Culture Clash

For the most part, Argentines have been wonderful to all of us so far. Few cordobeses speak English, but they are usually very patient with us who are trying to learn Spanish. They will listen as we stumble through even the simplest sentences and do their best to speak slowly and understandably for us. Many other countries are not the same way, so I am grateful to be surrounded by such welcoming people.

There are always exceptions to rules, though. So, of course, there will be those few people who aren’t as hospitable.

When I was in Buenos Aires for this past weekend, my friends and I stopped into a historical building looking for some tourist information. There was a lady there at the desk who was probably around sixty and she was from Buenos Aires. She started asking us where we were from and what we were doing in Buenos Aires and Argentina. We told her that we were students from the US and we were just traveling to BA for the weekend, et cetera et cetera. This porteño proceeded to go on a spiel about how she thinks that we Americans are doing it all wrong, we should be back home with our families, learning how to cook and clean and take care of our families and what not, and that we are exactly what is wrong with our generation.

We all got out of there as quickly as we could and didn’t pay too much attention to what she said to us. But it is interesting to compare Argentine culture the US culture. Argentines usually live with their parents until after they’re done with college. One of my professors lived with his parents until he was twenty eight and that was completely normal. This is a pretty family-oriented culture. It is also interesting and fun to encounter people who think it’s ok to completely shit on another person’s lifestyle and culture! I wasn’t offended or anything by the lady and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with the way I am living my life. It’s simply food for thought.

I cannot help but think about the topic we are discussing in my philosophy class currently. We are thinking about death and the fact that everyone dies. Memento mori. Remember death. If it makes a person feel most alive, full, accomplished, and loved to remain close to their family, get married young, have children, and stay in one city for most of their life, then do it. It if makes a person feel most alive, full, accomplished, and loved to do none of those, then do it. As long as you feel at the end of the day that you really lived, then you did what you were meant to do that day. And it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says.

Maybe you disagree with me. That’s fine. This is my life and it will be my death. I am finding what will most fill my soul.

And Mom- this is not me saying that I am never going to come home. I am coming home! So don’t worry.