Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Thoughts on Argentina

After spending over 6 weeks travelling around Argentina I thought I would sum up some of my thoughts on the country.

Good things about Argentina (in no particular order)

1)      Cheap wine – OK the wine is not the best in the world, but you can get a very nice bottle of red for about £3. One of the reasons why so little work gets done!
2)      Mouth watering steaks – Argentinean food is all about red meat, the more the better. I had some amazing steaks in Argentina even if they do tend to over cook them.
3)      Natural wonders – glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, Argentina has it all in spades. My personal highlight was the Iguazu Falls, but the glaciers in Southern Patagonia were also amazing.
4)      Transport – Surprisingly good roads, which is a bonus considering the mileage we covered. The long distance coaches are also very comfy.
5)      Nightlife – If there is one thing Argentineans enjoy, it is a good night out.

Not so good things about Argentina

1)      Collapsing economy – Rampant inflation has made the country stupidly expensive. More expensive than the UK for a lot of things, which is crazy considering the poor quality of most things on offer.  
2)      Work ethic – I think it must be the Southern European culture, but generally speaking Argentineans are allergic to work.
3)      Siester time – Between 1 & 4 everything is shut. One hour for lunch, OK, but clearly Argentineans need 3-4 hours to enjoy their lunch. I know you get use to a 24 hour culture in the UK, but Argentinean opening hours take the piss.
4)      Customer service – in Argentina the customer is always wrong!
5)      Why work when you can protest – we had students, truck drivers, public officials and god knows who else protesting and/or going on strike. Argentineans do like a good protest.      
6)      Weather – boiling hot in the North and freezing cold in the south. If there is a happy medium we did not find it. The wind in Patagonia also has to be experienced to be believed. And you though North Norfolk was windy!
7)      Don’t mention you are British – There is not much love for the UK, although it does not stop them from enjoying the Premier League and I even managed to find a few old Rover cars.
8)      Meal times – Eating your evening meal at 11:00 at night is just plain wrong. Want to eat at a restaurant before 21:00, forget it!

Summary Argentina reminds me of China and India in many ways. Interesting country to visit, but very hard work at times. Post 2013 not a country I will be rushing back to visit if I am honest.
Roll on Brazil!


1 comment:

  1. Very amusing...sounds like an interesting experience!!