This week is the season finale of Season 2 for BA Cast. This is another slightly-longer episode and ends the season in a nice way. This was a really successful and fun season for the show, and we grew a lot in our material and listener participation. We hope those of you who listened enjoyed it too, and we’ll look forward to providing more material in Season 3. Chau!
Tomorrow will be the first time in four years that I celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. The last three were spent in South America–first in 2008 at 16,000 feet above sea level on an extinct volcano in central Ecuador, later in 2009 with some Argentine milanesas at a new friend’s house, and lastly in 2010 at a pot luck dinner filled with expats and a few Argentinians. I remember the first year abroad, winding down the day alone at the hotel and realizing that it was Thanksgiving. At first it hadn’t even dawned on me, and with no media reminding me of the date, and no family or friends around who were also celebrating it, I simply went along as if it was a normal day. Later in the week a few of the volunteers got together and made a dinner, making up for the lack of family.
The next year I was in Argentina as a newbie, and though I’d just met a girl named Tamara, she invited me over to her house with her sister and friends for dinner. They made what they knew best–milanesas, as well as some other vegetables and fixings. We had some wine and because it was a beautiful spring night, we sat outside late into the night, something I’d never thought possible on Thanksgiving. I still had to work that day and it was depressing being on GChat while no one else was, so the day dragged on until the dinner. I still had work in the morning, so I had to bow out of the conversation around 12:30 am, while everyone else was still going strong.
The next year an American friend invited me to a coworker’s apartment for a joint pot luck dinner, where foreigners from all over the world (and even a few Argentinians) were meeting up. Everyone was in their mid-20’s-30’s and it was a refreshing mix of familiar accents and stories. This year I’m finally back in the U.S. and I’m thankful to be with family and old traditions. Like so many Thanksgivings past, we’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn to drive down to Brooklyn, New York and my grandma’s apartment. Later on we’ll probably head in to Manhattan with my dad and cousins to go out in the Village. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving too.
This week’s episode of BA Cast (admittedly late, but hey, it’s tiempo argentino) is a double length show featuring the topic of the month: bi-national couples. The show will be wrapping up Season 2 after this month and we’re happy to say we’ve been continuing to grow and expand as the season has gone on. This episode features some interesting chamullos between English and American expats, and we talk with an expat who lives outside of Buenos Aires in Necochea. Listen in and hear all about it.
This week’s episode of BA Cast is a short, and a very useful one at that. This episode will teach you all of the standard Spanish words to unlearn when you visit Argentina, as well as the words that you should know if you go to other Spanish-speaking countries. One example of this is the word “carro” which is used in Spain to say car. However, in Argentina it is more common to hear “auto” or even “coche”. Take a few minutes to listen and learn.
The new episode of BA Cast is available, and it’s another extended edition that we think you’ll find very interesting. This is the show’s most international episode yet, with interviews with expats from Argentina, Italy, the United States, Nepal, and Mexico. The episode features an interview I conducted with a fellow classmate of mine from Nepal who has been studying in the US for five years, and I also give a short interview at the end of the episode on the differences between Ecuador and Argentina. Hope you enjoy the episode. Oh, and Happy Halloween.
Today was a crisp fall day, with a chilly wind blowing around and a grey sky hanging low over the capital of the United States. Walking to class on the usual route up Wisconsin Ave to Massachusetts Ave to Nebraska Ave, my walk was less a tour of the U.S. and more a stroll down memory lane. Red-golden leaves crunched under my Converse as I for some reason was reminded of friends back in Buenos Aires. I can’t remember why–maybe I saw a picture before leaving the apartment or was listening to a song that brought it up, but suddenly I was walking down some cobblestone street in Palermo or avoiding the potholes, narrow sidewalks filled with businessmen and women, and dodging traffic on the way to the office.
A half-grin instantly came over me while thinking of friends. I thought of Fer, from the BA Cast, and no matter how ridiculous of a story I had, he would smile and understandingly say, “Y bueno, es lo que hay!” Fer spent some years as an expat in Europe, and therefore he could relate to some frustrations in Argentina, yet could take it all in stride. He still loved his city very much, and the endearing way in which he defended his hometown always made it seem better.
There was Leo from the office, who wonderfully tip-toed the line of insulting me in an endearing way and never taking it too far. “¿Qué querés, estupido?” “Mirá a esta cara de pony” and “Sos un boludo” were common ways in which I could expect to be greeted by him. Vero would defend me and Matías would calmly tell me that I was a lost cause. The office environment, while at times totally aggravating and prison-like, afforded me the opportunity to build long lasting friendships and become familiar with Argentina in ways that many foreigners never do. I sat in quietly as my coworkers debated politics, vented and complained about societal issues, or discussed pop culture from the soap opera on the night before or a television series from the 80s. I usually said little and just listened, learning as much as I could. At lunch I would usually take a walk around the block and think it all over.
There was also Pablo, who became a great friend simply because he was interested in helping a lonely expat. He was another returned expat from Europe, returning to Buenos Aires around the time I moved in, so as he reunited with his old friends he invited me into the circle for pizza night and education on Argentine literature and movies, among other things.
So many other important friends to me still live inside my head and my heart, but the walk to campus is only about 25 minutes, so I don’t have time to think about it all. Instead of feeling down about missing them, the smile stayed and it made me glad to know that they were there and will be there. I’ll fantasize about a reunion, a big hug and catching up on the small things while simultaneously complaining about the transportation and heat/cold, like always. Every day gets me further away from Argentina, and though I’ve been back for over three months, I still feel that weird need to immerse in a culture that I no longer live in. I still want to drink maté with friends in a circle, or have a big asado, or whatever else. I think about taking that trip to the coast, but what coast? Mar del Plata?
The question is not if I’ll go back to Argentina but when. I’m aiming for sooner rather than later, but uno nunca se sabe what’s going to happen. For now, I’ll have to continue with the friends in my head and heart, and know that when we do see each other again, it will be better than any memory I quickly run through on the walk to campus.