I went into last week with some serious dread and as is often the case it wasn’t actually that bad. I may have made everything ten times worse in my head, as I have a tendency to do.
I had got into a the habit of staying at home a lot and I was beginning to feel kind of hermit-y. This past week though I made an effort to get out of the house, see people and do things. So let’s skip to the things that were making me happy last week, its quite the list.
+ Visas and Yoga
I put these together because recently I have returned to a more regular yoga practice and just like every time I go back to yoga I wonder why I ever left it. It’s so good for me and aside from the body benefits (bodily?), with all that heavy breathing, it does wonders for my mind and my anxieties.
Which brings me to the second bit- the visa. I have to go to Migraciones once a year to renew my work visa and every year I get stressed. I seem to go with a million documents and photocopies only to be told I am missing something. I then get stressed because I wait four hours before being told I need to come back again. Migraciones is far from both my work and home so with travel time included we are looking at a 7 hour experience. Delightful.
However this time it was different. I sat in that uncomfortable chair waiting and while babies screamed around me, I closed my eyes and I practiced my yoga breathing. So when the migration agent called me up in order to request a document that wasn’t required and that I didn’t have, I didn’t really care. She told me to sit down again which I did and then not long after a man called my name and handed me my visa extension. I yelled muchas gracias to anyone in the building who would listen and I was out of there, feeling all zen.
+ Noche de las Librerías
Once a year in Buenos Aires they hold Noche de las Librerías (Night of the Bookshops). Frankly when I heard that name I didn’t need to hear more but basically it is one night a year where all the bookshops on Avenida Corrientes- one of the busiest avenues in the city- open until 1am. They also close the avenue off to traffic.
We went after dinner at around 10.30pm and there were a lot of people. It wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be to be honest, the bookshops were rammed with people so we walked down the street without venturing into one bookshop.
It was cool to walk down Corrientes without any cars though, I spend all week in this part of town but I very rarely go there at night. If I go again next year I will go on an empty stomach and stop in one of the many pizzerias.
+ Coffee with friends
On Saturday I met a friend for coffee and we discovered a little place call Paul Gallery. It is a homewares shop, tea shop and cafe (not a gallery) tucked away in the suburb of Palermo. I ate some cake but I ate it so quickly there was no time for photos. The homeware shop has very beautiful things but is very expensive. If I wasn’t peso poor right now I would have been all over it.
+ My Parents
My parents are coming to Argentina this week for the very first time and I cannot wait. I am actually feeling a bit homesick thinking about them, but soon they will be here in my flat seeing my life here in Buenos Aires. The thought of having tea with my mum and getting a hug from my dad makes me giddy with emotion and makes Monday that much bearable.
The other day I was in the lift at work and I bumped into someone that I met around a year ago in a meeting and haven’t seen since. He asked me how I was, we made small talk and then he commented about how my Spanish had got a lot better. Rather than take that as a compliment my mind suddenly raced back to that meeting a year ago where I spoke aloud in Spanish. I thought about how stupid I must have sounded if he was now telling me I was speaking more fluently. I made my goodbyes and bolted out of the lift.
I thought about my reaction of shame as I walked off. Had I not been in that meeting a year ago, or not opened my mouth because I felt silly, I never would have improved.
It is further reinforcement for me that sometimes if I want to get better at something I have to put myself out there even if it means being in an uncomfortable place open to other’s scrutiny. So I decided just to take the compliment and run.