Potential new expat needs advice

jb5

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I don't hate BA in any way and have chosen to start a business here at 50 having the opportunity to live pretty much where I like. It is a fabulous city.

One thing I suspect, however, is you'll have a hard time finding expats who fit your description. I have not met many twenties and thirties expat professionals in BA working for Argentines. The professional expats I have met work for US or European firms and earn dollars or Euro. Money is a great buffer to the tough parts of life in BA.

Living in a good apartment certainly costs much less than in NYC, but if you're paid in pesos the rents will still seem high for quality. Hired help to wait on the lines certainly makes life easier. And most important, IMO, is having the money to leave often and to pay the outrageous duty on things you'll want to import.

In your place I'd really consider whether you'll be able to get a job comparable to the one you have should you wish to return to NY. Times are tough for young lawyers in the States. But if you know your firm would take you back or you have an in demand specialty, why not take the chance?
 

AleWebster

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Hello,
I lived in BsAs for 2.5 years and I loved it. I was there as an expat so my company paid for my apartment and car. So financially for me was even better than being in the US. Getting used to Argentina is difficult, there are many things that are inefficient and frustrating. Food is expensive, apartments close to downtown or in Puerto Madero are expensive too. Security is an issue, several people from my company got robbed, one lady getting money out of the ATM, she was with her kids and she got punched really bad anyway. My boss's house got robbed too while they were on vacation.

I was in BsAs clearly knowing I was coming back to the US at some point and my company was going to take care of everything. I think I would never move to Argentina on my own or with the idea of staying there forever.

Also I felt really far away, it's a long long and expensive flight from the US, but friends and family were motivated to visit.

So if you have a job that is in high demand and you can always go back ot NY or whetever place you like, you might go there and give it a try it, but lower your expectations, mine were too high and got dissapointed over and over.

Argentine men are handsome, so if things don't end up working out with your boyfriend you could still have some fun ;).
 

rockinkaj

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steveinbsas said:
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'm here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...1511319715450.72207.1608109807&type=1&theater

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.
Oh I so envy you steveinbsas.. Nice home in the country.. I lived in a similar home in Greece LOVE it.. had my own garden fresh vegis and fruit trees fresh eggs and fresh milk.. I hate city life in ANY city... I am from Montreal but live in Ville Mont Royal the suburbs.. I think if I lived in the country I would enjoy it much more here... I live right in the heart of San Telmo.. Stuck here because my husband has work here.. Ufff!!! Oh well maybe when were retired we can move to the country... :rolleyes:
 

El Duderino

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I don't know what kind of advice I can give to your situation, but I moved here 3 months ago after living in Chicago for 3 years.

I think the big thing about enjoying life here (and it's pretty obvious) is having enough money. I was lucky to find an awesome job here that pays in dollars. Some of my foreigner friends here are getting paid Argentine wages in pesos and it's tough for them. The wages here are pretty awful.

It's an expensive city, but nowhere near NYC. My monthly expenses, including rent, are about $1500 a month. And I'm living easy. 1 bedroom apartment in Palermo, and I go out often.

I'm 26 and the choice of taking a risk to move here was a no-brainer. Just think about yourself 30 years down the road. Will you really regret this decision? I know I wont. You only live once.
 

El Duderino

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And another thing, RARELY do I wait longer than 10 min in line at the supermarket (Disco, COTO) and 90% of the time the ATM I go to has cash and doesn't have a line.
 

Ashley

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I think it depends what sort of lifestyle you're hoping to live here.
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city but it can be incredibly frustrating...especially in the long term and it's going to be difficult, if not impossible to replicate the kind of life you have experienced in NYC.
I think that if you're earning a salary in dollars or a very good salary in pesos, that will soften the blow. Inflation is through the roof here and, local rent prices aside, a lot of things like supermarket shopping, some entertainment, travel, clothing prices, electronics etc are more expensive here than in the US or Europe, so if your salary isn't great (or just average) that can impact your quality of life quite a bit. I'm earning about 1/7th (if not less) of what I'd be earning doing the same job in the UK and it does start to get v frustrating after a while and contribute to a general feeling of being "stuck".
If your boyfriend has an apartment or his family can provide you with a garantia so that you can rent on local terms, that will also make a massive difference as far as housing is concerned. If you don't have these things, expect to pay tourist prices.
Making Argentine friends (especially girlfriends) can also be difficult as people tend to stick to the same circle of people they met at highschool. If you're here permanently or long-term, expat friends leaving starts to get to you a bit too... It'd be great if your partner could introduce you to female friends and it always helps to get involved in classes or hobbies.

I think the key is to take Buenos Aires for what it is and not compare it so much with life in the US. I think living here is a great experience and if you're open and willing to live that experience, you'll be fine.
 

PastPerfect

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If you moved here, how long would you be staying? A few years? Forever? I love BA for its laid-back pace, its never ending nights, its cafes, its million hole-in-the-wall bars, theaters, gorgeous women, etc., but it is also a city of many frustrations. I think how happy you are here on a daily basis largely depends on your ability to let the small things slide. If you let it get to you every time you have to dodge a pile of dog crap or wait at the bus stop while bus after bus passes you by because they're all inhumanely full you will go insane very quickly. As a New Yorker I imagine you already have the ability to do that though.

I think this is a great place to come for an adventure but a difficult place to make your home. As many posters have said a lot of it comes down to money. If you are making plenty of money you'll have nothing to worry about. You can live like a king. Otherwise the cost of living is incredibly, prohibitively high. I make maybe double what the average argentinian does (still a pittance by US/Euro standards) and I can afford to pay my rent and go out but that's it. There's nothing left over at the end of the month and inflation keeps on squeezing harder. I never buy clothes or electronics or really anything other than food, booze, and used books. It's been a wonderful year but I don't see how I could make a life here long-term. With no family support structure here (i.e. parents to live with) there is no way to save money.

Also, steak and pasta aside, the food is by and large just meh. Oh how I miss Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, non-salmon sushi, good Mexican . . . you name it. When I move back to Chicago I'm going to binge on ethnic food. BA is brilliant at making Argentinian culture accessible and everywhere but the kind of cultural diversity you find in North America just doesn't exist. After a while it can get pretty monotonous.

That said, I think you can easily dive in a for a few years and be better off for it when all's said and done. I've found that whatever frustrations I've had here have been more than offset by good experiences and the incredible warmth of the people I've met.
 

Amargo

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Dear zmr, move to BA and try your luck. You have nothing to lose. BA is a great city and for many better than any other city in the World, it is a matter of taste. You will probably live with less objects, but it will help you appreciate more the important things in life like friends, family, children, to relax and to take life easy.
If it works, great. Otherwise you can always go back.
And don't listen that much to those whingeing here...remember happy people are probably not going to waste their happy times posting here (before someone mentions it: I am away on a business trip :p
 

Nandrin

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hit me up anytime, would be happy to help, from seattle, have had a great time here, staying for another year,
 

aimeedumonde

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"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."

steveinbsas...absolutely perfect advice. Nice.
 
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