It was a rough morning. I was up until 5:30 in the morning finishing the final paper for the Soccer, Culture, and Politics in Latin America class that had been my initial impetus for coming to Argentina. After several kettles worth of mate and a lot of keystrokes, I finally managed to complete the assignment.
I laid down to try to get some sleep before my conversation final, but instead of blissful slumber all I managed to get was one hour of in-and-out drowsiness before somebody decided to start laying on the buzzer to the apartment. I hoped the first burst was just a dream and turned over. The second one rang louder and longer as I returned to full consciousness. The third involved 30 seconds or so of continuous ringing.
This went on for a (not-so-)good ten minutes or so, alternating short and long bursts of ringing making it impossible to reach any form of sleep — much less REM patterns. I dozed on and off for the next hour or so after whoever was downstairs finally gave up their game, but it was a rough day the rest of the way that involved plenty of caffeine.
I gave up on getting any actual rest and fired the computer back up, reading through the paper one last time before sending it off to Carlos. I have a feeling he knew exactly what he was in for when he wrote the assignment, considering I asked him during the last lecture on the Thursday prior whether there was any maximum length to go with the five-page minimum.
He smiled and said no, almost a challenge to the students, and what emerged from my late-night typing was 16 pages about the concurrent growth of soccer in Brazil and Argentina, from the sport’s introduction by the British in the late 1800s to the current rivalry between the two South American soccer powerhouses that manifested itself yet again this year at the World Cup.
Feel free to read it for yourself… and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think, whether in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.
READ The Contempt of Familiarity: The Concurrent Metamorphoses of Soccer in Brazil and Argentina (PDF)
The day began with coffee and ended with a celebration at the Monumento Nacional de la Bandera after Argentina’s penalty-shootout win over the Netherlands in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup. In between, I finished homework and played two hours of pick-up soccer in the park. What a blessed day… Continue reading Day 21: An Independence Day Victory
I woke up early after getting a solid night of sleep for a change, ready to knock out my first assignment for my Conversation 3 class. The assignment, modeled after a Lonely Planet guide about Rosario that we had been required to read earlier in the week for class, involved writing a mini-guide about our hometown. Sunlight flowed through the windows as I started writing about Jackson Lake Lodge in the living room. Continue reading Day 11: Wandering the River
We flagged a taxi outside the apartment and made our way toward Juan de la Cosa, a bar owned by a friend of the two ladies with whom I was out on the town. They joked in the backseat as I sat in the front of the cab, weaving our way in directions I didn’t quite yet understand before we were deposited at the doorstep. Continue reading Day 10: From Boliche to Borracho
There is something about starting new classes that always fills me with a little bit of trepidation. The same thing happens when I start a new job. At its heart is the fear of the unknown… no matter how many classes I have attended, or kitchens I have worked in over the years, a new beginning is always nerve-wracking in a way that is at once irrational and completely understandable. Continue reading Day 7: The Term Begins
I crawled out of bed just before my alarm was due to go off at 7 am and wandered to the bathroom hoping to take a shower. I flicked the light switch — nothing turned on. I tried the light in the entry. Nothing. I opened the door to the corridor outside the room, and there was plenty of lights out there. Luck be damned, apparently our room had blown a breaker at some point during our collective repose. Continue reading Day 6: Going “Home” from the Hotel
Sweaty and tired after a restless night passed at a hotel that cost far too much for the respite it offered, I awakened early and showered on my first morning in Rosario. The day had finally arrived… I was about to commence my five-week program studying Spanish and soccer in an unfamiliar city. Continue reading Day 5: Congregating with the Crew