Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fun With Diane

I have two more days left in Buenos Aires, and then I return to San Francisco. I am looking forward to returning home.

My last week has been fun because my friend Diane is visiting. Tomorrow another friend arrives and also Diane's sister is coming to visit. I was Diane's tour guide, but she will be here for a whole week without me, so she is going to show her sister and our other friend around.

It is fun having people visit because it gives me an opportunity to speak a lot of Spanish and also to show them places I like. I took Diane to many different parts of the city. It was fun for me to go around one last time and see everything.

These days I am feeling very comfortable here and I feel like my Spanish is pretty good. There are still times I don't understand things, but I feel like I am understanding more than when I first arrived, and I don't feel so shy about speaking Spanish. I feel happy and satisfied with this trip now that it is almost over.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back in Buenos Aires

Last week I left the hot city of Buenos Aires to go to the beautiful beaches of Buzios, Brazil. Buzios is about 2 hours north of Rio de Janeiro.

It was a nice trip. I went with my Argentine friend, Hernan, and we traveled with a group of Argentines on an Argentine airline with an Argentine tour company. The beaches we visited had people from many countries, but to the Brazilians and to the other people there, I appeared to be an Argentine.

It was an interesting experience. I didn't speak much English and no one knew I was American. I don't think there were any Americans in Buzios. It seemed like the area was mostly visited by Argentines, Germans, Russians and Brazilians.

There were some obvious differences between Buzios and Buenos Aires - the food, the language, the people. It was nice to get away, and it was also nice to return. When I came back to Buenos Aires, I missed Buzios, but I was also glad to be home, in my apartment that feels like home to me, in my neighborhood that feels like my neighborhood. It was nice to hear the bird that sounds to me like an ice cream truck, and to see the guy who stands on the corner on Sunday and listens to the soccer games on a small radio.

Yesterday I went sightseeing with my friends from San Francisco, Lorena and Tess, who are here to study tango. They are leaving on Wednesday. I helped them talk to vendors who were selling souvenirs. One guy asked me if I was from Argentina. I told him no, from the United States. He then said I must have been born here and then lived there. I told him no, I was born in the United States. What is happening to me? I think I am becoming an Argentine. When I return to the United States, I wonder if I will feel different from before I left. I wonder how I have changed and if the changes will be permanent. For now, I am happy to pretend to be Argentine.