A Dozen Things We Love About Argentina!

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Though we do have our cultural ups-and-downs, we are extremely grateful for our new home, experiences and friends here in Argentina.  Here is a list of a dozen things that we are coming to love about this country.  These things are new, fun and different for us coming from our American mindset.

In no particular order…

 

  1. Delivery Food –  Ice Cream & Empanadas

Some of our favorite foods here are empanadas and ice cream.  Empanadas are like small calzones, but are filled with different types of meats, cheeses and vegetables.  They are the perfect lunch, dinner or snack. They are cheap, portable, and everybody likes them!  You see them everywhere, homemade and from restaurants and small empanada shops…And the fun thing is, you can get any type delivered to your home.  And … the same goes for most every other restaurant around.  So, (for those of you who know Eric and how he loves loves loves ice cream) – Delivery ice cream is a super big treat for us!

2. Besos

When greeting or saying goodbye to someone in Argentina, you give them a “cheek kiss”  or “beso.”  This is in place of a handshake or a hug.  It’s super normal to kiss/greet everyone you see, even strangers and the opposite gender.  It actually takes quite a while to walk into a roomful of people and say “Hello” with a beso. We have found this warm and welcoming.  It helps us stop to show affection and appreciation.

3. Argentines love babies

We have loved having an infant here in Argentina.  Logan’s smile has been such a fun connection.  So many people have started talking to us because of him.  He is passed around and loved on by all at church.  People here love love love babies.

4. Laid Back Timing & Late Dinners
Argentines do keep jobs and school schedules on time, but with social and personal life, things are just a little bit more laid back than in the States.  Usually social events start about 1/2-1 hour later than the “said” time.  And people are often not in a rush to leave for the next thing.  The largest meal is usually eaten at lunchtime, but they have a “merienda” or snack in the later afternoon, and then dinner from around 9:30 to 10:30 pm.  If we aren’t with Argentines, we haven’t totally changed to this schedule (We usually eat at 7:00-8:00pm or so now in our own home, whereas we used to eat at 5:00pm).  But overall, we appreciate the fact that there is less “running around” and more time for people.
5. Birthday Parties and Asados
It is very common to throw yourself or your kids a big birthday party here.  And here in the city, a lot of people host parties at “party houses” and larger group venues because a lot of people have small homes or apartments.  Even adults

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have big birthday parties.  We have been to lot of birthday parties of the kid’s friends from school.  As well, Argentines love to get together on weekends for lunch and (late) dinner called “asados.”  This is a huge barbecue with tons of meat of many different kinds.  So delicious!
6. School Schedules
In Argentine schools, there are usually a group of morning students and a separate group of afternoon students.  They use the same building, but have a distinct set of students and teachers.  Our kids start school after lunch and get home at either 4:30 (the younger kids) or 6:00 pm (the bigger kids). We have appreciated this later-in-the-day start schedule for our kids because of the late night culture where they stay up later at times.  The younger kids go to a preschool/preK type school called a “Jardin.”  They really don’t start intensive “school-type” subjects like reading, math and history until 1st grade.  Also, having the younger boys in a preschool-type-setting before really jumping into more intensive academics, has been a good thing for them.  They are not going to be too far behind their peers academically because they are progressing with language now.IMG_6395
7. Small Neighborhood Stores

 

While there are bigger grocery stores here, every little neighborhood also has its own set-up of stores.  Within a 5-minute walk of every home or apartment are at least one bakery (panaderia), hardware store (ferretería), bookstore/school supplies store (liberia), & produce store (verdulería) and corner grocery story (kiosko).  We can get pretty much everything that we need on foot and quickly. The prices are not crazy high, just fairly normal life prices.  We like running to our local kiosko to grab a few things for dinner on the walk home from the kids school at 6pm.  It’s super nice.

8. Soccer balls everywhere
Every little boy here is born with a soccer ball attached to his foot. Ha. Not really, but everywhere you go, there are little superstar players.  Futbol (soccer) is a huge deal, and it’s fun for the boys to connect with others this way. At school, they play at every recess.  They are also involved in a local club team and practice two times a week, which is a good way to connect with people.
9. Mate

Everywhere you look here, someone is drinking mate.  Mate is a loose leaf tea, kind of like a really bitter green tea, and has a special cup with a metal straw.  And everyone shares it (yes, the same cup and straw) and keeps refilling it with a thermos of hot water. It has its own subculture, somewhat similar to the coffee subculture in the Northwest. Mate is a social event.  As you drive around the city, there are people sitting in the park, bus drivers, and store keepers drinking it.  ALL. THE. TIME. We drink it during social events, Eric drinks it while studying, and even Logan likes it.

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10. Weather & Landscape

Argentina is a huge and beautiful country.  Eric has had a chance to travel to several cities in the north, and has loved the varied landscapes.   And the climate in the city we are in, Cordoba, is a mild climate kind of like southern California.  It got cold in the winter here, and it gets really hot in the height of summer.  Overall, the winter, spring and fall are really moderate and comfortable.  We like the weather.

11. Walking Everywhere

Some people have cars, but Argentina is built to accommodate people who don’t have them.  There is a heavily-used bus and taxi system.  Even though we have a car now, we still enjoy walking the kids to school or to the neighborhood store.  Cars, gas and parking are really expensive and, at times, inconvenient in the city. It’s a great way to stay active and healthy!IMG_6312

12. The Argentine Accent

We have really come to love the Argentine Spanish for  its uniqueness.  There are Italian, German and Spain-Spanish immigrants here who have influenced the language and culture.  The language here is really different than other forms of Spanish with a lot more sing-song and fluidity. For example, a double “ll” takes on the English sound “Sh.” “Calle” meaning “street” or “ella” meaning “her” is pronounced “cashe” or “esha.”  Also, there are different vocabulary and nuances that are particular to Argentina only.  It’s a pretty language, and we enjoy learning it.

 

So there you go, hope you enjoyed a quick look into some of the joys of life and culture in Argentina!

3 thoughts on “A Dozen Things We Love About Argentina!

  1. Nurturing the Heart says:

    Loved reading this and hearing about all the cultural differences and the new experiences you are embracing! I think the empanadas sound and look amazing!!! ❤️❤️ We sure miss you guys and continue to think of and pray for you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Slyman says:

    What a great post. It sounds lovely there! We miss you all and are so glad you are finding your place and the kids are adjusting. Love you!

    Like

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