The kindness of Argentinians


Jun 20, 2006
So often we hear on these forums about the dishonesty of Argentinians and tricky behaviour when in many circumstances there is a level of kindness here not apparent in the First World.

For example today I dropped my glasses and stepped on them bending them out of shape. I went to an optometrist in the Capital federal and they repaired them and refused any payment at all. This has happened numerous times to me in this city in business dealings where in my own home country it would very rarely happen as capitalism is very strong there.

After all these years here I believe that Argentinians are mostly decent people who will treat you fairly if you treat them with respect and speak their language . I see now that many people who are having negative experiences here are because of the lack of respect and suspicion that they treat the local inhabitants.

My experiences in business have also taught me that some expats have been unfortunately much more dishonest to me in Buenos Aires than Argentinians have been . This has suprised me enormously but now I accept that as my observation and do not generalise about the locals anymore. Please your comments are appreciated.
Many years ago I searched the internet for someone to talk spanish with me, and I met a lady from Pilar to whome I have written for years.
Now whenever I come over she invites me to her home, her family parties, Christmas celebrations.
There is no way I could repay her kindness yet she would take nothing from me, not even an invite to a meal.

I have many examples of kindness like this, but like any city there will be good and bad. Look for the best in people and it will almost always show through.:)
good timing with this post pericles! yesterday my power cord for my laptop burst into flames and so i was faced with the challenge of finding a new one. i went first to one place who didn't have what i needed, but the man pointed me to another store a few blocks away. i went there and spoke to the man and asked if he had the cord i needed. normally the power cord comes in a set, with the actual battery thing and two different cords. but i only needed the cord that connects to the outlet, so he took the cable out of the set and let me test it with my battery before selling it to me for a mere 30 pesos! also, because i didn't have enough efectivo, he let me give him what i had and said i could come back whenever to give him the rest! i thanked him profusely and left the store thinking about how that would never happen in the States. he was so kind and willing to help me, and i have had many similar experiences here: taxistas who stop and get empanadas for me at 5 in the morning when i said i was hungry, colectiveros who have let me off exactly where i needed to be when i asked them how to get somewhere, etc.

i think the key is just to be open to people helping you and to have faith that not everyone is out to get you. of course there are people who will take advantage of foreigners, and it has happened to me on occasion here, but this is no different than what would happen in any other place in the world--it's the nature of the beast. speaking the language does help, but i really believe that the majority of Argentines are more than willing to help us out if we let them, and i only hope i can pay it back one day! peace, love, karma :)
Several months ago I dropped a 50 peso note in a taxi as I exited. The taxi driver honked at me furiously, but I didn't pay attention, so he ran a red light and pulled over in front of me to hand it back; I was stunned.

Several years ago, I was lost driving in the city of Trelew, trying to find the unmarked dirt road to go to Punta Tombo. When I stopped and asked a taxisita for directions; he hopped in his taxi and told me to follow him. We weaved through back roads, exited the town and he led me to the correct road. He also gave us a big bottle of water for the long, hit ride.

The munificence of some of the Argentines is one of the traits which endeared me to this country. I ALWAYS make an effort to repay any act of kindness and have made some great friendships in the process.
I have nothing but praise for the Argentine people.They have been to hell and back,the older generation,and of course their children suffered the after effects too.Smile,TRY to communicate and you,ll see...just try it...great post by the way....
If you're expecting 'mala onda' that's what you will get. Bad vibes just breed more bad vibes. Argentintians are the same as everyone I really need to say that? There are good and bad. Rule no. 1: Don't be a mug but don't presume everyone is dishonest. Simple.