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How we should be more like  Porteños

the people of Buenos Aires are truly MY people... real and raw.

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How we should be more like  Porteños

On my flight from Atlanta, GA to Buenos Aires, Argentina I really didn't know what to expect out of the future 7 weeks. I didn't know if culture shock would hit, if homesickness would be an issue, or if living in city would get to me. During the flight I remember thinking "as long as I make it through this 10 hour flight everything will be okay," and 8 weeks later I tell you nothing was more right in my universe during those 7 weeks.

Argentines are characters and I have no other generalization for them that would cover the vastness of their uniqueness. Walking down the street, taking the "subte" (subway), or getting on the collective (bus) you will see what appears to be a mess that lacks cohesiveness, with no unity binding the differences....but that's just the surface.

This beautiful mess will probably be shoving you out the way if you're walking too slow, likely to insult you and curse at you, and brush past you in a hurry.

My first week in BA walking out the door solo was intimidating and taking public transport was a nightmare. I felt as if I was a little girl in a concrete jungle. Through the weeks I learned from taking the wrong buses, getting off at the wrong stops, and mixing up my combinations in the metro system. I did learn with the very present frustration, tears, and nerves.

One day, 11 days into my stay I was waiting for the collectivo to get to school when a man tapped my shoulder and proceeded to took the liberty to remove my headphones in order to ask me a question. Startled and a bit nervous I responded "que" or "what," trying to channel the attitude of a "Porteño," a native of Buenos Aires, a real city girl.

Masking my fear with annoyance I listened as the man asked me for directions for a street I had never heard of before which I expressed to the gentleman. In return, he looked at me in disbelief when I told him I wasn't from there and couldn't help him. In the end, he insulted me and thought I was trying to be unhelpful to him but I can honestly say this experience was pivotal to my time in Argentina.

His insults about me being a rude "Porteña" made my day and showed me that while I may not feel comfortable enough I look the part. It gave me a sense of pride because I felt apart of a diverse, yet unified community. It helped me pause and allow myself to enjoy the uniqueness of the city. It showed me that "Porteño's" were tough and blunt people but they had an attitude that I envied. The mess they all displayed on the outside divided on politics on what the World Cup lineup should be was all minimal to the common thread they shared... pride. They are proud of being Argentine and they are proud of being a "Porteño."

In eavesdropping conversations I found that unlike many Americans, Argentines love to talk about politics, the economy, religion, and of course soccer. They do not ignore these controversial topics nor do they write someone off for having opposing view points than them. In turn, they debate. They

listen to each other, sometimes start yelling and interrupting, but at the end of the conversation no hard feelings, it was just a discussion. it wasn't small talk- it was substantial...... it mattered.

in essence, we could all learn from "Porteños." Sure, they cuss a lot and yeah they can be pretty rude, but they're real. they're who they are and they're proud and thats why they're my people.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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