Those little things you never really noticed about Argentina - until now

There are 56 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by serafina.

  • Queues outside banks - I always thought it was because they were either short staffed or just too many customers. Now I know it's because ATMs are never hole-in-the-walls.

    Lavatory seat always left up - I have no idea why. Perhaps to let the devils out? I was always brought up to put it down on pain of death.

    No post boxes in the street for posting letters - what's that all about?

    Writing your life story on the credit card slip - DNI, signature, name and telephone number (which I never provide)

    Saying 'excuse me' when entering someone's house is fine, but saying it every time you go from one room to another seems a bit extreme.

    Carrying your keys on an elaborate belt keychain - it used to be very fashionable in the 70s when I lived here and seems confined to the older generation. (as well as keeping your mobile in a leather pouch on your belt)

    There are loads more...please add.

  • Supermarket chains with self checkout -- until the payment part, which requires lining up at a desk where there may or may not be a waiting cashier.


    For that matter, the supermarket lines made longer by the paperwork being filled out by someone requesting delivery. Why not do the checkout in the checkout line, then move over to a delivery post?


    We hate supermarkets, and go only when we can't find things elsewhere. When forced to go to them, we are always surprised that a) things are as inefficient as ever, and b) people are so patient with the inefficiencies, long lines, and lengthy waits.

  • That self checkout is an effing joke.

    They just don't get it do they?

    The same is valid for the SUBE online top up. When I was writing the post about how to top up the SUBE card for free I remembered that you had mentioned the Mercadopago app as an option. So I went on to investigate this method, and it turns out that, indeed, you can top up the SUBE through the app, but the money is not actually loaded onto your SUBE unless you put the card on a card writer. And the card writer cannot be from a third party (like the ones in the kioskos), it has to be from an approved SUBE point, such as in subway stations, train stations, dedicated SUBE shops, etc.


    So I have two options: walk 2 blocks to the nearest kiosko and pay cash for the top up; top up with mercadopago, and then walk 6 block sto the nearest SUBE approved point for the top up to be loaded onto the card. Seriously?!

  • I would like to add that Steam, the most popular and successful game platform in the world has converted many people's Steam client to local. I.E in Argentina we can now only pay with local currency and my PayPal account in USD is no longer accepted.

    But this is not off-topic because Steam includes such ghastly payment methods as Rapipago et al (you know, the queues).

    Having an Argentine Paypal account is really not a good idea in my case.

  • 1. Lavatory seat always left up - I have no idea why. Perhaps to let the devils out? I was always brought up to put it down on pain of death.


    2. Writing your life story on the credit card slip - DNI, signature, name and telephone number


    3. Saying 'excuse me' when entering someone's house is fine, but saying it every time you go from one room to another seems a bit extreme.

    1. Leaving seat up = not brought up in a house with women.

    2. Life Story requirement -- have to give DNI or Passport Number in order to have La Nación delivered. What's with THAT?

    3. Never heard of the "excuse me" routine. Please elaborate, as our imaginations are running away with us.

  • They use the DNI everywhere -- including when you write a letter to the editor of the newspaper: they publish it and sign it with your name and DNI! That's always odd to me.


    Note that, unlike an American SS#, your DNI # is not intended to be a private number but a public one.

  • They use the DNI everywhere -- including when you write a letter to the editor of the newspaper: they publish it and sign it with your name and DNI! That's always odd to me.


    Note that, unlike an American SS#, your DNI # is not intended to be a private number but a public one.

    I think that's because there are so many homonyms in Latin America. Even my husband has about 15 homonyms, about all of them in Brazil. His family has no ties with Brazil, it is just that someone from the same place moved to Brazil (most of them, apparently) and only his great-grandpa moved to Argentina. Add it with a common name (any Apostle, Father or Mother or Son's name) and you have a clone.


    Have you ever go to a faculty of a public university to see the admission charts? The Lópezs, the Vegas, the Pérezs all take up on sheet with tiny little names.

  • Large chunks of the middle class belonging to a “country” (club) and not being in the city on weekends because they’re at the club. (in the US, only the super rich belong to country clubs but here it is a middle class phenomenon.)

    Hello from a country club in Pilar ;)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • They use the DNI everywhere -- including when you write a letter to the editor of the newspaper: they publish it and sign it with your name and DNI! That's always odd to me.


    Note that, unlike an American SS#, your DNI # is not intended to be a private number but a public one.

    Yes, but it makes no sense - just as with SSN, I may add.


    In the US, your SSN is supposed to be private, but is required to be produced for more than enough ridiculous things so as to make the notion of its being private just cute.


    Whereas here, your DNI is treated often enough as a sort of password - which makes no sense considering that it is easily discoverable.

    I do airline tickets, car rental, hotels, cruises, insurance, and all-inclusive packages.

    If you want great service and low prices, look no further.
    I also sell local SIM cards for several countries.
    ben@kanfeinesharim.com

  • Yes, but it makes no sense - just as with SSN, I may add.


    In the US, your SSN is supposed to be private, but is required to be produced for more than enough ridiculous things so as to make the notion of its being private just cute.


    Whereas here, your DNI is treated often enough as a sort of password - which makes no sense considering that it is easily discoverable.

    There is no national identity number or ID in the US, while most of the rest of the world has some kind of universal registry. In today’s cyber world it would actually be useful for most purposes if we did - laying aside, for a moment, privacy rights issues. So, the poor old SSN, which is unique to each citizen and everyone has one, is often used - even though in most cases it’s specifically illegal to do so.


    Here in Argentina when we request prepaid “delivery” the kid needs to see the credit card (which he rubs with a pencil on receipt paper to sort of get an imprint), then wants a signature and DNI. No one really cares about this part, least of all the kid - till I got smart enough to memorize my wife’s DNI, I’d just shrug and he’d make one up or put in his own.

  • I'm not comfortable with providing my DNI all over the place actually and today is a good example. I registered for a loyalty card at Coto, one of the crappiest supermarkets on the planet. Why on earth did they want my DNI?


    We don't have ID cards in the UK either and probably never will :)

    Please enlighten me. I thought individuals in the UK, along with all/most European countries, had a national identity document of some kind. Not too important if it’s a card or something else, but if you’re detained by the police, don’t you have to prove identity?

  • I'm not comfortable with providing my DNI all over the place actually and today is a good example. I registered for a loyalty card at Coto, one of the crappiest supermarkets on the planet. Why on earth did they want my DNI?

    They could ask you to show your DNI when using the loyalty card. It has your address stored in case you ask for a delivery. That's the only thing that comes to my mind.

  • Please enlighten me. I thought individuals in the UK, along with all/most European countries, had a national identity document of some kind. Not too important if it’s a card or something else, but if you’re detained by the police, don’t you have to prove identity?

    In Italy we still have paper IDs which are not accepted in most European countries because they are at high risk of forging (a piece of paper with a picture glued on it... seriously?). I showed my Italian ID card to a student of mine from the US and he said "Well, it doesn't look an official document at all..." :D


    We have been trying to implement the electronic document (sort of plastic DNI) for years, but apparently sourcing the printers and the cartridges became a controversial issue and after 15 years only a limited number of municipalities issue ID cards in the form of plastic credit cards.


    And, by the way, the driving license is now considered a valid ID in Italy, but it was subject to discussion for some years. When I had to sit for my high school finals we were warned that the driving license would not have been accepted as a valid ID.

    Finally, the driving license can be used as an ID only within national limits. We can board a plane using our driving license, but only for national flights, despite all European driving licenses looking the same!:/


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  • ... and that’s a copy of your ID? No wonder there’s a problem!

  • No, there's never been an ID card in the UK, in spite of being in the EU...sort of.

    It's not even compulsory to carry important docs in the car with you, so if you're stopped you're given three days to report to a police station with the docs.

    My education continues. Thanks.

  • The US's lack of a national ID stems directly from the UK's lack of one. Today technology has made an end-run around any notion of true privacy, but historically it was one which Americans guarded jealously.

    I do airline tickets, car rental, hotels, cruises, insurance, and all-inclusive packages.

    If you want great service and low prices, look no further.
    I also sell local SIM cards for several countries.
    ben@kanfeinesharim.com