Along with the adjusting to new languages, foods and customs traveling often requires, it is also common to have to adopt a new day-to-day schedule. If you are American and traveling in Italy, as my family was this past summer, you might be craving heaps of pasta at 7 p.m., but the restaurants won’t be serving for at least another hour and a half. The owners and their family are eating now before opening!
The Buenos Aires schedule is in a league all its own, beating out even Barcelona for absurdity when compared with the U.S. standard. Funny thing, is I’m pretty certain I was born to live on this schedule because the change felt too natural. For a brief description of how it differs here, everything is pushed back at least a few hours, and enjoying nightlife is of high importance. For more solid evidence, I have mapped out a schedule with some important times, based on my observations, experiences and efforts to be as much like a local as possible.
11 a.m.: Breakfast, which must involve coffee. Medialunas, small, sweet croissants, are a favorite accompaniment.
3 p.m.: Lunch, probably something light. The steaks and pastas are generally saved for dinner.
10 p.m.: Dinner! Restaurants begin accepting reservations around 8:30 pm, but you most likely will be dining with solely tourists until this hour.
11:30 p.m.: Preparation begins to go out, or previas commence. A previa is what Argentines call a small party at someone’s house or apartment to socialize and imbibe a little before going out. (A “pregame,” for all you American college kids.)
2 a.m.: The night is on. From this hour on is prime arrival time at boliches, or clubs, and bars. Lines start to form now, so if you are less concerned with arriving “fashionably late” than not having to deal with lines and, it is best to arrive before 2 a.m., but definitely after 1 a.m.
5-6 a.m.: As one friend said, “Here, if you make it home before 5 a.m. you feel like you cheated the night.” Sometime toward 6 a.m. on a weekend night is a more realistic estimation for when piling into cabs home begins to happen, because before then, everything is still going strong.
-Karina for TKGO