Change in expat attitudes?

syngirl

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xPat said:
p.s. Dog shit on the sidewalks? Seriously? That's such an easy problem to solve with fines. But somehow I'm guessing such a solution just doesn't jibe with the culture there.

Ha ha ha ha... you are so green (as in newbie, not eco)... anyway do yourselves favours, if you want to have some chance of being able to adjust, leave the "you could just fix it with" attitude at home... I've heard all of the "but if they just did [blank]" things a million times before (and I'm 110% sure I'm guilty of saying a lot of the equivalent myself), but this is Argentina, and logic does not apply.

For that matter, neither do fines. Where else have you heard of people being able to store up 5 years of traffic and parking fines until the day they go to renew their license, and then barter down what they owe to a more reasonable amount?
 

dr__dawggy

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syngirl said:
Ha ha ha ha... you are so green (as in newbie, not eco)... anyway do yourselves favours, if you want to have some chance of being able to adjust, leave the "you could just fix it with" attitude at home... I've heard all of the "but if they just did [blank]" things a million times before (and I'm 110% sure I'm guilty of saying a lot of the equivalent myself), but this is Argentina, and logic does not apply.

For that matter, neither do fines. Where else have you heard of people being able to store up 5 years of traffic and parking fines until the day they go to renew their license, and then barter down what they owe to a more reasonable amount?

In the midst of all the corruption and inefficiency,change does occur on occasion.....restrictions on smoking in public places were non-existent five years ago....but have become the norm these days...I was shocked by the ease with which non-smoking ordinances were adopted and put into effect. Who knows, perhaps one day soon there will be a concerted effort to remove dog poop from sidewalks and parks...
 

dennisr

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For myself, the turd in the Argentine punch bowl is inflation. All other problems pale in comparison. Please spare me the growth argument and rising property values. Trying to sustain an economy with a 25% inflation rate and a currency devaluation rate of 20% is not possible. Argue as you wish, it is a formula for collapse and do not wish to be caught in the cross fire when the s..t hits the fan. Inflation is the one and only thing that discourages me from setting up camp in Argentina. Until Argentina addresses the problem, this Gomer (retiree) will remain a commuter.
 

Johnny

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xPat said:
Many thanks to the several posters who replied to my question about moving to BA.

Despite being a little spooked by this thread, we are still planning to come in Oct-Nov timeframe for 2-3 months to check the place out and see what we think. We would not be running or dependent on a business, so perhaps it will be easier for us than others here.

I'll go check out the crime thread linked in an earlier post. If there are any other must-read threads for a newcomer considering moving to BA, pointers would be much appreciated.

Thanks again everyone,

xPat

p.s. Dog shit on the sidewalks? Seriously? That's such an easy problem to solve with fines. But somehow I'm guessing such a solution just doesn't jibe with the culture there.

xPat-As you are looking to move to BA I'm tossing about the idea of moving to Hong Kong. I'm from the states as well. I have a friend who just left Bangkok and is moving to Guangzhou. If you have any interest in sharing information I'm interested. I checked about sending you a PM but you haven't enabled that function. Let me know. I can give you my impressions about BA after having been here for five years.
 

xPat

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Johnny said:
xPat-As you are looking to move to BA I'm tossing about the idea of moving to Hong Kong. I'm from the states as well. I have a friend who just left Bangkok and is moving to Guangzhou. If you have any interest in sharing information I'm interested. I checked about sending you a PM but you haven't enabled that function. Let me know. I can give you my impressions about BA after having been here for five years.

Hi Johnny,

Happy to compare notes. Feel free to e-mail me, hongkongcaller at gmail.

Briefly, we absolutely love everything about Hong Kong except the real estate prices. We live in a 1,400 sf highrise apartment. It has 3 bedrooms in theory, but is equivalent to a 2br apartment in the USA because there are no closets in HK so westerners always end up using their smallest bedroom (and they are small) as a walk in closet. The rent is US$6k per month! We have a friend who lives in a proper house, but not a huge one. I would guess 2000 to maybe 2200 sf max. It's in a very nice neighborhood and has an ocean view. His rent is US$20k/month. No, that's not a typo. A quarter million U.S. dollars a year to rent a decent house here! That would get you a mansion on 20 acres with horse stables most places in the world!

Everything else is great, and reasonably cheap. But one caveat is that the locals almost never make friends with Gweilos (what you call Gringos there). There is no real animosity or anger toward us, but we are and will always be outsiders. Your social network here are other expats, and there are plenty. More white guys like me live in Hong Kong than in San Francisco. The other 6 million people here (locals) are respectful and courteous, but generally don't want to be friends.

xPat
 

fifs2

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Those expecting a developed country should well stay there where they are. But Argentina is a land full of opportunities for those who dare and have the nerve to navigate through all the challenges.

Nerve doesnt quite capture it. I have lived and worked in Yemen and Sudan and yet never been so challenged or afraid as I have been in BsAs. The reason? BsAs looks like something we Europeans/N Americans know...the difference this is the "loose understanding of the difference between right and wrong " here as one poster so beautifully put it many years ago. I expect to suffer challenges in the middle east - I dont expect to be robbed or blackmailed by middleclass professionals as I have been here, including having threats made to to my family and property. BsAs is exciting - just dont do business here (successfully) or put your head above the parapet - the casual expat life is fun for sure but for serious more mature individuals looking ti get ahead just be prepared that this city is more than the one dimensional party you will see at a glance in the first 0 - 5 years.
 

gouchobob

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dr__dawggy said:
In the midst of all the corruption and inefficiency,change does occur on occasion.....restrictions on smoking in public places were non-existent five years ago....but have become the norm these days...I was shocked by the ease with which non-smoking ordinances were adopted and put into effect. Who knows, perhaps one day soon there will be a concerted effort to remove dog poop from sidewalks and parks...

I agree I think up until 4 or 5 years ago you could still smoke in hospitals. The fact this is generally obeyed is remarkable as the national pastime seems to be to flaunt all rules and regulations. For the most part you could consider
Argentina to be the wild west but with no sheriff.
 

Hache

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dr__dawggy said:
Who knows, perhaps one day soon there will be a concerted effort to remove dog poop from sidewalks and parks...

I see more people doing it. Still a minority but it's a progress anyway. There was a time when nobody picked up their dog's droppings.
 

sergio

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fifs2 said:
Nerve doesnt quite capture it. I have lived and worked in Yemen and Sudan and yet never been so challenged or afraid as I have been in BsAs. The reason? BsAs looks like something we Europeans/N Americans know...the difference this is the "loose understanding of the difference between right and wrong " here as one poster so beautifully put it many years ago. I expect to suffer challenges in the middle east - I dont expect to be robbed or blackmailed by middleclass professionals as I have been here, including having threats made to to my family and property. BsAs is exciting - just dont do business here (successfully) or put your head above the parapet - the casual expat life is fun for sure but for serious more mature individuals looking ti get ahead just be prepared that this city is more than the one dimensional party you will see at a glance in the first 0 - 5 years.

This is quite true. You can survive in BA if you are EXTREMELY cautious, mainly if you have a good support system -- an Argentine spouse with her/his own family/friends network to guide and help. Otherwise you are very likely in for trouble. The Argentine film, 9 Reinas, captures the sense of insecurity in the atmosphere of BA -- no matter when or where, even in the nicest place in on a cheerful sunny day, there is danger lurking, cheaters and swindler (often from the professional class, well dressed and nice looking). You are never secure. Now for those expats who want to jump all over me for saying this, I am paraphrasing what the Argentine director said in an interview!
 
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