Argentina!

The results from the ‘Where Should Colin Go?’ poll are in, and the winning country is Argentina.

What do I know off the top of my head about this country? Not much.

I can tell you that they are known for their dancing, especially the tango, that they have famous beef farms, and that Buenos Aires is supposed to be a mecca for travelers from the United States and Europe, due to something that happened in the last 20 years or so regarding their peso (I believe they tied its value to the dollar in some way) which lowered its value in comparison to the dollar, so that an individual like myself would be able to go and live there, enjoying the comforts and benefits of a large city but at a fraction of the cost.

I know they speak Spanish in Argentina, though I’m sure the slang is vastly different from the Spanish I learned in high school (which was largely Cuban). I also know that Patagonia is in the southern half of Argentina, that they have some wonderful vineyards, and that it is, I believe, the second largest country in South America (after Brazil).

Next, I will do some research on Argentina, compile some information, figure out what my next steps are (especially in regards to learning the language, getting a travel/work visa, tax issues, etc), and write another post all about it.

And Argentina, I’ll see YOU in September.

26 comments

  1. i just got back from working in argetinga. i was robbed and assaulted in my apartment in palermo soho. its not as safe as you think. i had everything taken from me and was tied up and left locked in. now, dont get me wrong i love south america… but id MUUUUUUUCH more recommend peru or chile over argentina. in fact, the chilean side of patagonia is much more lush and beautiful. and the people certainly dont have that argentina stick up their ass.

  2. i just got back from working in argetinga. i was robbed and assaulted in my apartment in palermo soho. its not as safe as you think. i had everything taken from me and was tied up and left locked in. now, dont get me wrong i love south america… but id MUUUUUUUCH more recommend peru or chile over argentina. in fact, the chilean side of patagonia is much more lush and beautiful. and the people certainly dont have that argentina stick up their ass.

  3. Wow, that must have been a really terrifying experience, Caitlin. What were you doing in Argentina (what job?).

    I’m still definitely looking to figure out what part of Buenos Aires to live in for the duration of my stay in Argentina…I’m thinking perhaps I’ll stay away from Palermo Soho after hearing this from you!

    I should mention, though, that I currently live in Los Angeles, a place that has higher crime rates than Argentina. From what I’ve been reading there has been a higher crime rate in Argentina than normal, but it still doesn’t compare to here, city to city. From the looks of it, too, the crime rate has gone down significantly since the late-90’s, early 2000’s, when there was a crazy currency problem with the nation (correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, as I’m doing the research online and you’ve actually BEEN there!).

    I’ll definitely have to make my way to Peru and Chile eventually, too. Maybe I’ll take a week and visit each? Any other advice to offer an Argentina-newbie?

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. Wow, that must have been a really terrifying experience, Caitlin. What were you doing in Argentina (what job?).

    I’m still definitely looking to figure out what part of Buenos Aires to live in for the duration of my stay in Argentina…I’m thinking perhaps I’ll stay away from Palermo Soho after hearing this from you!

    I should mention, though, that I currently live in Los Angeles, a place that has higher crime rates than Argentina. From what I’ve been reading there has been a higher crime rate in Argentina than normal, but it still doesn’t compare to here, city to city. From the looks of it, too, the crime rate has gone down significantly since the late-90’s, early 2000’s, when there was a crazy currency problem with the nation (correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, as I’m doing the research online and you’ve actually BEEN there!).

    I’ll definitely have to make my way to Peru and Chile eventually, too. Maybe I’ll take a week and visit each? Any other advice to offer an Argentina-newbie?

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. Guess what? I am also moving to Buenos Aires for a few months in September. Maybe we’ll run into each other?! As far as crime goes, I’ve never been there either but I’ve been told from various sources that it’s like any big city: you may get unlucky (very unlucky, it seems, Caitlin) but as long as you are careful and vigilent you should be fine. I guess just like in L.A, you wouldn’t walk around a dodgy neighbourhood by yourself at night or whatever. In the major cities in Peru and Chile this was pretty much the case when I went, La Paz in Bolivia was more dangerous it seemed, but I was a young girl travelling alone and still never had any real problems. Palermo soho is supposed to be one of the nicest areas… I’m going to be living close to Palermo myself and I’d like to think Caitlin’s experience was not typical and shouldn’t worry you too much about living there.

  6. Guess what? I am also moving to Buenos Aires for a few months in September. Maybe we’ll run into each other?! As far as crime goes, I’ve never been there either but I’ve been told from various sources that it’s like any big city: you may get unlucky (very unlucky, it seems, Caitlin) but as long as you are careful and vigilent you should be fine. I guess just like in L.A, you wouldn’t walk around a dodgy neighbourhood by yourself at night or whatever. In the major cities in Peru and Chile this was pretty much the case when I went, La Paz in Bolivia was more dangerous it seemed, but I was a young girl travelling alone and still never had any real problems. Palermo soho is supposed to be one of the nicest areas… I’m going to be living close to Palermo myself and I’d like to think Caitlin’s experience was not typical and shouldn’t worry you too much about living there.

  7. Hey Zoe-

    That’s great! We should definitely meet up while we’re there. What takes you to Argentina in Sept., out of curiosity? What area (that’s near Palermo) are you looking at? I’ve been seriously considering the San Telmo area, but could still be convinced otherwise.

    I think you’re probably right about the crime, though. Being considerate of your environment helps a lot in big cities (which is part of why I’ve never been overly-concerned about the crime rate living in LA, even though I live just a block or two from ‘the projects’). Bad stuff can happen to anyone, which Caitlin’s experience illustrates, but I think that kind of thing is the exception rather than the norm.

    During my research I have come across a few scams that seem to be an Argentinian tradition, especially for ripping off tourists. One that keeps popping up is the ‘Mustard Scam,’ in which someone will shoot mustard on your jacket or shirt from behind and then someone else (usually a middle-aged, non-threatening looking woman) will come up to you and offer to wipe it off. While that person is distracting you, someone else will rob you, taking your bag, picking your pocket, whatever is most accessible.

    From what I’ve been reading, the most practical way to avoid this situation is to 1) not be an obviously wealthy tourist (don’t flash the bling), 2) keep hand on your possessions while in public (a leg through the loop of your purse or bag) and 3) keep your important IDs and money VERY close to you, and not in your back pocket (tight front pant-leg pockets can work, or something like an under-the-clothing money belt works, as well).

  8. Hey Zoe-

    That’s great! We should definitely meet up while we’re there. What takes you to Argentina in Sept., out of curiosity? What area (that’s near Palermo) are you looking at? I’ve been seriously considering the San Telmo area, but could still be convinced otherwise.

    I think you’re probably right about the crime, though. Being considerate of your environment helps a lot in big cities (which is part of why I’ve never been overly-concerned about the crime rate living in LA, even though I live just a block or two from ‘the projects’). Bad stuff can happen to anyone, which Caitlin’s experience illustrates, but I think that kind of thing is the exception rather than the norm.

    During my research I have come across a few scams that seem to be an Argentinian tradition, especially for ripping off tourists. One that keeps popping up is the ‘Mustard Scam,’ in which someone will shoot mustard on your jacket or shirt from behind and then someone else (usually a middle-aged, non-threatening looking woman) will come up to you and offer to wipe it off. While that person is distracting you, someone else will rob you, taking your bag, picking your pocket, whatever is most accessible.

    From what I’ve been reading, the most practical way to avoid this situation is to 1) not be an obviously wealthy tourist (don’t flash the bling), 2) keep hand on your possessions while in public (a leg through the loop of your purse or bag) and 3) keep your important IDs and money VERY close to you, and not in your back pocket (tight front pant-leg pockets can work, or something like an under-the-clothing money belt works, as well).

  9. Hey, just another quickie, if you get a taxi from the airport when you arrive (or anywhere but especially the airport) make sure the driver doesn’t cover the meter, make sure you can see it. The meter should start not above a few pesos… apparently this is a really common one, you arrive and suddenly owe an extortionate amount. I also heard about that mustard one, and once in La Paz they were less subtle and just knocked some food out of my friend’s hand, as he turned in surprise another one grabbed his camera which was in his other hand. OK, the lesson is don’t just carry your valuables in sight like that… Luckily we got the camera back :)

  10. Hey, just another quickie, if you get a taxi from the airport when you arrive (or anywhere but especially the airport) make sure the driver doesn’t cover the meter, make sure you can see it. The meter should start not above a few pesos… apparently this is a really common one, you arrive and suddenly owe an extortionate amount. I also heard about that mustard one, and once in La Paz they were less subtle and just knocked some food out of my friend’s hand, as he turned in surprise another one grabbed his camera which was in his other hand. OK, the lesson is don’t just carry your valuables in sight like that… Luckily we got the camera back :)

  11. Congrats, Colin. Your poll respondents steered you in a good direction. Buenos Aires is a fabulous city, and starting in San Telmo is a good thought, but here’s another idea:

    Go to Mendoza.

    Mendoza is a large town near the Andes, in Argentina’s wine country. There is fabulous skiing, rafting and hiking nearby. And, incidentally, many knowledgeable people consider Mendocinas the most beautiful women in the world.

    I’ll be following your journey with interest.

  12. Congrats, Colin. Your poll respondents steered you in a good direction. Buenos Aires is a fabulous city, and starting in San Telmo is a good thought, but here’s another idea:

    Go to Mendoza.

    Mendoza is a large town near the Andes, in Argentina’s wine country. There is fabulous skiing, rafting and hiking nearby. And, incidentally, many knowledgeable people consider Mendocinas the most beautiful women in the world.

    I’ll be following your journey with interest.

  13. Hey Tim!

    Thanks for the suggestion! Truth be told, I haven’t even looked at Mendoza (though I keep seeing references to its wine country)…do you think it would be a good place to live, or mostly to visit? I was definitely planning on visiting, but it WOULD be quite an interesting time living there…

    I wanted to say, by the way, that the Matador Network has been an amazing resource for me, as someone who is just entering the travel world. The range and quality of articles is fantastic (Tim is an Editor for the site, for anyone who didn’t click on his name), so thanks: I’ll also be watching YOUR site with interest :)

  14. Hey Tim!

    Thanks for the suggestion! Truth be told, I haven’t even looked at Mendoza (though I keep seeing references to its wine country)…do you think it would be a good place to live, or mostly to visit? I was definitely planning on visiting, but it WOULD be quite an interesting time living there…

    I wanted to say, by the way, that the Matador Network has been an amazing resource for me, as someone who is just entering the travel world. The range and quality of articles is fantastic (Tim is an Editor for the site, for anyone who didn’t click on his name), so thanks: I’ll also be watching YOUR site with interest :)

  15. Thanks for the good words about Matador, Colin! I’m a small town kind of guy, so I would live in a place like Mendoza over BA, but if you like LA, then maybe the capital is best for you.

    My friend Kate Sedgwick, another Matador editor, is looking to rent out her place in San Telmo. Here’s the description, which I just copied from facebook – might be worth getting in touch with her!

    Kate Sedgwick Available bedroom and Living Room in the new Apartment –

    Furnished Room for Rent – U$S 300 per month – 200 block of Regimiento de Patricios – Available Immediately

    San Telmo/Boca area – 10 blocks from Boca Stadium and 4 blocks from Parque Lezama. Gorgeous old apartment with truly Argentine open hallway. You will be the first tenant. There are a total of four bedrooms and you are guaranteed not to have more than 3 other roommates at any given time.

    Wi-Fi is going strong.
    Double Bed
    Wardrobe and desk in your room.

    I’m buying a washing machine in the next couple weeks. There is a roof terrace where you can dry your clothes or lay out in a hammock.

    Maid service once a week.

    There is another bedroom available right now if you have your own bed.

    All expenses included in rent.

    No pets.

    I would prefer to rent to someone who is easy to get along with, as I am. Smoking is okay as long as you do it outside. Please don’t respond to this if you have a drug or alcohol problem.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    e-mail me at kcrimini@yahoo.com

    Thanks,

    Kate

  16. Thanks for the good words about Matador, Colin! I’m a small town kind of guy, so I would live in a place like Mendoza over BA, but if you like LA, then maybe the capital is best for you.

    My friend Kate Sedgwick, another Matador editor, is looking to rent out her place in San Telmo. Here’s the description, which I just copied from facebook – might be worth getting in touch with her!

    Kate Sedgwick Available bedroom and Living Room in the new Apartment –

    Furnished Room for Rent – U$S 300 per month – 200 block of Regimiento de Patricios – Available Immediately

    San Telmo/Boca area – 10 blocks from Boca Stadium and 4 blocks from Parque Lezama. Gorgeous old apartment with truly Argentine open hallway. You will be the first tenant. There are a total of four bedrooms and you are guaranteed not to have more than 3 other roommates at any given time.

    Wi-Fi is going strong.
    Double Bed
    Wardrobe and desk in your room.

    I’m buying a washing machine in the next couple weeks. There is a roof terrace where you can dry your clothes or lay out in a hammock.

    Maid service once a week.

    There is another bedroom available right now if you have your own bed.

    All expenses included in rent.

    No pets.

    I would prefer to rent to someone who is easy to get along with, as I am. Smoking is okay as long as you do it outside. Please don’t respond to this if you have a drug or alcohol problem.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    e-mail me at kcrimini@yahoo.com

    Thanks,

    Kate

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  19. What a cool idea, letting people vote on your destination and what a great destination that has been picked.
    It’s one of my dreams to go to South America, visit Argentina and the worlds largest swimming pool in Chile.

    I’m excited to follow your adventures as well!

  20. What a cool idea, letting people vote on your destination and what a great destination that has been picked.
    It’s one of my dreams to go to South America, visit Argentina and the worlds largest swimming pool in Chile.

    I’m excited to follow your adventures as well!

  21. Hey Carla!

    Thanks for visiting my site! You should definitely make it down to South America when you can (though I know from your site it’s on your list of things to do, so I suppose it’s a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if’).

    I’ll have to try to check out Chile and its amazingly large swimming pool while I’m down there. I’ll be sure to take a picture!

  22. Hey Carla!

    Thanks for visiting my site! You should definitely make it down to South America when you can (though I know from your site it’s on your list of things to do, so I suppose it’s a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if’).

    I’ll have to try to check out Chile and its amazingly large swimming pool while I’m down there. I’ll be sure to take a picture!

  23. Hi!
    I am soon moving to Rosario, Argentina to study. And I wanted to ask you for some advices what I should or shouldn´t do to keep me safe once I am here. If you could give my some advices I´ll be really glad
    Thank you

  24. Hi!
    I am soon moving to Rosario, Argentina to study. And I wanted to ask you for some advices what I should or shouldn´t do to keep me safe once I am here. If you could give my some advices I´ll be really glad
    Thank you

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