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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 83
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 12:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have been to Bahia Blanca many times. It is a wonderful, vibrant and prosperous city about 8 hours south of Buenos Aires by bus. It is a university town with both public and private colleges. It is a major seaport as well. In the summer you see hundred and hundreds of truck carrying grain to be placed on ships...mostly to china. They also ship meat and hides. Chinese retail goods arrive through the port as well.

The city has a new bus station. It also has a couple of parks and squares throughout the city. Very good restaurants and shopping. The cost of living there is a less expensive than in BA. They have a nice shopping mall on the outskirts of the city with a large multi-screen cinema. Many clubs and nightspots for younger people.

They are close to a very nice seaside resort...Monte Hermoso. About an hour and 15 minutes from Bahia Blanca. I love Monte Hermoso. Nice and quiet but with all the services and ammenities you look for.

If I was to relocate to Argentina I would seriously consider Bahia Blanca.
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Robert Gisborn
Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 87
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Bill, I was kidding about the sea containers of course-though they are a serious option for a large move- but I'm really quite interested in Bahia Blanca. Everything favorable you have said seems to be supported by all the research I've done. One question, have you been there during July and August? It lays quite far south and it would appear they may have nasty winters.
I knew nothing about Monte Hermoso but I'd love to visit it. Thanks for the info. Id never guess a place called Monte Hermosa would be by the sea but I imagine it sits at the base of foothills.
Also, as you probably know Bahia is a popular "vacation" resort for our pro basketball scouts.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 85
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was just there this past July for a few weeks. I am from Connecticut so severity of winter is based on my experience there. It can get to freezing (32 F) and slightly below at times during the night. One problem is the houses are really not built for winter weather. They are mostly of brick and mortar construction and are cool during the summer but chilly during the winter. The heating is usually provided by gas heaters not always in every room. I have not seen much in the way of electric blankets or electric space heaters in use or for sale though I am told they are available. The daytime temps are almost always in the 40's and sometimes the low 50's. Despite that the local population dresses like they are in Antarctica. They really suffer with the cold more so than I do. I like to say the weather there is similar to North or South Carolina in the US. They rarely get snow in Bahia Blanca though ice can be an occasional problem. All in all the cold is tolerable. A bit warmer in BA but BA is crazy. Cordoba is actually warmer most of the time and also a nice city but much larger than Bahia Blanca.

There are couple of website for Monte Hermoso. Just Google it. Quaint place. A few hotels and lots of apartments and summer homes for rent. A decent beach. I would guess about 20 restaurants and a few bars and clubs. Not a ton of shopping. Just seasonal vacation and souvenir stuff for sale. I am told that the resort town is a favorite of people from Mendoza who want the seashore without the craziness of a Mar del Plata.

Monte is easy to get to by bus. It is the southern most beach resort area. There is a small one near Punta Alta but it is only used by locals. If you head north you can get to Nechochea (beautiful beach) and places like Miramar, Mar del Plata, Villa Gesell, Carilo and Pinamar. All have pluses and minuses to them.

I am not sure why they call it Monte Hermoso. I guess there is a small hill or rise in the area. Punta Alta is the town next to Bahia Blanca. My wife is from there and we spend time there. Charles Darwin stopped there on his Orign of Species voyage. There is a high spot but more like a bump in the road. Punta is nice. It is a naval base town. The Base Naval General Belgrano is attached to the town. The town is pretty prosperous as a result. Very inexpensive cost of living there. If I wanted to retire and live on a modest income I would go there. I would prefer Bahia Blanca but Punta is a hair cheaper I think. Of course if inflation in Argentina continues the natives will want to move here to save money.

I believe Ginobli was from Bahia. I have been meaning to get to a game there. On occasion an American plays in the various basketball leagues there. They also have a soccer team (Olimpio). Not great but it draws some of the better teams (Boca, River, Estudiantes, etc.) to the city. Soccer is still king though basketball leagues are growing in popularity.

Best wishes
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Robert Gisborn
Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 88
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 4:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh yes, Ginobili is from Bahia.
The weather, as you describe it, is more moderate than I would have expected.
For a while I was reading the Bahia newspaper and I did notice that the rents seemed quite low but I had no way to judge their value based on location. For an investor, Bahia deserves investigation not the least of which is the fact it is an important port city. For years there has been talk of Argentina moving more of its federal administration to Patagonia and of course we already know about the petroleum reserves there. Would not Bahia be an important gate way to this development?
Yes, most certainly there will be a migration from BA to Bahia. Look, whether people want to face it or not BA has some big problems. The environmental damage to the Plata and the pampas, is for me, sickening. The motor chorros who kill for a couple of hits of cheap coke are not a blight that one would not find in many big cities of the world but what concerns people is that they are the tip of the ice berg of an ever growing badly socialized underclass.
I see pictures of Bahia and I seem to interpret a social and civic pride. Also, the geophysical characteristics of Argentina are going to limit development west and north of BA. Of course there will be mining and agriculture. But look at these. Microsoft-one company-probably grosses more than all the mining companies in Argentina or the US for that matter. Soy bean prices
are extremely volatile and it's hard to make any projections on this crop.
From my perspective I see Bahia taking a newer, fresher path. But regardless of all this it does look like a great place to live.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 11:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi everybody
This is my first post. I registered because of the possibility of visiting the Rio Negro area sometime around March/April.
I'm Irish, retired ESL teacher, speak a bit of rusty Spanish but haven't used it in 20 years. Presently am located in the US, but may consider relocation to Argentina.
Basically wondered about accomm in Bahia Blanca.
Prefer not to use "international" (expensive) hotels etc.
Am quite adaptable to local conditions
Any info gratefully received. Muchas gracias.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 86
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

To try and find local places I go to http://yahoo.com.ar. That gets you to the Argentina edition of Yahoo. Then I put in hoteles bahia blanca and select search Argentine websites only. That gives you better results. Results that are more tailored to Argentine and consequently are much cheaper though a bit spartan. It is a great city. Lots to do and see. My wife's family is from Punta Alta which is a town about 15 miles from Bahia. We spend a lot of time in Bahia when we are in Argentina. My wife went to college there and the shopping and dining is better there than in her home town.

I had thought about retiring in a year or two and spending a couple of years in Argentina...focusing on Bahia Blanca but the inflation in Argentina has just about priced me out. We were there for 3 week in August and for many things the prices are the same as in the USA. A bit disappointing.

(Message edited by admin on December 15, 2010)
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 138
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Actually Bill, I think La Nueva Provincia may be a better source.
It's Bahia's leading newspaper
http://www.lanueva.com

In the classifieds for today http://clasificados.lanueva.com/I found 3 bedroom houses with garages, 2 baths and patios for under US$500/month ($1500 to $2000. Argentine pesos)

There are used cars available at very good prices.
Also don't forget, the official exchange rate can be beaten. Kind of, ask around is as much as I can say. Also, Bahia is a big port. Ships bring in a lot of stuff. Find out what from where and for whom. You'll find deals. Also, remember, professionals and their families are living comfortable lives on $100000 (pesos)/year in the BA province., You can too if you learn what they know.
But by all means be a regular reader of lanueva.com-great site.

(Message edited by admin on December 15, 2010)
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bill and Robert

Thanks for the info. Have accessed your suggested sites and will continue to monitor them. The news on inflation isn't too good, but appreciate your info on cost of living.
Aside from places like Japan, where I lived for five years, I've found it generally possible to live in many countries on about US$1,000/month. Is this reasonable in Argentina, outside of BA probably, in your experience?
Thanks and best wishes.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 9
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 11:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,

Outside of BA you can live comfortably on 1000 USD per month. We live 80kms from Cordoba city and living costs are lower.

Greetings
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 12:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, Nelieta. That's good news to hear. Best wishes.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 10
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 12:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You are welcome :-)
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 87
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Comfortably needs to be defined. You will be renting and that is probably where you save the most money. Apartments and even home rentals are cheap but going up all the time. Typically you sign a 24 month lease. Not sure if that still holds true. Utilties (water, electic & gas) are also very cheap though they have also gone up quite a bit recently. You would need to get furniture unless you rent a place furnished which is more expensive of course. You need a few more things..a TV for example, bedding and linen, pots and pans, etc. Things that would not come with a furnished apartment.

Cable TV and Broadband Internet are not all that much cheaper than in the US but for me they are a necessity. You might or might not want a cell phone as well and they are cheaper than the US but still an expense.

Food is still a bargain. Eating out is starting to get expensive. Transportation (bus) is cheap. Walking become the preferred way around. Taxis and remises are everywhere and affordable for rainy days.

Entertainment ....depends on your tastes. I love the fact that many of the popular movies in Argentina are in original spoken english with Spanish subtitles. Argentines do not like dubbed movies.

I will speak to my sister in law and find out how much it costs for her to run her household in Bahia Blanca. I am thinking 1000 might be a bit tight....2000 would be ideal but living in reasonable comfort is probably somewhere in between. I can live like a native in most circumstances myself but I always come up with ways to spend money (as my wife tells me). She is argentine and is very careful about things as are most argentine. They live much more frugally and simpler than I do in the US. I could adapt ...I am not sure if I would like it long term.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 4
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 5:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Bill.
Appreciate what you say. TV is redundant to me, but internet is vital. I need a phone, but it needn't be a cellphone. If I do go ahead with this idea, I have a houseful of furniture here in S Carolina, also own the house free and clear. So after selling the house, could ship the furniture to Argentina. Is this a valid idea, or is it too tied up in bureaucracy etc to be worth it?

Thanks for contacting your sister-in-law, and please thank her for any trouble she goes to in giving you any further info.
I'm generally able, like yourself, to "go native", in fact usually prefer it to big hotels and not just on economic grounds. I've lived in a number of countries and don't usually have a problem. I like quiet and therefore inexpensive things like research (just doing some on Scottish Presbyterians in Argentina), reading, conversation (trust my Spanish will improve), fresh air (walking/cycling), history, local places of interest. Also it may be possible for me to take on some part-time Eng tuition, though I wouldn't be relying on this for income. May wish to travel to other parts of Argentina for short vacations/sightseeing etc. I have a generally modest lifestyle. Movies sound good (in original langs). But dislike noise and places like bars and nightclubs.

Thanks again and all the best.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 11
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 5:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, if I may comment on the importing of personal effects. I shipped 4 boxes in a crate from South Africa to Argentina. What a mission and in the end I did not get anything. The shipping agency in South Africa quoted me a price for their service and gave me an approximate amount that I needed to pay once the container arrives in Bs As. Well, when it eventually arrived here and I went to customs the price was almost 1500 USD to clear 4 boxes of clothing,books and other personal things. I decided not to pay it. So my advice just be careful, you might be lucky and pay next to nothing or like me where you clearly get ripped off and then there is nothing that you can do.

Kind regards
Nelieta
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 5
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 6:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, Nelieta.

I'm sorry to hear of your negative experience.
From prior information, I'd gathered that this might be the case with Argentine customs. Such might be a problem as I wouldn't wish to lose my books, also other personal items.

It may be possible to see the customs in BB if I do go ahead with the "pilot scheme" trip in March/April. Or maybe an agent there. Ask a few questions. Perhaps a "fee" might be required, or promised on successful importation. On the other hand, it might all be just too much trouble. I don't know.
Best wishes
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 139
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 9:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In most countries one can find private firms that wll help you clear customs. They charge a fee. Do not offer an unsolicited fee directly to a federal agent. This matter has to be handled indirectly-unless solicited.
It really is important to learn the laws, culture and language of any country you wish to live.
Look, the President of the United States once purchased military weapons from a coutry that held American hostages and sent these arms to Cental America to violently overthrow an elected government. Next to this baksheesch is normal business as usual. Such is culture.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2047
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010 - 10:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Adding to everyone's weather report... clothing is *very* expensive. VERY! Forget about deals like you may find in Ross stores (second hand - premium brand).

Customs: a friend just bought a part for a boat engine to be UPS'd to BA, from Maine. They had to pay almost as much as the price of the engine when UPS knocked on their door. I bought a light steadycam from Turkey (ebay) shipped to BA by DHL. Arrived last week and I had to pay the DHL delivery guy u$d 40. The steadycam was $99. Best is to find ways to avoid customs, like buying second hand furniture out of the city limits. And just in case, the as-seen-on-tv magicjack works great.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 88
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 7:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are a couple of large shipping companies out of New York. They ship from small boxes to full containers to Argentina by freighter. You must get the stuff to New York where they pack it up. Depending on the shipping schedule it could take a couple of months to get to port. I had mostly read about shipping to BA. I would imagine shipping to Bahia is possible it being a major port but I am not sure. There is paperwork and redtape of course. Anything new or resaleable could be subject to import duty. There are fees. Then you have to get it picked up and delivered from whatever port it enters while wondering how much was "lost" in transit. Things disapper. (as an aside my wife and I have sent maybe 15 packages by mail to Argentina ..9 have arrived intact...2 arrived open with some contents missing...and 4 never arrived)...and that is the Post Office. Good news is people ship there all the time. I will try and find a copy of an Argentine American magazine my wife gets from New York..they have the companies listed and their contact info...they specialize in Argentina or so they say.

Furniture..particularly used furnitrue is pretty cheap in Argentina. If you plan on living modestly you will have to crunch the numbers see what makes more sense..buying or shipping. Of course buying would necessitate storing your own furniture unless this is a permanent move and then it could be sold. You actually might have better luck checking boxes as additional luggage on a flight there. At 50 bucks for each 50 pounds of extra luggage...sounds expensive...but you bring it with you and once you pass airport customs you have your stuff in the country and with you. Rent a car BA to Bahia (8 hours later)...you move in. That is one way of getting, clothes, computer, books etc. into the country (best scan the books or get ebook versions if available...books are heavy..and go for a laptop. Oh yeah...the stuff we mailed to Argentina that made it...had to be opened in front of a postal agent and the contents examined...and some duty paid (it was small but it really pissed off my father in law). I on the other hand have brought in electronics and gifts are christmas time and in over 15 trips was never once stopped, examined or bother by customs. Luck I think and they dont seem to check American tourists much coming in.

Clothes as mentioned are not cheap and most are cheap chinese made imports. Electronics...forget buying them in Argentina...expensive and grey market. I find the TV important because a few of the satellite TV companies over English packages...BBC, CNN, ESPN, etc. Regular Argentine cable has a lot of shows in English...they dont like dubbing of movies or tv shows. Plus I think Spanish TV is great for learning Spanish...plan on it for a year or so at least. Sesame street in spanish is cute and educational..

Dont count on English tutoring. English is widely spoken and anybody with any level of proficiency is a tutor. My wife was an english as a foreign language teacher in the public and private school systems and would give 1 hour of tutoring for 5 pesos..as did all her classmates. I am sure it is closer to 20 pesos now..but to do it well you need to be bi-lingual. My wife received her masters degree in education here in the usa and now teachers in a public school here ...english as a second language. She is also a US citizen now.

You might consider a hostel or a furnished room in a household. It is a university town so many households lease out rooms. At least for a few months to get the lay of the land. My sister in law doesnt have two nickles to rub together and she pieced together a nicely furnished small apartment...but it takes knowing what is available and where. A stay in an apartment/hotel might be most efficient. Kitchenette...bed..chair...private bath...good to go.

Exciting to read about your plans.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert, Roberto and Bill

Thank you for your responses. I seem to have given Robert the impression that I intend to try to bribe a customs officer. I do assure you, Robert, that such is very far from my life-style and beliefs. Never, in any country have I done such a thing and would not intend to start now.

I'm starting to get a picture from your inputs. Within reason, and without trying to sound like the weekend millionaire, I have some funds, especially if I sell my house, so can stand a little time of high(ish) expense. If furniture is cheap, that sounds like the way to go rather than the uncertainty and expense of shipping it. Also carrying extra weight on the flight makes sense for books, laptop etc. Have a reasonable stock of clothing suitable to the climate around BB/area, and thanks for the info on expensive clothing and electronics.

A hostel/furnished room in a household sounds like a good idea, at least pro. tem. as a base. I see there are ads in the newspaper. Could help with language -- ya tengo pocas palabras de castellano pero hacen unos veinte anos en que no he hablado (sorry, no tilde on this comp). I'd never really thought of Eng tuition as anything but a perhaps helpful social tool.

I intend to visit a local family that lives in Villa Regina, along the Rio Negro. I've never met them, but they are known through the church I attend here. This is part of the reason for the visit, also a long and as yet unfulfilled wish to visit the cona del sur countries.

I haven't yet researched this, but think it's at least possible, maybe probable, that there is an Irish community in Argentina. I support Irish Rugby, therefore am sure to appreciate the Puma's. And Admiral Brown.

Once again expressing appreciation for all input, and look forward to any more as you are able/willing.
Best wishes.
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Gayle
Member
Username: Flaka

Post Number: 81
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 11:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Patrick,

I visited an Irish community in San Antonio D'Areco. It was very interesting and everyone was so welcoming.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 7
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 1:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gayle

Thank you for this information. Looked up San Antonio on Google, seems like a pleasant town. Also found the following

http://www.fitzsimons.info/history_argentina.html

on this and other towns/areas. As always, the Irish diaspora is documented all around the entire globe.
Do you yourself have an Irish connection?

(Message edited by admin on December 19, 2010)
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Gayle
Member
Username: Flaka

Post Number: 82
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 2:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Patrick,

My maiden name is O'Brien and my husband's relatives are Argentine and live in and around BA. We have been visiting once a year for the past three years usually in May and we rent an apartment near the subte.

Thanks for the info on the site. I will check it out.
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Gayle
Member
Username: Flaka

Post Number: 83
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 2:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Patrick,

What an interesting, informative article. Never knew there are roughly 350,000 Irish living in Argentina. Will check some of those other towns out on the web.

Thanks again.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 8
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 2:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gayle

That's great. I notice the fitzsimons site doesn't access if you click on it. Sorry about that. But hope you like it.

Best to you, your husband and family.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 9
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 2:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gayle

Seems our messages crossed in the posting.
Glad you like the fitzsimons site. It's interesting to see the Irish input in Argentina (also Chile).

All the best.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 89
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 3:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One option for meeting people is to enroll in ICQ. ICQ is an online chat system...like AIM or MSN Messenger, etc. It appears to be a service that is widely used internationally. I met a number of people over the years all over the world through ICQ. What is nice about it is you can enter parameters to search with. Who do you want to speak with...what country, city, gender, age, interests (and the list is exhaustive)..languages spoken, etc. You would be surprised how many people show up on your hit list. Then you send them an invitation to add you to their list. You get a paragraph to describe yourself and what you want. You can explain your thinking of relocating to Bahia Blanca...etc.etc. I have met some wonderful people who were very helpful in my travels and some I met and formed friendships with in person. It takes a bit of work..people are suspicious...but if you keep at it you will make a few friends. Argentines who speak english like to practice it and the fact you are interested in their country is a plus. Nothing gets an Argentine happier than praising their country and people...they have a bit of an inferiority complex.

One other point about luggage. If you fly into the country on Aerolineas Argentinas to BA...then go to the domestic airport to fly to Bahia Blanca on Aerolineas...you are not charged excess luggage weight charges on your bags. You still have to pay for additional pieces. The international limit is higher than the domestic weight limit. So if you fly in on American for example with a 50 pound bag...the domestic limit is like 30...I forget the exact weights...in any case you would have to pay an extra charge on the extra 20 pounds..that is waived if you go Aerolineas all the way to Bahia.

THe other option is to take a bus to Bahia. They just finished a nice new bus station on the edge of town. You fly into BA and go to Retiro and take a bus...8 hours more or less. Very comfortable. They do not charge for bags up to a point...then you ship the rest as freight and it is very cheap.

There are indeed Irish in Argentina...and Welsh. Italian of course was the biggest immigrant group by far and roughly 50% of all Argentines are of Italian descent followed by Spanish second.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 12
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 4:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,

There are also a large German community in Villa General Belgrano. Also a lot of Russian people but the are mainly in Bs As.I did not know there are so many Irish people in Argentina. That is very interesting.

Good luck with all your plans :-)

Nelieta
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 140
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 4:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great advice Bill. What is a amazing is the size of the BA province. 8 hours from Buenos Aires to Bahia! It's that tail on the province that reaches so far south. That's why I call Bahia the gateway to Argentinian Patagonia. I'm sure the people in BA city would not agree their province extends beyond city limits.
Argentine Spanish sounds like Spanish spoken with an Italian accent but has anyone ever been able to figure out what language they speak in Chili-Just kidding.
Seriously, anyone who has traveled widely and lived in many parts of the world knows that culture varies as widely within countries as much or more than between countries. The Bavarians think less of the "Saupreissen" from Berlin than they do of the French and the Flemish and French speakers of tiny Belgium just as well may be from different planets. In the Netherlands you can't call the people in the far North or South "Hollanders". They'll correct you if you refer to Nederland as Holland. So it is with Argentina.
As for customs in any country, how they treat you depends on whether they're having a bad hair day or-as once happened to me-you have the same name as their ex.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 90
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 5:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have been to Villa General Belgrano but not at October fest. I was there in the summer. A lot of alpine influence on the houses and shops. As I understand it a lot of the sailors from WWII german pocket battleship the Graf Spee settled there. In some shops there are old black and white photos of the sailors. We ate in a german restaurant in town and it was very good. Their octorber fest is wild based on what I have seen on youtube. I really want to get there for one if I move to Argentina for any extended period. I know there are Irish pubs in BA and one in Mar del Plata. Of course running or owning an Irish pub doesn't mean you are Irish but since Argentina is such a magnet for expats I am sure there is a decent sized community somewhere.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 13
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 5:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Bill,

The Oktoberfest in VGB is fantastic. We live in the town next door and I have attended it the last 3 years. It is not like the original Oktoberfest in Munich but the German people here like to keep their tradition. I admire and respect people who do that. It is important to keep your roots alive when you are a foreigner in a new country. You are quite right about the information. Most of the Pine woods that have been planted here were done by the first German and Swiss settlers.They are now protected forrests,

I am glad to hear you have enjoyed VGB. The food off course is fantastic.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 10
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 8:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks everyone

Interesting about that website, Bill, and the info on domestic flights on AA. Very useful.

I'd perhaps like to visit that German town, named after the famous General. Hope the Russians that have come to BA are not like the mafia gangsters that have infected many other cities in the world. London and especially New York are full of these undesirables that have well and truly worn out their welcome in Russia. Have also met very decent ordinary type Russians in NZ and the USA, so hope the ones coming to BA are similar. I do sense, though, that the mafia in Russia is under notice to quit. It's not good news for the rest of the world.

Right what you say, Robert, about internal differences in countries. I'm familiar with some of those you cite. Europe is especially like this, and of course India. But it holds together despite having multitudes of different languages and religions. I saw on a website in the last few days that Buenos Aires Province is roughly equal in size to France, and France is a fairly large country at least by European standards.

All the very best to everyone.
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
(in case I don't log in here before then)
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 14
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 6:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Patrick,

I had to laugh at your comment about the Russian infiltration. My husband is Russian and I can guarantee you he is not a Mafia member nor have I met any other Russians in the world that had any connections to the mafia :-) My husband has been living in Argentina for 11 years now and he's been accepted by everyone with any prejudice :-)

Kind regards
Nelieta
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 91
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you want to get a start on your Argentine Spanish that is a new television station that is available online TN 24 Horas. They are essentially a 24 hour news channel with some specials on the weekends. That one is free.

JumpTV has one for 10 dollars a month. It is Telefe International. I subscribe to it for my wife and it is a mix of Argentine TV. News shows of course, but Susana, soap operas, game shows, music, movies, etc. I watch it now and then and more frequently when we are planning a trip back to Argentina.

I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and 2 in college but that was 40+ years ago. However, I found the longer I stayed in Argentina...especially a few times when my wife had to return to the US early over the holidays (She is a teacher and had to be back after a week...and I stayed behind for a few more) when you are by yourself and don't have a translator around how quickly your Spanish improves. The Sink or Swim school. I turn 62 in August and that means free tuition at state universities (in Connecticut). I plan to go to the local teachers college and take a couple of academic course in Spanish again to refresh the basics and hopefully be able to speak better next trip. I tried the CDs...I fall asleep and I took the conversational spanish courses at the high school and junior college but my level was much higher than that to begin with. I am thinking a course where I have to relearn the grammar and genders and other rules is a fresh start.

I am so excited you are researching this. My original plan was to retire at 62 and live for 2 years in Bahia with my wife and son. She would take a sabatical from school and my son is 3 so school is not an immediate problem...he could go to nursery school and kindergarten in Argentina. However, the economy is worrying me. Even public education is under fire and it is not safe for her to leave a teaching job because it will not be there when she gets back...and while I will get a pension and social security I still think we are in for a period of inflation...bad inflation. I work for a christian non-profit that is actually doing very well so my job is safe. So time will tell whether I wind up in Bahia or not.
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 141
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 11:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

http://www.clarin.com/politica/Inflacion-Argentina-quedo-peores-mundo_0_392960788.html

As had been mentioned Argentina has one of the worst inflation rates in the world (see link from today's Clarin). That means that the dollar-peso exchange rate cannot be equitable. The dollar's true worth is higher than the official 4 to 1, or so. If you have access to hard currency you can bargain well in Bahia or elsewhere.
As for Buenos Aires, c'mon, does one really have to use the bridge to Uruguay. Montevideo is a good place to shop.

(Message edited by admin on December 19, 2010)
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 142
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 2:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert, Buenos Aires borders the world's largest estuary on one of the world's largest rivers it has extensive sea access and a major world port. The closest customs gets to most imported goods is a peak at the bill of lading-if that. This is a hint.
If you you're going to buy chic American like Nike or Levi you're going to pay big. but the Chinese outlets have off brands made in the same place as your Nikes and Levis-Asia.
Try finding an "importer" that brings goods in by sea container. Always avoid any shipment by air and post. This is universally true.
Also, somne have suggested knowledge of Spanish is not necessary in BA because many natives speak English. This English everywhere theory is absolutely fatal. Yes! Spanish is necessary in a Spanish speaking country! You couldn't get a job in El Paso Texas without being able to speak Spanish and it is pretty important in Miami. I know you speak it and possibly realize what a handicap it is not to be able to. The ingienous of South America suffer devasting poverty partly because many do not speak Spanish. It really is very, very important.
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Patrick John Doran
New member
Username: Patricio

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 4:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Nelieta

I'm so sorry to have put my foot in it about your husband, and please apologise to him also. I often write things in a hurry and they don't turn out the way I mean. Russia is a great nation, badly treated by communism, perhaps.

The ones I tried to refer to are the super-rich "oligarchs" that buy up football clubs in London, and buildings in New York. They have left Russia, perhaps under pressure, and their vast ill-gotten gains have bought them their way into other places. Many travel around with armed bodyguards etc.

So sorry, no offence ever intended to such as your husband and others like him that I have enjoyed meeting.
With Best Wishes
Patrick.
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Nelieta Mishchenko
New member
Username: Tinktinkie

Post Number: 15
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 4:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Patrick,

Apology accepted and no hard feelings. If you do decide to visit Villa General Belgrano send me an email and maybe we could show you some Russian/South African hospitality :-) We are 12 kms from VGB.

Kind regards
Nelieta
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Tom
Senior Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 553
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 3:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

English is the world language of business, a simple fact.
It is the second most spoken language in the world behind Mandarin Chineese.
It ranges from England to the US to South Africa to the Phillipines to Australia to India etc.
It is studied throught Argentina.
While in Korea I worked part time as an English teacher.
In Argentina it was not difficult to find an Argentine who speakes it and seemed always to want to carry on conversations with me in English. I taught it there also.

Bahia Blanca, from what I remember, is a nice place to visit.

bottom line, I love Argentina. It has been a little over 4 years since I was last there but I have no qualms about going there again.
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Tom
Senior Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 554
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 3:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert. Good observation on the Spanish being spoken with an Italian accent. I would say Spanish spoken with a lot of Italian dialect.

When I was in Bahia Blanca a few years back I visited the immigration office. From what I read there it seems there are more Argentines with Italian ancestry then there are of Spanish descent. So, naturally there would be a lot of Italian mixed with the Argentine Spanish language.
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Carlos Gelbart
Junior Member
Username: Buellwinkle

Post Number: 31
Registered: 1-2010
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 3:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Certainly more Italian food than Spanish food.
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Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 92
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 5:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If I recall correctly, under Menem, public schools were required to teach 4 hours of English each week in all grades. I thought it was something like that. English "academies" for the teaching of the language exist all over the country. Indeed one is probably responsible for me meeting my Argentine wife. Her parents sent her to a private academy to learn English which she did very well. She then went to the John 23rd College in Bahia Blanca to learn the teaching of english and she worked in public and private schools for a while before we met. While I speak poor to fair spanish ...we really wouldn't have met and our relationship wouldnt have developed if she didnt speak great English...so hurray for the English academies.

I find many Argentines know some english and would love to try it but they are embarassed or shy to start. So I plunge ahead with my awful Spanish and after 60 seconds of tortue they often start speaking english that often is much better than my spanish.

I was shopping in a store in Mar del Plata one day and I could not understand the shopkeeper...he called to the back and a pretty young girl came out and answered my questions in English. I said..wow...you must have spent some time in the USA. Her english was perfect...with the teenage idiom and everything..slight accent. No she says...she never was out of Argentina...she watches US TV and had good English teachers..no kidding.

Gotta love Argentina....
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Carlos Gelbart
Junior Member
Username: Buellwinkle

Post Number: 32
Registered: 1-2010
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 5:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I hear ya. It's pathetic in the U.S., especially So Cal where you have so many Mexicans, spanish is taught in the schools, there are probaby more spanish speaking TV station than english ones (by antenna), yet very few kids really learn spanish.

My kid used Rosetta Stone, latin spanish, levels 1, 2 & 3, spent a month in Argentina and she now knows the word for horse in spanish, that means she doubled her language skills in just a few months (previously she knew how to say hello). Pretty good, huh!

It seems that more people speak english in other countries than Americans speak any other language.
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Gayle
Member
Username: Flaka

Post Number: 84
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 7:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is shameful but true that few Americans speak another language. It doesn't say much about our education system in the US does it?
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 149
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 - 8:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bill When I am is a Spanish speaking nation then I insist on speaking Spanish-as bad as that may be. If the native speaker wishes to speak English I tell him to go to England. Not polite? Who cares. I want to improve my Spanish and if a given native speaker won't help me he can well go talk to somebody else. I am a guest in his country and he better treat me as one.
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 153
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, December 31, 2010 - 5:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For any serious student of the language or fluent speakers who want to improve their vocabulary I highly recommend this site to the point it is essential.

http://www.publico.es/

When you bring up the site of this Spanish newspaper double left click on any text outside of the links. You will get a complete dictionary definition of this word from Spain's largest and most complete dictionary-including etymology. The definitions are in Spanish so this is not for the absolute beginner.

Remember if a student from Argentina spent the money and time to come to the US to learn English, you or I would help that person learn English. If you go to Argentina to learn Spanish it would be rude of any Argentinian not to help you.

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