At one point in my journey of trying to understand the Argentine Serpentine, I stumbled upon a revelation that would change the course of how I viewed her actions forever. Previously I had been under the presumption that it was just her and she's like that. However as I started delving deeper, reading blogs and articles, having chats with other foreigners it started to appear that many of the experiences I've had with her are typical of what many others have had with Argentines.
Through trial and error, I am discovering that the value system of Argentine society is entirely different that the North American value system. In Argentina people are very friendly and open when you encounter them but whether they are trustworthy is an entirely different story. Whereas in North America people aren't taught to be open to people they don't know and we are a little closed off at first encounter. But once people break into our worlds alot of us are taught to value our relationships.
I kept hearing over and over again the theme that foreigners here were having a hard time making Argentine friends, even having lived here for years some of them have only one person they would say is a friend. In addition to that, I heard it said that even Argentine women have difficulty finding good girlfriends. There is something in the culture that seems to block foreigners from entering into the world of many Argentines as well as making it difficult for Argentines to form genuine life long relationships.
When dealing with the Argentine Serpentine in my early days, I felt like she was two persons and everything that was going on with me was a big secret from the rest of the world. But it has recently come to light that somehow in the culture here that secrets and betrayal are quite common. At that moment I realized she wasn't a bad person....it was learned behavior. I'm not making an excuse for it but I believe people just do what they see other people do or what society models for them. They may not think of it as dishonesty or betrayal because they are doing what society has taught them is natural.
In other words it is possible to have a group of girls together giggling and sharing a maté and they may all have their own world of secrets. So relationships have more of a fragility because it is understood that anything can happen. The big Argentine grin and beso means nothing in terms of integrity.
This is a personal account by Vivi of "My Beautiful Air". When I told this story to a peruvian friend of mine (who her being a foreigner too didn't have alot of Argentine friends), she replied that this in fact is a very typical story.
My Beautiful Air: Why I don't have any Argentine girlfriends
All the new revelations helped shed light on the Argentine Serpentine's odd behavior. Suddenly it made sense why she seemed so insecure and possessive of me and secretive about it to the rest of the world. Why she would behave in a way that is more seductive as opposed to being upfront, honest, and direct. It was all learned behavior....she is in a country full of women (and men) doing the same thing and worse and know no better.
I myself am guilt of conduct and mentality that came from my culture and upbringing that I was only made aware off when another culture shed light on it. And I came to the revelation that I owed her the same grace to be able to see the errors in your belief system and behavior and change. But at the heart of it all I have always known that the Argentine Serpentine deeply cared about me and I was precious to her. She wouldn't be this obsessive and possessive if I meant nothing.
Knowing that gave me hope that we would eventually find love in a hopeless place :)
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