From time to time I get emails from the Hillel House in Buenos Aires about events or parties around holiday time. Hillel is an organization for Jewish youths, and in the United States serves almost like a frat on university campuses. I had nothing else going on last night and got an email that they were throwing a party at the house in Belgrano with all you can drink for $15 pesos. Though I was tired and not really feeling it, I decided it would be good to get out of the apartment and try to meet some new people.
The invitation said the party started at 11:59 pm, and like an idiot I got there at 12:03 am. For some reason I thought the presence of study abroad Americans would have the party start on time, but of course I was the first person there. By the way, never show up to a party alone and be the first person there. You will not look cool at all.
As soon as I walked in I was regretting it. I thought it would be a simple party, but instead they had turned this nice house into a night club, with unnecessarily loud music, smoke machines, and paper on the steps to avoid dirt. It was a cheap dive bar or the basement of a frat house. The guy behind the bar had no idea how to even pour a beer and I had to physically take the beer from him to make sure the foam didn't outweigh the drink.
Little by little people showed up and soon the place was actually packed. But with no friends there already, I stood in the corner drinking and trying to look like I was interested in talking to people. As the minutes passed, however, my interest waned, and suddenly I realized that I was 23 years old at a frat party in South America. The median age was probably 19, and I was the creepy guy no one knew hanging back in the corner alone. I'm a loser.
It's kind of a sad day to accept it, but I guess it has to be the truth at this point. In high school I was shy but college opened me up, and I was sociable, out going, and interested in making more friends and such and such. Sometime between now and when I left for Ecuador though, things changed, and I feel more introverted now. It could be the amount of experiences that I've had have simply jaded me or made me feel unable to relay what I've done to others. And hearing the same stories and trying to make friends continually gets really old.
On Wednesday I invited Vero over for dinner, and we had a deep conversation about changes and life. Last night I could see that I'm really different. The time alone and struggling to find friends has made it harder for me to now want to try. I think I'm destined to walk the streets alone on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, wondering where my group of friends is. But after all, the problem may just lie with me, because plenty of other foreigners make friends, if not with locals then with each other. Yet I'm still bouncing around week by week after six months.
With the bad vibes from the party I hit the bar hard, getting the most out of what I could, and because they didn't have enough change when I showed up, I never actually paid. By 4 am I was sick of it for good and took off, pretty sure that it was one of the worst nights I'd had out in Buenos Aires. There's not much that can be done about it, so I'll sit around my apartment for a while, go for a run, and try to build up. Tomorrow is a new month.