (hearing “vos hablas muy bien” never gets old—what a confidence boost).
Of course, the super cool thing about spontaneity is that one unplanned event seemingly always leads to another. For example, one of many conversations at the previa I attended last week was about sports, and it turns out that one of my new Argentine amigos also plays tennis. I made him promise to hit with me before I leave Buenos Aires, and on Wednesday, for the first time in 3 months, I experienced the lovely, dusty, slide-y, clay courts of South America (and actually played quite well for not having picked up a racket in some time). I was legitimately smiling to myself every time I turned around to pick up a ball, both because I was happy to be playing again, and because who would have thought three months ago I’d be trading groundstrokes with a porteño?
Well, if tennis wasn’t enough to make me the happiest extranjera in Buenos Aires, after we played my amigo then invited me to an asado one of his friends was hosting. I haven’t mentioned this particular topic in any of my previous posts, so let me start by saying that asados are easily one of my top ten favorite things about Argentina. They’re comparable to an American barbeque, I suppose, but with fewer condiments—it’s all about the pure roasting of delicious meat—steak, choripan, etc. This particular asado also featured grilled red peppers with fried eggs on top, a fantastic combo, might I add. I spent the night speaking Spanish, eating succulent meat, drinking red wine, and just reveling at how content I was at this unexpected invitation.
Type-A as I am, I’m genuinely loving the feeling of not knowing what’s coming next, which, prior to arriving in Argentina, is not necessarily a sentiment I have ever truly been able to relate to. Studying abroad, for me, has provided a remarkable opportunity to observe a side of my personality that I’m not sure could flourish to the same extent in America. And as well as I’d like to think I know myself, living in Argentina has shown me that I can adapt to certain situations I never thought I’d be comfortable in—not only am I adapting, but also having some of the most incredible experiences of my life along the way. Ironically, while writing this post my friend just informed me that we were invited to an Argentine’s house for a fiesta tonight—seriously, the spontaneity is everywhere! Undoubtedly, another fun, yet unexpected night will follow, and I for one can’t wait.