Meghann in Argentina: Costumbres de Buenos Aires

August 25, 2017

It is crazy to realize that I have now been here for almost eight weeks. Time has flown by, but it still feels like I have done so much. At this point I think that I have really adapted to Buenos Aires—I still remember an early conversation I had with my host mom about how different some parts of life in Argentina were to me when I first arrived. We were talking about how time functions here in comparison to the U.S. I told her that for me, eating dinner at 10 or 10:30pm is really late, as a common time for American families is around 6 or 7pm. To this she simply replied, “vas a acostumbrar,” or “you will adjust.” She was right—I definitely have adjusted to life in Buenos Aires, but after almost two months here, I have found that there are a few things I don’t think I will get used to:

 

  1. Time. The initial surprise I expressed to my host mom about how late everything is here has not changed. Eating dinner at 10:30pm, los boliches (clubs) getting crowded at 3am, and arriving home at 7 or 8am is not strange or uncommon. This schedule often makes me miss meeting friends at dhall to have dinner at 6pm…

 

  1. Jamón (ham). Argentines put ham in/on everything. I went from rarely eating it at all in the U.S. to having it nearly every day here. This may seem like a small detail, but when you find ham in your salad on several occasions, you notice.

 

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Argentina is well known for plenty of other kinds of meat. In addition to ham, I have also been able to try really great steak, such as these steak sandwiches we bought at the national asado competition that was held in Buenos Aires this past weekend.

 

  1. Accents. I was warned that Argentines speak with a fairly strong, particular accent. They pronounce “ll” as “sh” instead of “y,” which is what is taught in school/how basically everyone from other Spanish-speaking countries would pronounce this sound. So where I would say “yo quiero que llueva” (I want it to rain), Argentines would use a different pronunciation and say “sho quiero que shhhueva.” Although not everyone has such a noticeable accent, it is oftentimes hard for me to understand those who do.

 

  1. Plataformas. These are a type of platform shoe that every woman here seems to wear—while some could pass as normal footwear in the U.S., other pairs are ridiculously tall and I often find myself doing a double take as I watch some women wobble across the cobblestone streets or to their seats on moving busses.

 

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These don’t look too fun to walk around the city in.

 

Although I may not “get used” to these (and many other) parts of life in Buenos Aires, I appreciate them all the same. Differences in routine, custom and culture is a huge part of what makes being abroad so special (and as cliché as that sounds, it is completely true).

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