Monday, July 19, 2010

Mendoza, Argentina

I'm starting to understand why Mexicans and Spaniards would think I was from South America when I spoke Spanish: the continent is like a grab-bag of funky dialects. The Argentine dialect, like the Chilean, has to be heard to be believed.

I made friends at breakfast with the 5 adorable Argentine girls I was sharing a room with: Luz, Pachi, Jessica, Chela, and Isharmina. Except "Jessica" is pronounced "Shessica", and as I discovered from the backpack that I rushed to make sure they didn't leave without, "Isharmina" is actually spelled "Guillermina". Didn't see that coming, even though I'd asked her earlier how it was spelled.

(And "Chela" is short for "Mariela," doing nothing to alleviate my complete confusion over the source of Spanish-language nicknames.)

They were very nice, road-tripping in a shockingly nice extended-cab pickup truck. They should be sending me the picture of the 6 of us in front of the hostel, so I'll put it up here.

And I haven't even heard the lexical differences yet. I'm still too taken aback by the use of vos instead of tu' for the second-person familiar, and the appearance of "sh" in every word, when Chileans can't distinguish "sh" and "ch".
  • desayuno -> "desashuno"
  • llamas -> "shamas"
It's easier than Chilean, by far, but still takes some getting used to. Every time

From the next country over, it's a bit easier to see the fabled Chilean seriousness, however diluted it's become in the past few decades: Argentines seem to be more smiley and open and relaxed in everyday encounters.

I miss Chile, though. On this trip I'm learning about travel fatigue, and how I feel about visiting another country without any research or prep work (hint: never doing it that way again). I'm currently scheduled to leave on Friday morning, but I'm going to look into leaving early, to give myself some downtime before school starts, especially since I'm on the Volunteer Panel for the July WorldTeach volunteers in Santiago on Saturday.

Meantime, though: coffee and steak!

1 comment:

  1. Have a safe trip back! We look forward to seeing you guys on Saturday!