Anna Tupy, almost a Buenos Aires native, is doing an internship here with the NGO RACI (Red Argentine por Cooperacion Internacional). She is almost done with her time here and in this interview reflects on her three months in BA.
Why are you doing an internship?
Why does anyone do an internship? To gain experience in the field that I’m interested in. I also plan to go to grad school in the fall and this internship, in an NGO, is in the field of work I plan to study.
Why did you choose Buenos Aires?
I guess its reputation preceded it, I had heard that the culture was rich and that the people were beautiful. I had to check it out for myself.
Is it hard to get to know the city?
At this point, I can only say no because I have been here for so long I know it really well. The bus system makes navigating the city so easy and through it everything is so accessible. Also by working downtown and working out in the Palermo parks, I automatically cross a lot of distance and was forced to get to know the transportation route.
Has your Spanish improved from being here?
Yes. That came mostly from working in a Spanish-speaking environment. I also had the opportunity to meet and work with an Argentine artist who is a family friend and through her I have been working on my translation skills, which has taught me a lot of new vocabulary. I hope to soon be able to claim fluency.
What’s the most striking thing about Argentine people?
Their directness, both in conversation and actions.
What’s the nightlife scene like?
Long! That’s the only word I can think of to describe it. It lasts forever; the Argentines can party until the sun is long up the next day.
What’s your best moment in the Roadhouse?
When people leave, we always try to have a going away shebang for them. When our good friend Allison left a few weeks ago, we decided it was time to introduce the non-Americans to some US culture and showed them the time-honored game of beer pong. It was so much fun to bring people together that way.
How are the friendships you’ve made?
They are quick. Because of the intense immersion in everyone’s lives we all have from living together in such close quarters and because everybody is down here for such a short amount of time, the friendships are based around wanting to see and experience as much of BA as possible. That really makes you get close to a person quickly.
What was the biggest culture shock coming here?
For me, it was the lack of traffic laws or the different rules of the road here. There is such an obviously lack of stop signs and stoplights! It really teaches you to be aware of your surroundings when crossing streets.