Happy people in Uruguay
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 10 of 13 › view all entries
Happy people in Uruguay
I consider myself a pretty outgoing, extroverted, and friendly person. I enjoy the company of people, and in fact the more people I am around the happier I tend to be. Talking to random people in random places I also very common for me, and in fact I have met many of my good friends this way. Even a genuine random and friendly smile while walking down the street is not something unusual for me.
My mom, being the true Parisian that she is was absolutely shocked when she came to the United States and found random people smiling at her and saying hello. It caught her off guard, and in fact she hated it and found it to be very awkward. Of course she eventually adjusted, and now everywhere she goes she smiles and greets people.
Walking around Buenos Aires is actually pretty depressing in my eyes. Aside from the overwhelming homeless and poor people, my overall perception is that the people don’t seem to be very happy. Although back home I do consider myself to be a city girl, I feel that Atlanta is much different. Atlanta, although a large city, I feel still has the “southern hospitality” factor, where people will actually smile when you smile back. When I go to Alpharetta to visit my parents people are so incredibly friendly and wont find it unusual if you start a conversation in the grocery store line.
Everyday when walking to class, sitting on the bus, or sitting in the subte I make eye contact with the locals, and throw a little smirk, usually expecting one back. Rather than a smile back, all I receive is an awkward stare, and they usually quickly look away. I feel like what many describe L.A, or New York city to be like. One in which everyone is in their own little bubble, they do not care about anyone else around them. As much as I love the city life, this is one aspect that I absolutely hate—the lack of friendliness.
This weekend in Uruguay it was so great to find happy and content people. Saturday night we went to a rock restaurant with live rock music. Everyone was so incredibly friendly, making eye contact and smiling, even saying hello! Outside Hotel Italiano I met an old couple from Australia that were native Uruguayans. It was their first time back in Uruguay in over 30 years and it was great to chit chat with them. Outside a restaurant having a cup of coffee overlooking the river I glanced at an old man walking down the street and smiled, then he replied with a large grin on his face “hola”. I felt like my mother, I was shocked that I got a reply from him, I finally found people who were responsive and friendly. I truly miss that aspect about Georgia. Oh how sweet southern hospitality is!