Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 67

A change in timetable...

by : 

A few weeks ago, I moved to Argentina to begin teaching English for a six month period. I am from London, so it is no surprise that I have encountered some cultural differences between English and Argentinian ways of life; after all they are almost 7,500 miles (roughly 12,000km) apart!

Generally, I have settled in well here - the people are wonderful and have made me feel extremely welcome, and I am really enjoying my new teaching job. There is one aspect to life here however, that I am particularly struggling with: the organisation of the day, the 'timetable' if you like! I am finding it a little bit difficult to adapt to...

Some things are familiar to me: I begin the working day at 8am and eat my lunch on return home around 2 o'clock in the afternoon, so nothing unusual there. Then there is a siesta period, which I like the idea of, but I don't always feel like sleeping. At around half past 6 or 7pm, we tend to have what is called a meriende, something similar to what we in England would call afternoon tea (although we would have this much earlier in the day!). Dinner doesn't get eaten until around 10pm, or sometimes even later. That's bedtime for me on a school night, I like to get a good nights sleep!

I just can't quite adjust to eating at these hours, but it is really interesting to experience a different culture and to see how having a siesta period as part of the daily routine, can really change the pattern of the day. People also seem to stay awake until very late at night - perhaps this is because dinner is so late and they need time to digest their food, but I have noticed that there is a lot of night time activity here. Many shops and restaurants are open way into the night and people party until 7 or 8 o'clock in the morning! I have found myself feeling very tired indeed! My friends are helping me to become more Argentinian and I am getting there slowly - going back to the UK in September may provide culture shock the other way around ... People sleep during the night back at home! Argentina is a fantastic country and I am looking forward to what's in store for me over the next few months! 


Have you ever experience another culture? What did you find challenging if anything?


hadia's picture
hadia 4 April, 2015 - 11:55

I have never experienced any other culture. But still I think that it takes time to manage yourself into another culture for if you want to live there.and yeah! the idea of eating so late is surely very bad I think that most of the people living there would be lazy workers because of this habit. We usually have dinner at 8:00 pm or 7:45 pm not later than that because i think that having dinner late at night will also not give you a better sleep at night!

18 users have voted.
MALINE's picture
MALINE 21 August, 2014 - 17:48

I believed that the thing I´d feel more challenging about is the food and the timetable,but if you want to embrace the adventure of living in other Countries you´ll have to deal with them.

27 users have voted.
JessicaW's picture
JessicaW 23 April, 2014 - 15:14

Algeria sounds great too Micha, I have got lots of travelling to do! Haha :)

And Niluh, I completely agree with you, eating dinner at 10pm doesn't seem very healthy. I much prefer to eat at an earlier time, around 7.30pm or 8pm for example!  

25 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 23 April, 2014 - 10:38

Wow that's so interesting, everything is so late in Argentina! I don't think the idea of eating dinner at 10 pm is great, it can make me fatter, even though sometimes i do as well.

17 users have voted.
JessicaW's picture
JessicaW 23 April, 2014 - 02:44

Hi! Thanks for your comment! I would absolutely love to travel to China one day - yes you're right, I'm sure I would find many cultural differences. But that is what is so amazing about travelling, you get to experience other people's way of life and I love that. Thanks for all your great advice, Bejing sounds fantastic :) Would you like to travel one day?n

20 users have voted.
micha's picture
micha 22 April, 2014 - 21:02

in other country non i didnt, but in algeria actually i do it in every time because in my country is have more than one culture and everyone is different than the other, for thes is very Interesting getting to know the culture of your country first . and when you decide to visit my country algeria believe me you never be sorry about it <3 <3

21 users have voted.
WhiteRabbit's picture
WhiteRabbit 22 April, 2014 - 13:39

No, I didn't. I am still a school pupil.
But have you ever been to my country China? I bet you'll find a lot of differences.
China is a beautiful country, you can hear different versions of Mandarin(sometimes you can't believe it's Mandarin) and you can taste so many delicious food. If you really want to try the traditional food, go to Beijing and before you go, go to the library to get some information so that you won't be too surprised in Beijing.
I have a piece of advice for you if you go to visit China, get up early and walk walk to the market nearby. The marker, I mean the fruit and vegetable market. You will find it so lovely^^

21 users have voted.