What's going on?

bigbadwolf

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"chris" said:
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!
It's not confined to Portenos or Argies, to be fair. The English (or French) can probably trump them any day. Ask an Englishman how he feels, and the surly response will be, "Can't complain," or "Fair to middling." In fact, come to think of it, only the Americans feel compelled to respond with a vigorous, exuberant (and completely insincere) "great." The difference lies perhaps not in the whining but in the doing. Unless people do something to ameliorate their conditions, merely complaining is an exercise in futility.
 

Marc

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BBW I think referring to the Argentines as "argies" is very disrespectful, with all due respect. I thought we British had stopped doing that since the Malvinas conflict. It's alsomost as bad as calling them "sudacas" like the Spanish tend to do.
As for the English response of "can't complain" being surly, you're talking complete nonsense. It's not surly, it's the way we are. Read any Bill Bryson, like Notes from a small Island? If not you should do. He hits the nail on the head about we British and I nearly died laughing. I'm glad we can laugh at ourselves.
 

bigbadwolf

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"Marc" said:
BBW I think referring to the Argentines as "argies" is very disrespectful, with all due respect. I thought we British had stopped doing that since the Malvinas conflict. It's alsomost as bad as calling them "sudacas" like the Spanish tend to do.
As for the English response of "can't complain" being surly, you're talking complete nonsense. It's not surly, it's the way we are. Read any Bill Bryson, like Notes from a small Island? If not you should do. He hits the nail on the head about we British and I nearly died laughing. I'm glad we can laugh at ourselves.
I meant no offence with regard to the Argentinians *shrug* I thought it's like referrring to the British as Brits. And as far as I'm concerned, though it's besides the point, the Malvinas should revert back to Argentina.
I've read several of Bryson's books and his impressions don't quite coincide with mine with regard to England (though I find he writes more perceptively about the United States -- perhaps because he is American). I think it was Byron who wrote," Our cloudy clime and our chilly women," but instead of women, make it everyone. In a study conducted about twelve years ago, it was found that Brits are the most depressed, pessimistic, and morose group around in Europe.
 

chris

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I agree that "Yankee" is an unpleasant term - seldom ever used affectionately. It's usually employed to express disdain, i.e. something is "muy yankee". I equate it with the distasteful and uninformed local custom of referring to any South Asian as a "Hindu". Regarding Malbec's comment on whining, if I couldn't understand what the whiners were saying how would I know that they were whining! My point was that locals whine as much or more than anyone on this website!
 

malbec

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What I wrote is that whining is some kind of art in BA...the irony, exaggerations and subtle hidden meanings will be all well out of your reach if you don't speak castellano and if you haven't been long enough in the city. Most of those things are impossible to be translated properly.
 

nikad

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"malbec" said:
What I wrote is that whining is some kind of art in BA...the irony, exaggerations and subtle hidden meanings will be all well out of your reach if you don't speak castellano and if you haven't been long enough in the city. Most of those things are impossible to be translated properly.
I agree with you 100%
 

chris

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Well, I don't agree with you 100%, Malbec. Something is always lost when one is not fully bilingual however a moderate knowledge of Spanish is enough to understand the nature of the whining and to get a good feeling for the style of complaining common here. Not all of the complainers are particuly subtle or witty anyway (I'm not talking about fast paced political / social humor that appears on TV, rather the day to day griping of Portenos about politics, the economy and life in general). Portenos are not so complex - they have high expectations (probably because they are generally better educated than most Latin Americans and see themselves as descendants of Europeans) that are often not satisfied by the society.
 

perry

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I fully agree with you Chris and most of the whining has no charm or wit as stated by malbec.
Living in Buenos Aires is a very different affair from viewing it from the comforts of Europe,
 

syngirl

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Come on people, there's got to be something about BA that you like?!?!? It's a beautiful time of year right now and this city has so much to offer.
I think a lot of the people that are complaining are people that moved here for the wrong reasons. I feel badly for those who moved here because of someone else (amantes, maridos etc) and are stuck. Yes you need to get it off your chest once in awhile, but this forum is becoming one big b*tch-a-thon!
The other thing I've noticed is that a lot of the complaints and negativity come from people that don't actually live here -- they've been here once or twice but haven't really stayed around long enough to learn the language or the lifestyle.
Maybe I've just been ultra-lucky, but I came here expecting to stay 3 months and it's been well over a year now and I have a great group of expat & argentine friends and I find myself happier than ever -- despite the broken sidewalks, caca, terrible phone lines, etc etc etc.
There's so many things going on in this city right now that you can't possibly get all that bored / depressed or angry: Feria del Diseno at the Dorrego -- International Artesans exhibit at La Rural -- the Open Space or whatever it's called modern art exhibit down at the old Correo Central building. Don't have any local friends to have an asado with? Go down to the Reserva on the weekend and eat at one of the parillas -- Or get on the bus / train / in a remise and head to Olivos or Peru Beach where there are parillas lined up all along the river... Take some sailing lessons, play tennis, get a day pass to one of the clubs in Tigre, go to the Japanese Gardens and take a tea... Go to Parque Centenario (it's just been redone, and many other parks and plazas are being worked on right now). Go to Temaiken for a beautiful setting and a fantastic privately-owned zoo (with beautiful habitats for the animals)... Get completely out of town by renting an apartment in Gesell or San Bernardo or Pinamar or any of the other towns along the coast. Check out the buenos aires government web pages for more -- open air cinema down at the Reserva must be starting soon and I'm sure there's a tonne of other activities listed that I don't even know about...
You must do all you can to learn the language here if you're going to have a truly satisfying life here -- it will make a huge difference to your quality of life. Think of it this way -- how many people in the States get annoyed / find it unbelievable that immigrants don't know english? Well, you're in a spanish-speaking country now -- it's up to you to learn the language or you will find yourself alienated / limited.
The fact is you can move yourself around the world as much as you like, but at some point you have to realise that happiness doesn't have as much to do with the city in which you are living -- it has to do with yourself -- if you were unhappy in your home city your just as likely to be unhappy here.
 

realba

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all expats whine, it's part of being an expat and is something i've seen in every country in which i've travelled and lived...it's something natural amongst all expat communities all over the
world; the expat wants, most of the time subconsciously, to feel
superior to the natives. the longer an expat is out of his home country the more he starts to idealise where he was born and brought up and the more he unfairly compares this idealistic version of 'home' to where he is now. of course, this means conveniently forgetting why he left in the first place. most expats feel prouder of coming from country xyz when they live abroad and often find themselves defending 'home' far more than they would necessarily like to due to some kind of unconscious nationalism.
i know i went through a stage like this (when i was living in australia) and it took me a while to recognise it. now i find settling in and adjusting to wherever i end up living much easier.
 
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