I’m back from my ultra-quick trip to Argentina, where I – finally! – got my visa and also visited some doctors and spent some nice time with my family, especially with my grandfather (who is 80-something years old and misses his wife – my grandmother – terribly since she passed in 2012).
Going back is always hard. Family draws you in and it’s hard to say good-bye, but I also noticed other things that I miss, and things that I definitely not miss. Here is my list:
- I do miss my family, especially now that it’s getting warmer (it’s going into Summer in the Southern Hemisphere) and weekends are getting busier. I especially enjoy the fact that my parents have a nice house with a big yard and entertaining area, so it is great for family (and friends) gathering on the weekends.
- I definitely miss the food. I managed to eat everything I wanted that I can’t get here, like empanadas, gnocchi, milanesas and tartas.
- I do not miss my fellow Argentineans. I felt like as if everyone is always on a rush for everything, angry at themselves and hating their lives. Example: I was at the eye doctor and there was an older lady before me that was hard of hearing. She was asking the receptionist every 5 – 10 minutes if she had been called, only to be responded every single time with a “calm down ma’am.” How hard is it to just say “ma’am, when we are ready for you, I will come up and get you, don’t worry” ? And that is only a small example…
- And almost along the same lines… people complaining about how hard their lives are and how easy I have it because I live in the United States. Look, OK, so maybe I am better off, I have a great job and a nice place to live, but we are also missing out on a lot of things back home: family, friends, services ($10 weekly manicures, help around the house with chores, accessible day care for children – not that I need it yet -, etc). Sometimes it’s about putting everything on a balance and prioritizing what you care about the most. For us, right now, is having a steady job where we know we are going to grow, maybe save some money and then we’ll see. Other people prefer to be close to family. But again, it’s about personal balances and trade offs.
- I absolutely DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT miss driving a car – any car – in Buenos Aires. It’s chaos. Cars everywhere. Motorcycles everywhere. I get violent and yell. So no more driving for me, thank you very much.
All in all, though, it was a good trip. I got to spend some time with a couple friends from college and my best friend from high school. I spent time with my uncle and grandpa, and with my parents. It’s hard to leave but it feels nice to be back. Too bad about the weather…