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Argentina Experts Needed - Travel Etiquette

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1. Posted by Dylan23 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y

Dylan23 has indicated that this thread is about Argentina

To anyone who is familiar with the Argentine culture:

I am from the USA and have been considering visiting Argentina, specifically the Buenos Aires area.

I am curious if anyone would share with me some of their customs, traditions, etc. as well as some proper travel etiquette that I may overlook as a U.S. citizen.

Also I am curious about the following........It sounds kind of crazy but I am just being honest.

I met a girl from Argentina on my last vacation, and was very impressed with her. Do women from Argentina typically seek out men from their native country? Would a family be offended or angry if a U.S. man showed interest in their daughter? I just want to understand this culture the best I can and not step on anyone's toes.

Thanks for your help ahead of time.

Dylan

2. Posted by aitor (Full Member 102 posts) 11y

Hello Dylan,

I understand your doubts, but, in my opinion, there is not anything because you have to worry, with the exception of the girl in question.

I mean that you have to be respectful with people when you are in a foreign country, not specially in Argentina, just in another country, even in your own country. That's enough.

About Argentinian girls, if they tend to seek out men from the country or not... difficult question... 30 million people cannot opine the same. Anyway I have seen a lot or Argentinian, women and men, that marry with foreign people.

Buena suerte!

Aitor

3. Posted by donlee23 (Full Member 34 posts) 11y

Yes we have our own Argentine expert...Robertoingle is his alias and he is on "South America for Visitors" travel forum every day on www.about.com sign up find the South America for Visitors pages then go on the forums with your own alias...robertoingle is a translator born and raised in Argentina of British parentage and knows more about Argentina than just about anyone around including photos and articles. check it out tell him donlee23 sent you.

4. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 11y

Dylan,

I spent about 3 months traveling in Argentina, and I have this advice: if you can get there, do it. The people were among the most friendly, laid-back and hospitable people I've encountered in any of my travels. As for the Argentinian women, I hate to generalize, but I do not think I am alone in stating that they are among the most beautiful in the world. I didn't really notice any specific etiquette, other than the men are very aggressive. Though we Americans can be loud and obnoxious, I don't think we're generally as forward as the men down there seem to be. I don't mean this as a negative comment to the Argentinian men, because they'll likely be as friendly and talkitive with you as they are with the girls.

As a sidenote, you might want to bear in mind that most non-married women live with their families.

Also, if you are invited to drink mate, definitely take them up on it. It's a bit of an aquired taste, but a great social ritual. I've been buying it on the internet here in the States since I got back, and I love it.

If you can go to a soccer (futball) match, definitely try to make that happen (especially in Buenos Aires). The people watching is amazing, it's like going to a rock concert.

Speaking Spanish is a definite plus, though I went in with none and got by just fine.

That's about it, good luck.

-John

5. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

I dated a couple of Argentinian girls in Israel, and have also chatted with some others online. All I can say is they're hot, hot, hot ! At this stage, I plan to move to Argentina within the next two years.

6. Posted by donlee23 (Full Member 34 posts) 11y

Dear Wocca, actually the Brazilian Women are much "hotter" much less inhibited than their Argentinian counterparts, many Argentine men go over to Southern Brazil to meet ladies. Don't get your hopes too high regarding a permanent relationship, unless of course you "click" with someone and try to go to Argentina November-March in the summer months for the beaches (it can get very cold in winter especially in the south)Promedio, per capita, Buenos Aires has the highest number of psychologists and psychiatrists of any city in the World, unemployment is high now and inflation is beginning to creep back up. The "Tango" itself is "depressing" and remember much of Argentina is not tropical, very highly developed and Buenos aires worth a year's stay "City of Models"... Argentinians can be a bit arrogant at times and some act more "European" than Europeans. I have found most Latin Women to be ok for short term relationships..go to Brazil if you get a chance..the Beaches and Babes are better!!!!

7. Posted by seramos (Budding Member 9 posts) 11y

As an argentinian woman from Buenos Aires I feel curious and flattered by your opinions...(except for donlee's of course), but let me try to be objective here.
As regards etiquette, unless the family is too religious or too traditional you should forget about that problem! There is not such problem.
For practical purposes bear in mind that not all argentine parents speak English... and a couple of words in Spanish won't be enough for you to keep a conversation with them... The only thing it will prove is that you are open minded and it will lower the risk of being considered arrogant because you at least devoted some time and effort to learn a few words...shows some interest...
Spanish is difficult for foreigners. Do not expect it to sound perfect in a couple of weeks.
I have met a lot of americans, worked with them, studied with them....
As regards my fellow female "porteƱas"... well... most of us belong to a mixture of Spanish and Italian families. So we share some of the habits and looks of those countries. I would say that the average argentine woman devotes a lot of time to looks... and probably a greater proportion than in other latin american countries. Probably shorter and darker haired than in the US... But -in average- slimmer, wearing more make up and devoting more time to appearance...
When I went to study as an exchange student in Los Angeles, the rest of the american students were making fun of how obsessed with looks
The italian tradition influences that aspect of "living with the parents" until getting married... so may be the girl does not have an appartment of her own. Pizza, icecream and pasta are everywhere and probably taste better than in Italy.
I wouldn't be either pesimistic or optimistic...just live your own story.... I heard several similar stories...sometimes with happy endings, and sometimes the girl was totally the opposite.
We do not reject foreign people from Europe or the US... forget about that. People here try to imitate certain habits from Europe and the US. Buenos Aires is a very cosmopolitan city (of course a city of 200 square kilometers has different areas and neighbourhoods...they are not all alike for sure). But I would say that Buenos Aires compares more to New York, Paris or Madrid (with a much lower standard of living for sure). The exchange rate will be extremely favorable for you, so you will have a great advantage there.
Before you critisize me for the comparison with those cities... Buenos Aires combines theatres, universities, a lot of public means of transport, skyscrapers (like NYC), with some elegant french-like buildings in specific areas and with a lot of cafes and food like Madrid or Rome (same horrible traffic and disrespect for pedestrians and laws in general too). The reasons I keep listening as regards why companies pick Buenos Aires lately to move their offices from the US (they transfer jobs from the US of course to lower payroll to 1/3, but why do they pick Buenos Aires instead of Brazil?) are: the proportion of English speaking people is much greater: shop attendants -students...- better level of English in average, a lot of argentine professionals have already travelled and lived abroad and have decided to come back home because they actually enjoyed it much more here.....they love the friendliness (even if they hate that we are never punctual)....and time zone differences are not so extreme.
I remember a conversation at an embassy, by a french girl in her early 20s complaining that argentine men did not devote time to seduce her... They just asked her out. No candies, no flowers, no shyness... So I agree to some of the opinions above in the sense that men in general have plenty of options here, there is a high percentage of cheating and an increasing reluctance to commit to a stable relationship. So your concern about parents and this specific girl is really cute and rare.
You will have to ask the argentinian girl out, pay for the meal.... open the doors for her ... (the requirements vary with her age too).
A norwegian said to me once...yeah right, I forgot you are "princesses"...
I also heard some of the americans working with me saying that they prefer latin women much more than americans... (as if some americans won't even dress up in a special way to go out..., etc etc). But also they accuse us argentines of being hysterical. The average argentinian woman will play on you the "interested - not interested" game.... and once interested -in many cases- they will have swinging moods. Brazilians, on the other hand, are said to be more straightforward. They will probably stare at you and ask you out if they like you... and in average you will have sex sooner.
Any other question....??????

8. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting donlee23

Dear Wocca, actually the Brazilian Women are much "hotter" much less inhibited than their Argentinian counterparts ... I have found most Latin Women to be ok for short term relationships..go to Brazil if you get a chance..the Beaches and Babes are better!!!!

+
Excellent response Don!
+
My plan was to live / work for say, one year in Argentina from mid 2006. First, I'd have to make my way from China. I have been considering flying Bangkok (or HK) to Vancouver (or LA /SF), possibly bypassing the USA (to avoid visa paperwork).
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I understand that teacher recruiting for Argentina is usually January / February. However, Venezuela is around July. I could stay a few months in Caracas (maybe side trip to Costa Rica), then allow a couple of months to travel down through Brazil to Buenos Aires.
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Please let me have any further comments .... (I don't have a problem at all with short-term relationships).

9. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting seramos

As an argentinian woman from Buenos Aires I feel curious and flattered by your opinions ...
You will have to ask the argentinian girl out, pay for the meal.... open the doors for her ... (the requirements vary with her age too).
... The average argentinian woman will play on you the "interested - not interested" game.... and once interested -in many cases- they will have swinging moods. Brazilians, on the other hand, are said to be more straightforward. They will probably stare at you and ask you out if they like you... and in average you will have sex sooner.
Any other question....??????

Thanks for this information. Great stuff ;)

10. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

All good information. Here's what I shall add...

Portenos (the people from Buenos Aires) are very chic and well dressed. Be sure to bring some nice clothes and tend to your appearance.