Spring Break In Buenos Aires

Spring Break In Buenos Aires

My first experience outside of the United States

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It was 4:00 AM on Saturday, March 9th. I, along with a group of my fellow classmates gathered outside the USC Credit Union awaiting our shuttle buses to LAX. I couldn't fully grasp that I was actually going to be in another country in the near future; it felt surreal. Granted, though, I was intentionally trying to suppress my excitement due to the fact that we had a 3 hour flight to Dallas, a 6 hour layover there, then an 11 hour flight to Buenos Aires. Brutal. I wish I could say that the commute flew by, but I really can't considering I was starting to go a little stir-crazy in the DFW airport, and to top it off, could not sleep on the 11 hour flight to Buenos Aires. Once we arrived, however, no time was wasted or spent idly.

The first day was dedicated to touring the city of Buenos Aires, making several stops in its different neighborhoods. It was interesting, because even though I was on a completely different continent, I didn't feel much different due to how developed the city of Buenos Aires is. It felt like another city, one that spoke Spanish as its primary language, never sleeps, and serves rich, heavy cuisine. Aside from those factors, it actually didn't feel too different from downtown Los Angeles or New York-- except for when we entered the neighborhood of La Boca. La Boca is most famous for its soccer team, but also its distinct architecture, represented by older, colorful buildings. It was here where I truly felt the spirit of Argentina, as the streets were filled with the bustle of the people, tango dancers, vendors, and unique architecture unlike anything I've ever seen.

From then on, excluding a day at a ranch (of which I got extremely sick), our days were filled with lengthy company visits. We had to be at the hotel lobby, ready to leave by 8:15 each morning, and would be out until about 5:30 or later each afternoon. We were all jet-lagged and tired, but it's Buenos Aires! You want to have fun, especially in one of Latin America's most prized nightlife cities. So, despite being tired, everyone hauled themselves to a nightclub, casino, or something else. Most clubs did not even open until midnight or 1:00 AM, so you were forced to be up late by default. My friends and I didn't return to the hotel until about 4:30 AM each night due to this, and had to be up bright and early at 7:00 in business attire to be in the lobby by 8:15. You would think you wouldn't be able to do that for a whole week, but as my friends and I said "When in Buenos Aires..." The locals truly do embrace the nightlife, in fact, dinner isn't eaten until around 8:00 or 9:00 up until 11:00. After that, they get ready for a night out on the town. You will find that there is still a decent amount of people up and about on the streets all the way until 5:00 AM. I can honestly say they have the U.S. beat-- way beat.

If I did have any time during the day, I would go to the local street markets to find some affordable, choice items. Besides La Boca, this was also an experience unlike anything I had experienced prior, especially in the United States. Vendors sold handmade jewelry, ceramics, clothing, antiques, shoes-- anything you can think of really. The best part was that they were all priced reasonably-- unlike the United States' farmer's markets. It's cute that they try, but I'm not paying $10 for a singular "handmade," or "artisanal," friendship bracelet made out of 3 strings, you know what I mean? Bartering for a lower price is also common, but so was up charging, especially if you did not speak Spanish and looked like a tourist. Luckily, I didn't have to experience much of this on my own as I do speak Spanish and look Latina, but I did notice it with others around me who did not speak Spanish, and especially with those who looked obviously Caucasian.

Interestingly enough though, Argentina is extremely Euro-centric in comparison to other countries in Latin America, assimilating with Italian, French, and Spanish cultures. You can notice this in the architecture, lifestyle, and especially the cuisine. Being Central American, I'm used to rice, beans, and plantains being part of a meal, so the Argentine diet was a shock to say the least. If you're expecting to eat any type of vegetable other than a potato, you can forget about it. Meals are rich and heavy, consisting of lots of meat (particularly steak), dairy, and carbs like bread and pasta. This is paired with a matching wine, and some type of Italian dessert or anything with dulce de leche. It's a lot. Dancing the night away and walking everywhere was a must to simply not feel so heavy all the time.

All in all though, my trip to Buenos Aires was the highlight of my semester. The people I befriended really made my trip, and I am so grateful to have been able to share that experience with them. Aside from that, this trip was special to me because it was my first time outside of the United States, and although it would have been cool to have gone to some tropical paradise, I believe that this was a great experience to introduce me to international travel. After seeing Buenos Aires, it has motivated me to want to travel throughout all of Latin America, and I mean other places too, but Latin America first since my roots lie there and I already speak Spanish. I felt an odd sense of home just being in a Latin American country, and want to explore that amongst its other countries. It was hard leaving all of it behind once we got onto the plane back to the states. Until next time, Argentina. Ciao!

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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5 Vital And Helpful Tips I Live By When Packing For A Trip

Try and pack smarter, not harder.

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If you are anything like me, you tend to overpack thinking you are being a great packer and being ready for any scenario that life may throw at you. Well, that is, unfortunately untrue, and I have learned that you are only doing more harm than good. Over the years, I have come up with five tips I always use when traveling and have been proven to work. You've heard of the five golden rules of life, and, well, these are the five golden rules/tips of packing.


1. Start with a packing list.

This is the best tip I could give to anyone else who is getting ready to travel. Making a list is very useful, especially when stressed about your travel. You will not forget anything because you have it all written down. A packing list is a great way to keep organized when packing.

2. Use space bags.

Now, this is a tip my dad lives by. Space bags are great when you are packing because it protects your clothes and makes room to put a lot in your suitcase. The crazy story of a time when my dad was traveling, and his friend's bag was soaked with the shampoo he brought on the plane. All his clothes and everything inside the suitcase was ruined. So always use space bags because you never know what could happen on the flight. You can buy a space bag here.

3. Pack the essentials first.

I will be honest and say that I do over-pack a lot. I use the line "just in case" as an excuse to pack my entire house. But I have learned that packing for "just in case" is a waste of time. When you first sit down to pack, lay out all your essentials. For example, clothes that you will wear during the trip. You will be surprised to see how effective it is.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

4. ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on.

This tip is one that I have been very grateful that I used. A while ago during my trip to Canada, my check-in bag was missing and delayed for multiple hours. Luckily I had an extra outfit to keep me fresh and not feel gross. It is always crucial to this in your carry on In case of emergencies such as your bag getting lost.

5. Put identification on your suitcase.

Everyone in the airport somehow tends to have the same black or red suitcase that you have, which only means confusing when you're trying to find your check-in bag. To quickly identify your suitcase, put a sticker, or tie a ribbon on the handle. You can easily pick up your suitcase and leave. This will prevent any sneaky people trying to steal or claim that your suitcase is theirs.

P.S.: Use a bright color ribbon or a different sticker. Also, tie the ribbon properly to make sure it's secured.


I live by these five packing tips every time I travel so I hope you can use them the next time you take a trip!

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