Arbitrary List of Things I’ll Miss About Argentina
Since January I have been living with my grandpa in Tucumán, Argentina. I was born and lived in Argentina until 9-years-old, then moved to the states, Maryland to be exact, and from then on I would visit once a year, for no longer than two weeks at a time. Well, my year living in Argentina is coming to an end, on Monday afternoon I begin my trek back to the states, New York to be exact, where I will settle and start looking for work. Culture has been an important part of my life, mixing my two homes’ cultures has been interesting to say the least, lives led in Argentina and the U.S. are literally and metaphorically miles apart. There are many things I will miss about the life I had here in 2014, but here are a few:
Since moving to the U.S. I’ve had a limited family, and since my dad passed away ten years ago, it shrunk even more. Although my two beautiful aunts in the U.S. are all the family I could ever need, it’s been nice being around my large family for the first time. Making up for nine years of lost bickering with my passionate brother, tormenting my teenage sister with my endless love she’s too cool for, being spoiled by my beautiful mom unconditionally, and most impertinently, having lunch every day with my grandpa and learning more about my family’s past than I thought possible. Of course things change as so many years going by, so substitute the kids table for a big boy chair, substitute video games and sleepovers with primo Lucho for late nights drinking and passing out, but at the end of the day, throw in a Sunday asado Argentino with the Arguijo family, all the aunts, uncles, and growing cousins, and I’ve got myself a perfect year of making up for lost time. I will miss them terribly.
Ah, the national pastime that never left my heart and soul. Sunday Night Football and World Series are part of my American side that I never fully took in, it was too hard to let go of my love for fútbol. Pick-up games with the friends, watching Boca Jrs. alongside with my brother, and the greatest tournament in the history of sports: the FIFA World Cup. This sport can truly bring a whole nation together, it can bring families together, through thick and thin, all for the passion of winning, all to show the world what we can do with a ball and our will to be the best. I’ve always said that my love for football is the only thing I’ve never been able to truly put in words. It’s a sensation that I just can’t fully express, I can only feel it through my body, in my heart. On TV you can always find football on, in the street you can always chat about football, on the street corners you will always find a kid with a ball at his feet. I will miss this.
3. La Comida
Let’s just say I was planning on eating light this year… the Argentinean food had another idea for my belly. The empanadas, the sanguches de milanesa, the flan, and my mom’s special bombas de papa: fried ball of mashed potatoes with cheese inside. Ugh, so delicious, all of it. All the fatty, greasy food, add in the motherly touch of T.L.C. and you have a happy, fat Nahui.
As for the weekends, we have the alcohol and the asados. Meat, meat, bread, Quilmes beer, more meat, and then come the Fernet con Coca for the rest of the night. My Monday morning gym sessions were tough after so much eating and drinking on weekends, very tough. I will miss the food and drinks, but I will most certainly not miss the belly.
There is something about the culture here in Argentina that I both hate and love. Living three years in LA, I got used to the laid back, easygoing style, but here in Argentina they take that to the next level. Being late is an expected, universally understood affair. I don’t know if it’s because of the way I was raised in the U.S., but the way people are always late, and unapologetically late, really irked me. I really enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, I got very used to that during my Venice Beach days, and I love the siestas and tea time here in Argentina, but let’s get it together people, the perpetual 15 minute window of tardiness is not okay.
One aspect of the Argentinean culture I love is the kiss on the cheek greeting. Around the world there are so many cultures that greet this way, or a variations of this, and I think it’s something truly missing in the American culture. It’s something very personal, very close and sociable, and I believe it brings people closed upon meeting which thins the divide between unknowns. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I meet someone I like to really meet them, not just say a name and forget them, I like to talk, to get to know them, and start a conversation, and I think the kiss on the cheek breaks that initial window to start that connection. Even between friends, seeing an old friend and starting with a kiss on the cheek, or even just seeing a friend you saw the day before, the kiss on the cheek just being people closer. So, I’m changing it up, I’m going to bring it back with me, all my friends better get ready, I’m not backing down.
5. Time to Write
My year in Argentina was mostly taken up by writing, it was my main focus during my months down here. Reading more, writing more, getting better at my art, studying, and more writing. I had many goals and objectives, many stories and screenplays to finish, and I was tremendously happy being able to take on this craft as a sort-of full-time job. It’s something I hope I can do again soon in my future, but of course, the funds are needed for a year like this to take place. Now it’s time to find work, and more importantly, find a way to keep writing and keep improving my craft while working on the side, because yes, writing is my main focus in life, and everything else is just the side-bitch to my main love. I will miss having these days so much, the year writing was amazing, needed, and fulfilling, I can’t wait to have a year like this again, one-on-one with my one love.
– Nahuel F.A.