The Full Mate

It took a while, but we’ve pretty much been converted over to the 4 hour lunch break. That one was actually pretty easy. The Argentinians might actually have the French beat on quality of life.

Sipping yerba mate was a little less natural. But, we’ve given in to that one too. Aside from futbol, mate has to be the national obsession. Some people literally can’t go anywhere without their mate kit – a full thermos of hot water, their personalized mate cup (usually a gourd, wood, animal horn or other organic material), a steel filtered straw (with extra filter) and lots and lots of mate leaves and azucar. There’s even a special bag for packing it all. If you run out of hot water, there are even special agua caliente machines all over town.

You can’t buy bad wine. Actually, you can if you know where to not look… but otherwise, you just can’t do it. Every restaurant has wine on the menu and a bottle is usually 6 bucks or less. Sure, a sandwich costs $10 USD, but where in the U.S. can you buy a decentĀ bottle of wine at restaurant for 6 bucks?

What else? Well, we won’t buy the ground beef called Barfy. Angela won’t try the perfume called Maggot, but I’ll keep encouraging her. In general, the napkins in this country are completely useless – try wiping your mouth with wax paper – we just don’t get it.

There is some kind of secret code for making purchases. If something costs 18 pesos, you can pay with a 20. If it costs 17 pesos, you better give them 22 or you’ll get a scowl.

There’s lots of cheek-kissing, so that’s cool. We still don’t fully understand the etiquette, but Angela doesn’t seem to mind too much.

And the keys. The medieval keys are just… ridiculous. Sorry guys, but try again on the key thing.

When you’re through changing, you’re through.
– Bruce Barton


6 thoughts on “The Full Mate

  • September 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Bro. Don’t knock the key, just try to pick that lock. send a list of things and sizes you guys need. Remember, your family will take care of you guys.

  • September 7, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    can we get a picture of Barfy?

  • September 7, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    funny = )

  • September 8, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    Hi , just been to the “shop” and was thinking….have VW sponsored you guys yet? I hope they have as I first heard about your story in a South African VW magazine. If they haven’t maybe you guys should e-mail them, it could be a marketing thing….just a thought.

  • September 9, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Fatimah – no sponsorship – we can only dream of getting paid to do this! if you have any contacts at VW or know someone eager to write a check, please let us know!

  • September 10, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    How about, instead of writing a $-check, VW would support you with spare parts and quick shipping? I think that would be worth more than money buy…

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