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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

A look at a slower state of mind

Coffee+is+an+anytime+drink+in+Argen-tina.+When+you%E2%80%99re+at+lunch+at+your+favorite+corner+caf%C3%A9%2C+you+can+grab+a+cappuccino+like+this+one+for+an+after-noon+pick+me+up.
Coffee is an anytime drink in Argen-tina. When you’re at lunch at your favorite corner café, you can grab a cappuccino like this one for an after-noon pick me up.

BUENOS OBSERVATIONS FROM BUENOS AIRES—

The time zone is not the only difference in time between American and Latin American cultures. In a world that has become obsessed with the instantaneous, Argentina has found a way to press pause.

In general, schedules are not as strictly defined by time as they are in the United States. If you plan on something taking one hour, it’s completely acceptable if it takes an hour and a half instead. If you set a meet ing time for some activity, being 10 minutes late, or even more, does not reflect upon one’s personality as lazy or apathetic like it would in the United States. Not accomplishing things according to the time limit they were intended to follow is not a cause for frustration or anxiety.

Sea lo que sea.

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But more specifically, people do not rush through the day simply to accomplish activity after activity. You can pay for a drink in a café and stay all day. The waiter will not passive aggressively slide you the bill, silently encouraging you to move along. In fact, he won’t bother you at all until you ask him for your check. Being a city comparable to the size of Chicago, getting from place to place in Buenos Aires involves subways, buses and a good pair of walking shoes.

Walking across several lanes of one-way traffic is a common occurrence on any typical route, but you will not see any power walkers. You may see a mother casually pushing her baby in a stroller or an elderly man crossing with his cane, but nobody in a rush to get out of the way of the hundreds of cars. The most efficient person you will find crossing the street will be on a bike. Even the meals reflect this easier-going state of mind.

Dinner is normally between 8 and 9 in the evening (which, by the way, is a very hard thing for an American to adjust to). No one is in a hurry to finish their day, and I have to wonder if it’s because their days are slightly less miserable than those of us who barely breathe between the time we wake up and the time we go to sleep– if there’s even time to sleep.

Wofford is a very internationally minded college. Students are encouraged to study abroad because living in a different culture and experiencing other people’s realities allows you to have a better grip on your own. This is exactly what Buenos Aires has done for me in the mere four days I’ve been here. I have already been challenged to slow down and enjoy even the moments that seem insignificant. Enjoying your time shouldn’t be a country specific practice, so I extend this challenge to the entire Wofford community. Chao.

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