It has been a full month since I last posted on the blog. I have taken this month off whilst we were in Argentina to rest and reflect. Rest was not achieved; those who follow me on Facebook will know how busy we were. Reflection was achieved in in bucket loads.
I had forgotten so much about life in Argentina. Firstly, how exhausting it is! Late nights are an exception for us in England, they are the norm in Argentina! Starting to light the BBQ at 8pm in order to eat at 10pm or after is common. But that is not what keeps you up late. The after meal chat or “sobremesa” is the real reason for late nights. These times are probably the most precious for Argentinians and for the gringos who love them. A second reason that life in Argentina is tiring is that I had forgotten was how tiring it was to exist in Spanish all the time. It is not that I felt stress speaking the language but that you end up tired from the experience. I found that I could speak all day, even lecture most of the day but when I laid down, the lights went out. I mean my lights went out. Anybody who hasn’t learned and existed in a second language as an adult really cannot appreciate this phenomenon.
Another thing I had forgotten was that Argentinians prioritize people over time. Of course, I knew this but that actual living out of such a priority is something that cannot be theorized it can only be lived. This affects every part of life and especially expectations. “When will we leave?” is not a question that has an easy answer. You may get a time given to you such as “5.30” but don’t expect to leave then! The accurate answer–notice I don’t say “honest”– would be “no idea”. We will only leave when we are ready. When we are ready is also rather a slippery (in the sense of not being fixed) answer. This can cause frustration but when you accept it you can enjoy the flexibility it gives.
The the final thing I forgot was accepting and generous nature of Argentinians. When you live in a place for so long, you come to accept the way people give to you as normal. The time, effort, kindness, generous nature was overwhelming again. Most wont know their names but Kike and Tati (India and Buda), Hector, Sandra, Pri and Andu, Aurora and Carlos, Adrian and Alejandra, Mike and Esther, Steve and Elisa as well as Keila, Micah, Abel and Maira and Guachita!
¡Hasta la próxima!