Saturday, 6 March 2010
I think that a visit to the post office in Buenos Aires illustrates perfectly the difference in attitude between South American folk and British folk. I have a package to collect and after hearing from my German friend that collecting a package here is a long and complicated procedure, I have left it for a month and have no choice now. The package must be collected, if not I miss out on belated Christmas presents. Even if they’re bad, it is worth checking I guess.
I arrive with my friend and after showing my passport; I am given a number 678,984 and directed to a new room to wait for my package number to be called. Upon entering the waiting room a little bit of a sense of humour was required as to avoid a silent explosion, since there were about 70 people inside sitting down and they seemed to had settled for the long run judging by the fact they appeared to had made themselves very comfortable with books and all. We sit down, confused. As my friend says ‘we just want the package, i can go and find it!” My friend even gets worried ‘Laura, we didn’t come prepared for this, we will need to go and get snacks for the wait’. The next challenge is understanding the 6 digit number on the loudspeaker in incredibly rapidly spoken argentine Spanish. I must have missed that Spanish lesson; numbers have always been a bit of a challenge for me. I am quite sure it is much easier to get a package of cocaine from a local down at the market than this…. Eventually, we recognise the number vaguely. I am united with my package.
South Americans just tend to have an incredibly slow pace of life, I really don’t see myself as an impatient person but even buying a banana can take 20 minutes as one must wait for the shopkeepers to finish their chit chat, get off msn or do their makeup. In social arrangements my German friend gets exasperated at the argentines lack of organization. ‘Tranquilo’….’Tranquilo’, they say. Maybe this is it, why not take things slow? I guess there are worse places to pass the afternoon than down at the post office with a book, oh and don’t forget the snacks.