Thursday, October 1, 2009

Division of Labor

Two things eventually dawn on the visitor to Buenos Aires. The first is that all the taxi-drivers are male. Taxis are ubiquitous and cheap (well, most of the time), and invariably driven by men. In my entire 12 weeks here, I have never seen a woman driving a cab. The second is that while your server in a cafe might be female, if you sit down for dinner in a restaurant of any reasonable size, your server will be male. Furthermore, he will be a man in his mid-to-late 40s. OK, that's a slight exaggeration. But, take my word for it, he won't be younger than 35, and he is unlikely to be older than 50.

One can come up with a plausible explanation for the exclusively male population of taxi-drivers - after all, it is a profession that still involves a degree of physical risk. A plausible explanation, maybe, though not a very satisfactory one, since there are plenty women taxistas in every other city in the world, some undoubtedly riskier than Buenos Aires. So there has to be something else behind it, if only perhaps a predominantly machista attitude regarding appropriate jobs for women. (Though interestingly, both my dentists from this year and last year were women)

The whole 45-year old waiter cohort thing is infinitely more baffling, however, and has a whole "Brave New World" cloning connotation that I'd rather not contemplate in detail.


Mountebanking said...

I hope the waiters don't pass brummy notes.

Anonymous said...

If this blog doesn't get more interesting soon I will cancel my subscription and demand a full refund.

gaelstat said...

I am astounded by the random anonymous impertinence that infests the internet, and now - evidently - the comments to this blog.

Fortunately, I have just the right Argentine 'banknotes' with which to furnish any refunds that might be demanded.

Cheeky, ungrateful wretches! I give, and I give. And what is my return? This kind of snark.

Oh the humanity.

Anonymous said...

did you take a random sample of waiters and asked them why this is their preferred line of work?