It is to be expected, that whenever you travel to a new country certain lifestyle adjustments must be made. Luckily for me, the lifestyle in Argentine tends to be on the relaxed side and so far I have not had much difficulty at all slipping right in with all the mate-loving Cordobeses. That is, apart from the crazy hours these people keep. The very first night I got here, my bus pulled into the terminal at about 9:30pm, I fully expected to dump my bags on the floor of my new room and go to bed. However, little did I know that I had just enough time to get myself situated before it was dinner time. Well, I thought it was really sweet that everyone from Peace Child would wait for me and come over to the apartment (that I was now sharing with another Peace Child member, Eze), and get to know me over a couple of empanadas. But when dinner time came around the next night at 10:00pm once more, I started to get a bit suspicious.
Turns out that eating at a time that Norte Americanos would call late, is actually the norm. Hence began my change of schedule. Late dinner, late to bed, and thanks to my lack of a job, late to wake up. Its really not so bad at all. The thing that kills me is the weekends.... When bars are closing in Texas, the discos are just opening. When the Saturday morning joggers are pacing their way around the Town Lake jogging trail, the Argentine party-goers are falling into bed and attempting to block out the early morning rays filtering in through the window.
My first weekend to go out here, I dove in head first. The night started out at a friend's house (11:30pm) with dinner and drinks (12:30am) followed by singing and dancing to the acoustic guitar (3:00am), where I showed off my oh-so-very un-latino dance moves and lack of rhythm. After all that, you might think the night is over, but no my friend, it is at last time to go out! Next we swivel our hips over to a disco, and enjoy the packed camaraderie of all the sweaty bodies bumping into each other under the DJ's flashing blue lights.
And at last, after having mentioned my being a bit sleepy at least a dozen times, we make our way home to that sweet sweet place where I can happily close my eyes (about 6:30 or 7:00am now) and not move until night falls again. I think it's going to take me becoming nocturnal if I intend to keep up, sounds like quite a sacrifice to me.
So dear friends, if I begin to look pale and wince at the sunlight, it's not because I am now a vampire, but rather another creature of the night: an Argentinean.