Since my last post, several things have happened. First, I started school. The system here is actually pretty similar to the system at New College, in other words, extremely confusing to everyone (except me! Thanks, NCF!). Registration actually takes place over the course of the first two weeks of classes. In that time, you can add, drop, and attend however many classes you want. At the end of the two weeks registration is closed and you must choose which ones you want to keep for the semester. This system, though allowing for more flexibility and an opportunity to "test" which classes you're thinking of taking, causes extreme confusion when it comes to assigning and completing assignments, as well as the purchasing of books. Interestingly enough, you do not buy textbooks here. Since copyright laws are a little looser, you simply order photocopies of everything you need and the university compiles in into a nifty little spiral-bound notebook called a "cuadranillo" (which is very difficult to pronounced with an Argentine accent). But I digress. I was pretty lucky in that I was able to get all the courses I originally wanted, including a course called Advanced Oral Production (I know, the joke possibilities are endless) which was very difficult to get into given its limited class size. Along with that, I'm also taking Latin American Literature and Latin American Film (both taught in Spanish) and Gender History (which is in English). Gender history and literature are interesting in that the course material has begun to overlap - I was actually assigned to read the same poem for both classes! But the approach they topics from different angles, and I love how complete a picture I am getting from having both courses.
Second, last weekend ISA took us to a neighboring town outside of Buenos Aires called Tigre. Tigre is a compilation of several small islands connected by narrow inlets that people zip around on in their boats. A little like Venice, but far more suburban. The river, also called Tigre, appears to be severally polluted but merely contains the runoff of the red clay on the banks that are farther north than the town. The result can be seen:
At least, that what I was told. I did spot another dead fish floating, so I am a little skeptical as to whether that story is true or not.
More pictures of Tigre:
|This was a historic building that they chose to protect by surrounding it with fiberglass.|
|A fancy claw machine with plenty of knock-off merchandise.|
|Buenos Aires skyline.|
|Local hooligans throwing rocks. Who knows why?|
Luckily for us it was a little warmer this day, so this was far more pleasant than originally expected! All in all a lovely day.
More on local food, customs, and cultural differences in the next post!