Sunday, January 30, 2011

Packing and Goodbyes

This weekend was...awesome. Last night, I got to see all my friends for a last time and was pleasantly surprised by more than a few showing up after having driven from other cities to get here (2-3+ hrs away). It was really quite touching.  I think we had a great time, and the restaurant/lounge we gathered at was South American-themed.

Randomly, and I think in a moment of serendipity, the manager I was talking to is going to Santiago, Chile in March and was thinking of going to see U2 and Muse there. I've been looking for someone who wanted to go to the show with me, and lo and behold - I found someone! Very cool.

Packing for a six month trip is difficult, especially for a six month trip spanning from summer to winter. It's HARD. I tend to overpack. I mean, I MIGHT need 6 different pairs of jeans. Or 4 pairs of flip flops. In the words of my New Yawka mother: "Ya neva know". I've practiced some serious restraint, however, and have managed to shove everything into one big rolly bag and one backpacker's-type backpack. Oh, and a carry-on. And probably a regular-sized backpack. But that's it. *pats self on back*

However... a little advice from someone who's learned this lesson the hard way: Make sure that your carry-on has enough clothes in it so that, if the airline, say, loses your bag in Europe for two weeks and doesn't return it to you until after you return to Texas, all because of a bomb scare in Charles De Gaulle airport, then you are prepared.  I'm talking undies. I'm talking a pair of shoes (in this case, packed a pair of Havaianas, a pair of Toms, and a pair of black flats). Maybe wanna throw a bra or bathing suit in there. Unless you're a guy- then the bra part is kinda creepy. You can always buy your toiletries, and they're a pain in the a$$ to deal with in the airport security line, so just put those in your checked luggage unless you have contacts or something. *gives praise to the Lor' for 20/20 vision* . Put your medicine in your carry-on. Your keys. Your phone, jewelry, important makeup.  Just. Do. It...you'll thank me later.

T minus one full day and counting. AHHHH!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A comment on the weather.

Now, in Texas today it's probably about 50*. Not bad. However, via Facebook, I am treated to a neverending commentary on the status of the snow in the Tri-State area. What's falling, what's on the ground, what it's doing to the buses and other transit, etc. I get it. I don't know why this is a surprise. You live in New York City. It is a climate where you expect snow every winter. GET. OVER. IT.

That being said, in Mendoza today, it's currently 90*F and sunny. Going from winter to summer is going to be a very welcome change.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A new world a week away

So, here we are. This is my first post, and I'll confess that I'm not a wordsmith, I'm not great at setting a routine, and who knows if this will go on longer than a week? But as for right now, I'm going to write.

I recently accepted a position in Mendoza, Argentina to gain experience for my resume, and to hopefully get a good legal job when I get back to the States in August.

I'm doing this blog to record a chapter in my life which is sure to be a learning experience. I feel like it will be somewhat amusing, given the fact that I am NOT good at Spanish, I am going to a whole new continent I've never been to before, and I love food and wine. I also am starting my first "real" law job. Real clients, real money at stake, and real responsibility. I'm scared as hell.

I'm also leaving my boyfriend of just under a year (our anniversary is on February 20, 20 days after I leave the country) to go do this. He says he will come visit me in August. He's not a great planner, so I will not hold my breath on that. Funnily enough, when I first told my friends of this new opportunity, their first question was "What is L going to do?!?" Well, there's Skype. There's that newfangled contraption called a telephone I've heard so much about. And then there's the fact that I'm only going to be away for six months. That's 1/56 of my life. Not a big deal. At least, not yet. I'll probably revisit this soon. Most likely on Valentine's Day.

To prepare for my baptism by fire in Mendoza, I'm doing the Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish Levels 1 and 2 prior to my departure. So far, I think they are working, on a very subconscious level.

I took Spanish in high school for a year of accelerated level, and French from 7th grade to senior year, ending on AP level. I took Italian in college. What does this mean? It means that I have 3 words that are not English for certain items, and I hope to God I can remember which is which before it comes blurting out of my mouth in public.

Then there's the last part of me LOVING wine and food. I mean, I f*cking LOVE food. I'm pretty fat, actually. Not like "Damn, that's a huuuuge bitch!", but, I can buy the smaller sizes at Lane Bryant. I'm hoping to walk more and eat less in Mendoza... we'll see if I actually lose weight. I've been told that I will, but tons of wine and meat doesn't make for a weight loss regimen, does it?

So, with one week left before the big "move", I am running around like a madwoman trying to collect everything I need for my trip. I have lived abroad before (in London), so I know the basic drill. I got some relatively inexpensive travel adapters from The Container Store, which I'll post about how I like them when I get to actually use them. I'm bringing spice rubs for the yummy steaks (from The Salt Lick, no doubt). Got my ingredients for Texas queso ready to go. Did I mention that I'm a fat kid?

The goal of this blog is to record funny interactions with locals, the difficulties that you encounter when you have a language barrier, sharing things I learn about Argentine wine, culture and food, and hopefully some advice for people traveling to Mendoza or other places in Argentina, who would like a real insight to what it's like there. Happy reading, and buena suerte to me.