and back to BA it is!
22.03.2010 20 °C
So I arrived in Buenos Aires this morning after a 22 hour bus ride and I am now sitting in Maccy D's stealing their wifi. Someone might notice in a minute so I might get thrown out but I don't think anyone really gives a toss about that kind of thing here. The sky is grey and heavy like its just about to rain and its almost like it can feel my pain. It was a very sad goodbye leaving Santiago, but I am so incredibly grateful for the love I was shown there. From Alex's Mum, Lizzie and Sanae (his sister and sister's best friend), Vale (his best friend), Grandpa and of course the man himself. Everyone made me feel so welcome and they were so ready to help me whether it be finding out about jobs here, teaching me about the culture or whether just simply helping my decipher Chilean slang! And for that I feel so lucky and grateful. I cooked my mum's recipie of lentil lasagne for them on Friday to say thanks for everything. When I first mentioned what I was going to cook it got a few strange looks but thankfully everyone enjoyed it! They also threw me a 'going away' asado the next day so I could eat my last Chilean steak, pork chops, churipan (sausage in bread) and drink my last Chilean wine and pisco sour's. It did rather feel like the last super but we all got very drunk and merry and I soon forgot my nostalgia.
I have definitely decided to return to Santiago and the plan is to come back for the begining of August. It will be winter here when I return but its a great month to go skiing, the mountains are only a half an hour drive away and the city is supposedly beautiful during this time. So in the meantime I have 4 months in the UK to try to earn as much doe as possible, spend time with friends, family and sort my shit out.
However I am getting ahead of myself as now its time for me to finish my trip as I started it, on my own and in Buenos Aires. However it is considerably different to when I first arrived and it is only now I realise how far I have come in 4 months. It seems like only yesterday that I arrived and I was sitting in a cafe almost in tears as I had tried to order a coffee and the waitor had brought me a tea! However being in a country that is not your native language you tend to become so accustomed to feeling lost and not understanding anything that you can somtimes forget that learnig is a process. Although I started off here in Buenos Aires, I have spent most of my time in South America in Chile. The Spanish they speak here is the most difficult to understand anywhere in the world. They speak extremely quickly, use a LOT of slang and there are different dialects between social classes. So as you can only imagine coming to Chile and trying to learn Spanish here is similar to a foreign person going to Glasgow to learn English! Anyway arriving in Buneos Aires at the bus terminal, putting my bag in storage, booking another bus ticket, and finding a place with wifi has been a suprisingly easy process - I find I can actually understand people here in Argentina! Even yesterday going through the border I had to do some translating for some Belgian tourists who were in a bit of a flap, and its so funny thinking that that was me, 4 months ago, looking like a rabbit in headlights everytime someone spoke to me! I think its because you don't see the little baby steps that you take every day, you fail to see any progress. I have a loooonnnnggg way to go before being fluent but I am happy that I can now get myself around without a problem, make myself understood, understand enough to keep myself out of trouble and can even make a bit of banter from time to time!
I now have 10 days before returning home, or maybe more as I just read on the BA website that they have announced strikes running up to the 30th March and some flights (including mine) on the 31st will be cancelled. Luckily I have some friends here who I met last time around, and some others who I met in Cuzco so hopefully it should be a fun couple of weeks. I want to go to Uruguay and go up to the Igauzu falls but who knows, everything is so unpredictable in South America every day is a suprise and I have just learnt to go with the flow.