Expats not happy, why stay?


Feb 5, 2007
I have continued to be amazed by the amount of negativity about BA and Argentina that some regulars on this board post about.

My question to you, and you know who you are, is why do you live in Argentina if you are not happy about your life here? I would think that being an expat means you choose to live here. I would also think that if you were not happy with the situation, you would either move back to your home country, or find another country that would make you happy.

I have a hard time understanding why a person would choose to move to Argentina, not find it as they had hoped, and continue to stay and bitch about it.

Thanks in advance for your replies, as this is truly a mystery to me.
I do agree with your post soulskier, but on the other hand it is nice to find out the good and the bad before you move here, if these people didn't bitch and moan many people may move here spending money and time only to find out that they do not like it here and if they would have read all these negative posts they would not have moved here in the first place.
We just arrived, so I won't bitch just yet (j/k). :D

But I want to assure you this is not unusual. I was rather active on a forum of the country we just left, and you will find the same thing: the same complaints, the same comments, the same "native" bashing & the same quest for peanut butter & cheerios (or which ever home comfort food one misses)....

I guess this is just the "way of the expat" or maybe it's the "way of the internet forum"... perhaps a bit of both. I'm on another forum about my work & the "bitchers" actually set up their own "rival" forum JUST to bitch!! Sadly, I'm 100% serious about this.
DA, totally agree to posting about the good and the bad. Learning from other's mistakes is helpful. I started this thread to those that have only negative things to say about BA and Argentina.

I am a strong believer in "you life is what you make it". Of course s t happens, but lots a good s t happens as well.

Mini, thanks for the observation. To be honest, this is the only country I have ever defected to, so I have no other expat experience.
Bump to the top to give the haters a chance to respond. Don't make me call you guys out by name!
SBnBA said:
Peanut butter....... Yum.

Thanks for that ROFL:D

I am not yet permanent ( still have to earn a living at home) I love this city and can think of nowhere I would rather live, But, a lot of the criticisms are true.
A realistic view is always worth having before you move anywhere and for me the plus points far out weigh the dog crap and broken pavements.

I think this a matter of perspective. If I was 22, looking to party full-time, B.A. would look like paradise. If I were a bit more mature married raising a family, having a real job, etc. I don't think B.A. would have much to offer unless I was working for a U.S. or European company. As a retired person I would be looking for is a pleasant place to live with a low cost of living which I didn't Argentina to be and have since left.

We didn't leave because we couldn't find peanut butter. The main complainer in my family was the wife. She is a native of South America and has lived there her entire life except about 10 years in the states. We had also lived in Europe and another South American country before we got there, so we weren't rookies in living overseas. Our problem with living there was the high level of corruption we encountered along with endless hassles of daily living. This is not in comparison with the U.S. but the former S.A. country we lived in.

One recommendation I can make for people who want to live there happily is to keep it simple. I have a good friend who lives there still and is happy as a clam. He's been there 8 years and doesn't speak 10 words of Spanish. He enjoys where he lives likes eating out etc. Since he doesn't know the language he really doesn't know what's going on which is probably a good think if you don't want to get frustrated. He doesn't own a car and goes everywhere by cab.

I think part of our problem is we decided to live outside of B.A. in a house which meant that our lives were much more complicated by having to have cars, having to find people to fix air conditioners and other things that break, dealing with the Argentine drivers, having much more exposure to the horrible government bureaucracy.

We found some good things there but these were more than offset by the negatives we encountered.
Stanexpat said:
. . . . We had . . . lived in . . . another South American country before we got [to Argentina] . . . , so we weren't rookies in living overseas. Our problem with living there was the high level of corruption we encountered along with endless hassles of daily living. . . . in comparison with . . . the former S.A. country we lived in. . . .
I'd be interested in knowing which other South American country is less bureaucratic! Other than from brief visits, my only other first-hand South American experience is with Chile: the bureaucracy there is just as obdurate, though it may be a bit less corrupt.