For most Spanish males, it is with astonishment and strangeness that they witness two Argentine male friends kissing each other on the cheek as a way of greeting or before departing. A kiss among male friends is, to them, as frightening as crying in public. A man’s mouth rubbing another man’s cheek may have nothing to do with homosexual overtones, but 570_top-10-sexiest-male-celebrities-2012-2780something else entirely. For them, it might generate a strange feeling of vertigo, disgust, even impossible intimacy.

Perhaps that is why, for Argentinian men living in Spain, the most difficult thing to get in Spain is not sweet potatoes, yerba mate, dulce de leche or two liter yoghurt bottles. The most difficult thing for Argentinian guys living in Spain, apparently, is being able to make local friends; male friends, that is. Some of the Argentinian men living in Spain that have been interviewed for this article say that they might have two local friends tops; friends with whom they can talk frankly, “with heart in hand”, or, as one of them says “as God intended for friends to talk to each other”. “Fudge small talk”, another says. They think friendship is something that should happen spontaneously and not be forced, and that Iberian men are not familiar with the concept of true friendship.

There are a few examples that can clearly illustrate the differences between Argentinian and Spanish men, in terms of friendship. For example, in Spain, friends are unlikely to simply come by your place for no reason. They are not used to opening the refrigerator without permission, they do not drink mate, and they might get upset if you tell them “how are you, son of a ‘gun’?” But, above all, Argentinian men are convinced that the biggest problem is that they are scared of kissing other men.