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    :beatdeadhorse: 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

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    Yes, we are both Dual. Argentina is a beautiful country, but re-emerging after 3 years, of which 2 with the Ks in power, a pandemic that has revealed all the fallacies of their politics (in term of lack of solid international politics that could have provided access to vaccine, and a better consideration from pharmaceuticals companies - see Pfizer trial in Argentina but no promised 13 millions doses arrived to date), all their corruption (stolen vaccines), all their shameless mocking of the population (the pandemic is bad because you, the people, do not behave / you are inconsiderate and harming the country if you travel abroad / if you are rich you should pay a rich tax... since yesterday / everybody who is not living in a villa is a shameless pig and should be poorer / are we sure private property is a given? let's discuss...)


    They are really beating the crap out of Argentinians. No wonder they want any foreign passport and leave.

  • As Serafina pointed out, it is CFK and HER administration are the ones with disdain for the people they were elected to serve. In the past 4 years, it became a mantra for populist presidents to claim that their opponents hated the country or hated its people. She’s just following the example of other liars/accusers.

  • Every time I head back to the UK I am amazed like a wide-eyed child in Disneyland. I never can believe how much easier things are there, despite living there for the first 27 years of my life.


    I also miss the outdoors terribly here. In the UK I could travel for an hour in the bus/train and be on the beach or on a mountain, depending which way I travelled. I miss wild camping.


    Of course, this is not Argentina's fault because this country is a paradise for outdoors, if you are willing to essentially go on vacation. I want to just disappear up the mountain for a few weekends, not spend thousands of pesos and take flights. Still, when this COVID stuff blows over I have decided I am going to spend a week of two camping in the forest of Patagonia

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    Argentina's sceneries are amazing and one of a kind. I look at ponchonick 's album and I feel blessed that I was able to see and experience these places with my own eyes.


    I have been working from home since I have to do 10 day of self-isolation (ending tomorrow with my quick antigen test), and I have been comparing working from home in Argentina vs. working from home in Italy. I have been doing exactly the same things. I am slouching on my Macbook 12+ hours a day, so my cousin told me to buy the new iMac 24" with the newest Apple processor. He said it is unlike any other Apple. it weights just 5 kgs and costs €1500 (the middle range model, which is the only one worth buying, after reviewing the three available models). I have been fiddling with the idea since I will be here in Italy working for at least another month, if not 2, courtesy of Cristina & Alverso. But then how I do I bring it with me? Do I purchase it VAT free and pay VAT in Argentina? Is this AFIP harakiri?


    I have calculated a net €1230 (before VAT), i.e. 1460 USD. The first $500 are allowed, so I would have to pay 50% on $900 = $450. Plus VAT.

    This is provided AFIP decides to honour the amount shown on my invoice instead of quoting it a random amount. It is not yet sold in Argentina. And this is just for the computer itself and none of the accessories I'd like to buy (external hard disk, range extender for the home Wifi, etc.).


    I can shop for stationery from my desk, however I hate that the smallest envelop package is 100 pieces when I need 20 at most.

    I can order a courier to pick up my documents for €20 and pay with my card (5'), instead of going out to the cueva to exchange money and then go to DHL to pay 28-30 USD with the blue rate (instead of 42 USD at the official rate) (45')


    And if it's late and I need to withdraw money from the ATM, it doesn't matter if it is 8PM or 3AM, I can walk alone, take out €1000 and go back home without fearing of being assaulted or robbed or without having to ask my husband to accompany me (if I don't ask, he insists on coming or tries to talk me out of it).


    I can spend money without worrying about the blue rate and our spending for the week.

    "Do we exchange $100 or $200? What other expenses do we have? Perhaps I'll meet with a friend who need to buy dollars and get a better rate. Can we hold tight until the day after tomorrow? Can we survive two days on 1000 ARS?"

  • Strangely enough I'm kind of hesitant to go back to Scotland. Reason being strange as it may seem I'm frightened when there I feel like an outsider the same as I still do here.


    Impossible for me to offer you advice serafina but I also think you'd be better outa here if it alo suits your hubby.

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    Impossible for me to offer you advice serafina but I also think you'd be better outa here if it alo suits your hubby.

    I am taking the chance to visit several Italian cities. From Buenos Aires to a small city/town in Europe, it would be a BIG change, even if it would mean going back to my old life. There are things of our life in Buenos Aires that we really enjoy, not to mention the spending power we have in BsAs. We go out to each whenever we want, and I have breakfast out most working days (when my fave place is open...)


    Milan, Rome or Florence are the biggest cities in Italy with an International crowd and some expat life. However, can we really afford expat life in Italy? I went to a friend's last night, she lives in Milan, and she told me it is very expensive and she is lucky because her husband works in Switzerland. She said that if they had to raise a family in Milan on two Italian salaries, it would be a grim life. However, that kind of working life comes at price and they just see each other in the weekends, the children are being taken care of by the grandma, etc.


    I was already counting money when living there 7 years ago and I am not looking forward to do it again. Yes, the food offer is great, the quality is the best in the world... but we didn't buy a 10 USD mozzarella when we lived there. We looked for the cheapest industrial brand at a low cost supermarket.

  • Despite the wife's daily rantings about the way things work here compared to the first world I can't see us ever leaving on a permanent basis....even if the MIL croaked it tomorrow!! Which I hope she doesn't.

    Reason being, I suspect it will take years to get everything in order to allow us to 'ship out' on a permanent basis. Had we been 15 years younger we'd be off like a shot!!

    We could be 'stuck' in many far worse places after all.

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    UK Man, it seems your wife has a lot of (family) business going on and it is definitely not quick to get rid of properties in the countryside, unless you really want to undersell. However, should you wish to be able to leave one day, you should start work in advance at selling what you don't actually need for your daily needs so as to minimise the properties left to sell once you want to take off.


    I already feel constrained with an apartment in a trendy neighbourhood of Capital! Our neighbour downstairs has had his apartment for sale for months now. He is asking 130k USD, which I think would have been okay 3-4 years ago, but not today. It is a single unit with a big window with a balcony, and an "entrepiso" for the bedroom. Basically, a very large (55 sq meters) monoambiente with no outdoor space (the balcony is too narrow to sit).


    We also have high monthly expenses despite not having a doorman, because there is always something. The last 'something' was a leaky toilet that doubled the water bill and the unit owner refusing to take accountability for the extra expense. So we are now paying 80-100 USD/month (blue rate) to pay the AYSA, the water company, for the extra consumption.


    The unit owner simply said 'No, I won't pay for the extra consumption of water because of the leaky toilet in my unit' and the building administration said that if we hired a lawyer to file a suit against the non-compliant owner, we'd spend more money than to just pay the double water bill. Instead, they informally agreed to charge more expenses to that sucker in the next months. Of course we will still lose money because of that j*** since we are paying more ARS now (with the current exchange rate) and the sucker's will pay more expenses in the next months with a presumably higher exchange rate.

  • UK Man, it seems your wife has a lot of (family) business going on and it is definitely not quick to get rid of properties in the countryside, unless you really want to undersell. However, should you wish to be able to leave one day, you should start work in advance at selling what you don't actually need for your daily needs so as to minimise the properties left to sell once you want to take off.

    We'll have to be here as long as my MIL is alive so making plans for the future is impossible. She could well outlive us both!! ^^