Thursday has been cancelled due to a scheduling error.
Okay, maybe it hasn´t actually been cancelled but it sure feels that way. Through some strange hiccup in space and time, Thursday in Argentina has become a day in flux, a day forgotten. How can an entire country lose a day, you might ask? Well, I am more than happy to enlighten you. For me, and much of Argentina, the second to last day of the working week has, of late, been subject to a litany of feriados (national holidays) and previously unforeseen circumstances that have left it as little more than a placeholder between Wednesday and Friday. While in the short run, the fact that Thursday has gone missing isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s almost seemed like a Godsend. In the long run however, it’s presented a few problems whose repercussions are less than lovely.
When I arrived in Buenos Aires, and for a short time into my stay, nothing appeared to be wrong with the progression of the days of the week, that is to say, Thursday still existed. Shortly after I started school at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) however, Thursday decided to misbehave. I had one normal week, and then week two demanded that I miss my Thursday history class, wake up at five in the morning, and go off on an adventure to Jujuy. First Thursday lost. The week after that, Thursday was stopped by a paro nacional, in which all the public transportation workers went on strike causing nearly all activity in the usually bustling city of Buenos Aires to grind to a halt. Classes were cancelled and businesses stayed closed because workers, students, and teachers had no way of getting from point A to B. Second Thursday lost. The Thursday after the paro was the beginning of La Semana Santa, the four days Argentina takes to observe Easter. Third Thursday lost. Luckily, the week after Easter, Thursday returned just so we could remember what it was like to have a complete week sans interruptions. This normalcy wasn’t meant to last however because the next week, Thursday disappeared. Again. Argentina lost its fourth Thursday to May 1st, Labor Day (also known as May Day). In this way, I’ve lost Thursday for almost a month solid. Luckily, the next holiday is on a Friday, and after combing through my calendar, I can say that all the rest of the Thursdays should be staying in their usual places.
If this constant start and stop, interruption-filled past couple of weeks has taught me anything it is the value in being able to be ready for anything. Adaptability and the ability to think on one’s feet is a topic much discussed with my host family as they view it as an essential trait for anyone living in Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole. Missing four of my history classes at UBA, three in rapid succession, has definitely forced me to problem solve on a large scale without a large amount of time to do so. Whether my solutions will work out as I hope and ensure my success in the class remains to be seen, but the practice I gained in forming solutions to my problems quickly is invaluable. And even if they don’t pan out exactly as I hope, I’ll then have more opportunities to perfect thinking (and landing) on my feet if I fall.