What's going on?

Marc

Active Member
#1
I've been browsing this forum for weeks now and all I seem to read is people slagging off Buenos Aires, with very few exceptions. Do you people live here by choice? Was it easy to get your visa? If you live here and don't like it, why don't you go back to where you came from? Simple really.
This country isn't even 200 years old. Give it another 500 and we might see some light at the end of the tunnel. This is Argentina for goodness sake! Rant over...:)
 
#2
Marc:

I’m as perplexed as you are about the majority who co-opt the forum threads on this site to complain. I moved here just over three years ago, finding Buenos Aires and Argentina both fascinating and very welcoming. I made one well-intentioned appearance at an expat dinner back when I first arrived. The experience was less than satisfying. I politely sat through an over-price meal with boorish people whom I would never consider socializing with in my home country. Subsequent invitations to expat’s homes proved to be even more painful.

I rarely read anything positive or interesting on this site. Therefore, I don’t think it is unfair to color the vast majority who may post to this site as dissatisfied malcontents with myopic, dysfunctional lives. They will be unhappy where ever they may find themselves in the world. For me, life is too short to cultivate relationships with such emotional cripples.

I will, however, admit to having made one friend with whom I connected with through www.expats.com. Actually, we met at the last of many parties hosted by a couple who had lived here for one year. That couple is now traveling through China. But my expat friend and I were able to reconnect after that evening by sending notes to one another on this web site. So, I do owe this site some thanks. Still, we joke that visiting this site to read the forum posts is like returning to a bad train wreck; it’s hard not to rubberneck at all of the nasty, bitching and whining. And because of all that bitching and whining I have found this site eminently useful as reminder that I’m always better off socializing exclusively with my Argentine friends as well as thinking, speaking, reading and listening in Spanish -- avoiding English whenever possible. After all, the idea of moving to a foreign country just to be among one’s fellow countrymen is a rather odd – one might even venture “colonial” – old world habit.

I fully understand that one of the missions of this web site administered by Chris and Igor is to help expats “adjust” to living in a foreign country. Their intentions are good. But in my opinion their good intentions were hijacked long ago by folks who would do well to: 1) grow up; 2) seek help/medication for a slew of mental disorders; 3) discipline themselves to learn castellano; or 4) do Argentina a favor and return to their home countries.
 
#3
In reponse to both posts above. I congratulate you for trying to cut the whining and so forth.
We all have the right to speach and to choose, so I only respond to those who I find positive may I agree or not in all that is said.
I spent my whole chilhood listening the gripe of Argetnine Expats- argentine professional who went for the same reasons foreigners now come here. And boy, did I hate it - excuse my harsh word.
It is so difficult not to complain here it's contagious and ,mea culpa, I work daily not to fall into that. Mind you, I understand and agree with all the gripping. However, I have come to realise that it is better to do than to gripe- otherwise you turn into the same thing one gripes about: a "good 'ol argentine'. Trust me, I dislike so many things about this country and with solid reasons.
It's all about attitude!!
Reason why I post:
Congrats for those who are positive, spend their time doing good for others, teaching, serving the needy instead of wasting their time in trivial issues.
Keep on coming you will keep on finding friends who speak the same language. That is the intention of Baexpats. And let's keep the spirit!!!
 
#4
First of all, check our last party pictures to see some unhappy faces midlifebear is talking about. Apparently a single appearance on one of the events three years ago made him an instant expert and now he can bring you a nice group picture of more than 800 members of this site.
Yes, there is a shift to the negative side in the forum messages. But I guess it is a usual thing. When you read what people say, for example, about digital cameras, there is always also a shift to the negative side. Because everybody who can find anything to complain about will do it, but people who are satisfied don't have much to talk about. And you need to make a mental correction for that.
What puzzles me is that nobody even tries to say anything positive. People are getting into defensive mode: "look at yourself", "go home". Or generating a second wave of negativity complaining about complainers.
 
#5
I have been on this site a short time and in general people seem very nice and honest about their experiences. Its better to vent here and get a few things off the chest than carry all that negativity around with you.
Igor has done the most wonderful job here and I have heard that he is a tremendous guy.
So in a nutshell life is positive and negative so this forum will reflect that
 

Marc

Active Member
#6
Thanks for your reply Midlifebear and to the others who responded to my post. I agree to some extent with what has been said in response, but I have to say that the last paragraph of midlifebear's post was very succinct.
In 2003 I moved from England, lock stock and smoking barrel to live in Spain. I had become disillusioned with the UK...the apathy, the PC attitude and the general bitching and sameness of everything. Don't get me wrong, please. I am English, well Welsh really and I love the United Kingdom and will always defend it...British summers included! However, some of us need to spread our wings, me included. So I went to Spain, hoping it might be the land of honey... the new world. How naive I was. I ended up living on a housing estate full of expats from UK and Germany. Not one person spoke Spanish and neither did they have any inclination to do so. It was a rude awakening. I even sailed my little 35ft boat all the way round via Gib to get there! I really tried with the Spanish locals but just couldn't connect. Maybe it was me? Que se yo.
Anyway, here I am now in Bs As connecting with Argentines, who in my opinion are the most simpatico of all the nationalities I have ever met. I don't mix with expats at all..punto. I would like to at times and just speak English without thinking about it, but 95% of my time is spent speaking Castellano which I enjoy. My girlfriend is Argentine so it follows that most, if not all of our friends are locals, which is what i like about it. I didn't come here to live as a colonial (actually I came for her, but that's another story) and I enjoy almost "being" an Argentine. I like to be on the outside looking in to an extent, but there comes a time when you have to change your attitude (I'm speaking for myself now, not preaching). It's also that starnge concept of "home". Where is it? I think I found it here and I'm glad about that.
We will both be coming to the end of year party at Rosies place, so we hope to meet you all there. Hasta pronto!
 
#7
midlifebear...As I am sure you will agree, the forum must be open to all opinions, positive and negative. It's probably true that for some people posting on this website is therapeutic. If so, we are helping some expats to deal with Argentina! It's also true that the dinners/parties attract all sorts of people but can't that be true in our own countries - how many friends do we make at social events we attend back home? As for sticking with Argentines rather than expats, I find Portenos to be great whiners. In fact complaining about everything is an integral part of the local culture!
 

malbec

Active Member
#8
'I find Portenos to be great whiners'That's true, in the end that's the essence of Tango...inmigrants who came to Argentina and were missing what they left back at home.But I am pretty sure most expats don't understand exactly the whining of the locals. El porteño es amargado, but he loves to make fun of the problems too. The whining is usually very exaggerated and ironic...things which are impossible to be translated and which you won't understand till you speak the language and live there many years.
I can only recommend to expats that they learn the language and, as Marc wisely said, try to integrate with locals. Then you could whinge together ;-)
 

nikad

Registered
#9
"malbec" said:
'I find Portenos to be great whiners'That's true, in the end that's the essence of Tango...inmigrants who came to Argentina and were missing what they left back at home.But I am pretty sure most expats don't understand exactly the whining of the locals. El porteño es amargado, but he loves to make fun of the problems too. The whining is usually very exaggerated and ironic...things which are impossible to be translated and which you won't understand till you speak the language and live there many years.
I can only recommend to expats that they learn the language and, as Marc wisely said, try to integrate with locals. Then you could whinge together ;-)
Exactly, the differences will not be just about the language, the argentine being can be a box of surprises ;) Like a couple of days ago, we took our car to the mechanic to get the ac fixed, my husband and I were with my brother, the mechanic was a bit sneaky with the pricing, so my brother had this little argument about it with him...
- Vos pensas que soy boludo?
- No seas boludo, calmate y dejame explicarte...
- Somos todos boludos aca?
blah blah blah My hubby thought they were gonna punch each other any second! No way! The vocabulary, tone and gestures are always exaggerated and hardly ever it ends up with fists... americans for instance are just the opposite: talk nice nice nice and all of a sudden raise the tone and kaboom! We whine .... we whine a lot ( and we know we do )!!!!! I dunno why but we do it: the weather, politics, money, kids, wives, any subject goes! It is actually a way to connect with others: you will find out what others dislike the most, meet them and whine together :) Then obviously can come other activities too.
V
 
#10
Fully agree with the comments of nikad regarding the local culture .People here do whine more than most . Its very similar to greek culture the love of the drama the culture of exagerration is something very Buenos Aires .
Enter a communal laundry here or a government office and hear the locals lament everything . I actually agree that is is better to vent your feelings like this as if you compare argentine culture to anglo saxon culture the anglosaxons tend to bottle up their emotions and then kabam they just explode .