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.