Thursday, February 10, 2011

and then there were 25

And what of the list after my epic journey?

# 3 Spend a month abroad
Done! Hurray. That was easy. Okay not easy, easy. But honestly if you’re looking to get your head straight, to really step away from your life without abandoning it completely this is the perfect amount of time. And if you go to Argentina you won’t break the bank either.

#6 Learn Spanish
I thought hard about whether or not to check this one off. It’s a difficult question because what does it mean to ‘speak’ a language? To be eloquent and have a rich vocabulary? That’s an accomplishment in one’s first language. To be understood by those you’re speaking to and understand them as well? Okay then. I would never call myself fluent in Spanish, not even close. But I was able to get past that very rudimentary level of ‘where is this?’ and ‘my name is?’ to being able to chat and converse pretty comfortably. I wouldn’t say I speak Spanish without the caveat of a ‘mas o menos’ attached but I am the boss of this list so I say: done.

#7 Learn the Tango
Again, there are many levels of knowing a dance and you don’t become an expert at a dance in a few weeks time no matter what DWTS tells you. But I can do it, I have the basics and I intend to continue with classes here in Seattle. I also give myself extra points for bravery from making an ass of myself in a genuine, Argentine milonga with a genuine Argentine. Done.

#10 Reconnect with someone I never thought I would see again
Done and done. In addition to my darling friend Jim who was my travel guide and occasional lifesaver in Buenos Aires, I reconnected with my wonderful Uruguayan host family from my student days. I took the Buquebus over to see them the day before I left for Ushuaia and spent a day with them in Colonia, Uruguay where they still live. My host parents looked exactly the same, the kids however were about four times the size they’d been when I’d seen them last; they were 4 and 6 nine years ago so were now teenagers. The chubby cheeked little boy I’d known was now taller than me and wanted to talk about Jersey Shore (our finest cultural export) and his rock band. How had so much time gone by? Where had I been? Colonia looked the same as ever: beautiful and quaint. Nine years? Feels like a moment ago. Feels like a hundred years. I got misty-eyed when I left, remembering the long nights I’d stayed up chatting with my host mom in the kitchen after coming home from a night with my friends and the nights we all danced samba in the living room with the kids and drank Amaretto. What I ever did to deserve having these amazing people as a host family, I wish I knew.

So the list and the year are off to as a good a start as they could possibly be.

What’s on your list for this year? Have you checked anything off yet?

1 comment:

  1. You ARE off to a good start, killing several beautiful birds with one stone. I seem to be moving in reverse.