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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Washington Post: Expats Migrating South For Low Stress and Cheap Food

The Washington Post just published a recent article called Expatriate Games, about the flood of expatriates from the U.S. and elsewhere who are heading to Buenos Aires for the low-stress lifestyle and the cheap food.

Low Stress?

Usually one wouldn't think of moving to a city with 10 million people as a way to escape a high stress lifestyle. I would think about moving to a beach somewhere. I think what happens after moving here, however, is that people discover there is more of a work/life balance here than in places like New York. The only people I hear about working 16 hour days are other American expatriates who moved here.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Ted said...

Interesting article. Part of me doesn't like seeing this stuff, but I suppose it's good for BA at the end of the day, which is good. The average person attracted to BA by reading this story in the Washington Post has got to be preferable to the avergae person attracted there by reading the recent story in New York Magazine.

In my experience, BA (like any city of its size, as you point out) is not at all a low-stress place for the vast majority of the people who live there, though it may be for folks playing expat who are effectively on vacation.

4/27/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Also, in my experience, there is vastly more talk about working 16-hour days in New York (and probably other places as well) than 16-hour days actually being worked.

4/27/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger johnny said...

I think Ted said it well. A much better, and more well rounded look at BA and USA expats than the showy New York Magazine article. I continue to be curious (flabbergasted) at the reported cheap rents. These 2 bedroom apartments for $250US sure as hell ain't in Recoleta or Barrio Norte. Once my lease is up, maybe I'll search the outlying areas as well.

4/27/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger apartmentsba.com said...

As I posted in the other section....most of these ex-pats that the Washington Post article are talking about won't last more than a few months here. They figure out that it's just about impossible to find a job here or make money and realize they don't want to wake up at 35/40/45/50 years old with no savings and move back to wherever they are from.

I work 16 hour days many days of the week and I can guarantee you that I NEVER did that in the USA. Oh well...so much for moving to BA for a more "stress free life". ha, ha.

I didn't move to BA for the money.....The New York Magazine article was not an accurate picture of how life is here for the typical ex-pat. Those people were pretty much on vacation.

Also, I too would like to know about those 2 bedroom nice apartments for $250/month. As Johnny mentioned, they sure as hell aren't in really nice areas. Rent prices are skyrocketing and that trend isn't expected to slow down as property prices keep moving up.

Tourism should cause prices to continue to go up which is good if you own real estate but bad if your leases are ending. Still, many that own properties "can't afford to stay in their own places". What I mean is that we make more money in our rental properties than the places we are living in. It doesn't make sense to move in to a place you own when you can rent it to a foreigner and make more money.

Still, I just bought a house in Palermo Soho that I might move into next year once my lease is up in Recoleta.... By next year, my monthly rent will probably be over u$s 2,000 per month which is sky high for Buenos Aires....

4/29/2006 01:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Elpanada said...

All this talk about "nice areas", what makes an area nice exactly? Selfserving opinions? Or has the citycouncil perhaps rated the Buenos Aires neighborhoods and put them into the five catagories "Very nice" "Nice" "Okay" "Not nice" and "Not nice at all" ???

Fact of the matter is that different people like different things and what one person thinks is nice the next person may rate as inadequate.

As far as I am concerned saying that Buenos Aires has three nice neighborhoods and that those neighborhoos are Palermo, Recoleta and Belgrano is just spreading disinformation and misleading readers.

I aint seen all of this city but pretty much everything I have seen has been pretty and I encourage those who are coming to Buenos Aires to see the following neighborhoods for themselfs Flores, Villa Crespo, Villa Urquiza, San Telmo, Caballito and Parque Chacabuco.

5/01/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Fughteaboutit said...

"Low-Stress" & "Cheap Food" huh?. What a laugh.

Argentina could only be considered 'low stress' if comparing it to Afganistan ...maybe.
Otherwise it's exactly the opposite.

First there's the continual stress of having to be constantly on the look-out against crime.
From the mere shop-owner who routinely tries to overcharge or gives change in counterfeit coins or bills (which circulate in ASTOUNDING quantities in Argieland) up to the assholes that prowl B.A. for a quick 'secuestro-express" I'd say I never lived in such a state of exalted awareness against crime as when living in Argentina. Or as I like to refer to it: Argenzuela.

There's also the stress of power-outages, streets that flood from curb to curb after a light rain, automobile drivers who use pedestrians as target practice. Then there's the stress of walking down the sidewalk with your girlfriend or wife and having assholes drive by yelling "que buen culo que tenes nena!".

How about the stress of going to the local comisaria to report a mugging only to find that the mugger is the cop standing behind the counter waiting to take your complaint.

As for the food, yes it's cheap ..if you're talking about QUALITY.

Face it: the best argentine beef gets exported, so I can stay right here in California in order to enjoy it. Argentines in the meanwhile get by with the 2nd and 3rd rate cuts for the most part.

Perishable foods are often sold PAST there expiration date in Argentina, and good luck to anyone who wants to complain about it.

5/13/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Yikes - I just got offerred a job in BA and currently live in the San Francisco Bay area. I leave on the fourth of July to try it out for 5 weeks before officially committing to the move. From the other comments to this article, I am thinking that there are a lot more negatives than positives. For those of you who live there as expats, are there any words of encouragement or positives that you can share?

6/30/2006 12:38:00 AM  

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