Cultural Diffusion Ch. 01byCoCoNiy101©
This story took a lot longer than I thought it would to revise and polish up lol. Beware, the beginning is verrrrry slow. Just hold out and I'm sure by the time you begin to get truly bored; it'll pick up. But when reading keep in mind I tried to incorporate the Spanish by italicizing lines that I would expect to be said in complete Spanish so I didn't have to write it out and confused all you non bi- lingual people out there. Let me know how it works out for you *Shrug*. Plus all of the big main landmarks are real so if you ever go, make sure you visit them! Lol.
Kat sat on her plane to the famous and beautiful Argentina in South America. The flight was almost over and she felt like a new woman as she entered the invisible gates of foreign land. She peered outside the small thick window saw vibrant colored homes and could already feel the spirit radiating off of the ground. The weather was as clear as day and the sun kept a beating ray of heat consistent. She fidgeted in her seat a little as she finally came to the realization that she'd be living here for 3 months completely rent free. She was thankful for the opportunity her career gave her to travel and teach young elementary grade kids the hard diction of English and other subjects too. Being skilled in over 5 different languages, she thought it'd be difficult to find a decent paying job but she was dead wrong. Not only was this job beneficial to her bank account, it fueled her curiosity of the world.
The plane descended just the slightest amount and her seat neighbor woke up from his light dozing immediately. Kat noticed he was somewhat afraid of being up in the air and she was glad it was almost over; for his sake. He looked to be in his upper 40's and was extremely petit, which only made him more adorable in her eyes.
"The plane will be landing in approximately 5 minutes, please buckle your seatbelts." The pilot announced from the ceiling. Kat reached her fingers for her seatbelt under her and buckled it delicately as the seatbelt sign and bell rang above her. Her partner was having a little bit of trouble finding the other end of his and as the seconds passed on, he seemed to get more angsty. Kat saw a small piece hanging from behind him and she decided she'd help him out.
"Excuse me." She said. She didn't want to seem rude by reaching out so closely without any explanation. She pulled the buckle end out to his view and he smiled appreciatively. Kat returned it and he suddenly calmed down a little.
"Thank you." He said quietly; embarrassed at his behavior. He didn't have anything to be embarrassed about though; people were more afraid of planes than anything else on this Earth.
"No problem." She said back to him. She gathered her carry on from underneath her and made sure it was ready for a quick grab and go scenario when the plane finally touched the ground. As she reached for the handle a piece of her long breast length hair fell into her eyes. She was having a hard time dealing with it so straight, but she figured her ponytail routine wouldn't work for such an exotic vacation so she decided to visit her local hair parlor in her hometown New York. She wondered how the people would take to her odd accent, but realized every accent other than their own would be strange to them. She also doubted she'd ever speak English here; doing so would only make her that much more of a tourist.
The plane did a big bump and everyone groaned in surprise. Kat sat back and enjoyed the classic feel of a plane descending at such a sharp angle. It was one of the best things about being on a plane in her opinion. As it thudded on the ground and her angle of vision leveled out to the point where she wasn't seeing the front of the plane where first class people sat, she took a big breath. The plane ran down the runner for a few minutes before it came to a subtle stop and everyone began rising from the dead and out of their seats. The cute little man beside her was up and grabbing his bag off the shelf within an instant and she couldn't help but pick up the rushing spirit of everyone else. She grabbed her bag and waited to be let off the plane. Once she was out she allowed the busy people to speed by her as she casually strolled down to the baggage claim. But she couldn't help but visit the women's room on the way for a quick moment to freshen herself up. The 13 hour flight couldn't have done anything good for her looks. She stared at her deep mahogany colored skin and used a napkin dipped slightly in some water to gently wipe it down. Then she ran her fingers through her jet black with a light tint of blue hair parted down the side. Her choice of clothes had been something comfortable yet also something she wouldn't mind walking around in. The tan, lightweight linen shorts let her breathe and the grey v-neck was simple. She had brought many clothes to teach in that were somewhat dressy but all the others were as casually cute as she could be. She smiled at herself in the mirror; not able to hold back her excitement with herself and then grabbed her bags to continue her journey back to baggage claim. The terminal was so packed full of people speaking fluent Spanish.
Her bag was one of the very few left and she was glad she didn't have to wait or search. She struggled with getting it off of the high revolver but succeeded eventually. Then she followed the terminal down to the exit where she saw many taxi's awaiting their next customer. She picked up her pace now; finally having some purpose and strolled to the exit.
The air outside was something outstanding and she could've sworn she was in a different world. It held a light scent of sea water and pure, clean and blissful oxygen. She took a minute to enjoy this and the perfect weather before getting the attention of a driver. The woman was leaning against her red taxi but rose up when she noticed Kat approaching her.
"Hola senorita." Kat spoke in a perfect Spanish accent that seemed to surprise the woman. Her eyebrow was somewhat raised and her wavy hair swayed as the wind blew gently.
"Hola, hable español?" She asked.
"Yes I do." Kat said proudly, while putting her luggage into the trunk of the car that the driver had opened for her. She moved to the back seat door and carefully sat inside.
"So where are we going sweetheart?" She asked politely in spanish.
"Um, Empire Hotel." Kat replied, gazing at the scenery outside her window. She wondered how the busy people failed to notice the wonder of the city. But then she remembered they had practically seen it every day, maybe even everyday of their lives and simply became immune. The houses were town styled and painted colorfully, none of them seeming modern in anyway. Everyone was focused on their destinations or having fun on the streets, enjoying conversation, music or delicious looking food. Kat could barely wait to get to the hotel just to come back out again and explore her new surroundings. Although she had been on a plane for well past a sleep night, she wasn't tired at all. The sun was out and that meant she needed to be too. The fast paced music played over the radio and it fit perfectly with what she was seeing. The rapid beat and fun rhythm was a definition of this town and she was suddenly very content with where her life would be heading.
Once she reached the hall where her hotel room was located she used the key to open the big door. Inside was a small bed, kitchen and TV but it was perfect for her. The walls were bright green and the bed comforter was a matching shade. The kitchen was basic but looked pretty up to date and the bathroom was clean, which was all she was focused on. As she walked to the bed she noticed a window she couldn't see from the entrance way. It was floor to ceiling length and showed a great view of the city. The curtains on either side were black and thick but she knew they'd never be used. The scene her eyes were taking in was something unreal and seemed like a moving photo in a travel book. Soon after, she began to place her clothes in their permanent spot for the next few months inside the armoire then decided she wanted to completely freshen up before she endeavored out to see the sights of the city. The water was hot and the steam relaxed her neck which had gotten a little stiff from leaning on the window of the plane when she took brief naps. Once she was out she went into the kitchen to see it was empty of food except for a coffee machine and packages of ground beans. Kat opened the package and placed it in its proper place to begin the coffee. As it buzzed quietly she went to find an outfit to wear that would suit the evening tour she was going to give herself.
She settled on a pair of fitted dark jeans and a black and grey v-neck. Of course she had to wear her therapeutic sandals that she had purchased specifically for the Argentinean cobble stone sidewalks she may have to endure that cost a pretty penny. But it was a good investment and she agreed to spoil herself just this once, completely forgetting her sparing mentality. She brushed out her hair and it spilled over her shoulders but she pushed it back delicately. After this was done, she noticed her ears were so naked and it didn't seem right not to wear any earrings. She rummaged through her bag for her plain gold dots and put them on carefully, being sure not to drop them. She figured she needed to buy a few back up pair because it would only be a matter of time before those disappeared.
Her coffee beeped completion and she strolled to it slowly. She poured herself some in a Styrofoam cup and added the perfect amount of creamer and sugar. She sat on the edge of her bed and enjoyed the view of cars passing by, people talking and the view of them too. Her sips were slow and she was already getting pleasure from her stay. She'd get even more that Monday after the weekend, when she taught at the school a few blocks away. She loved working with kids and knew it would be something she'd love to do for the rest of her life. Plus she took joy in decoding languages and using them regularly. So why not do both at the same time and hit the double whammy of fulfillment?
Kat's coffee was nearing its last drop and she figured it was time to get going. She threw away her cup and packed her brown crossover. She filled it with her I.D, international phone, compact brush, peso card and key to the hotel room. She took the elevator down 5 levels to the ground floor and strolled out onto the streets.
Her amble was slow and controlled as she took some moments to admire shops and people. The sun had lost some of its power and it got a little cooler, but it still had to be in the upper 70's. The shops were lighting up the streets and it was just as lively as it had been this late afternoon when she first arrived. She came across a small store that sold gorgeous jewelry and she couldn't help but wander inside. The store played slow, gentle Spanish music that was just as intriguing as the upbeat ones. She figured nothing in the store was extremely expensive because it all sat out on racks instead of in glass cases. But Kat was grateful that she could see all the merchandise up close.
She scanned over some simple studs that displayed a 'K' for each ear. Usually she didn't go for jewelry that would be classified as childish and immature but these didn't give off that vibe. The intricate vines and flowers carved inside the gold gave them a sophisticate feel and she couldn't help but pick them up with intentions to purchase them. She walked up to the register where a young girl stood. She had to be in her early teens but her features could convince you otherwise. Her hair was long and straight with perfect facial accents. She rang up Kat's purchases and announced her charge in fluent Spanish. Kat got out exact change and thanked her.
Kat continued to walk down the strip of shops and noted the big grocery store. It was filled with aisles and she knew she would need to visit it sometime. She was so grateful her hotel was so close to civilization. She would never have to wander too far if it wasn't for her own enjoyment. As she neared the ending of a block, she couldn't help but make a note of the change in atmosphere. There were strings of lights hanging in the sky, draped from nearby poles that illuminated the streets. Along with that was the darkness from the lack of shops around, plus the pulsating sound of a guitar filled the air. She looked down the street to the right to see a few people crowded in that area, which she couldn't help but guess was where the sounds were coming from. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, she sauntered over towards the crowd. The soprano lullaby amplified and Kat was mesmerized by the prettiness. She stood behind a small old woman who she silently thanked for being the perfect size. The man playing the wooden guitar was in his upper 50's and let his silver hair curtain his face from the audience as he focused on his form of art. His dress shoe tapped lightly on the ground to his own personal beat and Kat was feeling the music thump through her core. She let her eyes drift closed as the light wind blew her hair in its proper place behind her shoulder. Then she found herself subconsciously swaying to the harmony.
"Absolutamente hermosa." An unknown man whispered in her ear. The light wisp on her skin frightened Kat as she quickly turned around to face her anonymous admirer. His pitch black hair was tamed in perfect ringlets stopping at his shoulder, and had a light gloss to it as it stood on a head scraping at least 6'2. His jaw bone was strong and masculine, reminding her of a jagged 'U' shape. The eyebrows on this man were thick and perfectly arched as his eyelashes reached for infinity while framing almond colored irises. His skin was yellow with a light tint of bronze that she had seen a lot in Argentina so far, but his rosy cheeks were still visible. Kat felt shy under his close watch and somewhat uncomfortable at their foreignness with one another contradicting their body closeness.
"Absolutely beautiful?" He asked with a light smile, showing his perfect pearly whites. He switched to English figuring it had something to do with her inability to show reaction, but it didn't. It was his good looks.
"Oh, I understood you, but uh, gracias." She said, trying to squeeze through him and someone else standing beside him, but they were much too focused on the entertainment to notice her.
"I'm Alejandro." He said, trying to offer her his dense hand. Once he had followed her out of the crowd she turned to face him and held out her own with a smile filled with ache. His arm flexed as they shook hands and she could see the defined muscles in his forearm and bicep peaking from under the skin.
"Kat." She said quietly.
"Nice to meet you señorita." He said. "You like Argentina so far?"
"Yes, it's great." Kat said, staring down the street at a shop selling genuine Hispanic foods. It was filled with people and wished to be waiting in line to order. Alejandro followed her big dark brown eyes and raised an eyebrow with a half smile while he turned his attention back towards her. Felt he was being a little too familiar with her so soon. She barely knew him and he was acting as if they had been friends for weeks. But then she considered that it came too naturally to be forced, and being friendly was probably a piece of his character.
"Hambre?" He asked her. "Would you mind if I joined you?" He asked laughing and Kat could just barely make out his words. His strong accent was already difficult to decipher but the muscular, manly laugh made things even more arduous. Kat thought it over for a moment. He was pretty cute, and knowing someone couldn't hurt. But she felt pleasure in solitude and she may have just wanted it then.
"Por favor?" He asked with a bottom lip protruding lightly. He sensed her apprehension and knew that if he could make her laugh or smile, they'd be eating together. Kat chuckled slightly at his childish behavior and nodded in compliance. They walked side by side towards the restaurant called "Mariana's Cocina" or Mariana's Kitchen in translation. Once inside they found a booth and sat across from each other. The idea was very Hispanically home styled and comfortable. When they first entered there were people lined up at the counter trying to order to go but Alejandro led her to the more restaurant themed area. Peaceful Spanish music played in the background as an overhanging light lit up the table. Alejandro held a goofy closed lip smile as he gawked into Kat. Kat stared up from her menu to give him a weird look. He laughed in response.
"I didn't think you would agree to let me come." He said lazily leaning back in his seat.
"Why not?" She asked, not looking up from the menu. There was a Spanish side and an English one as well. Kat decided to read both, just to test her Spanish skills. There were so many dishes she'd love to try, and she knew she'd be returning here again during her 3 month stay.
"You didn't look like you wanted me to."
"Well, we're kind of strangers. But, I wouldn't mind having someone to eat with." She said, still reading intently.
"Mhm. What are you ordering?" Alejandro asked, tapping his thick finger pads on the wooden table. Kat was coming to the decision that she'd probably be eating a crawfish and shrimp quesadilla. But she still wasn't sure.
"I'm not too sure, what do you think I should get?" She asked, closing her menu completely to give him her full attention. He smiled at the sudden focus on himself and began speaking with the body language of a famous, well known philosopher.
"Wonderful that you ask. I'll suggest the... what's the word for uh, ennegrecido?" He asked thoughtfully. Kat was happy to assist him.
"Blackened." She said quietly.
"Ah, the blackened salmon with jambalaya or the crawfish quesadilla."
"I was actually considering the quesadilla. Crazy that you mentioned that." Kat said, pondering the coincidence levels of that moment. He seemed amused from across the table.
"So it seems you have to get the quesadillas." He said shrugging.
"Hola. What can I get you?" A woman asked, approaching them from the back of the restaurant.
"Polo con arroz y craw fish quesadilla." Alejandro said to the woman. Kat didn't mind that he ordered for her, considering he did know what she wanted.
"Beber?" The woman asked while still scribbling on her pad.
"Uh, Limonada." Kat said quietly.
"Dos por favor." Alejandro told her, and she picked up their menu's and turned around without saying a word.
"When did you get in Argentina?" He asked.
"A few hours before I met you." Kat said, laughing at how much she had already gone through in her short amount of time on this new soil. Alejandro joined in, raising an eyebrow.
"So how long is your visit?" He asked.
"3 months." Kat said.
"Oh wow, a long vacation." He said with an eyebrow raised.
"I'm teaching so it isn't all a vacation."
"Okay, so school doesn't start until when?" He asked. Kat didn't need to be in his mind to know he was thinking up some kind of plan in his head. She replied cautiously.
"So I'll be showing you around next weekend." He said casually as their drinks arrived to the table. The waitress sat them down and he thanked her silently. He didn't even bother to ask her politely but assumed she'd be willing to do it.
"Are you offering?" She asked, bringing her drink up to her lips. The lemonade was perfect; not too sweet but just the right amount of tartness.
"Si." He said, watching Kat intently.
"Well I'm accepting. I'm staying at the hotel up the street." She said pointing in the direction it would be if they weren't inside. He nodded, already knowing what she was talking about.