Going from winter to summer is always great, but this year it is even greater.
This is the first time I go out from the country after having experienced the full Peronist/Kirchnerist enchilada and I have to say I am not exactly looking forward to go back. When we moved to Argentina in 2014, all was new and yet to discover. Than in 2015 Macri got elected, and although the cost of living had increased, there were also some promising signs like no blue rate, i.e. being able to pay with your foreign cards, being able to open a company within 24 hours, no random taxes instituted last night and so on.
I have been in Europe for a week and the change of scenery from a closed, dark Ezeiza to the luxurious, elegant and colourful Charles de Gaulle was striking. "It is the Capital of the finest things", I told myself while I moved on to my gate for the last leg of my trip.
So far, I have left the house only on a couple of occasion because I have to self-isolate for 10 days. I was able to get vaccinated with Pfizer in 48 hours. Argentina lacks of vaccination and supply of questionable vaccine choices took a toll on Argentinians' ability to travel without restrictions. As a comparison, vaccinated Americans (from the US) can now enter Italy with no testing and no quarantine required, like there is no pandemic going on.
And even home-bound, with a pandemic in full blown and the Delta variant cases also rising in Europe, I am experiencing life in Europe and realising how many times I have to say to someone "I can't...." because I live in f***ing Argentina.
I can't accept an expensive gift because it puts my life at risk on the street.
I can't buy a modern computer to work, because the Argie tax man wants half of the amount... and the amount is arbitrarily set by them.
I can't buy a smaller computer to connect to a bigger screen because the choice is limited and in Argentina the finest monitors are more expensive than the computer I'd be buying.
I can't buy the same computer in Argentina because it is not yet available - perhaps it will in 6 to 12 months, but for twice the price.
I can't simply withdraw money from an ATM in Argentina, because the amount you can withdraw is limited, the ATM fee is outrageous, and the conversion rate is a fantasy number set by the government. This is why I have to take trips to ATMs in Italy and stock up cash.
I can't get a vaccination when the rest of the world has, unless I travel abroad.
I can't select "Medical reasons" in the affidavit I had to fill in to exit Argentina, because they avoided to provide such option on purpose. Instead, I had to choose Tourism (Business, Sport and Diplomatic mission/Flight staff were not applicable) because it was the next closest thing. But now it will be used against me because the Argentinian ministries says that it is selfish and inconsiderate to travel for tourism during the pandemic... without realising this will likely go on for another couple years and we have to adjust to life with coronavirus, instead of standing-still hoping it will disappear by magic.
I can't my medical device replaced in Argentina, because there is simply no such advanced technology.
I can't ship my medical device because it would be likely stopped and taxed in customs, both to ship it abroad and to receive it back. I am sure they'll want me to hire (and pay) and exporter/importer, even if it is ONE individual item. It happened with $5 silicone latches my mom mailed me, hence I am pretty confident it will happen with a piece of modern electronics.
I can't get a proper medical consultation through my health insurer because the affiliated specialists are paid so little, that they just want to check the thick box as quickly as possible and have you sign their provider's card.
I can't disclose my existing medical condition to my health insurer, or they would cut my insurance and another insurer wouldn't take me on (I had to lie to get enrolled in a health insurance since I "burnt" my access to Swiss Medical and to Hospital Alemán when I disclosed my pre-existing medical issues)
I can't wear the handbags and shoes I was wearing in Europe because they would increase my risk of getting robbed/harmed. And anyway there is no sidewalk in good enough condition (not cracked or covered in dog poo) to walk in heels.
I can't wear any jewellery for the same reason. I have always left those in Italy. When my parents won't be no more, where will I put all this stuff?
I can't buy anything that won't fit in my suitcase, because I'd have no mean to bring it with me to Buenos Aires.
I can't say when I will go back because the Government one afternoon decided to almost close the border and limit to 600 passengers the access to the country.
I can't say I am unhappy to staying in Europe longer, if I have to be honest.
"How can you live in a country like that?" - my mother, once a day