The social behavior of the porteño surrounds the “perfect life” of the Bourgeois family. Characteristics of this family stem from Marxist views that were deemed materialistic, civilized, and conservative life of the middle-upper class lifestyle as acceptable. The elite framed the society to reflect these constructs of civility and privileged the European perspective. Retrospectively, they have completely missed their mark. Lamented by several elite and nonelite writers like Raphael Obligado and Emilio Becher depict their grievance for the foreign influence in Buenos Aires. Obligado states, “‘people, races, and customs’ making life ‘monotonous and vulgar’” (Delaney, Jeane). This excerpt from Immigrants, Gauchos in Argentina highlights aspects of unpleasantries in the porteño culture. For example, I went to a free football game in the city to watch Argentina Juniors play Arsenal. After an unfavorable play, a young fan, no more than 11 years-old screamed, “concha de tu madre!” In an attempt to keep a subjective mindset because I am in a different country absorbing the culture as a foreigner, I must keep an open mind. Yet this is hardly acceptable for any kid to say based on the morals that protect the innocence of the young. That phrase is inherently vulgar and offensive and should be corrected yet was not. I understand that this is an isolated incident, yet the longer I stayed within the city limits the more I heard offensive ways to describe people no matter if they are family or friends. Words such as ‘pelotudo’ or ‘boludo’ are commonplace vocabulary. There seem to be many ways to offend people, which seems to diminish the sophistication of its civilized society.
Another aspect of Argentine culture that I found uncivilized is a lack of hygiene or sanitation. I believe their lack of hygiene is attributed to widespread illnesses such as the common cold or influenza. I can’t make adequate assumptions about the women, but I notice the men don’t wash their hands very often after using the restrooms. There must be a drought of soap in the country because several times in public venues I observe barren reservoirs of soap dispensers. Some have cobwebs, which also force people who want to participate in the simple task of washing their hands can’t. Simple cleanliness and hygiene are highly inconvenient for the consumer. This leads me to believe that some employees do not wash their hands. This poses risks to public safety and when most city dwellers use forms of public transportation to get around the city, imagine how many surfaces such as handrails on the subte or underground train are contaminated by harmful bacteria. Additionally, I never see restaurant employees use gloves to either serve or prepare food. This is something that is hard to ignore.