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Stressed Out

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 1 April 2008 | Views [727]

I’ve had a couple of minor freak out moments.  Number one: I almost got kidnapped by a taxi driver.  I was coming home from my class about AIDS at 9 pm.  The class is in a pretty rough area of the city and I had to walk about three blocks to the bus stop.  I got mixed up and had to turn around, then a creepy person noticed and wanted to give me directions, which I ignored but it freaked me out enough to not want to walk alone to the bus stop.  I’m walking along when a cab driver rolls up and asks me where I need to go, I tell him three blocks and he tells me he’s going my direction and that he’ll take me without charging.  I knew it was a bad idea, but I got in because I was also freaked out about walking alone.  The cab driver immediately starts being creepy he tells me I’m pretty and invites me to get a drink, when I turn him down he offers his number and asks for mine, and keeps trying to convince me to let him take me all the way to my apartment for free (which should be a 30 peso cab ride, which is expensive) I keep insisting that I don’t want his number and that I need to get out and take the bus, but he doesn’t want to stop until he sees the bus stop.  Finally we go around a corner and I see my bus stopped at a light, he pulls up next to it and I run out, cut across traffic, and knock on the bus door so the driver lets me in even though he’s not at stop.  I find a place to stand and start feeling so frustrated that I can’t just blend in and be treated like everyone else in the city which is definitely what I miss most about being in the states.  I let myself cry a little, it had been a stressful day to begin with and I definitely did not need to be freaked out to top it off.

Freak out moment number two: today in class, I realized that I am really behind on reading in plant pathology and getting the photocopies is so frustrating because I make the order on Tuesday, the only day I have class and cant pick it up until the next week because I only make the journey to Pilar once a week for class. I have two of the five packets that I need to read by next week and I don’t know how I will get to Pilar to pick up the other three.  It’s stressful enough that I don’t know a lot of the vocabulary and I cannot find a dictionary online or in print that has the translations.  I was so stressed at the photocopier I practically yelled at the photocopy girl because she was having trouble understanding me and after I drastically raised my voice level and unnecessarily repeated myself three times I realized that she got it and thought I was a little nuts. My other classes also have a lot of reading, but it’s a lot more manageable and it seems like a lot less information.  I still have yet to start one of my classes, History of America I, which I will begin on Thursday.  If that class is very challenging I might have another meltdown.

At least my class about AIDS is pretty easy, it’s amazing how little the students know about AIDS and they are about to graduate from a 5 year program in social work.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in high school health class all over again except with a more philosophical approach.

I think last weekend was the last stress free one.  I went to an American Bar where there was tons of Wisconsin students watching the basketball game.  I think the bar was 100% Americans, it was a trip.  It was exactly like home.  Then after, we went to a really fun reggae club.  I’m so glad I’ve found places that don’t play techno.   Saturday morning I started my salsa classes, its awesome, I’m one of two students and the guy that teaches it is a really flamboyant Cuban.  I feel like I’ve already learned a lot. Saturday night I went with the Chilenos to a 70’s club, which was also awesome.  It even had the light up multicolored square floor like in the movie “Saturday Night Fever.” The next morning I went to the botanical garden to collect sick leaves for plant pathology.  The place is amazing, there have crazy plants from all over the world and there are tons of people laying around with all the millions of friendly stray cats.  People here are totally cool with petting the cats and picking them up, its crazy.

Tags: stress, taxis

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