No rushing in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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One of many differences I've noticed between Argentina and the United States, is how much Argentines never seem to be in a hurry.  They enjoying taking time for a good meal with friends and aren't worried about spending over an hour in café.  I had heard about this before arriving in Argentina, but had never experienced it in the "hustle and bustle" of the United States.  For example, it is very hard to grab a quick bite to eat if you chose a café or small restaurant.  During the class break, we have an hour for lunch (which is a good length of time for lunch in America), and a group of us decided to try a pizzeria/café just around the corner of the school.  We barely made it back on time to class!  Argentines don't rush you.  You can come in, sit down, and wait a good while before you even get a menu.  After than once you've ordered be prepared to wait (I waited at least 45 minutes once on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich).  In America, there would be quite a few of angry patrons having to wait that long for food in a restaurant.  But people should realize that this is part of the Argentine culture.  People use meals as big social gatherings and excuses to socialize with friends and meet new people.  So, if you want to sit in a café and chat, read, etc you're more than welcome to spend hours enjoying the company and the atmosphere.  Therefore, don't expect the get your check unless you ask for it, which could be strange or annoying if you don't remember. 

After being here for one week, I've already come to really enjoy the slow pace in terms of meals in Argentina.  I've spent many afternoons and evenings enjoying some coffee, reading, and spending time with friends for many hours.  It's great.  You should be able to enjoy your meal and relax, and the Argentines have fully embraced this thinking.  I have feeling that perhaps after spending 10 weeks here in Argentina, that I might start getting hooked on long lunch breaks, and it will be sad have to return to the rush the Estados Unidos.
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