Friday, April 17, 2009

One year

Happy Anniversary to me! I stepped off the plane exactly one year ago.

Let's see: I got on the plane, and there was an Argentine girl next to me. As I think I recounted here before, I tried talking to her in Spanish and it was an epic failure. I didn't understand a single word that came out of her mouth: I can't even blame the Porteno accent, as she was from way far north. And that's when it hit me: this was going to be interesting.

Going through customs was interesting. At least I didn't have to fake that I didn't speak Spanish. Not speaking Spanish helps you get through customs with lots of expensive electronics.

Although everything I'd read said this city was safe, I have to be honest that I was a little nervous on my taxi ride from the airport. The last person I talked to before I left Houston was someone who told me some long story about how he hires the police blah blah blah because of how unsafe it was. I didn't really buy it, except during those fleeting moments of uncertainty -- it makes life more fun to be nervous! But with those expensive electronics in my luggage, all my favorite clothes, and about $4k US on me...I was nervous.

The last time I went to the State Department's info page about Argentina it said something like, "it's pretty safe...except when you're in a car." Yeah. I was pretty sure that my taxi driver was trying to kill me. Since when does 4 lanes on a highway become 8? I always thought the idea was to drive between the white lines...not on them.

Once we got off the freeway, we just sorta careened through streets. There are alot of 4 way intersections, none of them have stop signs...and yikes, did that guy almost just hit us? Eventually we got to my apartment, I gave the guy a tip that he didn't expect (tipping in Argentina is not normal...awesome), and then...I waited.

I waited for 4 hours or so (Welcome to Latin America!). Sorta nervously looking around like a tourist with 2 big boxes (1 of which got all ripped open on the flight...nothing lost but 2 of my colognes, which is annoying). My landlord finally showed up. I attempted to talk to her in Spanish in the largest comedy of errors ever.

That was my first day. I woke up the next morning to the smell of smoke. Was my apartment was on fire...?


Jenn said...

I was just thinking that it had been about a year... congrats, we miss you, and man a lot of people are moving to Argentina! Is it time to buy some real estate there???

Evan said...

Jenn, you're awesome. Thanks.

As to real estate: I took a commitment to never buy real estate here.

Not that I think I'll actually keep it...