For all its chaos, Argentina is a country that lures foreign visitors in, enticing them subtly, slowly but surely, to stay a little longer — sometimes even forever. This is precisely why, for those who can’t stay in Argentina for longer than they plan to, we’ve prepared a guide on how to be Argentine when you get home. If not for any other reason, why not have a little fun? Can’t you see yourself dressed as a gaucho in your home city?
1. Take things home with you
A stockpile of certain Argentine-only goods (okay, a lot of things are Uruguayan as well) will be necessary for you to Argentinize yourself in other parts of the world. On an extreme scale, you’ll need a gaucho outfit including shoes, pants, hat and knife (watch out for airport security). On a more practical note — especially if you’re not keen on getting stared at in your gaucho wear — suggested items are a mate cup of any design and the accompanying straw (of all things, don’t forget the straw), plus a reasonable stockpile of your favorite brand of yerba mate.
2. Go places, do things
The most exported national traditions and cultural products from Argentina to the rest of the world are obvious: steakhouses and Tango schools. While obvious, don’t shy away from these places! But do use your now-qualified nose to sniff out the best steak and feel free to test your now-worn-out dance shoes on the floorboards of each and every Tango school in your area, making sure you settle on one of a high, Julio Boca standard. You might also like to approach your local Argentine cultural center or society, if there is one, or try to convince all of your friends to wear a Boca or River jersey — and even better, divide them into two and create your very own local Boca-River rivalry.
3. Maintain your Spanish
There’s only a certain amount of repeat screenings of Esperando la carroza or Nueve Reinas you can put your housemates or family members through before they get sick of you. Ultimately you’re going to have to be more creative if you want to hold on to your memories of Argentina or maintain your Argentine castellano (Spanish). A much healthier sized and varied collection of movies and music will keep others entertained while also expanding your vocabulary. And certainly don’t limit yourself to just Argentine film or music — listening to other accents can help clarify certain phrases or words, and expand your current vocabulary to include other important words used across Latin America or Spain. You’ll also be in a better position to distinguish what is Argentine and what is not!
4. Fend off the negativity
Hold on to vos! Hold on to che! Hold on to nene and nena, pibe and mina — we beg you! Argentine Spanish might seem strange when compared to other versions or accents in the language. But keep in mind that, while you might like to tone down some of the lunfardo (slang), our castellano is a valid and very beautiful way to speak the Spanish language, so don’t let the naysayers convert you over to the dark side with tú or, heaven forbid, vosotros! (We’re not serious about this, just proud of our castellano).
5. Plan your return
Argentina’s migrant society — even the Tango — is laced with nostalgia for distant places and long lost loves. If you find yourself in love with Argentina, drowning in sorrow and nostalgia for your Buenos Aires querida, start planning your return straight away! Think about a higher level Spanish course with us, or the option of adding a volunteering opportunity on the side. Argentina is always open to foreigners, no matter which in capacity they chose to stay here. You just need to try your luck like the hundreds of thousands of migrants before you!