Reception in the United States
People in the US treated me very nice when I first came. Of course Americans from small towns like in Iowa (where I studied), didn’t know much about the world. If they did some traveling, they understood much more. I had people ask me if I was from Rio de Janeiro when I said Argentina. I explained “Not exactly. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and we don’t speak Portuguese we speak Spanish”. I had to give them a bit of a lesson and inform them. It wasn’t that they mistreated me, but they asked questions that showed their ignorance.
Since Argentina is supposedly the third world, you would think first world people are more educated, travel the world, and have a wider knowledge of different cultures. I was disappointed to realize that wasn’t the case.
Although, when you come to a big city like Chicago, it’s a different story. There are people like that here too but if you go to other towns not as big as Chicago or New York it’s a different mentality. If you live in a
cosmopolitan city people even if they don’t travel they are exposed to other cultures and willingly because they’re right there. In Chicago we have restaurants from all over the world and different cultures and different neighborhoods, Greek town, China town, Hindus and Indians in the north.
However, I think now with globalization, technology, the internet, and social media, people learn and understand more about the world. They know the United States is not the beginning and the end of the world. That there are other countries that have a lot to offer and very interesting cultures that are much older than the American culture.
The problem was that some Latinos had preconceptions about Argentineans. They believe stereotypes that we are this or that. We have the reputation of being very cocky and arrogant and the reputation of knowing everything…which is true… just kidding! That’s why we have the pope, the queen, the number one soccer player in the world (who is also from my city, but that’s a different story!)…. I’m just kidding! Well, back then I didn’t say anything to the Latinos because I knew I was the new kid on the block and I had to shut up, observe, and listen. Now if they say something rude, I say “go F*ck yourself” but back then I couldn’t. If someone invited me to their house for the first time and I didn’t know them, I had to behave. Once you are my friend, I feel free and I will speak my mind.