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Living in Argentina: Argentines

By Eleonore Monfort

Summary: What can you expect from Argentines if you move to Argentina? Here is a great multi-perspective article on what you'll encounter in an incredible, multi-cultural country.

Settling In - Adjusting to Argentines

Warm, macho and seductive - these are some of the qualities that expatriates name Argentines. Here are some anecdotes and testimonials about a 100% Argentine experience!

An incredible capacity for improvisation

I was at a house of one of my Argentine friends in the countryside. It was Sunday night and there were still a lot of people there. But nobody minded - they simply asked how many people they should set the table for. "Fer is coming with three friends, so we're going to be... twenty-five." The response from the owner of the house: "Ok, in the worst case scenario, if we're missing anything, "pedimos," (we'll ask for their pardon). The famous "pedimos," the simplest solution for all problems. I know that if this happened in France, there would be much more stress. (Paulina, France)

Everything is easy!

I was invited to dinner at my friend's house, and some people arrived... at midnight! Inconceivable for a British person - I would be offended if people arrived late to a dinner at my house! And the most surprising thing is that everyone takes it so well, even my friend who had prepared the great dinner. I have the impression that nothing is serious here, everything is so easy and fluid among the people. (Steven, England)

Night owls...

When I first arrived I didn't understand that the schedules were so late. My friends wouldn't call me to go out before 1 a.m. and, especially in the beginning, they would be waking me up! Now, I'm used to it, but the other day, when I went to dance tango, I saw that many middle-aged couples were also dancing until very late night hours, and it was Monday! This amazes me. (Emilie, France)

Always having change

At first, when the kiosk asked me for exact change, I gave away all my coins with pleasure. But I understood my suffering when I began to take the bus! In France, everyone does everything possible to get rid of their small change (the coins) and here they do everything to retain them. (Julien, France)

They are macho!

At the supermarket, there was a couple in front of me at the cash register. While the woman occupied herself with all the groceries, her husband merely watched her do it. It was all so normal—neither her nor her children were irritated. The funny thing is, in the end, the man deigned to put a sponge in one of the bags, when everything heavy was already taken care of. (Yuleika, Venezuela)

Impossible to become nervous

I had bought a winter coat that was too big for me, and I needed to get it fixed. When I returned to the store a week later, they had completely forgotten about my request. I became nervous, really unpleasant. But they were able to reverse the situation without the least bit of stress, and with a smile. It was impossible to get them angry. How surprising! These Argentines are incredible. (Erwan, France)

Flagrant come-ons

I was with a very pretty friend of mine on the street, and at least three times, she received cat-calls and whistles from the men who passed by, and without any hesitation! Others turn around and look intently at women's bodies - and so naturally! At the night clubs, the same. The guys decidedly go up to the girls and tell them all sorts of things. They don't have any fear of being rejected. In France, we have some fear of rejection and come onto girls less. (Adrien, France)

They don’t mix...

At my first asado (barbecue), I wanted to see how the meat was cooked, but after a little while, I realized that I was the only girl by the parrilla (grill). All the girls were together in another section, and conversation between the boys and girls only began after various glasses of alcohol. This is unthinkable in Europe. (Christie, Ireland)

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About the Author

LivingInArgentina.com is an online publication devoted to expats in Argentina. It covers business, travel and everyday affairs and is published in English, French and Spanish.

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First Published: May 21, 2009

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