Moving to Buenos Aires?


It seems that I have moved to Buenos Aires.

The doubts are history. I’m buying furniture for my own flat, shipping favourite objects from England, and I am on the trail of the DNI. It is completely unbelievable to me that just a year ago I was fresh out of a hostel in Palermo, could only speak castellano in the present tense, and was fighting Carlos off, because I was determined to stay single. Bloody hell!

I am now managing to speak to strangers on the telephone using the Usted form of ‘you’, and Carlos told me yesterday that he can at last see my character emerging in castellano, because I am now able to reveal my, at times, rather ‘acid’ wit (as he put it). My parents are booking their flights to come and visit me in October, and I’ve at last got some income and so can plan to see a bit more of  Argentina. Friends who I originally met here in Buenos Aires, are planning return journeys and this time I am on their agendas. They want to see me again… and I will be welcoming them back. I think they will notice the difference in me. I am relaxed, settled and am learning how to balance all the aspects of my new life.

So now that I can say that I moved here, I want to give a bit of a helping hand to folks who want to follow their dreams and move here too. I’ve added a new page to my blog:

Moving to BA?

This page is where you can find out all the essential details that I didn’t know at the time I made the decision to stay long term.

I can’t promise that this page will save you money, BUT it WILL save you time. It’ll save you most time, if you happen to be British, but I think anyone from abroad who wants to move here, will find it useful. I hope so. I have walked many miles to discover this information, made countless telephone calls, spent zillions of hours on the web. Somehow when I see it laid out on one web page it is impossible to believe the searches, the struggles, the  disappointments, the energy that went in to discovering what works and what doesn’t. And now here it is on ONE PAGE! I want life to be easier for you, and I hope this page makes it so. And the page will grow as I make more discoveries. Also it will help me, because I won’t have to answer so many questions… read all this stuff first, and then email me of course. You know I will always try to help if I can.  But please read all this stuff first!

This week I will be learning EXACTLY how to get the DNI I was promised in London: it is not as straightforward as I was led to believe. I am going to find out if it is possible to ship an ‘object of art’ (a copy of a painting) into the country AND get it through customs and into my home. I will discover if I can obtain the paperwork that I require in order to pay my share of property tax, and exactly how to pay it. Aaaah… the walking, the phone calls, the challenges never end. And that is Argentina. And yes it can be frustrating. And I love it still!

And this is why.

Last night Carlos and me woke ourselves with an alarm at 3.30am, and returned again to La Viruta. Taxis were whizzing past my door at that hour, and we got there in minutes. We arrived just in time for the Chacarera which we danced… smiling, smiling, and finally laughing as it turned into the ‘doble’ version and half the dancers were completely lost, including us. We retreated to our table, grabbed second hand as the crowds drained away, to eat our breakfast of those fluffy medialunas with the sugary coating that I never find anywhere else. As we watched the pañuelos fly, I said to Carlos that this year we absolutely MUST learn to dance Zamba together. We said hi to a few friends, and I was delighted to see someone I have not seen in months. We had our cigarette in the street outside, sneaking a few kisses to celebrate 11 months since the very first. We reminisced of our friends now back in their own countries who we have stumbled upon stealing kisses in that same street. (Gabriella darling, were your ears burning?) We danced locked together, for two hours, which felt like minutes, until the lights went off signalling the final ritual tangos. Kissing again in the darkness, I was completely at peace. There was space on the dance floor to dance eyes tight shut until the last notes of La Cumparsita slipped into the shock that is the 6am Viruta Rock and Roll. I reluctantly changed my shoes and we emerged into Saturday.

Could I live in England? Southampton, England: at times three horrendous hours in a traffic jam from London, where it would be completely and utterly pointless to set the alarm for tango at 3.30am. No I couldn’t. I do not know why this lifestyle suits me, but it does. I am not out dancing every night anymore. My daytime life is filling up and I can no longer sleep half the day. I’ve only been out at night 3 times in 3 weeks BUT, the point is I CAN, whenever I want to. That the possibility exists, that I know that I can dance, and laugh and kiss at 5am, in a place where people understand, because they are doing it too… that is a symbol of the freedom that I have craved in my life. I have it here. And I like it.

So I will continue to work out the practical steps on the path to a sustainable life in Buenos Aires. And I daresay I will be adding a few more hints and tips to my new page. I hope what I write there helps you to live your dreams too.


4 Responses

  1. Brava!! Brava!!

  2. Oh you make me miss La Viruta!

    I can’t wait to be back in a few weeks so I can live it again!

  3. Yes, my ears were burning!
    Awhile back I finally got a chance to dance the chacarera here. There were only 4 couples, at quite a big milonga, who knew it, and it brought me such joy! I’m thrilled to think of you and Carlos dancing it and also learning more of the Zamba!
    And, what a helpful thing to do by sharing all that info. about moving to Bs As. I know I’m not the only one who appreciates you sharing your struggles and triumphs with the process. Thank you!

  4. Before you ship your furniture, you need to have temporary residency. You need it in order to get a DNI. To get residency you need to have a work contract–that means find a job. Deby at tangospam can help you. She moved here from San Francisco three years ago, applied for residency which is renewed annually, and has a DNI.

    I did things differently. I brought all I needed on the plane as extra baggage. I don’t need to work, so I don’t have temporary residency. I leave the country every six months to renew the visa.

    Migraciones doesn’t make it easy for us. It takes three years to get permanent residency. I won’t be starting the process for another two years.

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