First Day of School…sort of

Hi everyone,

This week is a little bit of  a limbo. Classes have started at some but not all of the schools. IFSA makes our schedules pretty clear since most people are trying classes. We have a grammar workshop for two hours every day but that’s only tuesday-thursday and you can skip it if you’re trying a class.

Yesterday, I tried two classes at Ditella, the private university in Belgrano. It’s a little bit of schlep but there’s a bus that gets me within a 10 minute walk of campus which is not bad at all. I kind of got lost and got off at the wrong place (too early, luckily) but in the future it will be an easy trip. The first class was contemporary latin american history and it was clear right away that us exchange students were missing something. We were the only ones in the room: three americans, a swiss student and a student from Spain. After waiting for almost an hour because we’d heard rumors about this sort of thing, someone went to go ask the secretary. Turns out the professor is sick and canceled class for monday and wednesday so I’ll have to try it then. Because that class didn’t actually happen, I had lots of free time and sat in Oui Oui, the cafe in the center of campus (campus is basically two buildings and looks a lot like a high school, though not my high school). The cafe is pretty nice though they sell absurd round items they call bagels which someone ordered. They appeared to be almost flakey on the inside and she called them “sweet” in flavor. Eek. There are also a lot of foreign students or maybe they’re just more noticeable since there are only 1200 regular students. I talked to kids from Middlebury and GW. It could have been a first day of school thing but it was comforting. After waiting for a few hours with two other IFSA students, I went to historiography class that I’m definitely not taking. It’s all seniors in the middle of thesis writing (this is their second semester) and the reading is all designed to explain the historiography of the texts featured in their history curriculum. So it would be really hard and also not the most useful. Luckily it was short for the first day! I went home, met a friend for coffee and watched the OC pilot because it’s the 10th anniversary and I found the creator’s commentary and it was awesome. Rita was out so I bought broccoli and was very happy!

Today, I didn’t have any classes to try so I went to another gym to try it. I didn’t love it but it’s better than the last one. There was only one elliptical and spin classes aren’t included in the membership so I’ll keep looking. The big chain of gyms in the city has a location a few blocks away from me so I’m going to try that tomorrow. Then I headed downtown for the grammar class which was a bit of a waste of time. Afterwards, I went to an argentine mall to buy plane tickets (yes, that’s normal i guess) for when my family comes and we go to Mendoza. Buying them was a whole little saga because I could reserve them online but not pay for them. The credit card slot kept asking for this number and type that I could not figure out and the payment would not go through on chrome or safari. Eventually it timed out and I thought we lost the tickets. But when I went to the kiosk with the reservation number, they pulled it up and I paid right there. This country, man.  I walked back to the IFSA offices to meet a friend who had the later class, 20 blocks or so. I like walking on big boulevards to see how the neighborhoods change as you go. I also saw an import store that sells off brand peanut butter and nutella and steak sauce for ridiculously high prices. Ah, scarcity.

I ate dinner and am going to bed pretty soon. Also, I realize this post doesn’t match the others in terms of excitement level but I think part of a semester abroad is realizing that not every day is going to be a wild adventure but it’s still important and part of the greater story of your time here. And buying those plane tickets was a pretty big accomplishment! Tomorrow there’s a lunch for all the vegetarians on the trip which I am looking forward to!

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