So, I recently moved from Canada to Argentina. Culture shock isn’t something I feel very often, but I was definitely expecting more of it this time. That said, I think this has been a more painless process than expected because I’m cocooned in a bubble inhabited by thesis-writing and an English-speaking partner who came complete with an apartment for me to strew papers around. It might hit in a few months when I have time to go outside more often. That being said, I am definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Around 3 a.m. the other night I woke up to a furious woman screaming, her voice battering through the ceiling above me; there was a man, but his voice was softer, nearly inaudible. I was too asleep and her Spanish too rapid and muffled for me to make out any words, but her meaning came across without difficulty.
Another day, another woman, another kind of scream. The other person still inaudible. Again, no words needed. The idea carried itself through the walls clearly and unambiguously.
This afternoon a baby is crying and the sound echoes through the building. Impossible to tell which floor it’s coming from, but there’s no need to locate it. I can understand it well enough from here.
I am alone in an apartment; the sun is lighting up the cactus on the balcony, a plant very strange to me, but whose needs I understand.
I know a lot of words, but sometimes I prefer not having to use them.