Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silencio. Habla Mendoza.

As of yesterday, I have been in Argentina for a month! Accordingly, I have settled into my life here, más o menos. Micros, la facu, el centro (buses, school, dowtown) are no longer intimidating. I am by no means "a local" either, despite my daily habit of drinking maté and vino tinto. While my brown hair, medium skin and plaid scarf give me the look of a mendocina, my "lengua," as my host mom puts it, gives me away as "norteamericana." That is, of course, to be expected. I think of how much I love foreign accents in English, and hope I sound as cute to a Spanish-speaker.

It's been a gorgeous weekend, not a cloud in the sky. I can tell that spring is well on it's way! We had an asado here at my house today. In a way that parallels an American barbeque, the man of the house (the asador) slow-cooks beef over hot coals, the women make salads, and family and friends spend time together outside, chatting, eating and drinking. An asado's flavors are quite distinct to American BBQ, however. The meat is well-done but tender, and crusted with a salty rub. We eat ours with aioli. The salads are simple, but tasty. Today we also had marinated tomatoes. Dipping my bread in my leftover tomato marinade and aioli was delicious!

Classes have gotten off to a slow start. The beginning of the semester is somewhat more relaxed here, as everyone gets back into the rhythm of collegiate life. My materias (classes) should pick up more to the typical routine this week. I am taking a literature class that features medieval Spanish literature and contemporary Argentine literature, an Argentine history class, a class called Regional Development with a Argentine culture focus, and a Spanish class. It's a full load, but I have liked the classes a lot so far.

While the majority of my time is spent in Mendoza City, I have had one mountain adventure so far. Hopefully many more are to come (hello, Patagonia!) This is a picture of my trip to the mountains here in Mendoza province, the place is El Salto, specifically. Other activities of the past few weeks have included an Altertango concert, an awesome art museum called Casa de Foder, and Bodega Norton! Bodega Norton gave us a day of great wine, delicious food and tango! The other photo is me amongst the barren grape vines (it's winter, they'll be green soon!) The mountains in the background are a million times more spectacular than they appear in both photos. Some of those things have been with my study-abroad group, and others I've done independently with just a few friends.