Now, in the US, there appear to be more clear delineations between what's morning, afternoon, and evening: say a morning greeting until noon, an afternoon greeting until dusk, and an evening greeting after dusk. If you say good morning after noon, you're likely to receive a giggle. Not here. It is perfectly fine to say buenos días after 12 PM and buenas tardes when it's dark. I seriously can't figure it out. The rules of when to say what are nebulous, at best -- very similar, I find, to the rules of this game we call driving.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I kind of feel stupid for still not knowing the rules of when to say buenos días, buenas tardes, or buenas noches, but when an annoying street musician stepped on my bus on Monday, he fumbled his greeting with "Buenos...buenos...", stared down at his watch (it was nearing 1 PM), finished with "tardes", and ended with an awkward smile. Maybe I'm not the only one who can't seem to internalize when to say what. Many times, I'm caught saying one greeting and receive a completely different greeting in reply. For example, around 1 PM today, I said buenas tardes to someone in passing, and he replied back with a buenos días.