Can Argentines be a little insensitive and in your face?

There are 9 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • A couple of recent examples...

    On Tuesday night at 8.30, when Adri had just got in from the centre after a very long day, and when I was playing on my PC after 12 hours of editing, the doorbell rings and I go out to find one of her relatives and his daughter, both with backpaks waiting outside. To be fair, she had mentioned they might pop by to collect something, but the backpacks looked ominous.

    Anyway, a bear hug and a big sloppy kiss was impossible to avoid from this huge bloke and they strode into the house with meaningful purpose.

    On arriving at the kitchen, they unloaded their backpacks and laid out a picada (tapas) with beer and coke, immediately making themselves at home as if we had just invited them for dinner (which I was actually preparing at the time).

    No 'do you minds? or 'I hope we're not intruding' or anything like that. It was a case of 'we're staying to chat with you about nothing in particular' and that was that.

    I sometimes wonder how people can be so oblivious to others' feelings and as the clock approached nine PM, I was growing more irritable, practically ignoring them and preparing the dinner.

    And he's a very loud bloke, his voice booming throughout the house, commenting on such banalities as the curtains and pictures in the room.

    By nine thirty I was wondering if they were ever going to leave, so I went back to my PC and played with guns, shooting Narcos in Mexico or somewhere, until eventually I heard them getting ready to go.


    This isn't the first time this has happened and perhaps it's my English upbringing. I've always been one to size up a situation first and if I sense that the other person is otherwise engaged, I back off diplomatically. This is not the Argentine way, evidentially.

    I'll post the other a little later.

  • Normally well educated argentines asks before if they are allowed to come to visit someone.

    At least, this is what I learn in my boyhood.

    But I recognize that etiquette standards have been put in oblivion in the recent past.

    Especially not keeping the personal distances, the kiss to anyone, the custom to remain sit when a lady is coming, and so forth.

  • I’m sorry, Splinter, but we are laughing so hard at your expense that we are hurting ourselves. Especially at the picture of your unsuccessfully wishing to dodge the inevitable kiss from Smokey the Bear.

    The wife and I are both anti social so we don't answer the door unless we know who's coming. :D

    We’ve been known to ignore the doorbell too. We really don’t know anyone here who would be insensitive enough to simply drop in. And we live 11 floors up instead of in a house, where hiding behind the curtains would be a much less successful dodge.

    I suspect that the problem is not that Argentines are insensitive but that relatives, in any country, can feel an unwarranted sense of entitlement.

  • I always thought British politeness was a myth until I moved to Argentina. I am more polite than people here and I am hardly a etiquette aficionado myself. Outstaying a welcome is common here, as is not saying thank you if for example you hold a door for someone to pass. Idling down the sidewalk cutting a path is also something that happens here a lot. In the U.K., I am used to people at least making an effort to move amongst each other, here shoulder barges are on the regular.

    I will admit my wife's family are mostly excellent and polite. However, why is it if a friend and/or family member phones to say they want to visit we can't say no? That is too rude, that's when Argentine politeness occurs. I have postponed existing plans several times because a family member has phoned to say they fancy pizza in my house that night. No one gets that saying "no sorry but we were going out" is not rude.

  • I completely agree with you there Semigoodlooking

    In fact, there was a time when Adri's boy would invite three or four of his mates to have dinner with us several times a week, until this simply became an enormous task. I even found my food portions being cut in half as we didn't have enough to go around.

    In the end, I had to put a stop to it and asked for more reasonable arrangements and also that he would have to ask us first, well in advance.

  • This is another thing. I am used to having friends around my house in the UK. This usually went like, they would knock the door, come in, play Xbox, take crisps if they want, make a drink if they want. I don't neccesarily mind uninvited guests and have told friends here they can turn up anytime within reason. I don't understand why it has to be an event every time. If they want to come and hang out, cool, but let's sit here siliently watching TV with the odd comment. Let's not go and get food, drinks, call more people, and invite the family.

    Sometimes my mother in law says she is coming and my wife is flapping about going to go get drinks, cakes, and do a big clean of the house.

  • It seems that all depends on the good sense of the friends close to you. But anyway, in our age of

    extremely easy communications, a previous advise must be almost mandatory.

  • Should also add...we have five dogs. Uninvited guests turning up at our door is bad enough but having to manage them as well as five excited dogs isn't easy especially if the weather outside is bad.

    Guests don't take too kindly to having to go outside into the garden. :D

  • I must say that we have never had friends invite themselves to our house. But then, we have no relatives, in-laws or outlaws here!