Ezeiza or death! - Reality vs. the news

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  • I regularly check the news here in Argentina, several times a day. Admittedly, I just visit the website of La Nación plus the posts that popup on Facebook and Instagram from other users/outlets. The news here makes me very worried and anxious, and while it is good (and wise) to know what's going on in the streets of Buenos Aires, it drives me into a spiral of thoughts about leaving and doomsday approaching sooner than ever.

    However, the reality speaks differently: we have been here 9 years this year, our quality of life is better than in Europe (budget is a big factor, obviously - we couldn't have afforded to live downtown in a big city and go out to have breakfast and dinner whenever we fancy).


    I am still quite impressed that La Nación covers carefully any news on the Spanish and Italian Consulate, their citizenship processes, regularly publish news and updates about the visa appointments at the US embassy, emigrating to the US, Spain, Europe and sometimes Australia, Canada and the Middle East, interviews and success stories from Argentinians abroad (sometimes there is also a piece on a foreigner living here).

    The bottom line seems to speak clearly: Ezeiza or death!


    We spent the first 4 years here wondering when we should leave, instead of enjoying what Argentina had to offer. We barely went to Capital, we didn't have a car and this limited our outings a lot. We were always in an 'about to leave' state, we felt guilty even for putting a nail in the wall to hang a picture because we'd been soon leaving the apartment and fixing the hole in the wall was yet another thing to do before fleeing.


    However... I see plenty of Argentinians enjoying the nightlife in Palermo, Belgrano, Recoleta and also the up and coming neighborhoods of Villa Crespo, Almagro, Colegiales, Coghlan. Argentinian economy, with its dysmorphia and juggling by the BCRA, somehow still keep going on. I see many new stores and food place being opened by young Argentinians and I don't think they are opened on borrowed money and will file for bankruptcy in a year.

    I see people going to Miami every year or so, people taking 2-3-week long vacations to Europe as a family...


    So, what's the truth behind the news? Why there is this constant push to make us feel miserable?

  • serafina

    Changed the title of the thread from “Ezeiza or death! - Reality and the news” to “Ezeiza or death! - Reality vs. the news”.
  • You raise a completely valid question, serafina . Perhaps those news stories are written by people who genuinely ARE miserable, and are profoundly depressed that their income, 100% in pesos, doesn’t buy as many of those fun evenings as they did last year, when it bought fewer than the year before, etc etc ad infinitum.


    I’m so glad that Argentina has your full vote of confidence. Mine too! But far more important for you than for for me, since you are an expat living there full time, and I, regrettably, can’t be. I find your analysis of the positives of living in Argentina very affirming. I completely agree that, despite the insane inflation, the cost of living in BsAs is far less expensive than living in any comparable city.

  • I like your attitude, UK Man ! Perhaps life in Chivilcoy is also much more quieter than in Capital and this helps keeping a healthy distance between reality and what you heard in the news?


    My husband always complains that on national TV channels they speak of the country like it was just Buenos Aires, often quoting places/streets like everybody lived here. While it is true that cose 1/3rd of the population lives in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, not all people come to Buenos Aires often enough to know the avenues and streets like the inside of their pockets! They also broadcast the temperature and the weather of Buenos Aires over the screen, like this country was as big as the Vatican...

  • It’s a discussion that can extend in many directions isn’t it? I think Argentina is the most enigmatic nation on earth, and that is core to its allure. For me anyway.


    Meanwhile a life back in Europe might raise other questions regarding globalism and war etc. I doubt young couples wonder about the risks bringing kids into this world down here in the same way as up in the northern hemisphere. Different place, different considerations. Pick and choose what you prefer to worry about you might say.

    Indeed. Despite it's many faults Argentina is an okay place to live....there are a hell of a lot of worse places to be. I'm beginning to feel safer here than if the worst scenario of events comes to fruition in Ukraine. Especially if the Chinese start getting involved.

  • I've just been listening to an audio version of a book by statistician Tim Harford called How To Make The World Add Up in which he talks about the news cycle. Leaving aside the polarisation of the news broadcasts (Is there any news in Argentina that comes without a political bias? Are there any stations in Argentina that emulate PBS in the USA, BBC in the UK etc??) the rolling news agenda isn't the place for calm, measured perspective anyway since they want to to grab their audience with what is happening NOW!!! A daily news broadcast or newspaper can add some perspective, a weekly magazine even more so. What would a news annual prioritise?


    But what, asks Tim Harford, what if we had a ten year newspaper? Or twenty-five? How about a fifty year newspaper printed in 1968? What would matter enough to warrant inclusion? And the next fifty year newspaper printed in 2018? Nearly all of life's dramas fade in importance, given enough perspective.


    Many years ago I used to have a friend living in Argentina who never read, watched or listened to the news. She said that, if it were important enough, someone would tell her. And being filtered through that teller would give it context.


    It worked for her but I'm afraid it wouldn't work for me. Despite all my talk of perspective and taking the long view, I'm a news junkie of the worst possible kind!

  • I'm a news junkie up to a point because I filter out those banal stories of celebs cheating, not to mention some of the horrific murder stories that TN loves to throw out.

    Talking of which, TN and other anti-regime channels are completely bare-faced with their bias (C5N is the same but in the opposite direction) and the state owned TV Publica is simply a propaganda machine.

    The government ads on radio are also nauseating (ANSES, pensions, jobs etc) the way they end the ad with "Argentina Presidencia..." which has that awful Big Brother feeling about it.

    Talking of which, in Vicente Lopez there are now hundreds of emergency alarm posts dotted around on which you can press a big red button in case of emergency, alerting the police. They are a good idea, if not a bit scary, reminding us how dangerous this place is.

    But, they also have a huge loudhailer on top and yesterday we walked past one that announced "No swimming in the river!"

    It was creepy and reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984.

  • I like to read the news but it is becoming counterproductive and gives me chills.

    Today is - again - a holiday and I am home alone. I decided to go to my favorite coffee place in Belgrano to work from there a little bit.


    Option #1 would be to take my new bicycle, my backpack, and ride 15' to the cafè. It owuld be good, healthy and I could finally try out my new gift.


    However: last week they stabbed two Austrian siblings who were riding in San Telmo to steal their phones and cash. They got away with minor bruises, but doesn't encourage me to ride a bike. Not only you are victim of cars, but also an easy target for chorros.

    Quieter day are safer to ride a bike in the city, traffic-wise, but there is a lot of trash people hangin' in the streets of Palermo during the weekends and the holiday. I think coming to Palermo is their idea of a holiday & crime, all in one. I can't risk my work computer like that.


    In the past I took long walks from my place to the Bosques de Palermo on Sunday afternoon, as an exercise. These were maybe 6 km round trip, but some streets in Palermo have bunch of drunk men looking for something to entertain themselves with, and it makes me uncomfortable. Nothing has happened, yet, but my husband begged me to walk along the Avenida and not along certain streets or, better, to take the car, park at the Bosques de Palermo, and back.


    So, yes, some downsides of Argentina do affect me. My area is actually safer when there are more people around. On Sunday afternoon is pretty desert, dirty and not well patrolled by the police as during weekdays.

  • Indeed. Despite it's many faults Argentina is an okay place to live....there are a hell of a lot of worse places to be. I'm beginning to feel safer here than if the worst scenario of events comes to fruition in Ukraine. Especially if the Chinese start getting involved.

    Indeed, this part of the world, including South Africa and Australia, if a nuclear war happen, will be the less damaged .

    I do not assume that this willl happen. Both sides(Western powers vs; Russia & China) will have mutual destruction, but they are not suicidal people.

    In any case, nobody will spend a nuclear bomb in this remote southern country, what;s for?

    We are unimportant in all aspects. And perhaps this is an advantage.

  • As regards the pregnant russians, if they come to stay with us, I have nothing to complain, Russians are very disciplined people, perhaps too much. We need this class of people.

    And also they are using one of the few things that Argentina has and are quite well. like health care, and affordable.

    Of course, many others are not so good.

  • As regards the pregnant russians, if they come to stay with us, I have nothing to complain, Russians are very disciplined people, perhaps too much. We need this class of people.

    And also they are using one of the few things that Argentina has and are quite well. like health care, and affordable.

    Of course, many others are not so good.

    They do seem to belong to a different class than your usual 'pregnant refugee'.

  • I don't know any of them personally, but from what I have seen in the streets and online, they are doing well for themselves. They come here well dressed and in good shape, some even have pets that moved from Russia with them, and are educated, with an online job that apparently allows them to have a lifestyle which is above the average Argentinian one (and by far).