Introducing myself



I lived in Washington DC for 14 years, and yes, the cost of living in DC is astronomical. Left DC this past January and stayed in Buenos Aires until the end of April. I agree, two months is not nearly enough to "see what happens." I am a native Spanish speaker but have lived the past 19 years in the US, so language was not a problem. It was everything else. You have to be willing to accept that things are not done the same way here as they are done in the US, especially DC (a bubble of politicians, political consultants, consultants to consultants, bureaucrats and yuppies paying three times too much to live in a closet-size apartment).

Having said that, I am going back come October. Yes, I fell in love with the city, with its people, with its lack of logic, its beauty and its struggle. Made few but great friends. I am giving myself a little under a year to "see what happens."

Check out my blog,, for several Argentina stories.

I am currently in DC “consulting,” go figure, and getting ready for my move. If you want to chat drop me an e-mail at

Armando Bou


Jessica, if your mother-in-law is terminally ill your husband has a very good reason to return to Argentina. If he does not go back he will probably regret it the rest of his life, so the money /comfort issue is not all that important. I assume that you and your husband will eventually return to the US. You may not be making a lot by upper middle class Washington standards however I suspect that your lifestyle is a great deal better than that of the typical Porteno.

As regards teaching salaries here, I believe Mr Wolf's figures are a bit high. Mr Nashorama, on the other hand, underestimates teaching salaries in the US. Phildelphia suburban schools, for example, now pay close to $100,000 top salaries. Starting salaries (BA degree and absolutely no experience) in many Philadelphia area districts exceed $40,000 ($46,024 in Lower Merion School District - 2005 statistic). Some states pay less but they are very likely to be places where the cost of living is lower. A friend of mine works as a Principal ("Director") of a suburban BA high school. He is over 65 (waiting for his retirement papers to be processed - it has been years since he applied). With over 40 years of teaching and administrative experience he earns about $1,300 pesos.


I hope that I don't sound like as big of a moron as some are thinking I am. I AM NOT EXPECTING MY LIFE IN BA TO BE LIKE HERE!!!! I like the country club for the security reasons. I like the city because it's more real than here... here everything is "perfect". There I remember looking at a bank teller, and wondering how she could afford to dress herself in a professional manner on her salary. But I appreciated that she probably enjoyed her time with her children in the park, not blowing money watching them run around the local Chuck E Cheese by themselves, staring at a video screen. When I walk around here, I wonder how much that guy gets paid to mow that perfectly green lawn, and if the owners of the house have even stepped foot on the lawn.
And yes, the only Argentines I know, due to my family, are rich ones (well, and a few people from various provinces), so yes, I see a lot of that, but at the same time, I saw children begging for alfajores from a kiosco. Here the woman would have been arrested for not offering them an apple instead of an alfajor. I would rather see a child beg for food due to hunger than a fat kid whining because he can't have a second ice cream. (well, the obvious is that a child begging is not ideal, but as least he values food). I'm sick of the fat kids, and I don't want my children to be the one's begging either, but at least appreciate.
I don't think that I said I wanted a garage on my home, and I said a car, didn't say a mercedes. I have been to Argentina.... and I'm not blind, or stupid... but I am smart, and married to a smart man. My husband and I began from the bottom here, he was illegal for quite some time, up until we had one child and the second on the way. In five years, we are financial okay on a teacher's salary and a fire fighter's salary. We work hard, and have done well. Like someone said, I don't have much of an option for now because of my mother in law, and also someone suggested I don't work for awhile, and I won't, at least not until my children start school. I also student taught in a bilingual public school, so yes, I can hold my own in Spanish. I also live in an area in which most people are Spanish speaking immigrants, and one of my dearest friends is Peruvian, and speaks limited English, so I was being "modest". My grammar isn't always the best, and I get better the more I practice. As far as calming children, I have calmed children just arriving to this country from other non spanish, non english speaking countries before... you don't have to speak a language to calm a child.
I guess what I was hoping for was what a few said, which is that yeah, you can work enough to afford to live, and the life is more rewarding than the American dream...and I appreciate those whom have said that. I'm surprised too that so many are so negative about living in Argentina, yet don't return to the US, nor state how they live or manage to afford to go to the local locoturio to write about how difficult it is; but merely critize someone for being new to something, and asking questions. I will take some of the guilt for it too though, I guess my initial post seems like I am a little naive, and passive, but I'm always that way when I'm meeting new people!