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?
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.