Be welcomeNo Moss said:Hi, Bapak. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm just ready for a change. I realize that Buenos Aires is not without its hassles, and it will certainly be more expensive than Bangkok in many ways--way more than Chiang Mai, but then Rosario would be cheaper than Bangkok.
I really can't afford to fly over to BA, then come back, then fly again. That's difficult logistically and very expensive, up around US$5000 for three trips. I'd rather move there and then move back if I don't like it. It won't be hugely more expensive to live there as a tourist for a few months than to live here in Bangers, where I pay US$570 for a modest studio in the "farang ghetto". Mind you, that price includes everything, including bedding and towels, maid service 2x per week, good WiFi and cable, water and electricity, pool and workout room, and excellent security and service from a large resident staff. What it doesn't include is a grand western city with people whose language I can at least partially understand, and whom I am genuinely interested in knowing.
If it were a purely economic decision, I would live in Chiang Mai. I've lived there, but gee, there isn't much in the way of cultural stimulation, and the transportation situation is pretty bad. But food is good, the weather is cooler than the rest of Thailand, and accomodation is dirt cheap ($US5-6 will buy you a night in an older but entirely acceptable hotel, and $10 a night will give you a modern if small room, spotlessly clean).
I've liked Thailand for decades of visits, but living here eventually spoiled it for me. And BAs is close to another city I adore, Rio. Dangerous now I guess, but what an amazing place when I visited two decades ago, full of Carioca dreams and the beautiful sounds of Jobim, and found the cidade maravilhosa lived up to my frothiest imaginings.
So here I come, dictionary and suitcases in hand, expecting everything and nothing, ready to lose my heart to another of the world's great cities.