I thought I’d start this week out with a little segment I’m calling American In a Foreign Land. Here is my confession: I tried to turn the water on with the soap dispenser yesterday. To my credit, the water dispenser was one of those automated things that only work 1/4 of the time. There was nothing else to turn or grab except for, what turned out to be, the soap dispenser.
Here’s another quirk about my coworking space’s sink: I can get the water to turn on once, but it always shuts off before I’m done soaping up, and I can’t get the thing to come back on again! I dance in front of the sink and make Pentecostal hand gyrations to no avail. Eventually, I just move to the next sink.
Two sinks. It takes two sinks for me to was my hands. Why don’t those automatic sensors ever work after they’re installed?
This week was rough, emotionally, for me and a whole bunch of people. We got a new President, and a lot of people are worried about the future and in shock about the present. It was the first time I had to experience from a distance a significant happening in the US. I can now imagine a little more what it must’ve been like for an overseas American to experience 9/11.
I attend the Women’s March on Buenos Aires on Saturday with a crew from Hackers Paradise. I was incredibly impressed that both of our HP organizers (Dale and Spencer) came. They didn’t attend out of obligation. They actually care. I am so thankful to be a part of an organization (led by three, white men) of people like them.
Somewhere between 100 and 200 people attended the rally on Saturday (we didn’t actually march). We were in front of the US Embassy, and there were about 30 people officers around the perimeter. We didn’t need them, thank goodness.
The thing from the rally that stood out to me the most was how many countries were represented. I met Americans, yes, but also Argentinians and Canadians and a Finnish woman and Australians and people from all over South America. It struck me how many people and countries are worried about what Trump will do to the world. It was simultaneously comforting and sobering.
I so wanted to be with my sisters and brothers in Austin on Saturday—50000 people marched! But this is part of being gone. This is the part where I get to figure out how to still be a part of my country without actually being in my country. One American expat confessed on Saturday that she didn’t vote, and now she completely regrets it. I wonder how many other expats are in her shoes. I don’t want to share her regrets.
I was interviewed for a college newspaper, and the writer gives a nice recap of the rally, so check it out: Citizens of the World March for Equality.
Food this week was top notch. Thank God I’ve moved past the stomach issues of week one! We had our first Wednesday night potluck, and Hillary and Niels came over to cook at my place. The theme for the potluck was Hometown, and Hillary and I both came from Austin, so we made taaaacooooooos!
Plus empanadas and arepas!
I’m starting to feel settled here in my neighborhood. When I leave my house, I know which way to turn when I come out the door. There’s a ton still left to explore, and I’m going to have some big work projects coming up soon. There are more Firsts to come, but I’m very appreciative of the things that are starting to feel familiar.
If there’s anything you want to know about BA, reply in the comments. I’ll feature questions and answers in upcoming Little Spoon Weeklies.