The Speed Of Light

Moving at the speed of light, is not really something that you would say is a good description of something Argentine. On the contrary. Sometimes things can go so slow here that only a very high portion of patience can keep you going. A friend of mine says that God must have sent him to Argentina to learn patience.

When you to go the bank, you must wait in line. At least an hour. When you go to a Rapipago (which is not, as the word says, a place where you can pay fast), wait in line. Another hour. On your way home, jump into the Disco (supermarket), another hour of waiting, and when it is finaly your turn they put your things away so slowly that you almost want to do it yourself! So yes, in Argentina things go slow, and waiting is a part of my daily tasks. Fortunately at these occasions phones help you pass the time, and mostly I even take a book.

So what about the speed of light? There is something that always amazes me here. That is the speed in which shops, restaurants and other, dissapear and make room for others. New furniture, new decoration, new paint, new names at the facade. All that in less then a week. One week you go to your favourite store, the next week it is gone and there is another, completely different one. Without having had sales, without a notice, without even leaving a new address.

That is what happened to a nice coffee bar where I used to go and get a coffee Machiato.  Closed for the holidays, then it  had is a sign that the place is for rent, the next day it there is a big sign saying “Persicco’, and yes, another day later the ice cream shop is open! The change was completely un noticed. But on the first evening it was full. How do people know???? Were they all just passing by?

And then why are the  “top 3” of ice cream bars all just a block away? Freddo at Callao/Arenales, Persicco at Callao/Juncal, and Volta at Callao/Pachego Melo. Why are they all so close to one another? Aren’t they afraid they will put each other out of business?? I suppose I must live here a but longer to quite fully understand that.

Meanwhile we did the test. Which one has the best ice cream? So today I went to both Persicco and Volta to try my favourite flavour which is ‘Cafe’. And there is absolutely no doubt about it. Volta has less sugar, more coffee, although the people at Persicco were more friendly, the portions at Volta were bigger (and 1 peso cheaper). But the taste!!! For me the best is still Volta!

I guess all I can do now is wait and see how long these bars are staying, maybe the good thing will be that the waiting lines at Volta will be smaller now? At least one place where waiting will be less? I guess being served at the speed of light would be a bit too much to ask…

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