I’m Thinking Argentina Is A Woman That’s Not My Type

When I first got to Argentina, I knew something was a little different than what I’m used to in Colombia

First off, the inflation situation…

Let me just say there’s absolutely no way I would put my money into Argentina right now. The Argentine peso is rapidly losing value (just look at the chart vs the USD), and in the face of a possible default, the rather strong-armed federal government has instituted all sorts of capital controls and restrictions on the free flow of money.

Not the best situation to own pesos.

But that’s not all, regarding the powers-that-be…

I got a massive ‘suspicion’ vibe when I was searched multiple times by national police at various roadway checkpoints in the northeast. At mid-day, they would come on the bus and search my backpack using a flashlight, as if there is a war going on. (I thought for a minute I might be entering Venezuela.)

I hate this vibe coming from such over-reaching federal governments. One porteño (man from Buenos Aires) sitting next to me, who had observed the rise of this state of affairs, said “Welcome to the Soviet State of Argentina.”

From what I understand, the vibe is generally coming from the capital, and isn’t so much present in the outlying major cities, and I didn’t feel a heavy federal ‘watchdog’ presence in Cordoba once I arrived.

So, I arrived to Cordoba on a normal spring day to find myself baking in a 100° F oven, with humidity causing it to feel even hotter.

A few days later, I arrive to Mendoza and am subsequently blinded and burned by the sun.

I’m not sure where you advertized these hot spells, Miss Argentina. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled with springtime year-round.

As I walked around, I found old-world, sculpture-laiden architecture, cafes with mohogany furnishings, and cream-marble stairs with black cast-iron railing. Very refined.

I mean, it looks good… but it was just a mall.

I’m wondering if this is a tribute to your refinement and sophistication?

Just sayin’.

Around meal time, I looked for something different to eat but all I could find was beef.

Beef, beef, beef and more beef… Would you like a side of beef with your beef?

The only sandwiches in town are $10 beef sandwiches, and the rest is empanadas and pizza.

I’m just a regular guy wanting lunch, not some investment banker who drops $40 to taste something good… Where can I find a good meal?

I looked around, and grew skeptical that the average Argentina can cook, (apart from the obvious asados.)

Ahh the wine. Yes, Argentina has wine all around, yes. There’s great winery tours, for example, but honestly now… who really goes on winery tours, apart from tourists?

Answer: middle-aged women.

So the tour was good for a day, but I’m skeptical that good wineries could hold a man to a city.

When I went out at night, I heard almost nothing but cumbia.

Cumbia, cumbia, cumbia. Nonstop.

Adelle, Don Omar, Pit Bull, Rihanna… In Argentina these performers are magically transformed into cumbian artists.

This happened in multiple clubs, not just one.

If you don’t know what cumbia is, here’s a taste:

See, it’s not bad. Cumbia can be a good spectator sport when there’s a pretty girl dancing to it… It’s just not what I want to hear for 4 hours straight when I’m out at night.

Plus, most guy-girl pairs weren’t dancing when the cumbia was playing. It just wasn’t part of the scene. They were basically standing within their social circles.

So if I were into conspiracy theories, I’d say cumbia is so popular in Argentina because it enables the girls to dance in self-contained ringlets, and to be all nice and safe while enjoying a music that does not immediately lend itself to dancing with a man.

(Reggaeton and salsa, for example, unavoidably push for girl / guy pairs.)

Honestly, Argentina, I don’t know if I have time for this ambiente. You change the game but I’m not sure I want to play.

Then there’s the signature drink of Argentina, fernet.

Dear god it’s awful. Who the hell drinks this? It’s worse than drinking Listerine.

“It gets better the more you drink it,” I am told.

The problem is it’s so disgusting you couldn’t force me to drink one more trago of that crap.

And, I hate to break to you, Argentinian girls, but you’re not all that.

You’re not overweight, I know. Better than most in the USA.

You watch your figure, I know. Props to you on paying attention.

You have a pretty face, I know… I’m not saying you’re not attractive.

But so many of you act like you are a million bucks, and that I should jump through hoops just to stay in your presence.

I had a tough time meeting an Argentinian girl that inspired me. For now, I’d leave them with their fernet and cumbia.

In summary, Argentina to me seems more complicated in the head, more expensive, definitely older, not a great cook, rarely stunning or inspiring, less sexual, has too much cumbia and wants me to appreciate her sophistication…

Argentina feels like some mature, urbane woman I’m just not attracted to.

I shake my head and think that perhaps something may have happened between us a few years ago if I had met her then…

She has good energy and parties hard. She has a good figure and occasionally turned my head. She has a certain charm. I can see how some would be attracted to her.

And in fact, I will give her some more time in the future when I hit up Buenos Aires.

But right now I’m thinking she’s just not my type.

  • The fernet really is awful, worse than Colombia’s aguardiente. I didn’t experience any of the nightlife because I didn’t want to stay out so late, but it’s interesting to hear cumbia is so popular. I thought it was mostly rock and electronica.

    • Yeah, fernet is Lysterine and aguardiente is Nyquil! lol …. Cumbia dominated in Cordoba and Mendoza. Argentinians tell me BA is different, so we’ll see.

      • jondaw

        Good observations–generally on spot, I think. All the Americas are racist–whites were the invaders and conquerors. “If you’re white, you’re right.” Very sad but generally true. Generally. Honorable exceptions among individuals exist, of course, and some countries are worse than others. Argentina is really bourgeois, but so are Chile and Uruguay. However, in Argentina people actually read books and there are nice bookstores, which is rare in so much of S. and C. America, and Mexico, except at elite levels.

        The cumbia you posted was awful. 🙂 Here’s a classical cumbia from Colombia to make you homesick:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiMnn8bBPmQ

        All the best.

    • TALLY RIVARD

      Me antoje de un aguardiente!

      • Hagale pues! 🙂

  • I remember reading similar things from a few other people about this place – you are not alone!

  • ozgression

    I thought that you were heading back to Medellin. What happened? Did you “break up” with Medellin? 🙂

    • Just doing some more reconnaissance on South America… I will heading back to Medellin soon. We haven’t broken up. 🙂

  • I love the narrative of talking about countries and cities like women, its quite engaging. Good stuff mate.

    • Cheers man, thanks for reading!

  • cmdrtorq

    Argentina is the one place in Latin America where girls mostly shut down the dorky gringos who think they’re in a giant meat market. Maybe if you left your sense of self-entitlement at home, you’d have better luck.

    • Somehow I sense this comment was from an Americanized woman.

      • You don’t endear yourself by leaving a comment which publicly accuses someone you don’t know of a sense of self-entitlement.

  • LV

    Argentineans are extremely stuck up, it is a well known fact in Latin America that they believe they are superior to everyone else, just because the rest of Latin America is more mestizo, black, or indigenous.
    Who would go to visit that country really, the only thing that saves the country are the landscapes, but the extreme Argentinean pride might just outdo the natural beauty of the country. They try to copy Europe instead of valuing the rich mixture and the mestizaje that characterizes other Latin American countries.

    They have an intolerable European complex (they brag about their ancestors being Italians, ex German Nazis, blahblah) and yet continue to live on Latin American soil (maybe they should just return the land to the rightful owners, the Mapuches and other indigenous groups they tried to eliminate by “diluting” their blood with the “superior” race theories of their stupid government http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Argentina#.22White-European.22_racism_and_Article_25_of_the_Constitution), which makes them the least likable of all Latin Americans and ironically 100 times more racist than Europeans.

    Yes, there is racism in all of Latin America, but never to the point it is manifested in Argentina where the average person does not see any richness in the indigenous cultures native to our lands or the richness of the African influences in Latin American music (it is said tango is of African origin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_tango#Origin_of_the_dance to the shock of ignorant Argentineans who will swear their country has never had any blacks “Aquí no hay negros” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-Argentine).

    It is not about denying the European contributions in Latin America as a whole but about rightly and equally recognizing other groups.

    The fact is that people try to minimize the contributions of other ethnic groups and try to erase any trace of indigenous (as original inhabitants they deserve more respect for their struggle to survive) or African origin.

    • Some strong language in your comment there! Not sure I would say all of that, but that link to the National Constitution and surrounding discussion is interesting… I still think people can find friendly, not-so-arrogant people in Argentina, despite whatever prevailing wind there is.

  • thescottishnomad.com

    The Cumbia thing is very true…it is everywhere…You would also be forgiven for thinking that all of the Cumbia songs are in fact THE SAME song. Drives me crazy…

    • Haha me too, man! 🙂

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  • guada

    I think you should visit more places,Argentina is bigger than Colombia and people and views and food are so different,you have a lot to see here,you should go to santiago del estero,or tucumán as well,beautiful women,kind people,nothing compare like big cities where people can be more cold and food not so typical .Don´t care about cumbia music that´s superficial i think,try to discover what this country has.And if you don´t like it,you can go back to Colombia

  • Carl D

    um, cumbia is totally colombian…that is like, what colombia is known for abroad in regards to music. too many factual errors in your articles, ugh.