Friday, December 18, 2009

Rooftop Conga Line

Saying "yes" to just about everything that doesn't put your life in danger (and even then, there are exceptions) is an important part of living abroad. So when my flatmate's friend, Sofia, asked if she could have her birthday party on our rooftop patio I was happy to oblige. The only thing was that my flatmate left for Brazil on Tuesday, making me the sole responsible party for our apartment.

I probably wouldn't have agreed if it were the U.S., having had problems with wild and crazy kids causing trouble at past parties, but the partying culture differs a great deal down here. For one, we had a bit of wine and liquor, but no one (save the birthday girl) got really drunk. In spite of their sobriety, everyone was surprisingly open and eager to getting down on the dance floor (which brought out the conga line).

I of course, befriended the DJ, who had brought a guitar and (holy smokes!) a melodica, which only meant a late-night jam session was inevitable. Overall, the level of warmth, friendliness and mutual respect that I got from everyone I talked to that night was really quite amazing. Knowing that I was the host, even the shyest of guests made a pilgrimage to whichever chat circle I was at just to say hello and talk for a bit. However, I think the highlight of the night was getting Argentine props for correctly pronouncing "ferrocarril," which Yanks typically have problems with. I'll leave you with a classic tongue twister that if you master, will demonstrate to even the most skeptical Latino how "UnGringo" you are:

"Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril, rápido ruedan los carros, por los rieles del ferrocarril."

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