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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cien = 100

Alrighty folks, we've reached the 100th post of my little blog. I'm not afraid to admit, I wasn't sure I would have this much to say, but it turns out that living in a foreign country combined with time on my hands gives me lots of material.

For this milestone post I decided to summarize some of my likes and dislikes, a pro/con list if you will, of my first 10 months of living in Argentina. This list is by no means exhaustive, but you get the general idea.
  • The Pro: I love the change of pace that we have experienced here in Argentina. In general people are more relaxed and the overall stress level seems significantly lower. The focus is on spending meaningful time with the people you are with.
  • The Con: Time is generally of no concern. A party that starts at 9:30pm will frequently see its first guest at 10:15 without a second thought. People laugh at you if you want to go to dinner before 9:00 and if you meet someone for lunch, you better clear the rest of your day because you're not making any appointments before that evening.
  • The Pro: Argentina has opened us up to a new part of the world. We both admit to knowing very little about South America before moving here, and although we still have lots to learn, we have been able to travel and experience new things that we probably never would have done otherwise.
  • The Con: Living far from home means that we're far from family and friends and therefore miss out on events and get-togethers that we would love to be part of.
  • The Pro: The cost of living is much more affordable than we were accustomed to in DC, especially when it comes to food and wine. This is augmented by the current 4:1 peso to dollar exchange rate making it a great place for Americans to vacation.
  • The Con: Inflation and product costs are constantly fluctuating making items and prices unpredictable and consumer trust is low. There is a large percentage of people living in extreme poverty and crime is higher than it should be.
  • The Pro: Learning Spanish! Everyone says that the best way to learn a language is to live among the language - and here we are. I can't say that we're fluent (yet) but we are getting there. This has the unexpected pro of learning to laugh at yourself and the situations that this hurdle creates.
  • The Con: It is hard to live in a country where you don't know the language. Reading instructions, menus, getting directions, phone calls and everyday common tasks are many times more difficult than they should be.

Despite the inevitable cons of being a foreigner, Argentina has been very good to us. We have met great new friends, experienced amazing new things and grown as people and as a couple. We could not have asked for a better international place to live, we are able to easily keep in touch with those at home while enjoying all the benefits of living in a new, exciting place. Thanks for tuning in with us during this crazy ride and I hope you stick with us for the next 100 posts!

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