Matt and I had our first encounter with Americans since we have been in Buenos Aires. The Bears game was on yesterday so we took a seven minute taxi drive to an American bar called Shoestring Joes. The place was packed with Americans either students, visitors or locals wearing college shirts, khaki shorts, sports hats and almost everyone with a beer in the their hand. Our first night out we noticed the huge cultural difference in social drinking here. Even on a Friday night you won't see a Porteno indulging in a two pint pitcher of beer or stumbling disoriented out of a bar. The people here seem to value being clear-headed and composed. This night was the first time we saw people getting sloppy. I read in a book that Portenos look down on people who get drunk and out of control.They see it as a weakness. This attitude is very refreshing for someone experienced in the Newport Beach Peninsula bar scene. The social scene here is much more pleasant and enjoyable to take part in. People treat themselves with good conversation and story telling.
Matt and I have observed another difference in the social culture that is perhaps linked to the lack of heavy drinking here- everyone wants to be seen. Almost all of the restaurants have outside seating on the streets and it is very rare that you will see the inside filled before the outside. Yesterday we ate outside at a restaurant where not one person was inside. Often times, groups of girls will often congregate near the entrance, showing off their very fashionable outfits as they wait for a table. We have found the same trend in most of the bars we have been too. You won't find many people in the back of the bar, everyone gathers in the front.
I am meeting up with a girl who went to Harbor High School in Newport Beach, but is originally from here and is not living here with her boyfriend. Our mutual friend hooked us up. I look forward to asking her about this social behavior and her opinion on the differences between the Newport Beach night life and here.
Stay tuned! Hasta luego!