Shenevieve, la porteña?

This was to keep count of how many times real porteños (native Argentines) thought that I was a native. Thanks to my very obviously ethnic features and brilliantly Portuguese last name, this is what happened…

1. 7/21/11 – Customs. No questions asked about why/for how long I’m coming to Buenos Aires, and no questions about my visa either.

2. 7/22/11 – Claro store. We went to get phones, and as I was sitting down, a woman approached me to ask me about her ticket. After I told her I wasn’t sure, she asked someone and then walked by me, letting me know, “I found it!”

3. 7/23/11 – Subte (subway/metro). As I was getting off the Subte after my very first ride, a man came up to me to ask me where he could catch a different Subte line. Obviously, I didn’t know. Which is what I told him. (This one gave me confidence since apparently I blend in even when frantically searching for the exit out of the Subte.)

4. 7/26/11 – Recoleta Cemetery. As I was waiting to take pictures of Evita’s tomb, a man standing nearby started talking to me about her.

5. 7/30/11 – Casual old man with a jolly huge belly trying to talk to me and my friend on the Subte. We had no idea what he was talking about. It barely sounded like Spanish. Oops.

6. 8/6/11 – Old lady sat next to me on the bus today and told me to she was taking advantage of the empty seat. Score, I look just like a native!

7. Every day on the bus – Now that I know where to get off on bus 101, I blend in ten times more each day!

8. 8/13/11 – Woman on the Subte asked me about the stops! And I knew the answer to her question! Éxito!

9. 8/13/11 – Man in Plaza de Mayo tried to talk to me and ask me a question in Spanish – I successfully refused to be bothered.

10. 8/14/11 – Little boy near the Centro tried to come ask us for money in Spanish – sad, but at least we understood him!

11. 8/18/11 – Woman on the Subte asked me about one of the stops.

12. 8/18/11 – While walking around, someone asked me for directions! EXITO! Finally! And the best part is, I gave them to her 🙂

13. 9/5/11 – Yes, stranger on the Subte, I am getting off at the next stop!

14. 9/6/11 – A woman on the bus today stepped on someone’s foot. She was wearing stilettos. Ouch. She then proceeded to make eye contact with me and we winced together. Bus bonding with the natives, check!

15. 9/8/11 – I was standing on the steps of the Cathedral when a man approached me and asked for directions!! And I gave them to him! I feel like I should start a new page for every time somebody asks me for directions now since it happens so often.

16. 9/14/11 – Yesterday, a man asked me how much the bus was. Not only did I not know, but I also did not understand what on earth he was saying since he was talking so fast and completely eating his words. I just told him I didn’t know. Which was the truth.

17. 9/17/11 – FLUKE. The lady in a store asked me where I was from and when I told her the states and asked if it was obvious, she responded with, “I could tell by your tone.” ¿Cómo?

18. 9/22/11 – I guess technically this isn’t someone mistaking me for a porteña, but on this day we went to the bus company and bought our tickets to Uruguay, and figured everything out without the travel agent trying to speak in English to us like the last time, so that is always a good thing!

19. 9/23/11 and 9/24/11 – These are FLUKES. Flukes, I tell you! The first time since I’ve been here, I spoke to someone in Spanish and they responded in English! Rude! The second time, my friends and I were at a restaurant, and the waiter asked us if he could speak in Spanish, if we all understood, etc, and after we responded with a hearty, “Yes!” he looked right at me and asked again. ¿Perdón?

20. 10/3/11 – As I was strolling down the street and came upon a part of sidewalk that would only fit one person, the man walking beside me with a stroller acknowledged me with a, “Pasá, morocha.”

21. 10/3/11 – Don’t make me list the number of little children at my host nephew’s birthday party who came up to me and tried to tell me things. Thankfully, the smile-and-nod gets you out of most of those situations.

22. 11/20/11 – It’s been a while since I’ve posted! Probably because in the time being, the only questions I’ve gotten are people asking if I’m Colombian…


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