Encargadas/Porteros

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nikad

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Recoleta Carolina said:
Cujodu,

It takes heroic effort to be from the U.S. and live in Buenos Aires! All foreigners have it tough but Americans have it worse. I have never been able to completely figure it out but it doesn't really matter. That's just the way it is.

I would pass on the suggestion to tell your administrator (unless you know your administrator very well). Usually, the administrator and encargado are in bed together. And, even if they are not, they are not going to go against each other for a foreigner.

Just keep your area clean. Keep to yourself. Don't give the people in the building any justified reason to complain about you (they are going to find many unjustified reasons on their own to complain about you). If the people in the building are nasty I can guarantee you that things are not going to improve. They will either stay the same as they are now or they will get worse over time.

I would consider moving if you are renting. If you own, I would seriously consider selling. But, obviously, that is easier said than done. And, I wouldn't do anything before really checking out the next building, neighbors, administrator, and encargado very carefully. They can all make your life miserable.

My building is the building from hell. It makes all of your stories sound like a day at the beach! Most foreigners have their own horror stories but usually do not admit it or else they have perfected the art of looking the other way over time.
Carolina,
There is nothing anywhere in the world that would make you feel more miserable and worthless than not standing for your rights and accepting (if ) any type of discrimination.
 

tangobob

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pericles said:
Cujodu This is an interestic topic and one that I have had a lot of experience with in Buenos Aires . I do feel that neighbourly relationships can be difficult and consorcio meetings scream fests.

I am lucky that in my building 90 percent of my neighbours are nice people. I wish you luck with yours.
Scream fests is an excellent description, I am luck that I have atrustworthy agent to act for me as there is no way my schoolboy Spanish can keep up, but in twelve months nothing has bee achieved. We have not even agreed a portero. Hey ho This Is Argentina.

Recoleta Carolina said:
Cujodu,

It takes heroic effort to be from the U.S. and live in Buenos Aires! All foreigners have it tough but Americans have it worse. I have never been able to completely figure it out but it doesn't really matter. That's just the way it is.

I must admit to believing that all Yanquis are whingers. Then last summer I bought a hat to protect my head from the sun, I just could not understand why all of a sudden everybody was trying to rip me off. Then my freind said "Bob you look like a Yanqui". So now I have a more sympathetic view of Americans in BsAs. Anyone want to buy a hat?:D
 
nikad said:
Carolina,
There is nothing anywhere in the world that would make you feel more miserable and worthless than not standing for your rights and accepting (if ) any type of discrimination.

This sounds perfectly logical in theory but in practicality it does not work. I know a few foreigners who follow your advice and they are fighting for their "rights" almost every day. It is very stressful and sometimes very costly.

Argentineans abuse each other if they can get away with it. But, it is so much easier with a foreigner.
 
Moxon said:
Damn, I think you're in my old apartment building. I know many stories of nosy, spiteful and just plain evil encargados - they are the lurking danger when you find that perfect apartment in that perfect location, you really should be able to interview them before signing a lease agreement.

This is truth!!!
 
HDM said:
Here's another view. The porteros in our building, all men, and there are at least six, since there is someone to open the door 24/7, are friendly and helpful beyond any reasonable expectation. They even bring the water bottles up and put them by our service door every week. All the public parts of the building are spotless, although that seems not to be the porteros job, and I have finally figured out that some of the men are porteros only and a couple take care of the maintenance. Anyway. I can't believe these guys. As far as our neighbors, we haven't actually formally met any of them, but our chance encounters are cordial and everyone seems to respect the public areas. But then there are the two poodles two floors below ... but, oh well, people sure do put up with a lot from dogs around here.
HDM

You sound like you are from the States. Just because you have a great building does not mean that it is the norm. Consider yourself lucky because it is not the norm. The more upscale your building is the more likely you are to have problems with the neighbors, etc. that go far beyond the trash and other simplistic issues. You state in your post that you have never formally met your neighbors. Haven't you ever asked yourself why?????

I am looking for a new building. Perhaps, you would like to share.
 

HDM

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Recoleta C, I live in Palermo, on Cervino, between Godoy Cruz and Sinclair. I am an American. I have felt lucky virtually all my rather long life. It is an upscale building, about as upscale as buildings get in this neighborhood, but I can't figure out how that correlates to problems with neighbors. I don't know my neighbors because I speak Spanish like a kindergartner and they all seem to be Argentine. We smile and pass pleasantries in the elevator or when passing in the lobby, and that exhausts my ability to communicate. That's why we have not gotten to know one another well. But they are certainly friendly given our limitations, and there has not once been a problem of any kind involving me. I think this is a fantastic place to live, this building, this barrio, and this city. I don't know if there are vacant flats in this building, but it seems not. You could move in for less than a million, I think.
 

nikad

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Recoleta Carolina said:
This sounds perfectly logical in theory but in practicality it does not work. I know a few foreigners who follow your advice and they are fighting for their "rights" almost every day. It is very stressful and sometimes very costly.

Argentineans abuse each other if they can get away with it. But, it is so much easier with a foreigner.
Act like sheep and will be treated as sheep... where are you from RC if you don´t mind me asking? I admit it is annoying to have to fight for your rights, but I´d rather be annoyed and not feel miserable, I guess that is all about personal choices. Of course if I was living here for a couple months, or as a tourist I wouldn´t bother, but as an expat here for the mid-long run, I would never give up any of my rights. Of course if you cannot speak the language it makes no sense, but hey, there are always good friends willing to help ;)
 

KatharineAnn

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I have a terrible portero story. A little over a year ago I was renting a room in an apartment, really subletting, because the owner subletted rooms out to foreigners. Well the interesting thing is that the portero had a real problem with this, and therefore, decided to take it out on us. He decided we weren´t even worth saying ¨Hola¨ to. When we got to the door with bags and bags of groceries, he would stand there next to the door staring at us, or should I say glaring. One night I was saying goodbye to my boyfriend in the building´s hall, and the portero came down and yelled at us and told us that the hall ¨was not for us to be in¨ and that I had to say goodbye to him outside, in the cold. He also would yell at us for going on the terrace to look out at the city and relax - he said that, interestingly, this also ¨was not for us to be in¨.

Horrible horrible person. I´m not really sure what his problem was, but thankfully since then, I´ve been pretty happy with the porteros. One of them even called me once to help his daughter with her English homework! :p
 
nikad said:
Act like sheep and will be treated as sheep... where are you from RC if you don´t mind me asking? I admit it is annoying to have to fight for your rights, but I´d rather be annoyed and not feel miserable, I guess that is all about personal choices. Of course if I was living here for a couple months, or as a tourist I wouldn´t bother, but as an expat here for the mid-long run, I would never give up any of my rights. Of course if you cannot speak the language it makes no sense, but hey, there are always good friends willing to help ;)

Actually, I am not a sheep at all (can't you tell by my posts?). I just don't enjoy the arguing and the constant bickering back and forth. Argentineans prefer the argument. Cultural differences I suppose. In another thread I think you mention that you are married to someone from the States so I imagine that there is something about our demeanor that you find attractive.
 

diego7david

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my portero started using my apt when i was not in town as i live in new york and only am at my apt sometimes. he used it for a love nest. i found the sheets on backward. a cleaning lady found him naked in the shower. he has stolen money and things and there seems to be little sentiment to do anything about it from management or anyone else as its only happening to my apt because everyone else is a porteno and live there everyday. i now have cameras, motion detectors etc new locks with keys at friends not with the portero. a lot of effort, a lot verbal tradeoffs and it doesnt end
 
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