We’ve had a couple people tell us that upon arrival in a new country, you should allow yourself some time to do pretty much nothing. One friend said that the whole first week is for nothing but sitting in your apartment and smoking cigarettes. We don’t smoke, so today we decided to venture outside our current comfort zone (the square mile surrounding our apartment), all the way downtown. Our goal: The National Archives…
You may be thinking that taking the Transmilenio bus across town should be nothing to a pair of previous NYC residents like us. But these little victories are monumental when first in another country. Fieldwork, in my opinion, is really 90% about getting where you need to be. (FYI – at least another 5% is getting there hydrated enough that you don’t faint, and another 4% is not being so nervous that you vomit on the person you’re interviewing.)
So, by the time we made it downtown, and wandered through the Plaza Bolivar (where the recent protests have been taking place), and then actually found the Archives, we were pretty pumped. So what if it turns out they had no information of any use to our work.