Intense Fear

#1
Today, I wanted to make a dentist appt. for my older nephew. hes an argentine teenager from a poor family and hasnt been to a dentist in many, many years. not unusual here i believe.
I have some flyers from some places, clinics in san telmo, but i remembered the owner of my first apt. once gave me the phone number of her dentist. She told me that the dentist was very good and this came from a woman who lived in palermo.
So, i thought id give the dentist a call and find out at least how much she charged. Well, i got the run around for 15 minutes, each one i lost a little bit more of my patience. I asked how much she charged for an appt. and a cleaning. i explained i had to insurance and it was for my nephew.
Who are you? How did you hear of us? who recommended us? i explained, i remember the owners first name, but not her last and havent talked to her in a while. she went on and on and on. She said she couldnt tell me where they were located or give me any price or even promise that she would clean my nephews teeth.
Long story short, as she went on and on drilling me, interigating me, it turns out shes scared to DEATH that someone is going to rob her or worse.
Ive been here years and let me tell you, they arent a brave lot. Courage is not one of their traits. they live in intense fear. they arent just cautious, fear is ever present. I paid my lawyer a lot of money in a lump sum when i hired him and had an appt. with him the following week. i arrived a few minutes early and he was late. The secretary wouldnt open the door. i shouted through the door. she wouldnt let me in. i had to go to a locutorio and call his cell. I paid way too much money to be left sitting in the hallway. Again, she was afraid of getting robbed. theyve been robbed several times and the office is in recoleta. FEAR. They can open a door faster than anyone, they fly inside and make a run for it.
Home of the fearful, land of the beaten.
(I could have easily posted this on the "dentist" thread, but since you all must have noticed it too, it might be better as a separate thread.)
 
#2
If we were at a gathering and that had been the end of some sort of a speech I would have stood up and clapped my hands enthoustiasticly.I too am amazed at how many stores simply have their doors locked and how fearfull people really are. btw you found yourself a dentist yet?
 
#3
"JG" said:
Ive been here years and let me tell you, they arent a brave lot. Courage is not one of their traits. they live in intense fear. they arent just cautious, fear is ever present. I paid my lawyer a lot of money in a lump sum when i hired him and had an appt. with him the following week. i arrived a few minutes early and he was late. The secretary wouldnt open the door. i shouted through the door. she wouldnt let me in. i had to go to a locutorio and call his cell. I paid way too much money to be left sitting in the hallway. Again, she was afraid of getting robbed. theyve been robbed several times and the office is in recoleta. FEAR. They can open a door faster than anyone, they fly inside and make a fun for it.
Home of the fearful, land of the beaten.
This might be true of Buenos Aires, but perhaps doesn't hold for other towns such as Mendoza, Cordoba, or Rosario (I don't know). And in mitigation, Buenos Aires isn't Sao Paulo, Bogota, Lagos, Karachi, or Moscow. I have never seen automatic weapons in Buenos Aires. Apartment concierges are not armed with AK-47s (as they have been in Karachi). Gated communities don't expect rocket and grenade attacks. So life could be a lot worse.
On the other hand, thefts, burglaries, and robberies are rife. On my first vist, I paid a visit to a well-known realtor, whose office was right next to the Recoleta cemetery. We had to answer several searching questions over the intercom before we were finally buzzed in. Apparently the office had been robbed more than once. Even worse, people pretending to be customers would go with a member of staff to view a property, and then rob the property owner at gunpoint. Times are hard -- something conveniently ignored by head-in-the-sand "expats" who live in cloud cuckoo land, and who don't see the direct relationship between the cheap prices they take advantage of and the dire misery of most Argentine people.
 

Marc

Active Member
#4
I must be living on another planet then, as I have not witnessed anything like this, although, yes my Girlfriend who is Argentine was kidnapped by a stolen taxi and robbed at gunpoint....but that was many years ago.Life in Olivos seems pretty safe, although we do take sensible precautions.In our circle of friends, I don't get the impression that they live in fear of violence, more in fear of AFIP. My girlfriend is a public accountant and luckily knows the system.
By the way, BigBadWolf? Do you live in Argentina or USA. Are you American or English? Just curious....
 
#5
"Marc" said:
By the way, BigBadWolf? Do you live in Argentina or USA. Are you American or English? Just curious....
Equivocation is the better part of valour. Anything I say will be seized upon by my detractors and used against me. Suffice it to say that I've spent decades in England and kiss the tarmac every time I alight at Heathrow (or Gatwick or Stansted).
Since you're living in Olivos, you've doubtless seen manned sentry boxes on the residential streets of all the better suburbs. This security is there for a reason and is not redundant. On the walls of some houses, you can see coiled barbed wire: again, it's there for a reason. In Buenos Aires proper, robberies have been conducted by teams equipped with pistols and walkie-talkies. It's nothing to get alarmed about. But one does have to be wary.
 

Marc

Active Member
#6
You didn't answer my question. I'm English and not afraid of admitting it in this forum. Why can't you admit your nationality and place of residence? It's quite simple.
 
#7
"Marc" said:
You didn't answer my question. I'm English and not afraid of admitting it in this forum. Why can't you admit your nationality and place of residence? It's quite simple.
I don't feel any particular obligation to do so: as you indicated, it's just idle curiosity on your part. What you choose to reveal is up to you. As with other discussion boards, some of us hide behind pseudonyms and reveal of ourselves only what we please. I trade posts here with people whose real names and histories I don't know: I don't go around demanding they reveal of themselves more than they wish to.
Some people here on this forum do know me personally. That is sufficient for me.
(Reason for editing: typo)
 

Marc

Active Member
#8
Surely discretion is the better part of valour. Anyway I digress. BBW, you obviously know a great deal about Buenos Aires, however the picture you paint is tainted somewhat. I know you didn't say this, but I don't believe it's:Home of the fearful, land of the beaten. Neither do I believe that most Argentine people live in dire misery. Yes, I've seen the Villas Miserias. But does that represent most Argentines? I think not. Yes, the street begging is a shock at first, particularly the very very young children. As for house security, it's no different in many other countries.When I lived in England we had no such worries, but even that is changing now. Try Manchester or Birmingham and parts of London. Don't forget that Argentina is still recovering from the economic meltdown of 2001, when violence and poverty increased dramatically. Some people tell me that is when the Cartoneros appeared and also when men started kissing each other in greeting (not sure how true that is) due to a lack of security? I can tell you that the robbery situation in Spain, where i lived is pretty bad, with expats being the main targets. I'm just trying to put some balance into this thread. I hope you take my point.
 
#9
I have to agree with Mr. Wolf's comments regarding safety in the northern suburbs. Sentries stand guard on corners for a reason - there is a good deal of crime. While kidnappings are not nearly as common as they used to be, when they occur they are more likely to take place in suburbs like Olivos than in Recoleta or Barrio Norte. Regarding poverty, cartoneros began as a result of the devaluation. The number of street people also increased dramatically. Defining poverty can be tricky however it is reasonable to say that most Argentines are struggling to get by. BA represents about one third of the nation. Reasonable first world standards can be found in a few sections of the city and suburbs however on the whole the city is quite economically depressed. To get a sense of how poor people are just take a train from Cionstitucion station to any number of the outlying regions. This year I made trips to Glew and Quilmes - the former less than an hour from BA's center; the latter about thirty minutes away. The wretched condition of the trains (the Quilmes train was the worst), the visible impoverishment of the passengers and the view from the windows (litter and pollution everywhere, urban decay on a profound level) give one a very different picture of Argentina from what one sees in Olivos, the northern suburbs or the more upbeat urban centers favored by expats. One really can not compare poverty here with "poverty" in the UK or other first world countries. To begin with definitions of poverty are radically different. In addition there is virtually no social umbrella here as there is in the UK and other first world countries. In all too many cases a middle class income here would put one on the dole in Britain.
 
#10
With all of the fear going around, one thing that I don't get is seeing women walking around alone late at night. You'd think if it were really that dangerous you wouldn't see this. This is in Palermo and Recoleta mostly that I'm talking about. It might be different in other areas. On a related note. A few weeks ago I was getting up and preparing some coffee. As I was turning around, I noticed my door was ajar. I thought, that's strange I don't remember opening the door. I slowly took ahold of the handle and felt a little tug. I looked through the crack and noticed two little brown eyes staring up at me from 2 feet below. A child. A key is required to get into the apartment lobby but he must've slipped in somehow. I opened up the door and he began muttering to me in Spanish apparently begging for some pesos. Even though he was probably planning on robbing the apartment if nobody was there, I felt sorry for him and gave him a couple of pesos.
A couple of weeks ago an elderly man that lives next to my sister in Belgrano was robbed. A man came to the door early in the morning claiming to be with the gas company. The elderly man resisted, but the perpetrator forced his way in as two men followed behind him. They tied the elderly man, and his little nephew, up with rope to a couple of chairs and ransacked the apartment. The only cash the elderly man had was 30 pesos. They were not injured.