The Six Month Summer: Day 1
Travelling internationally is a lot like rejoining childhood.
You probably can’t speak right, most of the time you need other people to help you get what you need, you maybe have a general idea of where you are, and when you meet people, you might become the topic of conversation without actually being a part of the conversation. You probably won’t have much to say about it, either. Being an American who doesn’t know how to speak Spanish sitting among locals having lunch is something like being a kid who was given a seat a few years too early at the “adult table” during a family reunion.
The world is new. The sights, sounds, smells, the way you feel, and everything in between. The sun looks the same, but the moon is a little bigger… and car rides are a lot more interesting.
On the first day, Fabian briefed me on some of Rosario’s history: The city is in the province of Santa Fe, about 300km from Buenos Aires, and is argued to be the second largest city in the province at nearly 1.2 million residents. It boasts the birthplace of the Argentine flag, adopted by the country in 1812, and many more know it as being off the western shore of the Paraná River, which is around 4,880km long, second in length to only the Amazon River. Afterwards, he and Paulina took me on a short tour around the city, where I got to see the river for the first time, the flag monument, and some other notable sites in the city – as I get to explore more, I’ll write more posts about these places in detail. Rosario is a predominantly artistic city, with numerous bars and a few hipster-like cafes to hang out in, as well as having open parks that are always full of picnickers, runners, or workout groups whenever we pass them.
While on our tour around the area, we paused at a stop light in traffic. At the cue of the light, two street performers pranced onto the crosswalk in front of us. A man and woman juggled clubs, the woman tossing the pieces up in the air while the man snatched them in and out behind her for a flawless routine. They had the light timed and about 30 seconds before it changed, they bowed and walked through the two rows of cars smiling and hoping for tips. Fabian quickly managed a few pesos out of his wallet for Paulina to hand out the passenger seat window, telling me that Paulina is very passionate about recognizing the artists who perform in the street because of her love of performance. He tells me that when she was only 12 years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she was older she responded that she would be an artist.
“How would you make a living?”
“If I have to perform in the street for pesos like them, I will.
One time, when my friends and I were on our way home they dared me to go in the street with me guitar and play and sing to raise money for the bus fare. I did it, and I made more than that for our ride home. It was really cool.”
As I learn more Spanish and am able to explore on my own, I’ll have more to write about and share. For now, I have a few pictures from my first day here, more blog posts to come soon, and a lot of revising to do on my writing. Thanks for checking in!