Although, I’ve only been in Armenia for a week and a half, it feels like I’ve been here for much longer. Part of that is because I have been adjusting to my new environment — meaning I have been plagued with physical aliments that travelers typically experience (uggh).
But adjusting to my environment has also required to be aware of being in a different culture, and not just from my Canadian culture, but even the cultural differences between Bogota and Armenia. It is almost like the differences between Toronto and Halifax. Toronto being the big busy city (Bogota) and Halifax being the friendly welcoming smaller city (Armenia).
But in any case, I have been spending most of my time trying to take it easy as my body tries to adjust. I have gone for walks and taken in a few sights and have come across some interesting cultural nuances.
For example, when you go to a fried chicken place — I went to one called Frisby which I would describe as the love child between McDonalds and KFC — they give you a set of plastic gloves for you to keep your hands clean when eating the chicken (which makes sense in a country where cleanliness/hygiene is a top priority).
So far, this is the longest I have been outside of Canada. I have only ever been out of country for 2 weeks at a time, so trying to to settle into a new culture has a few challenges. My biggest challenge is with my limited Spanish. I am frustrated that I am not a conversational speaker. I practice a bit each day by listening to Spanish music and audiobooks, watching TV, and chatting with guys on Tinder (yes Tinder, although the selection is far better in Bogota than in Armenia). I know that I will get better with time and continued practice, but as always I am expecting more from myself than what is probably reasonable.
In the meantime, I will continue going for walks and enjoying the scenary, the cafes and the big Yorkdale-style mall that is just a 10 minute walk from my house 🙂