Another thing that has taken some getting used to is the time difference…
…by which I mean, NOT the one mandated by the folks in Greenwich, but rather the one that reflects the Argentine life style – about US time + 3 hours. It’s most obvious at dinner time. On several occasions our family has headed out, hungry, at about 8 pm (late dinner for a school night, right?) to get something to eat. Invariably, we walk into an entirely empty dining room, ask timidly if we might be served, peruse our menus, order, eat, dawdle, pay, and leave, without another soul in sight (save the solicitous and slightly bemused waiters). The locals arrive at 9:30 or 10:00, and no, we don’t know how their kids manage to get up for school in the morning.
One summer night, we enjoyed our typical lonely restaurant dinner on a beautiful outdoor patio across from the cathedral, and then headed for a movie at about 9. When we emerged from the theater at 11:30 or so, ready for a beer, we wandered into a hopping restaurant / bar and were told that we couldn’t sit at one of the outdoor tables, since we didn’t want to eat. Sure enough, everyone else was digging into giant steaks.
Parties follow the same clock: Annie has been invited to several celebrations that start at 9 and end at 2 – early, I know, but she’s only in 8th grade; the all-night parties don’t start ‘til high school (i.e., next year). There are special ‘tween’ ‘nightclubs’ that are open only from 2 am to 7 am – no kidding!