Greeting like an Argentine is a vital part in the path to becoming a townie. I decided to create this instructional video one day at work to demonstrate the do’s and dont’s of giving a good salutation here in Buenos Aires. I also explain some of the mistakes I have made and some things you need to remember when smooching acquaintances. You also get to meet some of the people I work with at Buller so it’s a win win.
Below is a list of the 7 different types of greetings I discuss in the video. All of which I have personally experience first hand.
- The Standard: A simple kiss (beso) on the right cheek for both men and women. This is done when saying hello and goodbye. Usually hands are position on the shoulders, arm, or back. If you know the person better a hand on the waste or even gentle touch to the face is appropriate. Tongue is never an option.
- The Embrace: Holding onto the greeting moment is a common occurrence here in Buenos Aires. The salutation isn’t just limited to long lost friends or romantic couples like it is in the States. I regularly use the Embrace with a few people at work. One girl has the softest skin and always smells amazing and the other just has really big boobs that I like pressing my chest against. Proceed with caution on this one because without consent things could get real creepy.
- The Machine Gun: Sounds dangerous but if done correctly can be a great deal of fun. This is used in situations where there is a large group of people. In Argentina it isn’t appropriate to just say “hello everyone” all at once (neither entering or leaving). You should individually greet each person. Side Note: Never come to a party empty handed, that’s just a good life lesson.
- The Man Pat: When I first got here the idea of kissing men on a regular basis freaked me out a little bit. However, confident in my sexuality and following a few simple rules I got used to it. Just remember that while greeting your hands should be firmly positioned on a shoulder, giving a handshake or patting on the back.
- The Ghost Whisperer: A phantom kiss reserved for hairy managers and sweaty days. This will save you from getting tickled by a beard or leaving with moist cheeks. Get close enough where you don’t disrespect anyone but keep some space to save you from an awkward moment.
- The Lipper: Also known as The Shoreline, this is one you want to avoid at all costs. When it comes to greetings this one could get you labeled “creep” real quick. This occurs when you get a little to close to the lips when you are saying hello. And trust me, based on experience, you will get a funny reaction afterwards… hopefully it is just a giggle.
- The Necky: A funny yet embarrassing moment that personally happened to me during my first week at work. It is the rarest of the 7 but is definitely possible. This fatal miscalculation kiss on the neck comes from laziness and/or rushing the moment. Please take your time when greeting because if not you are just seconds away from a hickey.
Others not mentioned above: The Jawbone, The Enforcer and The Face Lick.
– Always brush your teeth and wear a little splash of cologne or perfume on your neck.
– Always dry your face off before you are about to greet someone (It’s better if it is done out of sight).
– Pervert is a difficult word to wash off.
Thank you to the Buller Staff who had no idea what I was doing and didn’t understand anything I was saying but still went along with it. Also… big ups to my camera man Nate.