Work Abroad but earn in USD

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Top Ten Reasons I Love Living in Buenos Aires

I got a question today from a reader asking why I like Buenos Aires so much. Long-time readers of this blog will, of course, know a few of my reasons already, but I'll go ahead and summarize them here in one easy-to-read post.

Reader's Question

What do you like about living in Buenos Aires? What does the city and culture offer you that you could not find in [the United States]? I’d love to read your comments.

Top Ten Reasons I Love Argentina & Buenos Aires

Well, here is my list, in no particular order:

  1. The (low) cost of living.
    I have a job that allows me to live anywhere on this planet. Give me a laptop and an internet connection and I can work from anywhere. Given that my income doesn't change no matter where I'm living, it only makes sense to live in a place where things cost less. Argentina is one of those places.
  2. The opportunity to go carless.
    Going without a car just isn't possible in the western United States. Here in Buenos Aires, taxis are cheap, busses are everywhere, and the subway isn't half bad. You don't need to own a car if you don't want to. I always hated driving, rush hour, and the expense that goes hand-in-hand with car ownership.
  3. The big city lifestyle.
    Now this one is purely subjective. Living out west, I knew a lot of people who moved there to escape the big city, so it can go both ways. I love the fact that I can go downstairs and find a grocery store, movie rental place, electronics store, shopping mall, 20+ restaurants, plus a whole host of other services within a 5 block radius of my apartment. Where I grew up, everything was always at least a 5-15 minute drive away. Forget about walking anywhere. Now everything is a 5 minute walk away.
  4. The superior gene pool.
    As a newly-single guy, I have to confess that all these beautiful porteña women are certainly easy on the eyes. Everywhere you go there are 9s and 10s running around.
  5. Learning a new language.
    While everyone back in the U.S. (and especially the southwest, where I lived) is screaming and hollering about English-only schools and how they shouldn't be forced to learn a new language, I say humbug! ¡Viva español! Since moving here, I've improved my Spanish quite a bit -- to the point I can speak with someone 1-on-1 now about pretty much anything, so long as they have some patience and are willing to explain unknown words to me. I'd call it pre-conversational. No way would I be learning this fast if I was back stateside.
  6. The nightlife.
    Now, I'm not a huge party animal, but Buenos Aires is the place to be if you are. The fact is, if you want to go out and do something at night, places will be open all night long -- until the sun rises. You can't really run out of things to do here.
  7. The business opportunities.
    Any business-savvy person who comes here will recognize there are business opportunities everywhere. It seems like everywhere I go, I'm always thinking to myself how I could do a lot better than that person or provide a much better service than that guy. The problem isn't with a lack of opportunities here, its with the fact that there are too many. You have to convince yourself to slow down and not try to do everything. Everywhere I turn there are independent American businesspeople starting successful companies here -- real estate, internet, language schools, import/export, and the list goes on and on.
  8. The people.
    In general, I like the people I've met here. Most people are interesting, have a good attitude about life, and can carry a conversation about almost anything. Even the Americans you meet here are more interesting. It seems everyone has their own story to tell and I like to hear them.
  9. The country's natural beauty.
    I've been to much of the southern party of the country plus Igauzu falls in the extreme north. There's no denying that Argentina is a beautiful place. With affordable domestic airfares for residents, you can hop a plane and get out of the city whenever you need a touch of nature.
  10. The food.
    I've traveled to quite a few places, including some places with truly strange food. The fact is, Argentine food is very easy for the American palate because it is very similar to what we eat. If I had to live in China, India, or any of these other far-east countries, I'd probably die of starvation. You can handle their food for a week or two, but after that it just gets old. There is no shortage of great restaurants of Buenos Aires and there's always something good on the menu.

Well, there's the list. The fact is, I limited myself to 10 things because otherwise this post would literally go on forever. There's quite a few things I'm leaving out, but what you read above was a good summary. I'd love to hear from other readers as well. What do you love about Buenos Aires?

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Blogger Dr. Pancrácio said...

11. Beer in liter bottles.

12. Boca Juniors, the finest club soccer team in the world.

13. Among others, Oviedo (Spanish restaurant), Arenales & Ecuador, 4822-5415.

14. Persico.

15. Cortados.

3/07/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For someone from London, I would have to add the climate........I love playing sports and now have the opportunity to play all year round. My tennis for example....disaster in England - 4 months at most.

Also able to ditch a mortgage and purchase a property. House prices are so low here in comparison to London is a huge bonus !

3/07/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger mattyboy said...

Am I the only expat that doesn't really like Buenos Aires? It could be because I was stuck in San Telmo (as that's where my girlfriend's living). I'd take Bariloche over BA. Even Rosario. I would almost prefer to live in any provincial capital of Argentina than BA. Well that's stretching the truth only a little.


3/07/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger johnny said...

2.No car
3.City life
4.Adorable women
5.The challenge
6.Increased civility
7.No loud,"patriotic" yahoos screaming "USA USA" (see #7).

3/08/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger K T Cat said...

I just did a quick and dirty piece on what countries are doing well in response to several recent Mark Steyn articles. In my post, Argentina came out very well. I started reading a little more and then came across your blog. I'm going to link to this post right now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

3/09/2006 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

I like a lot of things about living here. There are some things I don't like but I doubt there is any perfect city anywhere in the world.

I'll start out with the things I don't like as that list is shorter. The air quality here is much worse than many cities in the USA. With the many buses and taxis there is a lot of exhaust. In the USA it's completely regulated and you can't really drive around if your car doesn't pass an emissions test. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

No one is ever on time. I'm not just talking about friends meeting for dinner but important business meetings, dinner meetings, etc. Again, not a big deal but it can get annoying.

Waiting in lines. It seems like there is a line for everything. Going to places like the Supermarket you better bring a novel as sometimes it can take a while.

The airlines within Argentina aren't that great and you have to deal with constant strikes, etc.

My life hasn't changed too much from the USA other than the fact I don't have/need a car here, I live in an apartment instead of a house, and a few other things.

I like many of the things that El Expatriado mentioned.

1) The cost of living is great if you are making dollars, pounds or euros. You can live like a king. Still, my life hasn't changed in that respect compared to the USA because there I actually was living better with a bigger house (which is just about impossible to find here in Recoleta). For people like EE that can work anywhere with only an internet connection it's great. The vast majority aren't in that situation.

The best thing about the low cost of living is even if you had a great life or were making lots of money in the USA, you still wouldn't have things like a maid that comes to your house everyday. I would have never dreamed of having a maid come to my house in the USA everyday. My maid in the USA charged u$s 150 EACH time to clean my house. I had every week (4 times per month) so I paid u$s 600 per month to clean my house. I pay a little more than half of that or u$s 330 per month to have my maid clean my apartment every day, make my bed, take my clothes to the dry cleaner daily, wash my clothes and iron it, pay my bills, grocery shopping, etc.

The low cost of living allows you to do what I call "splurges of BA" where you can do things you really probably don't need but you do anyway because it's so cheap. Having a live in or daily maid is one of those things which is really convenient.

2) Lifestyle is great. Most neighborhoods have a kiosko just around the corner from where you live so everything is so simple. Especially convenient is every single supermarket will deliver free so it's so simple (besides waiting in the long lines). I can literally walk outside my door and there are cafes, shopping, the park, ice cream places, grocery store around the corner. As he mentioned, it's the big city lifestyle which is nice.

3) The beautiful people (what EE calls the "superior gene pool"). It's true. I actually think that there are some really gorgeous Americans. In fact, I think the really beautiful Americans girls are more beautiful than their Portena counterparts. The thing is, there are just a much higher percentage of beautiful girls here in Buenos Aires than in the USA or most cities in the world.

I've been to most major cities around the world. Go to places like London and you really struggle to find a big % of beautiful girls. The ones that are there are speaking Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, etc.

Hopefully females readers don't get offended by this part. If so, so be it. This is the truth. There are more "hotties" here in BA than most places I have been. For a young, single guy this city is a paradise. Models here are a dime a dozen because there are so many beautiful girls.

4) The nightlife is great. As a tourist I would go nuts. I guess I'm getting old. I don't have the desire to go to the clubs anymore. Once you move here it totally changes. After a while you just kind of settle into a normal life. I would rather go to a movie now with a beautiful girl or rent a DVD from Blockbuster now. STILL, the option that it is there is great and a good feeling.

As mentioned, I think like El of the best and most exciting things are all the business opportunities here.

I literally could start about 5 companies that I have ideas for. The only thing I'm limited by is time. Any educated, experienced, motivated, financial secure professional that comes to BA that has a solid track record in the USA/UK/Asia/Australia can come to BA and if they put together a solid business plan, they can blow a local company out of the water.

Some locals get mad when I say that or they get offended. You know what? The locals that get offended are the ones that have never done busienss outside of Argentina. They are living in a bubble and don't know what it is like to do business on a large scale, ethically and honestly and building up long term business relationships like we do in the USA and UK and Asia.

The locals that I know and work with are some of the most intelligent probably in Buenos Aires. The one thing they all have in common is most of them were educated in the USA or UK and also worked part of their careers there so they know successful business practices in a first world country.

I'm not being judgemental and saying we as Americans are better than the locals. Not at all. I'm just being honest and saying that Americans are more productive and are better geared with the way we do business to build relationships and grow.

I've always been a big believer of putting information out there free. I practically since 2002 have given away my business model/plan on the internet. I make no secrets and never did and still don't what we are trying to do, how we will do it and what it takes to do it. I believe that you should never hoard information. Put it out there.

Argentina is a great country but the fact remains they do many things very primitive. It's like the stone age with many sectors of the business community. You will start to see more foreigners, especially the entrepreneurial types from the USA, UK, Asia and Australia that come here and really shake up the way things are done.

I know it will take a while but you will see big changes in the business environment over the next decade here. You can't stop progress, technology and globalism. You can either change the way you do things or lose market share from other companies that do things better.

I'm not talking small scale either. I'm talking in various faucets of the business community from lawyers, to accountants, to especially BANKS and also the real estate community.

The locals can say what they want about the USA, Bush, etc. From my experience and I hear it everyday...the #1 reason why locals tell me they want to work with me is because I'm American and they respect the way we do things. The locals really don't even trust one another.

Good luck all.

3/12/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, im argy and I love B.A because of all the things Expatriado said (and more), but i hate it when people are arrogant and don't have manners. Many argies are like that quite often.
I always heard that argy women are gorgeous, but i thought men would say so only coz they were in Argentina and talking to an argy chick. After reading the comments, i will start to believe it myself! I still think that women here are maybe sexier than others, but not more beautiful.
Glad to know you like my city, enjoy the good food and the nightlife, if you can, take a bus to the south and you'll discover the beautiful Patagonia.
Good luck!

3/12/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

Hi Veris,

Yes, we love your city. As I mentioned, I think a really gorgeous American girl is hard to beat. Some of my most beautiful girlfriends were Americans. The thing is that the locals that think of Americans think the typical show on the USA or magazine or big screen flick is what is walking around on every street corner in the USA.

Just NOT so. Again, I've been to most major cities in the USA and also around the world. I've been to almost every country in South America, the Caribbean and many countries in Europe.

As a percentage on the street the Portenos have many more beautiful girls. I love American girls and never had problems dating there. I'm only pointing out what my opinions are.

The locals have a better diet with high protein meats and less fried foods than the USA so the women are in better shape. Women here age gracefully. Not so much in the USA and other countries like Brazil where the women age harder after 30.

In Buenos Aires many times I'll be walking in the street behind a 'girl' that is a blondie and I'll think wow....what a figure. I'll speed up just because i'm curious what she looks like. Many times I'll turn around and it's a 50 year old woman. That doesn't happen so much in the USA.

Still, you make a good point with your comment about many locals being arrogant. Many are including some of these hottie models we are talking about. Still, there are so many beautiful girls walking around they have less "leverage".

I've always told my friends in the USA, "wanna know the most powerful group as a whole in the USA?" No, it's not lawyers, or physicians or politicians. It's a really beautiful gorgeous woman. She can get just about whatever she wants. It's true.

You make GREAT comments about Patagonia. It's gorgeous in the South. I went last year to buy property to build a dream house in places like Villa la Angostura. As a foreigner it's much more difficult to buy down there.

A really good article that I completely agree with the process after looking can be found here -

This guy does a great job of basically describing what it can be like dealing with the real estate industry down there.

Good luck all.

3/13/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,
I'm a little bit lost on that website. I'm french, 22, student and i'm moving to Buenos Aires. I find this blog perfect to have a glimpse on what i'll discover and already like. I wanted to ask a question but i don't know where to to go.
Which neighborhood is the best to live?
Thank you all for your answer


3/16/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...

Hi Charlotte,

Sometimes this blogger is difficult to navigate. It took me a while. I think you will love it in Buenos Aires. It's a great city. If you are only 22 you will really find the nightlife and energy amazing. I've been to your country many times. I really think Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and one of my favorites.

Buenos Aires can't compare with the amazing architecture of Paris but you WILL see evidence of French style buildings from the incredible wealth that was here at the turn of the century. Many people forget that Argentina was one of the wealthiest countries in the world from 1880 -1930.

I've been to a number of cities including traveling around the French Riviera. Again, I love your country. You Parisians can get picked on for people's perceptions but I really loved France and the culture, architecture, and especially food!

One thing you will quickly notice that is much different is that Buenos Aires isn't diverse like a city like Paris is with the general population. In Paris you see a melting pot of different races, ethnic backgrounds etc. Many are very shocked to see almost no black people here. In fact, my partner didn't see his first black person until he was 12 years old!!! That's the truth.

As far as neighborhoods, much depends on what your personal style is. Just as Paris is broken in in different neighborhoods, so is Buenos Aires. Each neighborhood has it's own feel and vibe to it. The Latin Quarter is much different than near the Tower. The same could be said for BA.

No one can accurately answer your question without knowing what your taste/style/preference is like. If you want more of a Bohemian atmosphere San Telmo might be for you. If you want an upscale ritzy area then Recoleta is the neighborhood. If you like big parks and open spaces than Palermo. There are different neighborhoods (barrios). You can buy any guidebook like Lonely Plaent, Fodors, Frommers and they will do a good job breaking the neigbhorhoods up.

What is your style? Where in Paris would be your dream area? That is the type of thing you need to look at. Buenos Aires is a great city and you will love it. The people are very friendly here.

Good luck,


3/16/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Liselotte said...

- It is a city where everybody feels home
- it is a save city and a save country compared to a lot of other countries
- If you love sports, there are sports all around you....polo. soccer etc etc
- ANd the people are indeed very very nice. They reallt like to talk and share with you.

Wish I could live overthere....

3/17/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife and I are planning ot move to BA for approx a year and trying to work out a budget now.

Can someone help me with some prices on the following

-Cell Phones-how do they work, how expensive?
-Broadband internet in apartments
-typical budget for food-daily
-does anyone live in a host apartment?

thanks for your help!

3/18/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger ABA said...


I log every single peso I spend and have spent so I can see where my money goes. I've done this for a decade and living in BA is no different.

Cell-Phones: It's just about impossible for a foreigner (non resident) to get a monthly plan like the USA. No matter. You can EASILY get pay as you go plans with companies like Movistar. Just go to their main office on Corrientes near Florida Street and you can get a SIM card for about 20 pesos (less than u$s 8) and buy refillable credits at any newsstand. Outgoing calls are about 1 peso per minute. Incoming calls are free if people are calling you from other cellphones or home. I think they charge some small fee if people are calling you from pay phones or internet cafes.

Broadband Internet: Utilities here are dirt-cheap EXCEPT for high-speed internet. To give you an example, I own several apartments and a typical gas bill is about u$s 5 per month. An electricity bill might be about u$s 15 per month running AC every day. However, internet companies are about 100 pesos per month (u$s 34). It's about what it costs in the USA. Stick with a company like Fibertel which is very good.

They usually have these 40 pesos per month for 3 month promotions for the first 3 months then it's 102 pesos with tax for their 1 MB service. They have a 2 MB service which is about 300 pesos per month. There are other cheaper companies like Speedy and others but I'd advise Fibertel. I have them in over 50 of my properties and they are very dependable.

Food: You can spend very cheap to very expensive depending on your dining habits. The grocery store is VERY cheap so if you cook you can get buy very affordably. I dine out about 2-3 times a day and don't cook. I order from restaurants when I'm at home so my dining budget gets expensive but you can get by on not too much money. Generally, take what you spend in the USA on your grocery/dining out and divide it by 3. That will give you a rough estimate.

I know nothing about host apartments but read El Expatriado's experience about renting here. It's not too easy renting sometimes on a long term lease.

Good luck!

3/19/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Liselotte said...

I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast. They have also some people who stay for a longer period of time. The B&B is calld La acacia, and their website is
The owners are very friendly and they really helped me getting around!

3/20/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Nancy (aka Dalila) said...

Hi, I'm Argentine & lived as an expat in Brazil for 10 years. I'm back in Buenos Aires since '85. I'm into blogging since a couple of months only and I am impressed with the amount of foreigners writing about this city. I love BA and it's really interesting to read all your posts, comments and points of view. My favorite 'hood here is Palermo Viejo, so check out and feel free to send your comments. Saludos!

4/11/2006 12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a local. Just wanted to put that out there before actually making any comments, so you can put things into perspective.

Sigh. BA is a city which establishes a love/hate relationship with its people. You know how new yorkers always say the same thing about NY? Well, obvious differences aside, its like that. Its a huge, bustling, loud, hostile, unfair, loving, emotional, sophisticated, embracing city. You can love it and hate it at the same time, but you will always be nostalgic about it. Even when you're still here. Tango is all about that really, not about the flashy dancing.

Charlotte, you will find certain areas of the city decidedly Hausmanian, with the elegant boulevards and 19th century palaces. Other areas will be completely alien to you, others will remind you of other cties in the world. After all, BA saw thousands of immigrants get off their boats non stop since the 19th century. The mix is intersting.

To all the other posts, I can say that I agree with many of you expats out there. This is a great city to live in if you are payed in USD, Pounds, or Euros. Try to come here with that in mind.

My favorite spot on earth is on the Ile Saint Louis, Paris. If I could afford it (and if I knew french better) I would like to live there. As I cant, Ill stick to BA -which keeps me happy.

This post ended up covering only a little of what Im thinking.... this is actually material for long conversations. Oh well.

Be well!

4/28/2006 01:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FOOD is not a reason to move to Argentina. The food is disgusting and will make you sick. How many parillas can one go to? During the Argentine summer it is very important to avoid salads at restaurants because the people in the kitchen don't clean the vegetables properly. There are no controls at all. What do you expect from someone making US$300/month?

The Women are definitely the high point in Argentina. The men are for the most part lazy mama's boys(obviously there are many exceptions) and are responsible for the economic and corrupt mess that Argentina is.

Visiting this country for a few years is cool. Living here for real and becoming an Argentine in spirit and deed is another thing. Some of us just go on being an American while living here just like all the Argentines in Miami who go on being Argentines. Nobody really cares if you are an American as long as you pay your bills and your P's and Q's.

My Sicilian landlord in Argentina told me ''Don't trust THE GOVERNEMNT, THE BANKS AND THE POLICE, and other than that Argentina is very nice country.'' This Americano would agree. I think it is an adventure.

8/13/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger sayanx said...

Hai i am sayan from india,i always wanted to know more about your country.

9/21/2006 02:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having lived in BA for over two years, I have to say that some of the comments above are surprising and some are terribly true. I found the city exciting but also unnerving and certainly not safe!
I agree that the women tend to be beautiful - the pressure from the Argentine men to be a certain way is extraordinary; to the extent that the women will alter their appearance to live up to these demands. Plastic surgery is used from in the teenage years such is the pressure for the stereotype.
There is a joke out there that goes something like this....what 5 questions does an Argentine women ask herself?
1) Am I thin enough?
2) Am I blonde enough?
3) Am I brown enough?
4) Am I rich enough?
and the 5th is...What am I prepared to do to achieve all of the above....Anything!!!

10/06/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading these superficial posts where Americans write about pretty women, cheap prices and good food.

I'm another American who has lived on and off in BA since before the economic crash, often for 2 years at a time. Here's what I think...Argentines don't generally like us much. They blame America for their econonomic woes...(Citigroup most of all). This is basically because they are too arrogant a culture to accept the blame for the economic collapse of their country. Sure, the women are nice looking and the place is cheap but one cannot go there and think he or she will be accepted into the culture or date any of these fine girls. You are a foreigner and a foreigner you will stay!

I've never lost so much to theft before. You have to guard your belongings everywhere you go, to count your change in every store, retaurant and taxi, and try not to give deposits. Every Argentine who works for another Argentine always holds something back until final payment is made. A plumber doesn't hook up the water, a builder doesn't finish the project...unless they receive the FINAL payment. They are so used to living in a country where everyone cheats that they don't trust each other and we, my peso-rich, naive American friends are easy prey! I've lost thousands of dollars worth of my belongings, been cheated out of deposits, and everywhere I've gone, been shortchanged. But what should one expect from a country so currupt that every policeman, judge, politician, license bureau...really every single organization in public and private enterprise can be bribed.

All that said, if you're lucky enough to make a few true Argentine friends, you'll have the best, most loyal friends of your life. If you like meat or pizza, you'll eat steak and pizza everyday for pennies on the dollar.

I say, go there for awhile and have fun but please don't fool yourself into thinking this is some type of shangrala. If it were, why does every young Argentine want to move to the USA or Europe?

12/16/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm an regular middle class argentine and i NEVER thought of moving to europe even having the right to claim german and italian citizenship. i think the comment above is simply offensive and unaccurate. i'm not arguing that corruption exists, but it does exists as well in the usa or europe (not to mention the particularly corrupt southern states of the usa or italy.). If you're getting cheated so much, maybe you must look yourself in a mirror and try to see what can they see in your face.

1/16/2007 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I am a bit dismayed by some of the negative comments above. Argentina is a wonderful country with great, intelligent people. Besides, natural beauty abounds. I honestly think that Argentina's time has not yet arrived. I see it as the country of the futur: why? because it has plenty of natural resources and also it has a very highly educated population which is also very homogenous. It has a large land mass and low population. Now something else, Argentina never (unlike the USA), intended to RULE the planet (as well as many European nations also have); so with all its muxh talked about problems during the XX century, Argentina has remained a nation that has been respectful of other nations. It is easy to say bad things about a country whose history most Expats ignore. Let's learn first about how this nation was forged, and by the power of which other nations . . . those more ambitious and thirsty for power, Argentina saw itself in those difficult situations. So, let's put things into perspective. No country is perfect, but Argentina will come pretty close, in time. Yes, we Americans have a different mindset, particularly about business-doings, but then again, that is because the U.S. ingrains the mentality of being #1 at all costs on its people from a very early age. COMPETITION AND SUCCESS is the USA way, but that doesn't make us right. It just goes to prove that we are a very practical, ambitious people, accustomed to being #1. But, on the other hand, we seem to sometimes lack the naivete that make Argentines very endearing people indeed. Finally, answering someone's comment about the food being disgusting, I ask him or her, on what planet were you when you ate? Argentine food is delicious. Besides, you are generalizing about the lack of food safety. Open up your mind dude: just because you may have had a bad experience does not mean that ALL places are like that. I have travelled the world and currently, I am back in the USA, and you know what? Not all food is delicious here either and not all restaurants are safe and the food properly handled here in the U.S.; finally, about street safety. I have been robbed in Europe and violently approached in the U.S. several times. So let's be honest and real, Argentina is safer than many other places on the planet. Enjoy your life in Argentina. Wish I were there too!

1/30/2007 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a 65 year old Australian woman from Australia I would like to thank everyone for their comments good and bad. I like a bit of adventure and being able to learn of your experiences is very comforting. It seems that I might survive when visiting this exciting sounding city.

2/26/2007 02:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 33 year old Floridian who has spent a few months in Buenos Aires while traveling the world for almost a year. And I have picked Buenos Aires as the place I want to live. I have read all of the comments above, and I am not surprised at the lack of consensus. I have found that about every city in the world. What some people love, other's might hate. What some people take as danger, safety problems, others look at as adventure or others simply may not encounter that because of the way they look or speak. Who knows. For me, I have found Buenos Aires a fairly safe place and civilized for Latin American standards. One thing where there is concensus here is the women, and I agree 100%. I see a lot of business oportunities. I hate the economic restrictions with bringing money in and out of the country, but I think I am willing to deal with it. People are so full of life, friendly and well educated that for me there is just no comparison with Florida. I however would have to say, if I was a lower class Argentinian, I would certainly be working my way out of the country to the US or Europe. But if you got some money to invest or really good skills, Argentina could be an awesome place to live. If all you have is English, well, be prepared to live like an Argentinian with $15-20/day. You'll be able to have lots of fun with friends and people, but forget about going out to nice places.

2/27/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo, generally good football, goodlooking chicks...

6/17/2007 02:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you yankees learn to watch good, skillfull and highclassa argentinian football...

6/17/2007 02:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take the good with the bad...

Best things: GREAT Italian food, red wine, coffee, pastries, professional service, (tip them well they deserve it!) Open 24/7, nice fashions. Old, uncommon Antiques, Nice looking men (Hello!), Reasonable cost of living, cheep taxis, busses every 5-10 minutes, Safer than cities in the US. Football kings of the world! El Mate, Fun people! Most are more interested in human interaction than capitalistic success.

Not so good things: ' Gotta watch out for pick pockets! Pricy cocktails. People haven't learned that they'd better quit smoking... Generally, the men could learn to show respect towards women a bit more. Summer can be too hot for me at times. I wish it wasn't so far away so I could visit more often!

If you haven't been yet, what are you waiting for!

7/30/2007 02:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Expatriado - I have found your blog fascinating. I am currently visiting Buenos Aires - from San Francisco, CA - and was wondering if I could speak with you regarding life in BA. I am working on a research paper about American Expats living in Argentina and would like to hear about your experience.


9/05/2007 02:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Expatriado - I have found your blog fascinating. I am currently visiting Buenos Aires - from San Francisco, CA - and was wondering if I could speak with you regarding life in BA. I am working on a research paper about American Expats and would like to hear about your experience.

9/05/2007 02:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting comments all. As an Argentine who has lived in the US for quite a while, here are some comments on comments:

Expatriado said...
> I have to confess that all these beautiful porteña women are certainly easy on the eyes. Everywhere you go there are 9s and 10s running around.

Very true. And not only that, they are very feminine, and they relate to men in a wonderful, affectionate way. What more could one ask for? :) Argentine women are certainly a blessing.

Apartmentsba said...
> Any educated, experienced, motivated, financial secure professional (...) can come to BA and if they put together a solid business plan, they can blow a local company out of the water.

Agreed. But I also agree with what many wrote regarding that one of the best reasons to live in Argentina is their people. The warmth, the friendship, their human side. And both are related. It's much more difficult (almost impossible) to make real friends friends with people who have a competitive, business-oriented mindset. Argentines fortunately don't have that mindset, and they're much nicer people because of it. Bad business environment, excellent friends, people smile much more. You choose. :)

Anonymous said...
> Argentines don't generally like us much.

Read the above paragraph. :) It's not true that Argentines don't like Americans (or any other specific foreigners). There are some excellent people coming from the US, what Argentines don't like is people with the aforementioned competitive mindset, which usually translates into superficial "kick-ass", "high-five" personalities.

Anonymous said...
> they are too arrogant a culture to accept the blame for the economic collapse of their country.

This is true, though I think not directly related. It's common bad practice to blame others for one's faults. Argentines suffer acutely from that and tend to blame others (US included) for what happened here. That is certainly bad practice and needs to be changed. There's arrogance too, but I wouldn't say it's directly related.

Anonymous said...
> one cannot go there and think he or she will be accepted into the culture or date any of these fine girls.

Not true in most cases. Argentines are among the most open and warm people you'll meet. I know quite a few Americans in BA who have many Argentine friends. I am one of those friends. :)

Anonymous said...
> But what should one expect from a country so currupt that every policeman, judge, politician, license bureau...really every single organization in public and private enterprise can be bribed.

That is certainly true. And something we need to change urgently.

> I say, go there for awhile and have fun but please don't fool yourself into thinking this is some type of shangrala. If it were, why does every young Argentine want to move to the USA or Europe?

Because they haven't experienced what it's like. Most of the ones who have gone away during the 2001 collapse have already come back to BA. Argentines living abroad miss Argentina a LOT, and usually come back as soon as they can.

Just my $.02.
Cheers all, enjoy life. :)

10/03/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Apfemenia said...

Where are you from?
I'm from Buenos Aires...


11/05/2007 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger AtlieninBerlin said...

I am very excited by reading all of the comments but one question, everyone is mentioning how gorgeous the aregentine women are but what about the men? I am moving to Lomas de Zamora for a year in a few months and have not traveled to Argentina before. Thanks for all of the tips and I cant wait to experience it for myself.

11/16/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger kim said...


12/20/2007 06:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am Italian but I have been living in a lot of different European countries ( Uk and Austria especially).
I am 43, not that young anymore I would say, but nevertheless I want to change my life completely.
I thought of BA as the place where I could move if I could change everything...but what to do there? In Europe I have always been working with success as Textile Sales Manager...what could I do there? Perhaps open a restaurant with a new concept of food??
Are all people moving to BA younger than I or are there some crazy ones doing what I want to do?
I guess I need to come and stay on holiday for a while and get an idea but your comments and suggestions are very welcome.
My email is :

3/11/2008 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi to all of You nice foreigners welcome here in BA. Take my own example, I am ARgentine but miss the worldliness of having lived in the US and Europe and travelled around. yet I decidced to live here .. so why not you Italian muchcho you are not old at all- I am not that young but being 52 and good looking/intellegent bla bla bla ..I would to meet soemone foreigner who wants to stay..There is so much to be done here that if you come with an open mind you can make a nice living and change upur life.. which is falt is to be enjoyed as it is much too dhort!! ENjoy !

3/16/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am looking to move in the next several months to BA. I have one question for the time being. How is the rugby down there? I watch Argentina do very well internationally but how are the clubs and teams in the city?

4/08/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently living in florida and am looking to take two years off and live in BA. Life is too short and all I have done for the last 18 years is work!! My goal is to enjoy life, but come back to the US fully fluent in Spanish.
Some important questions....

1. How much is rent for a nice place?

2. Any golf courses?
3. If I can't speak spanish is it a large problem?

4. What are the 3-4 things I need to research before coming down? I am not worried about making money.

thanks, this has been a great site for me to gain info....

4/09/2008 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with all the good points people mentions here but I was robbed on the street of Central. They took my cell phone. And I have received fake money from the store in Florida Ave.

I have lived in New York for over 10 years. I feel NY is safer than BsAs.

5/19/2008 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger Audrey Garber said...

Hi everyone. I've found all of your posts and comments very interesting reading. I'm an american college students and I'll be living in BA for a few months to study at the Universidad Austral and was wondering if anyone has any advice or tips they'd like to contribute. I've had lots of experience traveling and living in europe and am well aware that as a young woman there are some things I have to be aware of when in a new city. Also, I have one more question, everyone has been talking about how gorgeous the porteña women are, but what are the men like?

6/02/2008 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is in response to the last post by "audrey".

No hay camino
Se hace camino
al andar.

But for whatever worth the following may have:

1.Buenos Aires is a little like "Alice in Wonderland"; things are not necessarily as they seem.

2. Avoid using large bills when paying for goods and/or services in cash ($100, $50 and even $20 peso notes).

3. Check bills given to you as change (particularly from taxi drivers but from the smaller merchants as well) to make sure they are not false. (Foreigners are particular targets for passing along false currency).

4. Expect merchants in your neighborhood to be less than friendly and helpful in the beginning. However, once you have established a consistent commericial relationship, they soften up and begin to value your business.

5. Many folks here are not real fans of the US nor US cultural export (imposition); they have their reasons.

6. Women are for the most part objects here (you have only to realize the over-emphasis on their looks...not much if anything said about their brains...other than that they are hysterical).

7. True, deep and meaningful friendships with Argentines may be an illusion. Then again, I may be wrong. However, North Americans (folks from the US in particular) have a very different idea of what friendship is. Folks here are much more rooted in one place. They do not have the possibility of mobility that folks have in the north. Therefore, friendships, relationships, etc. are more stable and longer lasting. Many folks have had their friendships since they were very young. It is then difficult for a foreigner to step in and expect to become good friends with people who already have a life time of relationships with their own. Perhaps, just keep that in mind if and when the social going with Argentines gets tough during your journey here.

8. If and when you take a taxi in Buenos Aires, call a reputable radio taxi. Do not take just any taxi in the street (Again, you will be a foreigner here, a foreigner...completely unaware and ignorant of local codes/smarts or however you want to call it. Folks here can see things about you that you cannot see about them) and you just need to take care.

9. Carry only photocopies of important documents when in the street (passport, etc.).

10. Carry only the money you need when you go out.

11. Avoid taking your credit card(s) when going out.

12. Avoid using/displaying expensive jewelery of any kind anywhere in Buenos Aires. Best policy is to dress down and try to blend in. (Besides, your accent and the way you walk and even the way you carry your backpack will give you away).

13. If you need to go to a bank to conduct a transaction of any kind, go first thing in the morning (10:00am), when they open. Otherwise expect to lose a part of your day standing in line.

14. Don't expect preferential treatment just because you are from the US. It is offensive and it is wrong. Like everyone else, you too need to stand in line and wait your turn. If you think you are someone special and you seek that preferential treatment, expect horrible glares and harsh words from the Argentines who are inconvenienced by your presence.

The list could go on and on. But I am dead tired and want to go to bed.

All my best to you and hope something of what I've written sinks in and is of use.

6/16/2008 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great forum.

I need advice - I am a 24 year old male, which plans to move to BA next year and stay for a year or two, but I don't know how I will earn money down there.

I live and work in NYC for a Real Estate developer, as an Architectural Project Manager. However, my skills are very tailored to NYC and so I don't know if I can assimilate my profession so easily in BA.

I plan to leave with a few thousand dollars in my pocket, but from my research, this will only last me less than six months.

What can I do to secure a job in this field now, or, and in a worst case scenario, can I just take a bartending gig when I get there???

6/23/2008 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

You'll really want to do your homework, try to establish some local contacts and/or perhaps (though very difficult)secure a job before coming to Buenos Aires, particularly because, and as you say, you would like to stay for a year or two but are leaving NY with only a few thousand dollars in your pocket.

As a contributor to this ongoing exchange wrote above, "Buenos Aires is a little like "Alice in Wonderland"; things are not necessarily as they seem." The economic climate at the day to day level is tough going in these parts. Unemployment is high, salaries/wages are low, precarious employment for under-the-table wages is more common than not (& not necessarily desireable) and inflation has skyrocketed, especially over the last year.

In other words, Argentina (Buenos Aires) is not necessarily the paradise that so many North American, European and from elsewhere tourists and short term residents have made it out to be. If you have plenty of money, a return ticket home and plans for a short term visit to see, explore and experience this world, then yeh it's a wonderful place to come to.

Something else to keep in mind, you might be able to get a "bar tending gig" here or there, but, and here I'm guessing, you seem to think that'll be easy to do and easy to do without working papers. Pretend for a moment though that you do get a "gig" of some sort without the needed legal papers, you work for a few weeks or a month and pay day comes. Your employer however decides to pay you less than agreed upon or worse yet, decides not to pay you at all. (And yes, that does happen here...and to the locals too). Without a work permit, you have then no legal recourse to get what's owed you. If you're gilted, you're gilted...end of story.

Is there a bright side? Perhaps (for you). There is a lot of housing construction going on in Buenos Aires...apartment buildings, towers in centrally located areas of the city, and even some water front development in a new neighborhood called Puerto Madero. True, it is not what it was a year or two ago, but it's still going pretty strong. Maybe you should do some research on the topic, find out who's doing what and where (architectural, engineering, construction firms, real estate agencies and/or development firms), establish some contacts and see what it leads to. Who knows what may pan out.

You may also want to try and contact the owner of this web site to consult him. He seems to know alot about the ins and outs of Buenos Aires and may be able to point you into a desireable direction.

A final note here: Having strong Spanish language skills is more than a plus. Although you'll come across any number of Argentines who speak English, being able to manage yourself in Spanish is key to moving about and getting what it is you need and want.

6/27/2008 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am 22 and plan to move to Buenos Aires for 6 months, starting in December. I speak good Spanish as I lived in Spain for a year, studied Spanish in school, and work as an interpreter now. I have a few questions:

1.) Can I come without a visa, then get a job, and then get a VISA based upon having the job?

2.) How can I find a shared room in an apartment with students/young Argentinians? I have seen on craigslist that you can get such apartments for about $300-400USD/month. Any advice on not getting cheated and/or the general process of finding a place?

3.) Would it be possible to work for a Sports (soccer) Agent or for a Law Firm? I will be starting law school in the fall (in the USA) and would love especially to work for a Sports Agent or Agency. I have a list of all registered FIFA agents with email addresses and phone numbers - would it be appropriate to call/email them and inquire about employment possibilities?

Thank you so much in advance for any advice.


9/07/2008 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an Argentinian living in the US for eight years now. To all who are Americans and plan on moving to Argentina, trust me, it is not the same, Argentinian mentality is different from the American in all ways. What I experienced here is the US is the "dog eat dog" mentality, Argentinians are not like that. We work, and are honest, we dont cheat other people's to obtain their positions. The american mentality is all work no fun, the family values are completely diferent too! In eight years I have not made 1 friendship with an american that lasted over a few months. My argentinian friends write to me every day after all these years that I have not seen them!. We are loyal to family and friends. In some way I could say the level of education of Argentinians is very high, I have met a lot of americans which finish high school and my level of english is higher! Most Argentinian in Buenos Aires are bilingual, here in the US, americans say that no one should speak spanish, even though the US DOES NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE!
Also americans discriminate a lot on looks and accents! Even though I am white, with german and polish genes, I have felt discriminated a lot of times. Argentinians DO NOT DISCRIMINATE!
Reading above on what it says about corruption, it came out last month that the illinois governor was selling the position left by the new elect president, to the highest bidder. And the governor before him is in jail for fraud. Corruption is everywhere, not only in Argentina, each country has a few black sheep, willing to ruin it for all. Safety I got to say, Buenos Aires is not the safest place in the world, but compared to some areas of Brazil were you can not be outside past 9 o'clock or someone will shoot you, or Colombia were you can be kidnapped for any reason, then Buenos Aires is a fairly safe place.

1/04/2009 02:14:00 AM  
Blogger Whitetiger said...

Hey Guys,

I am a 27 year old Irish guy who has been living in various countries around the world for the past 5 years. I've suddenly started looking towards Buenos Aires as somewhere that I'd like to try for a while. More specifically, I've been looking at places in San Telmo. I was wondering if anyone could give me any info on the place beyond the usual flea markets and coffee shops (both which have large appeal of course). Is this area more than that, or is it more of a small suburb a little away from the main. I like the many descriptions of it being more cultural and representative of Argentina, but does it have the large numbers of people, the pubs and the shops that make it feel part of a busy city? Any information would be great (or any other suggestions which might correspond to those few vague descriptions I alluded to earlier). I definitely like the idea of being immersed in Argentinian culture - but don't wan't to be thrown in the deep end straight away. Any other suggestions on a nice cosmopolitan area Cheers!

1/23/2009 02:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Irene said...

Hey there,

I found this blog while searching for more information about Buenos Aires. I'm a 19 yrl student in California but I was born in Argentina. I was wondering... if I were to move to BA within the next year, would I be able to find a good job?... I speak/write English very well. Someone said to me that I could easily find a job as an interpreter or maybe tour guide for English speaking tourists, is that true? Could I make good money this way?

7/08/2009 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Christopher said...

I have a question: How easy would it be for an artist(painter) to make a living in Buenos Aires?

7/28/2009 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Wow, what a great blog. I'm an American considering moving to BA to teach English. I was wondering if anybody has a sense of what the current English teaching market is like? Are workers without papers getting cracked down on like other countries currently. One last thing, does anybody have a dog, is BA a dog friendly city? thanks so much, Chris

8/04/2009 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Argentinean. Lived in MD, USA.
In regards to what others said I'd agree that:
In BsAs you have:

very good food
beautiful girls
Arrogant people
business oportunities ONLY if you understand our culture!
beautiful neighbourhoods. Very ugly ones, too
dirt and garbage
cheap public transportation

8/31/2009 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am moving to Argentina soon and I am worried because I am slightly overweight. Am I going to stand out?

10/08/2009 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, Yes... we -Argentineans- are obsessed with our bodies.

I love this blog!


10/27/2009 02:34:00 AM  
Anonymous dunc0183 said...

Hi everyone, I am a brit seriously considering moving to Buenos Aires and have found all of your blogs very helpful, thanks.

I do have one question I can not find an awnser to, I am financial consultant who provides advice only to expatriates, can anyone give me an idea on how many expatriates live and work in Buenos Aires? And any ideas where they come from? eg americans, Europeans, asians etc?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help


11/01/2009 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Walli Winter said...

Hello everyone,
Great blog...just spent two weeks in BA and loved it. For you ladies-- the men are the best looking I've seen anywhere...(even Italy)looks like a Calvin Klein or Abercrombie and Fitch model convention at rush hour. They loved us...lots of attention which was great because my friend and I are both shapely blondes but over 50!

One caution...had my purse stolen in a Belgrano cafe at midday. It was between my feet and two men sat behind me and snagged it through my chair. Been to 35 countries and that's never happened before. The good news is that 3 or 4 very nice people came to offer help and a gorgeous Argi college student named Daniela spent two hours at the police station with us translating.The police station was full of people who had been robbed (tourists and Argis alike!) some Argis said they'd been robbed 4 or 5 times in a take care!!!!

Overall, I would go back...Argis were very very friendly and I loved strolling in Recoleta and San Telmo.

I plan to go back in March for 6-9 months to teach English. (I am a certified ESL instructor)

Any advice on getting settled from EE or other contributors would be most welcome.

11/18/2009 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

I really HATE when americans talked about women from other countries, ''americans'' they always believe that for a woman to be beautiful has to be a ''blonde'' and of a nordic type..''americans'' believe that they are ''gods'' that have created the perfect women..because I don't have that ''look'' that men desire I have suffered all my life and couldn't not attend parties and social gatherings, and to me argentine women are the product of plastic material like many ''american'' women are..

1/19/2010 09:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad most of the men in the world including BA are so hideous that it doesn't matter for women. We are still stuck with a bunch of ugly, stupid, short, fat, arrogant dolts like El Expatriado whom I have had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing in person and am sure that unless he is paying for the good looking gals in BA, is still having a hard time. No offense babe, but too much chlorine must have been in your shallow end of the gene pool! LMAO!

8/28/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

Things I like about Argentina.

The metric system. Why we arrogant citizens of the United States don't force our government to switch to what is the most commonly used system on the planet is beyond me.

Gay marriage. I can't for the life of me figure out why this is still a hot bad issue in the States. We have over 50% divorce rate. Someone explain to me why heterosexual couples are more sanctimonious than gay couples? What a farce. And this is coming from a straight male.

Legal use of pot. I don't even smoke it, but even I recognize it's relatively harmless. Why are we criminalizing people for using it?

National Healthcare. We finally get something resembling it here in the US and as soon as we do there is an effort being made to repeal it. How pathetic.

1/16/2011 02:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the real deal. Argentinians are an idealistic and passionate people in general. This is their best and worst quality. It keeps them "friendly" and "loyal" but keeps them from succeeding in a world that values completely different things. Face it anything can be outsourced at this point-- if you dont want to work like your life depends on it and like going on strike every 5 minutes your country's economy will turn to crap. Women (single and married), you need to "put out" more so your men have something to look forward to until the GDP/GNP starts to rise again. Unfortunately the tried and true formula for any country is availability of hot easy women and rich successful men who became that way via ambition and sweat (not inheritance). Exceptions exist (India) but for the most part this formula works. Stop worrying about local politics and reading poetry and pay attention to things the rest of the world cares about.

4/09/2011 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Cristian said...

Hey!, I'm a local getting fun of reading your words, REALLY accurate thoughts I must say.
I can give some advises for those coming, please dont get curious about San Telmo neighbourhood, it's a real fake real-estate marketing creation, there's nothing interesting there.

Although I complain sometimes about people, I got to thank god for the love, authentic, true affectionate relationships we locals are lead to develop among us... true is because we're not business people, we're not competitive, and let me bet, our peaceful and healthly mindset will stand for long time still..

What I really like living here, is, bookstores, food, literary spaces, theaters, culture & intelectual level of men/women, we do not isolate foreigners, that's really fantasy, we tend to look at you as simple visitors, not rooted people, that's why we dont get close to each other socially... no further reason at all, and that happens to all foreigners in the world. True is we dont discriminate, we LOVE diversity, trust me.
I'm a musician, software developer, and ocasional painter... hope you all keep traveling around the world and find your place.... cheers..

11/09/2011 04:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the daughter of a Puertorrican Father and an American of Italian descent. I am SICK and TIRED of hearing superficial Americans like Expatriado and apartmentsba give the fucking and wrong impression that you must be a "hottie" model, blond and 6 feet tall in order to be considered beautiful. Guess what?! most of those so call "hotties" have had plenty of plastic surgeries and also I saw lots of beautiful Argentine women that weren't blond or tall but where still easy looking on the "eyes" as you guys say. I visited Argentina back in 2008 and this brown hair, brown eye, 5'2 tall gal got hit on plenty of times. It's no wonder many people think Americans are shallow, just read these comments. Ciao :)

2/20/2012 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Diego Gibson said...

Wow! I'm surprised reading all this. Has BA changed in 2012? I'm living in BA temporarily to be with my girlfriend, and all I can say is- IT ISNT CHEAP!!! Maybe a lot of these writers are millionaires?? Im a middle class Australian, and I struggle to afford these amazing steaks everyone talks about. I'm living off porotos and polenta!!! The nightlife and the people are great, the starving to death dogs rotting in the gutters sux!!

4/10/2012 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Debi said...

This is such an informative site. I am getting so much information. I'm a US citizen from Texas, getting ready to retire. I am considering BA for a retirement spot. I am an English professor at a college in LA and wonder what opportunities might be available in BA for part time teaching at either high school or college level. Also, I loved all the chatter about the Argentinian girls...what about the men? Are there any fun men over...say 40? Where is the best place to live for single, older educated women?

5/20/2012 12:40:00 PM  

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