Blog #4 – Cross-Cultural Learning

Buenos Aires is a world of its own. There are so many things that I have had a difficult time adjusting to such as the crazy driving, the immense amount of walking, having to constantly watch my bag to make sure nothing is stolen and etcetera. However, this is everyday life for the people that live here.

The first thing that made me a little edgy is how people drive. I cannot understand why I have not seen many crashes, especially observing how people do not care about the laws of the road, including the police. Lanes, well there are none, except for the paint on the road. People speed up and maneuver between other vehicles like mad men to the point that they sometimes even bump other cars. I am only now becoming numb to how Argentine’s drive. I am glad that they follow stoplights though, or I surely would be dead while walking.

Walking is another difficulty I have been adjusting to on the trip. We must have walked at least 60 miles since we arrived, but when in Rome…you get the idea. In Buenos Aires, just like in New York, people walk everywhere. I miss my car, a small little red Ford Focus, and I miss driving. One good thing did come out of walking though; my leg muscles are at least a centimeter larger and more toned. The walking combined with the heat has really allowed me to appreciate water and air conditioning.

Lastly, and probably the most difficult for me to adjust to, is the problem of pickpockets. In the small town of Belton, Texas, I have never even considered the idea of pickpockets or other minor thieves, but in Buenos Aires it is a major issue. This is not a problem specific to Argentina, but large cities in general. It is initially hard to become accustomed to putting everything in the backpack, wearing it in the front when in crowded places (like the subway), and locking everything in the suitcase when leaving the hotel. Here, there is always a constant fear that something of value will disappear.

I think that through all these things, I have grown to appreciate where I live and the things available to Americans. I feel like Americans are spoiled and would be able to save more money and resources if we did not always put our desires first. This trip has put a lot into perspective, and I hope I do not keep taking the little things for granted.

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