I have to commute by car between San Fernando and Barrio Norte frequently. The highway ride never fails to demonstrate how utterly disrespectful, dangerous, and downright incompetent the local drivers are compared to those in the US cities in which I have resided (and the traffic fatalities statistics prove it). It's also true for city streets driving.
I can abide the broken sidewalks and the dog doo on the sidewalks problem seems to be improving. Moreover, in neither case are they anything but minor annoyances compared to the nut job drivers. The reckless driver threatens my safety so blatantly that I often wish I had a neutron type bomb I could launch to take the worst of them out...or at least, sterilize them and thereby prevent their further pollution of the gene pool.
I have a theory to explain this phenomenon. Living in Bs As with the attendant power outages, inflation, absurd pseudo-political manifestations and other various and sundry 3rd world bullsh*t understandably creates a great deal of stress and tension. Most Portenos are polite civilized folks and are therefor reluctant to act out their collective stress "cara a cara", so to speak, however, the anonymity of being behind the wheel of a car (like the anonymity of the internet) allows them a comparatively "safe' way to release their accumulated stress and tension. It's almost like a Jekyl and Hyde transformation. Ordinarily nice people turn into assh*les once they get behind the wheel of a car. Weird.
Guess I am the wild card. I love fernet, drink mate every day, even in the states, and dont object to small children. Dont like dogs, much, though. But I think Argentines are much like people everywhere, spoiling their dogs.
cultural differences I see are things like the class issue- in Argentina, class still matters a LOT. Servants are still common, and are treated like servants quite often. Since UBA is free, many more people I meet have degrees, and higher degrees are taken very seriously here- many many occupations, which, in the USA, you could find most people without advanced degrees, here require Masters, Doctorates, or PHDs. I meet many cabdrivers with extensive education.
And Argentine friends often sneer at people who went to public primary and secondary schools.
Most designers of any sort here have architecture degrees- that would include fashion designers, shoe designers, interior designers and more.
In the US, this is very rare- I know a lot of self taught people in the US who do very well, have successful companies with employees.
That almost never happens here.
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