Monday, September 19, 2011

Buenos Aires bits & the name of the blog

Ahh in Argentina is the equivalent of the American ohh. It is used as a response when someone learns or realizes something (as in "Do you have product x" "Ahh, American? No we don't have it") and as an interjection (as in "WTF!? The waitress just sat us and then told us to move because a bigger party came in." "Haha. Ahh, well she thought they would consume more. It's common here). The character of a city doesn't come from any single element, but rather bits of lifestyle, whether common or unique that make a city like none other in the world. Becoming accustomed to a new culture means being shocked or surprised on a daily basis. I named this blog AhhArgentina because on a daily basis I find myself saying "ahh, but this is Argentina."
Last night we were driving home around 8 p.m. when a group of people stepped out in front of us to cross the street. It was a couple of women pushing children in carriages, and a couple older children walking alongside. As I watched the group pass, I noticed one of the children in the stroller was playing with a lit lighter. Too young to walk, but old enough to play with fire? Ahh, well, we're in Argentina.

A few doors down from my certification center/language school is a primary and secondary school. Usually we don't see the the rush of students because they start and are let out earlier than we are. Today however, we got out of class a half an hour early so many of the students were still around. I had just begun my walk my home, and was about a block away from the schools when I noticed one of the pint sized scholars standing still on the sidewalk looking straight ahead at the trunk of a tree which was not more than a foot away from his face. He must have been about 7 years old, looking dapper in his uniform. "Inspecting bugs? Talking to the tree?" I thought, pondering all the precious possibilities. But, when I came up alongside him the truth was revealed. No scientific inquiry or imaginary friend here. He was just taking a pee on the base of a roadside tree. Vehicle traffic? Foot traffic? Not a problem for this little guy! and worse his mom! Ahh, Argentina, you never cease to amaze.

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