Tag Archives: Argentina

GOOOOOAAAAL!

26 Jun

As a child, my parents would ship me off to Argentina every summer break.  They said it was so that I could connect with my family, heritage, etc., but all I heard was, “Go be awkward around some other people and soak up some Spanish while you’re at it”.

I didn’t mind.  I loved being in Argentina – especially during the World Cup!

Although soccer (or futbol) in the United States has started to rise in popularity, nothing can rival the fanaticism of a Latin American country.  During a game women cry, men rip off their shirts, dogs howl… it’s NUTS.  Every time Argentina scored a goal, you could hear the entire neighborhood scream in unison along with the commentator:

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

 GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

AR-GEN-TINA!!!!!!!

 

Messi_Goal

One summer, my dad’s parents (selfishly) decided that they would come to visit us instead of me going to them. I was devastated.

I wanted to see my cousins and friends!  More importantly, I wanted to see all of my neighborhood crushes.  They had no idea I existed, but I still wanted to see them.  Well… except for the Fish Vendor’s nephew who was painfully aware of my awkwardness following an incident in which I leaned in for a kiss, slipped, and face-planted in a patch of fish guts.  Him, I didn’t want to see.

My grandparent’s trip also happened to fall during a World Cup.  Unbeknownst to my parents, I took it upon myself to give the family the full Argentina World Cup experience.  For me, it was all about the celebration.

I diligently practiced my post-goal runs and obligatory jersey waving/kisses.  Now all that was left was perfecting the commentator’s goal announcement.  For this, I would need a private area.  Unfortunately, with 7 people crammed into a small house there weren’t too many places for me to hide.  But I was small and resourceful.

I found a spot between the fridge and dining hutch in which I could squeeze myself into.  “Yes”, I thought.  “This’ll do nicely”.  I then dropped my voice an octave and began:

“GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

GOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOO-AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL

 GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO –

Oh, hey guys!”

Hearing what sounds like a dying animal, my entire family frantically ran to the kitchen.  Instead, they found me.

In my hidey-hole.

With my pet rabbit on my lap.

Screaming “GOAL”

In a Spanish, man-like voice.

My grandfather frowned, my parents feared for my mental stability and my sisters burst out laughing.   I tried to explain, but they just couldn’t understand what in the world would motivate me to do such a thing.  And why was the rabbit there?

The answer was simple: Awkwardness made me do it!

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There’s Something Fishy Here…

6 Mar

Most women will at some point in their lives feel pressure to get married and settled down.  For most, that pressure may begin between the ages of 25-35.  But when your abuela (grandmother) is from Argentina the pressure starts the day you get your first period.

My parents were pretty successful at holding her off, but by the time I got to High School she wasn’t playing around anymore.  It didn’t help matters that I was a late bloomer. Here I was 15 years old and still no marriage prospects – disgraceful. This confounded my abuela who saw me as the world’s most beautifully perfect specimen.

Unfortunately the rest of the world saw me as an awkward girl with frizzy hair and glasses.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting her in Argentina was making the rounds to all the different shops (vegetable vendor, chicken vendor, etc.) It was the best way to get all of the neighborhood gossip.  I liked going to the fish vendor the best because he had a super hot nephew who was coveted by all the girls in the neighborhood.pescaderia1

My one saving grace was that his uncle adored me because I was from the United States (those other girls couldn’t say that! Boo-ya).

In Argentina, it is customary to greet someone you know with a kiss on the cheek.  My Abuela, who was in cahoots with the fish vendor, had felt that enough time had gone by that I should start greeting the nephew like a proper Argentinean.

On his uncle’s order, the nephew calmly walked around the counter to greet me, but being that I am shy and awkward I just sort of stood there for a minute, blushing and fighting back the panic that usually accompanies any situation involving a guy.

I managed to pull myself together and was about to take a step forward and pucker up when my abuela, frustrated that this was all taking too long, shoved me as hard as she could in the direction of the nephew, thereby flinging my tiny frame toward him.

hug2I would’ve landed a few inches in front of him and we could’ve just laughed it off.

Instead he stepped forward to catch me and my foot landed on his slippery rubber boot, sending me sliding down so that I kissed his chin and then hung in his arms with my face pressed against his rubber apron covered in fish guts.

I honestly don’t know how he was able to fight the urge to take me right then and there!