So, we left our jobs on Feb 26th, got married on 3/4 and arrived here in Buenos Aires on 3/12. All in all we’ve been on this adventure for a little over 2 months now, so I thought it would be a good time to take a step back and make some observations…
- While at first it was weird to not be on-call all the time and we often woke up instinctively reaching for our Blackberries, we have now gone 2 full months without even carrying cell phones with us. It’s pretty awesome. You should try it.
- Trying to explain what it was we used to do for work to locals down here gives a whole new sense of perspective on just how atypical our daily lives used to be–No one here can even imagine why anyone, anywhere would work the kind of hours we worked. From the outside of an MBA-type/consulting peer group, it seems at least 100x crazier than it did while we were doing it.
- We witnessed some of our Spanish teachers get into a debate about which was the proper verb to use in a particular situation and comically remembered how we use to hang out with our friends and talk about work type stuff all the time–the exciting thing is that it took awhile to remember what kind of stuff we talked about (something about market sizes or profit modelling I think)
- Down arrow: It is fair to say that we do not miss consulting at the moment.
…On Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires is an unbelievably beautiful city and very easy to live in; we like it very much…
- …though it’s not perfect: e.g., it would be nice if it was safer to walk around at night; it would be nice if the police were trustworthy; it would be nice if there were more diversified food options…
- …but, all that said, for a large foreign city it is amazingly easy to feel integrated–it helps that we largely look similar to the locals–and has a fantastic energy and general friendly vibe to it. Also, it’s remarkably inexpensive all-in-all (especially for food, wine and rent)
- In general, the people here seem very friendly and welcoming–though we were a bit naive in our hope to immediately have local friends; given our limited Spanish speaking abilities and the uncertainty in how long we’ll be here, I certainly wouldn’t want to be my friend.
- As I said, we like it here. Some days we love it here, some days we’re less enthusiastic and eager to try out other Latin American cities for awhile, but we’ve consistently heard from folks that are more widely traveled down here that BsAs is THE place to be, so we’ll see.
…On Learning Spanish
- Learning Spanish is hard.
- Sometimes it is hard but fun and sometimes it is hard and very frustrating. Always, it is hard.
- Every time you think you are getting a handle on it, there is some new concept/tense/structure/etc. that throws you for a loop and makes you lose confidence in everything you thought you knew
- It’s much easier to understand than to speak
- We’ve both made tremendous progress, but there is still a long road and lots of time/effort to achieve anything close to fluency
- Or, maybe one day we’ll wake up and be able to speak perfectly. We’re hoping this happens.
- One way or another, our goal is still to be able to make local friends and not be annoying to hang out with. Seems reasonable right?
…On the Spanish Language itself
- I don’t understand why words need genders
- I especially don’t understand why the words for Dresses and Bras are both masculine
- I find it entertaining that the spanish word for wife is “esposa” and the word for handcuffs is “esposas”
…On what we’ll do next
- A very difficult thing to figure out; we are going to explore Argentina a bit more (headed to Salta tomorrow on a 20 hour bus ride!) and in the very near future we need to decide whether or not to extend our lease here.
- Also, need to figure out roughly how long this rehab is going to last. Should we go back in August? December? Should we get jobs down here and stay for awhile? Don’t know. Suggestions?
- It’s awesome to be here; if any of you reading this are even mildly contemplating doing something like this, stop contemplating and just do it–it’s hard to imagine a more rewarding experience.