Getting to the end of the first week and the comfort level is rising. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a lost little puppy at times, but now it's more like a lost puppy who can get back to a street he knows and find his way again.
I'm starting to appreciate the importance of decent conversation. While I'm working on my Spanish (more on that in a bit), it'll be important for me to keep in touch with some English speakers to stay sane. I've done a decent job of that this week. I met up with an Expat group on Tuesday which I found online. A collection of ~15 people who have moved here from around the word and speak English. The crowd is generally a little bit older than me, but seem to be good people that could be very helpful for me on this journey. One lady, who is the dean of a program for international students, mentioned helping me get involved with some of the events her students do. Another guy has a lead on a place to stay. So it will definitely be an event I attend on a regular basis to continue to learn.
Last night, I met up with a friend of a friend who I was introduced to, a good Australian bloke (sorry I can't help it I become Australian pretty quickly) and we had a few beers. A younger guy, he's gone through the same things I'm going through now so he had some good insight, and was an all-around good mate.
I've also done my fair share of wandering, just getting the hang of where everything is, the different neighborhoods, finding decent affordable restaurants, etc. When you're traveling alone in a foreign country with no real schedule, your to-do lists change quite a bit. Wednesday, for example, I wanted to walk to Puerto Madero (the nice district right on the water), about 5 miles away with the route I was taking, check it out, and then buy a metro card and take my first journey on the BA metro.Well I go in to buy a pass and the guy asks me for my passport, which I obviously don't have on me. So my 5 mile luxurious stroll turned into about an 11 mile march out of pure stubbornness. But damn did that pizza and beer at the end of it taste delicious.
And as I mentioned in an earlier post, my Spanish just isn't where it needs to be. So Thursday, I went over to a Spanish School and met with the academic director to discuss classes. This led to a proficiency exam on the spot with fill in the blank and a paragraph to write at the end. I had the same nerves I haven't felt in 10 years about not studying enough for a test. Whatever level my bombing of that test put my into, I'm apparently the only student in it next week. So instead of 4 hour daily group classes, I get 2 hour daily personal sessions until someone else enrolls at my level. Shit's about to get real. It isn't super cheap, but I believe a very worthwhile investment.
Now the weekend is here, and I'll experience BA nightlife (which is supposed to be absurd) for the first time. I'm going to find out what this town is made of. More likely, it's going to find out what I'm made of.