The only two people I vividly remember before I left Argentina when I was 5 are my maternal grandmother and my uncle Luis. Sadly, she died about 12 years ago from natural causes, and he died in a tragic bus accident at the age of 40. I never even met these people before, or if I had, I don't remember them. Now these so-called family members wanted to get to know me as if I was their version of a celebrity, and I was very nervous about the upcoming reunion.
First impressions can be fatal, especially when you come from another country with a different way of thinking and talking. Yes, people speak Spanish in the States, but the Spanish spoken by Cubans and Puerto Ricans, two cultures that were highly prominent in South Florida where I grew up, are worlds apart from Argentine Castilian. This was something I had learned over the last few days when I tried interacting with the locals at convenient stores and supermarkets. Add to that the fact that I rarely spoke Spanish when I lived in the States, except with my parents. My friends, my classmates, my teachers, my co-workers, my bosses, all spoke English regardless of their nationality. Well, there might have been two or three exceptions, but I'm digressing here. The point is, that I was really nervous about saying the wrong thing and embarrassing myself.