We leave two weeks today.
And we’ve been preparing for a new culture, which requires more than attempting to learn a new language. We want to settle in as residents and not stick out as tourists. As is the case anywhere, the less you look like a tourist, the less likely you will be the target of scam artists and pickpockets.
Blending in is something I’ve mastered over my life – I’m a chameleon of sorts. I believe part of that comes from going to four different schools between grades nine and 12. Look around, adapt, blend in. It’s been a similar strategy for new jobs I’ve had and now, a new country.
We’ve been to Buenos Aires a handful of times. Plenty of recognizance opportunities. Here’s what we’ve learned. It will influence what we pack, what we eat and when.
Runners/athletic shoes are for running and athletics – plain and simple.
Beyond footwear, I don’t recall ever seeing men in the city wearing shorts even in the oppressive heat of summer. Hey guys, if you want to silently scream “I’m not from here,” wear your cargo shorts and running shoes around the streets of any major city outside North America.
That’s not to say we won’t pack shorts. After all, we plan to hit the beaches of Uruguay, which are more casual than the big city. Some of you may ask, “How far will you go to blend in?” Well, we may just have to pack Speedos and leave our board shorts in Canada.
I’m not saying that vegetarians would have a hard go of it in Argentina, but from what we’ve seen at many restaurants, meat is plentiful and veggies, even as a side dish, not so much. While we’re on the subject of eating out, when it comes to the last meal of the day, that doesn’t happen before 10 p.m.
Obviously, eating at home will allow us to buy and cook what we want – and not need to dine minutes before we go to sleep. However, we may just give in, regress to our teenaged selves, and become night owls.
And on a final note, you can’t talk about life in Argentina without mentioning the national beverage – wine (although some might argue it’s mate). For several weeks now, we’ve been incorporating wine into our diet at ever turn. In our cereal, to brush our teeth, anytime a beverage is required, it’s wine. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but having only been to BA on vacation, it seems that vino tinto is consumed at, and between, every meal.
I’ll drink to that. Cheers.