Today was a day when I had so many epiphanies in one day that my brain literally felt like it was hurting from all my pensive thoughts! I’m just so glad and thankful that I got to experience all that has happened to me thus far.
Thanks to my friend Belen from UCSD, I got to meet her cousin who lives in Buenos Aires. He helped me tremendously today, as he bought me a delicious lunch, and drove me all the way to a VERY dangerous neighborhood called Villa Lugano, where my Fedex package was unfortunately located. Because my debit card had gotten stolen, I was literally a broke little Asian girl with no money, and have been relying on this other debit card that got lost at the Fedex. Every time I would mentioned “Villa Lugano,” where the Fedex was located at, I would see reactions of fear and horror. I later learned after entering the neighborhood with much fear, that it was essentially one of the slums of Buenos Aires. I had never imagined or even been prepared for what I had seen, as the GPS consistently would repeat in Spanish “You are now entering a dangerous zone, caution.”
It was quite a frightening experience. The area was scattered with drug addicts, homeless people, policeman & police cars everywhere, stray dogs, trash all over the grounds, and endless rows of shacks, which were supposedly homes. Actually entering the Fedex was a completely different story. The whole Fedex was gated, and the only way to enter was by providing proper documentation. It felt like I was trying to get into the president’s White House, as the security was top-notch. As soon as I received my package, I bolted for the car and made sure the doors were locked. I wish I had taken some pictures to depict the frightening city, but I was too scared to even take my camera out of my pocket! :(
But before all this, I did have a wonderful lunch. Here are the pictures :)
My favorito chocotorta!!! :D
Overall, I just had so many epiphanies after today’s stressful journey en route to receive my debit card… and I just felt extremely homesick as well :( I miss all the privileges/things I had taken for granted back home, and it is a sad reality, that only through the absence of something, do you truly appreciate it. I just wanted to end with Kurt Vonnegut’s “Sunscreen” speech as some food for thought:
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ‘98: Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.