Potential new expat needs advice

zmr

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Hi everyone,

I posted on here a few weeks ago because I received a job offer at a law firm in Bs As and am considering taking it and moving from NYC to Buenos Aires in January.

I'm coming back to Buenos Aires on September 24 for ten days and then need to make a final decision on this job offer soon afterwards.

I still feel very conflicted about leaving my life here in New York and moving down to Buenos Aires. On the one hand, I love Bs As (I have visited about 6 times now), I speak the language, I have an amazing boyfriend there, and I got a very very good job at one of the largest, most prestigious Argentine law firms. On the other hand, I have a great life in NY, a great job here that pays WAY more than the one in Argentina, friends, and all the things that come after living somewhere for 6 years and setting up a life.

Also, in reading this forum, I get a little freaked out by the all the negativity regarding how difficult and expensive it is to live in Bs As, etc.

So, I'm wondering if one or two of you would be willing to meet with me in person when I'm down in Bs As and have a chat with me about life in Argentina. Preferably someone who has made a similar move from NY or another large city, and is in a similar age range (mid-late 20's/early 30's). I just want to get an idea about what it's REALLY like to live there from someone that was in a similar position as I am. Although I get the local perspective from my boyfriend, he has never lived in the US and can't really tell me how life there compares.

I would really appreciate it so much, and since for the moment I'm still earning dollars, I'll even be happy to buy you lunch or a drink :)

Send me a private message with your number or email address and we can try to coordinate a time to meet when I'm down there.

Also, for all of you posters who thought I was not a real person and just engaged in a marketing scam, you are welcome to come shake my hand.
 

fred mertz

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If you have a great job in what might be the greatest city in the world, FORGET MOVING TO BA !!!!!. You don't know a city, until you live there; not visit there for a few weeks. I made 7 trips to Barcelona before I moved there. Boy was I fooled !! No, I fooled myself. I only looked at the good things. (there are 24 hours in a day; imagine spending 45 minutes on a BA supermarket line? Imagine a city where almost all the ATM machines are empty? It happens. Have you passed the Argentine BAR exam? Do they even have a BAR exam? What if (my slogan) you hate your BA job ?. Then what? I read about the number of N.Y. lawyers, who can't gat a job with a law firm. Unbelievable.
 

mendozanow

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Please believe that guys like Fred, who may seem to come off a little harsh, do have your interests in mind, a little bit of tough love if you will.

If you do meet with some expats here, please be open-minded to stories abot the gringa-who-falls-in love -with-argentino-but is severely -disappointed-when-the-fella-loses-interest-because-the-gringa-does-not-fit in-with-his-local-accustomed-lifestyle syndrome, one that I have had happen to many female friends who have found themselves here (many to their credit decide to stay for awhile, and make a positive experience out of it). I will say no more, as I am treading on politically-correct thin ice here, but (although there are many foreign women who post here who have had very successful relationships with local men, so i do not want to be too negative), such stories, if you are prepared to listen, are being told for your own good.

It is fine to meet with your fellow expats for adivce, but I have found that many newcomers are not good listeners. That said, we all have to make our own mistakes (and good choices as well, to be more positive sounding) in life. As a parent of adult children, i know that it is important to make your decisions, but also important that those who want to give advice give it regardless of how it is received.

Good luck, sincerely, with whatever path you choose.
 

steveinbsas

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In your deepest heart of hearts and if you think your Argentine boyfriend is (or seriously may be) the one and you can see yourself living in BA with him for the rest of your life then why ask for opinions OF STRANGERS here?

Just come on down and hope your Argentine boyfriend believes in forever as much as you...and that life in BA with him will be better than life in NYC without him.

Have you seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada?
 

Davidglen77

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I would say you should think about it in these terms.......if you are coming for the boyfriend, and I don't know how far along you are in the relationship, I would say don't give everything up (your comfy life in New York) for a new relationship. Also being a lawyer in Argentina is a whole different ball game. You of course won't be licensed to practice law here, as law degress are not transferrable from one country to another since legal systems are completely different from one country to another. However if you are working at a large legal firm here, you may work with US clients or do international law. You have the "adventurers itch" like I did. I came from New York, had a good job at a bank for many years and sold everything one day and moved here. Has it been fun? YES, Has it been easy? NO, however I am a better human being for having come here, I've had a small business, I have a wonderful partner, and while I don't know if I am going to be here forever, I definitely have grown as a person for having come here. You'll have to decide how easy it will be for you pick up the pieces of your life and move back if you are not happy here or things don't work out the way you had planned, but I certainly hope they do work out for you!. All the best.......
 

zmr

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I appreciate all perspectives. But, why do the two of you live in Buenos Aires if you hate the long supermarket lines and all of that? I just don't see long lines and empty ATMs as legitimate reasons not to move somewhere. No doubt they are annoying, but New York has its annoyances too.

I'm not coming to Argentina to be an Argentine lawyer, so I am not taking any Argentine bar exam or getting licensed there, at least not in the short term. My job is actually doing cross-border work under NY law. I don't know your friends' backgrounds or situations so I can't speak to their inability to find a job, but I do agree that the single biggest risk I face in moving is wanting to come back to NY and not being able to find a job.
 

zmr

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Steve - also, just to clarify, I'm not asking for strangers' opinions on my relationship. I'm asking for the opinions of expats on what it is like to live in Buenos Aires. As I mentioned, all I seem to hear on this message board is people complaining about long lines and other things. But you all live in Argentina, and I assume you live there for a reason. Why? There must be something you like about it...? And I want to make sure that I understand what I'm getting into before I make this leap. If the major problems are long lines and empty ATMs, I can get over that. If it's more than that, I'd like to hear it.
 

steveinbsas

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zmr said:
Steve - also, just to clarify, I'm not asking for strangers' opinions on my relationship. I'm asking for the opinions of expats on what it is like to live in Buenos Aires. As I mentioned, all I seem to hear on this message board is people complaining about long lines and other things. But you all live in Argentina, and I assume you live there for a reason. Why? There must be something you like about it...? And I want to make sure that I understand what I'm getting into before I make this leap. If the major problems are long lines and empty ATMs, I can get over that. If it's more than that, I'd like to hear it.


There are many threads that deal with the various problems of being a foreigner in Buenos Aires.

I lived in Capital Federal for four years after living in Sayulita, Mexico for five. In the US I lived in Park City, Utah and Chicago from 1975 to 2000.

I've also been homeless and lived in a van in the early 90's.

Now I live in the Argentine countryside now and I'm happy, but if I had the life you have in the US and if I was as young as you are I would stay there...unless I thought I'd found the love of my life.

For me, that would render all of the other problems insignificant.
 

bradlyhale

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ZMR -- Misery loves company.

Their criticisms are valid, and there is a lot to be said about long lines for everything and empty ATM machines. I'm in my mid-20s, awfully busy with a lot stuff, and I'm married to an Argentine. I get frustrated with many things here, but overall I still love this city (been in and out since 2008). You only live once. If you think the guy is worth it, you should give it a try. Have a plan and maintain your financial independence if things do not work out.
 

Mano Negra

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I'm from London and had an office in New York so I know both cities reasonably. Don't be put off by the constant negativity on this site. If you post a thread here saying isn't the upcoming festival of theater / Jazz / Art etc. great, you get zero replies. If you post a thread about the peanut butter famine, the malicious attempts by dogs to ruin your day, the assault the pavement has just made on you or such like, you get three editions of war and peace within 24 hours. I never understand people who say they spent 45 minutes queuing in the supermarket. They must be pretty dumb as there is no need to go to a supermarket here. There are butchers, bakers, fresh pasta shops, Bolivian greengrocers and cake and ice cream shops everywhere and they all stay open till at least 9pm. Anything else can be obtained from the chinos, normally much cheaper than the supermarkets. And if you have to get something from the supermarket, just order online and get it delivered, everything can be delivered here, the Jumbo in Palermo delivered to Puerto Madero which is miles away! You just have to understand how the city works!!!

The fact is if you have a bit of money or a reasonable job, Buenos Aires must be the best city in the world to live in. The Ministry of Culture ensures that there is always something to do and usually it is of top quality and exceedingly cheap. Where else can you go to free concerts given by Placido Domingo and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in the same week and then see Barenboin conduct La Scala in the middle of a cities principal avenue (for free). Getting round the city is also cheap, so there is never an excuse to be bored. Yes the cuisine can be a bit samey (though I can't go two days without a decent steak now) but it is improving rapidly. Wine is also getting better every year as new participants enter the market (and there are lots of wine tastings to go to). The other great thing about the Argentines is they love to study, so whether your bag is painting or pottery, music, singing, tai chi or roller hockey you will find a class or a group to participate in. I'm not sure what sort of Lawyer you are but I suspect the biggest bonus will be working much shorter hours here and thus having time for a proper life. Yes you can make big money in London or NY but the bastard clients expect you to be available 24 hours for the privilege. I wouldn't bother to ring my Argentine lawyer after 7pm, there would be no point, but I used to be pissed if my UK lawyer didn't pick up at 9pm. Also professionally, the next decade or two is going to be all about South America, China and India. A Yanqui with South American experience is going to be in great demand.

The Australians used to describe the Brits as whingeing poms. From what I see on this site it is peopled by whingeing yanquis, but I know a lot of long term expats here who love it and have no desire to go back to their respective birthplaces. I have been spending a month or two a year here for 15 years and have lived here for the last two. My two weeks in London last month was a miserable experience and I couldn't wait to get back, not least because you can't get a decent meal after 10.30 pm there, which in my view is the earliest time one should contemplate dinner.

I share Mendozanow's politely expressed reservations about coming for love, but if you have a great job lined up I'd say take the risk. You will have a great time!! I would be delighted to meet up with you and show you what I love about this city.
 
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