Exploring and Learning Trip

#1
I'm coming to BsAs starting next Tuesday September 19th and will be attending a Spanish school about 3/4 time until the end of November. I will be staying at the home of a Porteño couple arranged by the school which should offer me some opportunity to learn a bit from some locals.
I am using this trip as an exploration trip and intend to get a residency visa for residency starting in March. I am fluent in Spanish but I have a spotty vocabulary in many respects. I figure I will be able to converse in business Spanish (which I currently lack) and Lunfardo reasonably well after the two months at the school. I have spent considerable time in Honduras, Brazil, Mexico and travelled in Chile and Spain.I have been living in the U.S. Virgin islands which can be quite a culture shock for most Americans but I generally don't have problems adapting to new cultures. I don't ever expect another culture to be like the one I grew up with. I am, however, longing for culture and city life. Living on an island has made be yearn for music, cafes, intelligent conversation and a rich variety of food.I will likely not be spending the heat of summer in BsAs as I don't
like the extreme heat, I will probably return to St. Thomas for January
through mid-March.I am fortunate to have U.S. based income from a software company that sells in U.S. dollars so as long as I have an internet connection I have an income. I am told this will allow me to get a financiero visa as I can easily bring in the required amounts each month.
I'd like to ask for recommendations for how best to spend my free time in order to assess the viability of moving to BsAs permanently. My major consideration is the climate for starting a new business there. I am an entrepreneur and am not happy unless I am building something new or learning a new industry. I am considering starting a software company and also doing some low budget film production for release in the U.S. as a good friend of mine owns a U.S. film company which can get distribution on films I make. So I hope to learn something of the local software and film industry while down there.While the Virgin Islands are ostensibly part of the U.S. it resembles a developing country in most respects. The bureaucracy in the Virgin Islands is extremely tough so I can't see how BsAs could be any worse. For example, it took me four months to get a bank account for a business after paying a "consultant" US $1,000 for his help. I am hoping that this has been good preparation for what I am likely to encounter in BsAs.
I will also need to scout out the areas I will want to live when I return in March. I love nightlife and socializing and intend to integrate with the Porteños as much as possible.
Any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated.Many thanks in advance,Curtis
 

Bill

Active Member
#2
Sounds like you've got lots of cash. I can recommend some good Chica bars if you like that sort of thing. The nightlife here is all over the place depending on what you like. Discos (like any) downtown and endless clubs and bars in every part of the city. Depends on how old you are and what kind of music you like. Funny enough, the further you get away from the downtown core, the better they get. If you've got the 2 grand a month income, I think you're in with the government. They seem to like strangers with cash.
Not sure I'd recommend BsAs for the culture. It's sort of being squeezed out as the place becomes ever so modern. Smaller cities will give you more. Lots of people working in Film,TV and Internet that I meet, so this is the place in Argentina for that. Porteños are alright but it's kind of hard to define. Even the ones that were born here haven't seen half the city or most of Argentina, so I wouldn't get your hopes up. Just regular folks trying to make a living. Most people in South America don't like them for some reason. I think it's a language thing.
Coming in Sept (spring) is good. Lovely weather here right now.
Regarding areas to live in, I'd suggest staying in a few different parts of the city, especially outside the main core. Find somewhere at the end of a subte line for example and you'll lose the tourist feel but still be able to get into the city okay. If you want the tourist feel, live closer to the water. From what I've seen and heard, the northern side of the city is richer and less dangerous, the south... not so much.
 
#3
You´re bored of the Carribean Islands and most of us would rather just move there and retire from this mayhem!! Funny world!
Why go back so soon for the summer here?
It´s hot in the city but you´ve got all the summer resorts which are cool and COOL.
Take Punta del Este in Uruguay, or Mar del Plata, 4 hours south of BA. Also, you can go to the mountains and see Bariloche, Mendoza, the wine trail, or go to the "bottom of the World" at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. I would keep my mind open if I were you. That return ticket can be used anytime later on.
Joe
 
#4
I've got some business to take care of this year in St.Thomas before I move the BsAs permanently. Perhaps Mendoza, Ushuaiaj, and Punta del Este can wait til next year.I'm looking forward to exploring.- Curtis
 

malbec

Active Member
#5
Hi Inflector,nice to see you have such great plans. And
you've got the right attitude too...that's the key, trying to blend
with locals, that will make your experience rewarding.Regarding
culture: BA has lots to offer. Called by some the cultural capital of
Latinamerica. Specially if you speak the language (I mean
Spanish...that's the language spoken in Argentina) you'll see that it
seems to be true. But many expats (sadly) live in their expat ghettos,
try to get the food they eat at home, visit expat bars, expat

groups, watch CNN and BBC...in that way you can not expect to really discover all the things the city has to offer! The
film industry seems to be growing in Argentina and there are many
international companies producing there. I am currently in Europe and
now and then recognise some parts of Buenos Aires in the spots shown
here on TV (there is one by Rex*na which is quite popular).I wish you good luck and a lot of success in Argentina! You'll enjoy it a lot!
 
#7
"malbec" said:
nice to see you have such great plans. And
you've got the right attitude too...that's the key, trying to blend
with locals, that will make your experience rewarding.

It's not easy to "blend with locals," but only a foreigner would know this. It's not just the language problem.
Regarding culture: BA has lots to offer. Called by some the cultural capital of
Latinamerica. Specially if you speak the language (I mean
Spanish...that's the language spoken in Argentina) you'll see that it
seems to be true. But many expats (sadly) live in their expat ghettos,
try to get the food they eat at home, visit expat bars, expat
groups, watch CNN and BBC...in that way you can not expect to really discover all the things the city has to offer!
Culturally it's way ahead of dumps like Asuncion and Lima: not in dispute. But can you be a bit more specific on what the city has to offer? I don't mean overpriced tickets at Teatre Colon, but getting to grips with the inner cultural dynamic of a metropolis (to the extent it exists in BsAs).
 

malbec

Active Member
#8
It's surely not easy to integrate in the host country...but at least
one should try it! I am an expat too and I know how difficult it is. The key is: one has to be active! Locals are not very likely to knock on your door to look for you (well...not at the beginning).
Forget
Teatro Colón! There are tons of things to do for free (or for some few
pesos). Naturally most of it is in Spanish. I haven't been in the city
for the last 5 years (at least not for long), so I can't be very
precise. But check the following links (I don't know exactly what you
fancy):http://www.rojas.uba.ar/ Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas http://www.ccgsm.gov.ar/ Centro Cultural Gral. San Martínhttp://www.ccborges.org.ar/home.html Centro Cultural Borgeshttp://www.culturauca.com.ar/ Centro Cultural de la UCA http://www.cceba.org.ar Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aireshttp://www.elmurocultural.com/ Guía Cultural de Buenos Aireshttp://www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar/ Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aireshttp://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/cultura/ Secretaría de Cultura de Buenos Aires (great to browse, it contains a lot of information)

http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/cultura/carnaval/ Feeling like participating? Dance courses for typical "Murgas Porteñas"http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/cultura/cen_culturales/ Programa Cultural en Barrios (used to like it very much...this would be a great way to get to know "normal" argentinians)http://www.palaisdeglace.org Palais de Glace (great building too)http://www.teatrocervantes.gov.ar Teatro Nacional Cervanteshttp://www.bibnal.edu.ar/ Biblioteca Nacionalhttp://www.revistacontratiempo.com.ar/ Revista Contratiempohttp://www.abastosocialclub.com/ Abasto Social ClubLa Nación newspaper (www.lanacion.com.ar)
brings a quite good offer too (Via Libre, Cultura, Entretenimiento,
etc). It's better to buy the actual newspaper since many adds aren
shown in Internet

One of the things to keep in mind is that many artists work in
Argentina just for the sake of culture. They work in their leisure time
and very often must finance their work out of the own pocket. It's not
like in Europe or in the USA or other first world countries where the
state contributes with millions every year. Like we say: "Es todo a
pulmón" (or at least la mayoría)

Mucha suerte y que te diviertas!
 
#9
Wow! I spent my first day exploring. There is a lot here and much variety in the various barrios. I didn't find the noise to be all that unusual for city but the diesel fumes are a bit rough for someone who is used to clear Caribbean air.
Nevertheless, on the whole, I loved it. I'm going to go out tonight and see if the famed nightlife is alive on a boring Wednesday despite my 2 hours of sleep on the plane. - Curtis