¡Vamos a Argentina y Uruguay!
I’ve been in Buenos Aires for three days now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that of the cities I’ve seen it’s my favorite in South America. I love Buenos Aires because (1) it’s very European; (2) the people are so expressive and dramatic (like me); (3) the accent is entertaining! Example: “Che vos sos un boludo, vení acá para comer po[sh]o!”
Nevertheless, although Buenos Aires is great, it’s difficult to get around here if you don’t speak Spanish. Bottom line: Many Europeans speak fluent English and many Latinos speak sparse English. All these countries are so far away from America and England that it’s not as vital to learn English.
So much more to say, but you will have to wait until I have some more time to update this blog!!!
The Old Town of Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Spanish: Ciudades Patrimonio de la Humanidad).
In the meantime, travel tip:
- If you’re looking for a hostel in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, I’d recommend El Español at Manuel Lobo 377. hostelespaniol.com It’s on the same street that you take to walk to the Old Town.
The rise of Brazil:
When I was in Argentina and Uruguay, I was surprised by the massive quantities of Brazilian tourists. Sure, I realized that Brazil borders these countries and therefore it’s quick and cheap to travel to them, but I just wasn’t expecting so many Brazilians. As a student of both Spanish and Portuguese, for me it was a lot of fun because I took three organized tours, and all three were conducted in portuñol. But my prediction is that it is more important to learn Portuguese than it is to learn Spanish. Here are my reasons:
- Brazil is a potent concentration of power. It is the largest country in Latin America in terms of area and population, so it benefits from economies of scale. Additionally, it is extremely rich in natural resources. The kicker is that the largest existing untapped oil reserve in the world today is in the Amazon, and in my “Latin America in World Affairs” class my professor mentioned that many scholars are saying that Brazil has the potential to become the next Saudi Arabia.
- Brazil is one of the BRIC countries. Together, the BRICs represent 25% of the world’s land and 40% of the world’s population. It is estimated that by 2027 the BRIC economies will overtake the G7 economies.
In short, although I love Spanish, know it quite well (much better than Portuguese, for example), and realize that it is spoken in many, many countries, my vacation to Argentina and Uruguay taught me an unexpected lesson/gave me an unexpected new goal: I will return to USC in the fall determined to not only maintain my Spanish by auditing a Spanish course but also determined to truly advance my Portuguese. Both are vital.