My Vacation In Argentina
Eating with family a big part of tradition in my parent's country.
The best part of my trip was spending time with my large extended family. And man, they spend time together, all right! In Argentina, you see almost the whole family (including grandparents and great uncles and aunts) almost every day!
At 1 p.m. each day, I had lunch with my grandfather, my aunt, my uncle, my cousins, and my mom and dad. We would sit at the table for hours conversing and laughing. At 9:30 p.m. every night we had dinner with the same people and sometimes a few additional members of the family. In Argentina, you never have a meal alone, quietly, or quickly.
My family also has a barbecue every single Saturday at my grandfather’s house. You don’t even need an invitation! If you are a member of the family in any twisted, complicated way, you’re invited. So are really close friends who are considered family.
Because of the importance of having family lunches, all of the shops close at 1 p.m. so that staff can have lunch at home and take a nap, called a siesta. The businesses open again at around 5 p.m. and stay open until about 9:30 p.m. So, as you can see, dinner takes place really late (restaurants open at 9 p.m. and stay open until 2 a.m. or more)!
Whenever I went downtown with my mom, we would run into at least five family members or friends every time. Sometimes we would sit down and have coffee, make plans for dinner, or just say hello to them. This isn’t a coincidence or anything—people don’t move as often or leave town as often as they do in the U.S., so everybody knows each other.
I love going to Argentina for vacation, but it wouldn’t be the same without my family!
PHOTO: My family at one of many long—and fun—lunches in Argentina.