After a relatively slow start here in BsAs in terms of doing things and meeting people, I am slowly beginning to expand my social network. So far mainly with Colombians, but since I started working in the lab I have also met many Argentinians. And I can only say that it has been a long time since I’ve been in a country where so many people are so genuinely friendly as here.
Unless there is a clear language barrier, there seems to be no such thing as a conversation barrier. People happily greet, curiously ask, openly talk, and laugh – and conversations never feel forced. Most people are also very inviting and offer their help for whatever they may think of.
Perhaps I haven’t spent enough time in the Mediterranean countries in Europe to make a comparison, but so far Latin Americans are far more open than any country I’ve visited in Europe. Funny enough, I was told the other day by a Colombian friend that the Argentinians – although very nice – are not quite as welcoming as the Colombians. I can only imagine how overwhelmed I would be in Colombia!
But I should add that being European surely helps, as it is relatively exotic for them. And the people here cannot for their life understand why a European would want to come to South America for a master’s thesis in biology…! Personally, I do not regret it for a second.