Argentinidad

How does an Argen­tine com­mit sui­cide? He climbs to the top of his ego, then jumps.

(Joke over­heard in Buenos Aires)

I find Argentina´s national psy­che fas­ci­nat­ing. Of course, as an out­sider, it is dif­fi­cult to define, pre­ten­tious even. But as a for­mer Euro­pean, I feel a con­nex­ion with this coun­try. Argen­tini­ans like to eat (late), drink (good wines), smoke, dance, lis­ten to music, talk and hang out in groups, seem to value their fam­ily, and love kids. A lot of places in Buenos Aires remind me of Europe: the cob­ble­stone streets, the small cars, the side­walk cafés, the phar­ma­cies sell­ing l´Oréal prod­ucts, the bak­eries with their medi­alu­nas (crois­sants). I feel cul­tur­ally closer to an Argen­tin­ian than, let´s say, a Peru­vian or a Costa Rican.

Last time we were in Argentina we stum­bled upon a coun­try in chaos, because of the sud­den peso deval­u­a­tion. Yet, peo­ple were friendly and keen to explain what was going on, and how they were deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion. Seven years later, the peso is a bit more sta­ble, yet it is easy to see people´s con­cerns for the econ­omy. Aren´t we all wor­ried… It seems that Argen­tin­ian are more reluc­tant to save and that they want to enjoy spend­ing their money. There are credit cards´ adver­tis­ing every­where, and it reminds me of North Amer­ica. Have fun with your money before it dis­ap­pear? Live like there is no tomorrow?

Below, sev­eral Argen­tin­ian icons: the fút­bol and Maradona, the tango, Buenos Aires, Eva Perón and the Che.

Football Jerseys For Sale

Foot­ball Jer­seys For Sale

Maradona By The Boca

Maradona By The Boca

Dancing Tango In San Telmo

Danc­ing Tango In San Telmo

Tango Lovers

Tango Lovers

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

The Obelisk

The Obelisk

Evita's Grave

Evita´s Grave In La Recoleta

The Che

The Che

10 comments

  1. Thanks for the great pho­tos. They like foot­ball down there? Go fig­ure. Been fol­low­ing along with your jour­ney, but not think­ing of any­thing good to say but wow. So — Wow!

  2. I heard a lot about how Euro­pean Argentina is, it must be like a taste of home for you!

    I’m falling so far behind on my blog read­ing… I hope to catch up with your adven­tures soon.

  3. Hi Zhu,
    Fas­ci­nat­ing.
    I think that South A mer­ica would have a lot to offer a trav­eler, but Argentina inter­ests me a lot.I think that I could eas­ily get caught up in this coun­try… once I get my rusty Span­ish work­ing again, that is !

    Bises

  4. Unbe­liev­able. I was just talk­ing about Argentina (and Buenos Aires in par­tic­u­lar) at work, and I would say I said at least 80% of the things you men­tioned here… And I hadn’t read this post yet, of course. ;-)

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