Since I’ve moved to Washington, DC, it’s been relatively easy to continue practicing my Spanish. As you would expect in an international city with representation from almost the entire world, there are plenty of Latinos who live here. In fact, at least once a day I hear Spanish while walking in the streets, riding the bus, or heading to class on campus. It’s great for me, and I feel like being able to communicate with native Spanish speakers has opened up other doors to me. I’ve got a wide array of Spanish speaking friends and acquaintances here–a Paraguayan friend and his girlfriend, a Bolivian who grew up in Uruguay, a Columbian neighbor, a Peruvian on our soccer team, and more who I come across on a daily basis.
On Thursday night our intramural soccer team met up for dinner at a Mexican restaurant to discuss tactics, and soon we started talking about Lionel Messi and the World Cup qualifying matches that would be beginning soon. I soon started talking with our Meixcan server in Spanish and he laughed as I said words like “boludo” and “pelotudo”. He found it hilarious to hear them and tried comparing them to “pendejo” or “chinguero”.
I always try to stay in touch with the Argentinian roots that I learned to grow throughout the last two years, and usually wind up drinking mate at home while I study or have a Fernet at the end of the week. I’m now out of Fernet, but have found an Italian shop where they sell yerba for mate and Fernet, though at a marked up price. I’ve also investigated a bit for Argentine expats in Washington, and found CEGA, the Centro Argentino, for Argentinians and friends of Argentina who live in the United States. There are headquarters in Washington, DC, New York and Miami. The club now celebrates its 1oth year of existence, and it looks like it was founded by study abroad kids in Washington. I’ve already sent in my email for more information, and hopefully will be able to meet some other people around here who know how to make a good asado. So even though I’m removed from Latin America for now, in the United States you’re never really that far away.