Argentina, Pt III - Los Porteños!

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Last but certainly not least, you know a good people watcher such as myself could not forget to talk about the people I saw and met in Buenos Aires and La Plata. I don't know if you all remember my comparisons between Cariocas and Paulistanos when I went to Rio and also just my description of Cariocas? Those were pretty fun posts to write and so I figured I had to do it with Porteños - people from Buenos Aires. Just a disclaimer - this is all my perception from what I took from my few days in the city and what poeple from there have told me about themselves. Please take no offense, we all have our quirks :-)

So here we go - 10 Interesting/Peculiar Things About Porteños.

1. They're antisocial - Ok, so maybe it's because I've been living in, well.. Brazil for the past couple of years where you'll sit on a bus and the person next to you will tell you the story of their life but in Buenos Aires - nobody talks on public transportation. Not even people who are WITH each other! Nancy and I would sound like such obnoxious Americans chit-chatting away!! But oh well... I don't think they thought we were rude, but it was still awkward...

2. Plain Janes - Porteña women are very laid back with their appearance. I rarely saw any woman wearing makeup, heels, or even anything colorful for that matter. But on the other hand, all the stores were filled with gorgeous colorful prints!! Ironic much?

3. Messi Messy Hair - Messi's clearly not the only Argentine who likes to sport awkward haircuts and I can't not mention the plethora of mullets I saw... Enough said?

4. Orgullo - Porteños are very proud. Obviously the rest of Latin America knows this pretty well. They love their country, their city, and their culture. They think that since their city looks a little bit more like Europe than the rest of the continent, they are superior to all (except Brazilians, but that's my next point). But what I saw firsthand wasn't and "I'm better than you," kind of pride, but a "I take care of my stuff," kind of pride. Especially the cab and bus drivers. In BsAs and La Plata, it's rude to slam a cab door because it's "their car," and in Buenos Aires, the bus drivers pimp their rides!!

5. Caca - Ok, they take care of their stuff except their sidewalks! I thought SP was bad with people who don't pick up after their animals, but in BsAs, it was EVERYWHERE and not just a neighborhood here and there. And nobody seemed to care! In São Paulo, you'll hear a person mumbling a, "filho da puta, why don't people pick up their dog's shit?" here and there, but in BsAs, everyone skipped over it without a groan or mumble!

6. Machismo - Apparently Argentine men, like most latin men, are pretty "macho." They play soccer with their boys, they want to be the breadgivers, etc... But in Buenos Aires, they get together in large groups and go to parillas, order a few bottles of wine, pop champagne, and are all about the man hugging and kissing on the cheek. I would tell you I was exagerating but in my 3 nights in Buenos Aires, I saw this at two different restaurants. And then at the clubs I saw groups of guys dancing with each other... which brings me to my next point...

7. No se baila - Porteños don't dance much. And when they do, it's not necessarily with someone of the opposite sex. At the clubs we went to, there were tonnsss of people on the dance floor - chatting. And goofing around. Jumping here and there. And then dancing to the choreographed Brazilians songs that would play. And then there were the random groups of guys dancing with each other. We found out one of these groups were from Cordoba because they tried talking to us, so maybe it's not a Porteño thing?

8. Les Encanta Brasil - One thing I was actually shocked about was how much they love Brazil. It may be the fact that we've invaded their hotels, hostels and shopping malls for the cheap peso. Or because they look up to our economy and soccer skills. Either way, it was kind of funny considering Brazilians in general, like most South Americans, tend to make fun of Argentines... a lot.

9. Odian a Cristina - They hate their president. And they love their politics. This is one thing I admired about them. Nancy kept telling me how everyone always talks about politics there which is something you don't see in Brazil at all! When we talk about politics it's to talk shit about the corrupt leaders we have and then we don't do anything about it... *sigh.

10. No se Olvide - They don't forget. Anything. The dictatorship (there are trials going on right now and symbols/murals/paintings all over not letting people know they shouldn't forget how horrible it was), their economy and status before 2001 (still bitter about that too...), their soccer stats (Nancy's friend in La Plata is a soccer encyclopedia), and they're ancestory (Italian food is huge there!)....

I guess that's it? Hope you enjoyed my Buenos Aires/La Plata recap!!


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