During a recent Skype conversation with Alexa:
Alexa: We literally made lives here. It’s so strange
Abi: I know! And other people like…can’t understand it. Only we can. How weird is that?
Alexa: Yeah, I never really got that when they said it at study abroad stuff, but it’s so true
I think these few short sentences really sum up our time in Buenos Aires. I lived in a foreign country. For 5 months. On the other side of the world. Away from everything familiar (apart from Maddy and Alexa, of course!) How cool is that?!
Even though Alexa is still living the good life in Buenos Aires, Maddy and I have returned to “real life”: summer jobs, US holidays (Happy 4th!), and hot weather. We know. It’s rough.
They told us in study abroad meetings that when you get back to the States, you will experience “reverse culture shock” and you will have to readjust to living at home. I thought this was completely absurd and didn’t believe it at all, but in reality it did happened. There wasn’t any HUGE shock after coming back to the States, but I definitely noticed a few little things that made being back a little strange. For example, when I was waiting in Miami for my layover early Friday morning, it really was weird watching the news and being surrounded by people speaking in English. Also, the restaurant scene is completely different. Being a waitress, I may have a slightly stronger opinion about this than other people, but if eating out in Argentina has shown me anything it’s that people in the States are NEEDY. During a normal restaurant experience in Argentina, you will see your waiter only a handful of times (when you order your food and drinks – at the same time, when they bring the food, and when you flag them down for the check) but in the States, your waiter will be there every few minutes to “check up on you” and see if you need anything. I don’t mean to hate on my own people, but the Argentine method is so much better! You go out to eat because you want to enjoy the food and be around people you like. You can’t have a comfortable dining experience if you voluntarily interrupt your meal every 5 minutes because you need a little more ranch dressing or another napkin. Argentines have always been considered relaxed people and I think we need to embrace that more in the States. We need to learn to sit back and enjoy life. Calm down. Take a break from the chaos and just chill.
I also just want to say that I absolutely, 100%, LOVED my experience in Argentina. We met so many fantastic people (quick shout out to José for being an AWESOME amigo and taking us to the airport) and were able to experience things that I never thought were possible (umm, Iguazú anyone?) Words cannot express the gratitude I have for everyone and everything that has made my life so incredible these past 5 months. Leaving on Thursday was honestly one of the hardest moments of my life. I am going to miss Argentina more than anyone can imagine and it will always hold a huge place in my heart.
On that note, I want to wish everyone a happy 4th of July (what a perfect holiday to be welcomed back to the States with!) Hopefully Alexa can find some USA in Buenos Aires tonight and enjoy the festivities like the rest of us!