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Making the move?

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nickelpenney
1/3/2017 01:18 EST

Hey all!

I am currently looking into moving to South America for 2 months (starting in Feb) and my top choice right now is BA. The only thing is, I have read some really mixed reviews about the city and moving there as a foreigner. Any first hand experiences, tips for things to do prior, watch-outs etc PLEASE share!

Thank you in advance! :)

Nicole

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expat0tree
1/4/2017 18:19 EST

Nicole,

BA is perfect. You can walk anywhere you like at any time of the day or night, carry cash in public places, even count it on the street, no one cares, people here are full of cash anyways, do not worry about your smart phone being stolen or even your new shoes, its totally safe here.

All you need to do is withdraw as much dollars as possible and fly here, then go out and people new people. explore the outskirts too, not only the boring touristy downtown. the greater BA area can be a great cultural exchange, people there are very hospitable, you can hitchhike too, no need to pay for a taxi.

have fun!

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tbarben
1/4/2017 19:50 EST

BA is not as safe as indicated. One of my neighbors arrived with his arm in a sling last year.. It had been broken in BA when someone wanted his Rolex watch and forced his arm back while taking it off his wrist.

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todikaios
1/4/2017 21:16 EST

I humbly, but emphatically, disagree with expatotree's "pie in the sky" views. BA is much different than 10 years ago when I began my annual month-long visits to escape the cold of the NE USA. Prices for almost everything (except wine & public transportation) is much higher than in my home state of CT. Crime is rampant. You CAN NOT be casual about your money any possessions on the streets. You always have to be "watching your back." I was robbed twice and lost other valuables due to inattention, which has never happened to me in CT. Yes, I would definitely visit the provinces....I have been to all 23, and would count Tucumán (for history) y Salta (for scenery) y música folklorica as my favorites. Be aware flying is not cheap...there is no JetBlue or Southwest here...prices are about 150-200% more for similar distances as in the USA. Perhaps expatotree was writing in jest...if so, reverse everything he wrote!!! In 2006, my first visit, 1$ was barely 3 pesos. Now 1$ is 17 pesos, and prices reflect this 30% per year inflation. BA was affordable and enjoyable, now it is expensive and of doubtful joy....there are better places to enjoy SA...such as Santiago, or Cartegena, or Rio.

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TomP
1/4/2017 21:19 EST

tbarben, The message that BA was the land of "milk and honey" and as safe as Fort Knox was sarcasm.

BA like any big city has its issues with crime, however, it is not a war zone as some describe.

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expat0tree
1/6/2017 14:23 EST

Sarcasm indeed. it should be obvious by now that latin america isn't safe for traveling, nor santiago or motevideo, santiago has a higher per capita murder rate than BA and montevideo has drug trafficing on the rise, many peruvian and paraguayan gangsters are opening bank accounts there to funnel drug funds in us currency, chile would be a little more tight i guess but it's got its issues as well. in general BA has become too unaffordable with failing infrustructure, there are some nice places to see, but that's about it, attention must definitely be paid to what one is wearing or carrying, robbers are all over the place and they'll beat you up if you show any sign of resistence when they ask you to hand them your stuff.

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nwi314
1/22/2017 12:16 EST

Hi Nicole,

Speaking as someone who has only been here two months, take my advice with a grain of salt ;)

I'm assuming that during your visit you will be staying in one of the better parts of town (Palermo, Belgrano, Recoletta). Walking the streets, you will feel perfectly safe but do keep an eye of your stuff. Petty crime does happen. My husband had his phone stolen on the Subte, and when it happens to you it doesn't feel so petty.
Can I ask what is your reason for BA? If it is to learn/improve your Spanish it might be better to go elsewhere in SA. I have an intermediate ability but struggle often with the accent here. It's like if, speaking American English, you went to Scotland and had trouble with their brogue.

The city is beautiful, but expensive. Transportation is cheap but food is expensive. Not just restaurants but grocery stores. To give you an idea, we were transferred here by a large multi-national corporation from the Chicago area (not the cheapest place to live). To cover the differential between the two cities we are given a per diem of $75 a day which will be adjusted to keep up with the 40% inflation.

But if you are coming because to live in BA is a bucket list item, then come and enjoy! Bring lots of cash and find a nice exchange place. Enjoy the sidewalk cafes where you can linger all day. Enjoy the locals who in my opinion are a little bipolar - joyful and kind until the moment they clock in to work and then will literally do anything to avoid anything that could be interpreted as customer service ;)

Since your stay is only for two months, I'm assuming you can suck it up without some comfort items not available here ( I'm struggling that pretzels aren't sold here). But if you like spicy, be sure bring a bottle of salsa with you. The food is a little on the bland side and salt is the only seasoning regularly used. You won't even find pepper on tables as that is considered too spicy!

Enjoy your visit. I'm sure you'll love it

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lasein
3/5/2017 09:07 EST

Rio has a homicide rate of just over 18 per 100,000 inhabitants, when, by comparison, the city of Buenos Aires is about 6 per 100,000 inhabitants, The next time you talk, you'd better read some information....

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ExPatPatti
3/12/2017 18:00 EST

I lived in Argentina 15 years ago (for three years) and I have visited once or twice a year since moving away. Every year I see more and more crime--some crimes of convenience (grabbing a cellphone off a restaurant table) to witnessing street gangs sweeping down sidewalks and assaulting and injuring victims who don't give up their possessions easily. That said, there are the often-repeated, common-sense ways to avoid being targeted: no flashy jewelry or clothes, don't walk alone particularly after dusk, don't use your cellphone in public (finding directions, texting, etc.), and don't seem 'lost' (even if you are)--walk with purpose and be very aware of your surroundings. The other thing you probably want to avoid is seeming like a visitor--backpacks are a dead giveaway--you look like a vacationer (there is something very different about the appearance of a tourist with a backpack than a local with a backpack). For the short duration of your stay it would be wise to find a hotel rather than to try to rent an apartment or house. Neighborhoods can be difficult for foreigners to assess--making you feel like the place is either safer or more dangerous than it actually is.

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joemindwarp
4/7/2017 15:44 EST

I will be in Mendoza next month, currently spending April in Vina del Mar,
from Oct 2016 - 27 March 2017 I lived in Laureles Medellin Colombia, nearly perfect weather year round and the cost of living is low while the standard of living is very good. I will go back in October and ideally stay for another 6 months.
After Mendoza I will bus to Cordoba then to Buenos Aires and finally Montevideo Uruguay. I hope I like Mendoza as I may stay more than 1 month there.

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