Suitcase on wheels     stuck in the snow   sniffer dog

Monday, September 11, 2006

78. Dr. Matt (Bariloche, Argentina)

As expected, my last post generated a few comments - positive feedback too, great!

Reader's comment:

My friend -
Looks like you're getting angrier by the post with your adopted country. I think things will get better in time though...hopefully before the boiling point is reached.

Hi Adam... it wasn't my intention for my last post to have an angry tone. Sure, I called their comedy series' ridiculous and the behaviour of many guys here tactless, but that was about it, right? When I mentioned that all the girls here looked identical, that was my first impression. But it's not something I am or ever was angry about.

Reader's comment:

Amen! Another quality, insightful post! I am also at a loss at to where all the Argentinian hotties are. Also, what's the deal with the lack of breast-age here in Argentina? Damn, I would maim for a couple of good handfuls...

OK, I didn't want to imply that Argentina was short of hotties. The point I was trying to get across is that they are genetically predisposed to fit the short, thin, dark-haired mould, and if that's not your thing you'll just have to get used to it (as I did). Being genetically smaller they also have smaller breasts on average - but to me they make up for that with their nice round butts. You won't see too many flat-asses on the women here.

Cerro Catedral - 03 - Chairlift
Cerro Catedral a couple of weeks ago, after overnight snow

Reader's comment:
Also, why is it that the gringas won't do some auto criticism? I mean, c'mon women, any man would rather have sex with a Latin woman. And they also know how to run a house and bring up a family. Anyway...

Matty, I've got a question for you: If you had seen the opportunity to open the exact same business in your country, would you have gone about it exactly the same way you did in Argentina? You know, buy first the van, then get the permits, then get the professional license, then find out the permit isn't good for what you wanted to do, etc.?


Hi BFN. Why would any man rather have sex with a Latin woman? As anonymous above points out, a breast-man, or for that matter, one into natural blondes, will probably prefer the girls back in his own country.

Good question regarding my business. The order I did things in here was an unplanned progression - originally I wasn't going to drive the van myself but be organising trips, keeping the van maintained, selling tickets etc. The way things have turned out now is that the six months I spent doing the paperwork in BA were pretty much for nothing, since I have to get it re-certified here - which will take another month. But I can't be upset about that because my original plan wasn't to work in Bariloche. I can work here with my current certification, but the catch is I have to exit (and re-enter) the province on any excursion I make, since my certification is inter-provincial. In order to work exclusively within the province, I need to get the provincial certification.
I probably would have done things in the same order in NZ too. I expect certifying the van wouldn't have taken so long (or need to be redone here), but I'm sure getting my professional driver's license would be a more drawn out process, probably involving expensive training courses.

Reader's comment:

Hi Matt!
Another nice article on your weblog! Thanks for your entertaining thoughts, although in this case they were not very helpful for me. Just for completeness I will include a more complete version of the story of my breakup. I am also very curious what your girlfriend has to say about it:

My Argentinean girlfriend of 4,5 months broke up with me just 3 weeks ago. When I met her we were amazingly in love and she send my text messages with many "Te Amo"s and claiming I was the love of her life, this all until about 5 weeks ago. When we had 4 months she wrote me a small note saying I changed her life and if I would please stay with her forever and we were talking a lot about living together. I was working on this by trying to find an acceptable apartment at an acceptable price (mission impossible, I need not explain) and starting my own English school, which is running quite well after just 2 months. Also I was learning Spanish and I tried to be with her as much as I (and she) could. Then 4 weeks ago she didn't want to meet me after her work one night (like we had done since she started that job 2 weeks before, as her work is near my hostel and she prefers sleeping with me instead of taking a 1 hour busride back to her house in the middle of the night), claiming she was tired and busy. Then next night the same, but with the added message she was "thinking" about our relation. After a week waiting she wanted to talk to me, but she wanted to meet in a bar and broke up immediately. I talked her around and after 3 hours of more talking we were together again and stayed the night together, but the next day she send my a TXT message that she really wanted to end and she never came back on this decision. She claimes she needs time alone, wants to have more experience before having a serious relation and that she just doesn't like me anymore. Fair enough, but knowing how desperately she always wanted to be with me, be serious about us and how she showed she really loved me, the whole first 4 months we were being together, I find all this very hard to believe. I cannot believe someone can have her emotions changed so drastically in just 2 weeks time... I think she might just be very afraid that I am going to leave her one day.
Well, I have heard that Argentinean women are passionate (definitely true with love!), also in decisionmaking. Furthermore they can be hysteric and maybe a bit unreliable. So, this is my experience so far with Argentinean women, very sweet (because I had the best love ever with her), but with a unexpected, bitter ending. After she broke up with me, I realised that I love her a lot more than I thought, that I also have made some mistakes (like not showing her enough how much I loved her and complaining about my life in Argentina and having backup plans in the back of my mind) and that I want her back. I am just not sure if and how I can get her back (having no other experience with (Argentinean) women on this subject, until now I broke up), so any tips on this are very, very welcome! My tactic until now is just to wait a few weeks (4-6-8?) and in the meantime get more serious about my life here, so that she can see I am serious about staying in Argentina for her.

Matt wrote me: "If you can combine the 2 Cs of caballero and cojedor you won't have any trouble with the girls." I don´t think I will have a lot of trouble finding someone else, I have already had a thing with a Chilean girl for a week, but it is just not the same as with the Argentinean one, I seem to only want her.

Ok, any comment welcome! Gracias! Chau!

Hi Dave. I've translated your message to my girlfriend. Here's what she had to say:

Hi Dave. If I was you I would put a rope around my neck and hang myself for being abandoned that way! No, just kidding...

It could be 3 things:
Firstly, she had a teenager's attitude to tell you that she loved you and that you were the love of her life in such a short time, teenagers have this attitude because they are inexperienced and are emotionally unstable. Today they want one thing and tomorrow something else. If she actually is a teenager (or an emotionally immature 20 something) you should think about her carefully because she's going to be changing her mind all the time, so it depends on you whether you're willing to accept that or not. My advice would be to forget about her.

Secondly, she may have thought seriously of having a future with you. But if you didn't show her enough interest that could have caused her to make the decision she made. She wouldn't have deluded herself into something if she thought you weren't sure of your future in Argentina, and that you would one day leave Argentina and leave her heartbroken. If this is the case, you have to call her and show her that you really are in love with her and that you want to have a life with her, whether it's in Argentina or somewhere else. Women like it when guys insist.

Or, maybe she has an ex-boyfriend and for whatever reason (maybe because you didn't show her enough interest) she got back with him. Try to get her to tell you her real motive for dumping you, and let her know that you can change.

Suerte. If that doesn't work, there's lots of interesting women here, just find one that's not immature. According to the guys here Argentine women are ideal between 27 and 35 years old because by then they are more mature and they know what they want.

Cerro Catedral - 10 - View from the top pano
5-shot pano from "Piedra del Condor" on Catedral

Reader's comment:
I'm a big fan of your posts, and I think this is another great piece of info about Argentine women.

I'm glad you posted about the topic, because like a lot of single men, I had the exact same questions regarding Argentine women. I have to admit, though, that I am a little disappointed. I have traveled to Mexico, and the latinas have always been very receptive to foreigners. Perhaps, the Argentine women should give some of the men a break. They may find someone great.

It's not that Argentine women are harsh on foreign men in particular - they're simply haven't got "gringo fever". The upshot is that foreigners have to work just as hard as a local guy to pick up a girl here. In Chile, Bolivia, and Peru the women are more interested in foreigners.

Cerro Catedral - 01 - Pistas
A map of the runs on the skifield. It's pretty big

Reader's comment:
tell us about the skiing - how are the slopes - what's the snow like during the season - is steep & deep possible in the cold times? how much does it cost - what are the good skiers like? ie good, medium, mediocre?

Hi Bruce. We're now into the low tourist season, which means lower priced ski lift passes. So my girlfriend and I finally headed up for our first day's skiing. Skiing is a rich man's sport in any country, and Argentina's no exception. Ski hire: $40 pesos per day. Lift passes: $115 pesos in the high season, $65 pesos low season. Clothes hire, around $40 pesos. That's about $200 pesos (US$66) per day in the high season and around $150 pesos (US$50) in the low season, not counting transportation to the mountain (from US$1 on public bus) and food.
I'm not really an expert skier so can't really comment on the quality of the skiers here (or on steep & deep, sounds p0rn0 to me), but my friend Paul who lives here and goes up just about every day says the locals are pretty good.

I've skied a bit over the years but she'd never done it, and she wasn't all that keen to try. But skiing by yourself I find boring as hell, so I was pushing her to give it a go so that we'd have a mutual hobby. Unfortunately, the day ended in tears as she badly twisted her knee and had to be stretchered off the beginner's slope. Since she doesn't have health insurance we had to fork out for her treatment on the mountain. And then when we got home I'd somehow lost our apartment key so we had to get a locksmith in to replace the lock at our expense. I was on nurse duty the next couple of days as she was unable to walk and bedridden. Fortunately she's now out of bed and limping around, and it seems like she hadn't torn any ligaments so she'll be OK. I still feel guilty.

Cerro Catedral - 08 - Ruth skiing
Ruth skiing, before it ended in tears

I finally sat the test for my national professional driver's license - I had to wait 30 days for my turn. The test consisted of 5 hours of medical tests - blood, ears, eyes, eyeball pressure, chest xray, a physical, plotting my heartbeat, and the highlight, an EEG, where they placed a bunch of electrodes on my head, got me to hyperventilate, and plotted the results. Finally we had a bunch of psychological tests including an IQ test and an interview with a psychologist. I totally bombed the IQ test as a lot of the multiple choice options were out of my vocabulary - it was like:
"Which item doesn't belong in the group":
a. apple b. banana c. ball d. shnork e. fnerp

Anyway, the psychologist said the IQ test wasn't too important. Now I've just got to wait a month for the paperwork to get sent off to Buenos Aires and come back again.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

77. Chicas (Bariloche, Argentina)

Myth number 27 about Argentina:
Argentina has the most beautiful girls in the world.

Actually, I don't think that even counts as a myth. I'd never heard that before I came here, and I don't think many Argentinians would claim it was true. I think maybe a mechanic or waiter told me that "fact" after I'd been here a month, and it stuck with me. Update: Or maybe I heard it through the mainstream media.

What I did hear before I came here, from various sources (mostly online and mostly tourists), was that Argentine women are the most beautiful in South America. And when I arrived and checked into a hostel, a lot of the gringo guys were going on about how hot Argentine girls were. Yet I wasn't seeing it at all. I'd just spent the last year and a half living in Sydney, which is full of beautiful people of all colours and sizes. As well as classic natural blonde suntanned look, there's plenty of other interesting racial combinations and complexions thrown in. And not to mention a neverending supply of European backpackers hanging out on the beaches. So in those early days I'd wander around Buenos Aires and not see anything exciting. All the girls looked identical - short, skinny, pale skin, dark hair, dark eyes dark or blue eyes (I've actually realised there's a lot of blue eyes around that I hadn't noticed earlier). There was some variation, but almost always from the hair dye bottle.

After a couple of weeks I'd gotten used to the homogenous Argentine look, and the pretty girls started to stick out from crowd. But it took some getting used to. I think a lot of the guys in the hostels who were raving about Argentine beauties had just arrived from a few months on the road in Peru and Bolivia, where the people have more indigenous blood. They probably hadn't had any action for a few months.

The girls here do look after themselves. On just about every block there'll be a waxing and nails joint, as well as numerous peluquerías (hair salons). They eat little in order to try stay slim. My girlfriend, a waitress, would often be amazed at the quantity of food foreign girls would order for lunch. They are quite girly too - I've never seen a girl (or a guy either) walking down the street here in bare feet (que sucio!). Or a girl in her pajamas buying milk on a Sunday morning - both of which I saw when I went back to NZ. Daytime TV is full of ads for the latest slimming cream or anti-cellulite massage treatment (whatever). I mentioned in my last post how plastic surgery is popular in Buenos Aires. It all adds up - the girls here are slim, but homogenous.

Last month we saw Miss Universe 2006 on TV. Of the final ten contestants, five were from Latin America (Bolivia(!), Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico) and only one was from Europe (Switzerland). So either there's something in the genes down here that makes people good looking, or there's more of a beauty industry that makes beauty contestant a viable career path. Maybe a bit of both.

So, what's the typical Argentinan girl look like? Let's check out the stars of El Tiempo No Para, a homegrown nightly soap opera. To me, the girls in that show are typical Argentine girls. I don't think any of them are particularly hot. Hmm... the only thing pics I can find are the press photos which are heavily photoshopped, but anyway.

Belén Blanco Sofía Castiaglone
Belen Blanco and Sofía Castiaglone

Dolores Fonzi Valentina Bassi
Dolores Fonzi and Valentina Bassi

One thing Argentina has no shortage of is the model/wannabe actress. Many aspire to be a vedette, a star in a stage musical. The vedette will usually dance and sing as part of the show, always wearing as little clothing as possible. From vedette they might land a TV gig, often through ridiculous Benny Hill-like comedy shows (latest version: Canal 9's nightly Palermo Hollywood Hotel), where the only requirement is to smile and show cleavage.

Here's some pics of other famous Argentine models. As you can see, many subscribe to the bleach blonde, fake tits look imported from Baywatch, and are very atypical of what Argentine girls naturally look like. Thanks to Hombre Magazine for the pics.

jessica cirio karina jelinek
Jessica Cirico and Karina Jelinek

luciana salazar
Luciana Salazar

nicole neumann sabrina rojas
Nicole Neumann and Sabrina Rojas

Myth number 28:
Latin girls are just hanging out for gringo guys

I don't know where I got this myth from. Maybe it was from the same sources as the last myth. Maybe movies. Maybe locker room talk in backpacker hostels. Whatever the case, my girlfriend tells me that Argentine girls aren't any more interested in an unknown foreign guy than an unknown local guy. The fact that you're a rubio (blond) guy in a land of morrochos (dark-hairs) doesn't mean anything here. Argentine girls are NOT looking for a "ticket to the first world"!

So, how does one pull an Argentine girl? Well, I'm no expert but every now and then an excited reader about to arrive in BA writes me and asks just that. Firstly, girls in clubs tend to be quite picky and hard to approach, which I blame on the ridiculously tactless behaviour of many Argentine guys. As many a foreign girl finds out on her first venture to a club, an Argentine guy's pick-up lines will often consist of just grabbing a girl who happens to look his way, and try to shove his tongue down her throat. Thus girls often won't even make eye-contact in clubs for fear of being accosted. Argentines girls (and guys) don't drink a lot either, so waiting for them to get drunk and desperate isn't such an option. Still, you can offer to buy them a drink and use that to start a conversation. Maybe she'll find your attempts at Spanish endearing. Maybe she'll find it annoying. Maybe she'll speak English. Either way, keep the conversation going and have fun. If there's chemistry and you're still talking to her half an hour later you're being a gentleman by Argentine standards - most Argentine guys would attempt to kiss the girl within the first 5 minutes, so now's the time to make your move. If you wait much longer she'll probably think you're not interested, or gay, and she'll move on. If all goes to plan you'll probably end up spending the rest of the night making out very publicly in the club. Don't get excited though - the one-night-stand isn't so common here. Even if you do pull a girl at a club and pass a couple of hours kissing her, you may only end up getting her phone number. She's just as likely to not give it despite a couple of hours of PDA tonsil-hockey. If you get lucky and get the number, you'll still have to call her up and make another date and take it from there. If you don't get the number it means she didn't like you that much - or maybe she has a boyfriend. The one-night-stand does happen, but it depends on the girl. The group of girls out celebrating something and having a good time on a big night out make for a better target than the lone girl standing on the dancefloor with her arms crossed.

Anyway, pulling in the club is hard work. You're likely to have more luck in your hostel, or on the street playing the lost tourist asking for directions. Many guys who come here don't have much luck with Argentinian girls at all, and will only manage to hook up with foreign girls in their hostel. Being able to speak some Spanish helps a lot.

While writing this post I asked my Argentinian friends what they think of foreign guys, and what do they look for in a man. Most of the foreign guys they see (in the street etc) they don't find attractive. They say that extranjeros (foreign guys) often have uninteresting faces, and that they wander around in tourist mode looking carefree, and a little lost. What they want in a man, is firstly a caballero (a gentleman). Becoming a caballero has been a learning curve for me, as I admit I wasn't one. The part I most wasn't used to was paying for everything when we went out. If you're travelling on a tight budget going out with a local girl is a sure-fire way to blow it. And asking her to pay for anything is a sure-fire way to blow it with her.

Secondly, they want a cojedor (a shagger). The guy has to have a look on his face that says he wants to rip her clothes off any minute. Every minute. So the play it cool, act a little uninterested strategy won't work. Here she'll think you are uninterested.

Reader's question:
I am a guy from Holland and I HAD a Argentinean girlfriend for 4,5 months, until she broken up with me almost 2 weeks ago. I am a bit desperate to get her back, so I am just asking for any tips you (or possibly even better: your Argentinean girlfriend) can give me...?
Well Dave, it's a little hard to offer any advice without knowing you, or your girlfriend, or why she dumped you. If you can combine the 2 Cs of caballero and cojedor you won't have any trouble with the girls.

So, what about my female readers out there. What's the deal with Argentinian guys? The two Argentine galáns (hunks) of the moment, according to my girlfriend, are Pablo Echarri and Facundo Arana. Man, this is getting tiring searching for all these pics. Facundo's been the easiest since he has his own fansite.

facundo arana2 facundo arana3
Facundo Arana

pablo echarri pablo echarri2
Pablo Echarri

As for dating Argentine men, well I'll leave that up to Deby over at TangoSpam to explain it.