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Post Thanksgiving Thoughts from Argentina

November 28, 2012

Another warm and humid Thanksgiving has come and gone, which right away describes how I feel about certain aspects of the Holidays down here in Buenos Aires. No turkey (unless you search high and low), no easy way to make pumpkin pie (you can but you have to actually take real pumpkin and make it… imagine using fresh vegetables!), no stuffing in a box, no gravy mix, no canned cranberry. But you know what? I’m over it. I worked on Thanksgiving, and thought nothing of it. I didn’t even call my family (that day… I called them on the weekend).

So what does that mean? Am I becoming Argentine? No, I don’t think so. I am just lazy. Thanksgiving is not easy in the USA, you do have to go to the supermarket and do some cooking, but it is so soo soooooo much more easy to do in the USA than it is here. Here, literally, you have to fight for every single step of what you would consider to be a standard piece of Thanksgiving dinner. Except mashed potatoes. Unless you wanted to make whipped potatoes (which include sour cream)!! We don’t have sour cream!

And this leads me to think of Christmas and New Years TRAFFIC in Buenos Aires. Yes that is the first thing I think of when I think holidays in Argentina. Well the second actually. The first thing I think of is heat. Oh so sweltering, sweaty, humid and sticky heat. Air conditioning is such a must during the Holidays here. Because there is still all kinds of hot and heave food you eat.

And the third thing I think of is noise. Fireworks and explosions straight out of Lebanon in the 1980s. It seriously feels like a warzone on Christmas. So much for the sober holiday we are used to in the USA!!

I almost forgot the 4th thing: Christmas is at night! And its not on Christmas! It’s Noche Buena, which is the night before!

Now that I have bitched and moaned, let me tell you about what I love love love love about Christmas in Buenos Aires! LOVE… I love the fact that people don’t go ape shit over buying presents. This makes up for literally everything else above times a million. Easily. I hate, so much, the ridiculous, obnoxious, entitled and spoiled society of the USA between about November 15 and January 2. There is so much hype about Holiday shopping that nearly all retail companies plan their entire fiscal year around this. It is insane and should be put in check.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2012 8:22 pm

    Saludos! Just to say that I agree with you about everything–except the “obnoxious…spoiled society of the USA” during the holidays. Christmas everywhere, like life, is what you make it. I lived all my life until 2001 in Los Angeles and never felt spoiled, just lucky. My family with four sons never went apeshit over presents. But we went to church at midnight on Christmas Eve (sometimes going to a movie first), had friends over on the 25th for a great roast goose with plum sauce dinner. maybe had a lovely open house on the Sunday before, went to the Music Center for a Messiah Singalong and Tuba Xmas. Here in BsAs the only Christmas music I ever hear is on TV during American commercials. People just want to get away to Mardel or Punta. Where, and what, is the Christmas Spirit here in BsAs?

    • November 28, 2012 8:43 pm

      Thanks for the comment Cherie! I would say that the Christmas spirit here is one of firecrackers ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. December 1, 2012 12:32 pm

    I, too, agree with much of what you said. I absolutely love Thanksgiving, and I really enjoy cooking. However, this year, I just couldn’t get into it. Like you said, it’s such a struggle to put together the meal, and when Thanksgiving rolled around this year, I just didn’t have the energy. Christmas isn’t the same either, but at least it’s not as hot here on the coast! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. thor permalink
    February 23, 2013 11:49 pm

    Why should it be a right to for an ex-pat to be able to prepare US traditional food abroad? If the food where the same in Argentina than in USA it would not be fun. Isnยดt the wine and meat great in Argentina? Of course local traditions will be different abroad too? Or you want all the world to be like USA? It is already boring to travel abroad and see that all malls are pretty much the same. Look for the differences and try to enjoy your experience abroad.

    • February 24, 2013 1:14 pm

      Excellent comment Thor! I totally agree with the gist of your comment, but after 8 years of living in Argentina there are just things that you wish you had. Please listen to my podcast (www.bacast.com) and you will hear many many nuances of my analysis of Argentina. It goes way beyond wanting turkey. Also I would like to point out that it seems that you missed my last paragraph in this post where I say that this is all made up for more than a million times by the fact that Argentina is so much less commercial during the holidays.

  4. Candy permalink
    November 4, 2013 8:42 pm

    I love reading about my city from a foreigner’s point of view. It makes Buenos Aires look a lot nicer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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