The Mosquitoes and the humidity have descended upon us simultaneously. Last night at practice they boldly landed on legs, arms two or three at a time, and even bit through shirts as the sun set and the lights came on. As the swine flu scare recedes into the background, old flu prevention signs are covered over by dengue prevention tips.
As I walk around the city today (finally in a dress) sweat rolls down my torso and I'm wishing I had brought my sunscreen with me so I could reapply. The heat should break soon with the promised thunderstorms of tonight that also promises to potentially ruin any Halloween plans. Last year there was no rain on Halloween weekend. It was my first month in BA and we went to the Halloween party at the Road House where Nick works. We went because everybody we knew (all seven of them) where going to attend. I'll never forget my conversation that I had with one x-pat as I waited for my friends to arrive. Even though I had already left my hostel and settled in an apartment he smugly told me I was still a tourist and not the x-pat I had already begun to think of myself as while I slowly navigated this new city with it's ever increasing obstacles that time and time again kept me from arriving on time where ever I went. I felt like I had been rejected from this club I had been so excited to join. The next day was my second weekend at Ultimate where I was happy to find smug free people who accepted me even with my limited experience at both Ultimate and BA.
It is like being in a relationship or having a baby. After the first year you stop counting months. When people ask how long I've been here I casually reply, "Over a year." and not "A year and one month." I hear someone else respond, "twenty days" and I remember those first twenty days and how nervous and excited I was. At this point, I've tried hard to never be snoody and to give advice without sounding smug that I've already done this, or that I already know that. But as this holiday and landmark comes up I can't help but think or say aloud, "Oh, this time last year in BA I was....." It’s almost thrilling to be able to think, "Oh, the Mosquitoes are back earlier than last year." Sometimes I feel like I really know this city now, and then sometimes I get lost in a part I know really well. And when Marina told me of her twenty-minute commute that turned two hour traffic jam due to some Malvinas veterans, I wasn’t angry that our class had started an hour late. I realized that I had my own horror stories to share about being stuck on buses taking debtors through the villas and what a nightmare things can be here when a few people decide to protest something even though it probably won't make a difference. That was pretty cool.