It was been way way too long since I have posted anything on the blog. Actually, so long time that it is now the last day of 2018. Oh my, how time flies! Nevertheless, it is for a good reason that I haven’t posted anything since May. I have been terribly busy here in Buenos Aires.
How have you guys out there around the world been? Please leave me a comment below to let me know how you are doing!
So, here of the last day of the year, I thought it would be in this right to start up again. And end this old year with a little sum up of what I have been up to and what’s life in Buenos Aires has been like the last 7 months.
I have collected 4 small tales with insights on what’s it is like to be living in Buenos Aires during 2018. There is both personal stories and a bit more general about what Argentina has been through this year. You simply can’t live in Argentina without been affected about what is going on in politics and economics.
I hope you will enjoy and get a little insight on life abroad in Buenos Aires.
Football and politics. World Cup and G20 in Argentina
If you are into sports, you are properly more than aware that Argentines have a huge passion for football. And if you aren’t, well, then you properly have heard something about It too.
Therefore, when it was time for World Cup in Russia, the Argentines were more than ready and with big hopes of winning the game. Shops and cafés were decorated with the Argentine colors of white and light blue. The decorations were more present and creative than the one they got for Christmas.
My joke became saying to every Argentine doubting my nationality: “I’m Danish – AND we are too in the World Cup”. Even though, I care close to nothing about sports and sport events, it was surely a way to gain respect among Argentines. Unfortunately, their hopes of winning were killed pretty soon in the Cups. Fortunately for me, Denmark and Argentina left the World Cup on the same weekend, so there was yet another spot to gain comparison.
However, it is not a joke that Argentine – and actually many other Latin American too – take their World Cup participation super serious. At the university, for example, the teacher holding the class the Saturday where the Argentine team played what was to become their last match, shorten the class to let us see the game… Too much for me!
Lately, we have had another great event affecting the everyday life of people living in Buenos Aires. In the end of November, Argentina was to officially host the G20 summit.
Everybody was holding their breath. People I attend classes with whom works at the different ministries was worried about how this event might take develop. Argentina is known for having huge demonstrations. A part from just few weeks before the G20 summit, a football match had been cancelled due to violence.
Buut; G20 went smoothly!
Thus, the whole center of Buenos Aires was shot down. For two days there were no trains, subways or busses. The city council advised people living in Buenos Aires to leave the city and go somewhere else. Fortunately, we live so far from the center that we didn’t experience any inconvenience. Well, a part from the mess my University made by cancelling the exams planned for that weekend in last minute. However, as good Argentine, they did also find a last minute solution.
My life with two Masters
Now we talk about University and exams, let’s stay with that. As I wrote long time ago, back in March I chose to start a second Master Program, so that I’m actually doing two Master Degrees at the same time. One in Business Psychology and one in Political Science.
The main reason for the silence on the blog has been exactly those two Degrees. After posting the last time in May, it was as if I was ought up in a constant whirl of exams. Starting off in beginning of June, then some in the end of August, then some in the middle of September, and now finally both Degrees ending for the summer holidays here in mid December.
However, I have been lucky that (a part from now in mid-December) the exams of the two Programs have actually been kept quiet apart, which has made it pretty manageable but busy. Very busy.
Busy – but have I regret it? Not the tinniest bit!
Even though, the Master in Political Science has been a fight and a process of adjusting to a new way of thinking. It has been so enriching been presented for so many new ways of thinking the world.
In December, the summer holidays start in Argentina, and hence, the semester at the university ends too. For me it means that I only have one last semester left of Business Psychology – and then the thesis. Here below in the photo, I’m saying good bye to two of my class mates who finished their class this semester.
Devaluation of the Argentine peso and inflation in Argentina
2018 hasn’t been a great year for Argentina. Especially not if we look at the Argentine pesos exchange rate to the American dollar.
2018 started out with an exchange rate of around 18 Argentine peso per 1 US dollar. In the first months of the year it stayed more or less around there. Until there, in May it started to climb from 20 pesos per 1 US dollar to 27 pesos per US dollar in beginning of August…
And then, it exploded! On 1st of October the reached its highest level of 41.2 pesos per 1 US dollar! From 18 pesos in the beginning of the year to 41.2, that’s a huge difference.
After October, it gradually decreased a bit ended the year at 37 pesos per 1 US dollar… But still it’s a massive difference from the beginning of the year. Check it out for yourself with this graph here.
But what does this actually mean? First of all, it means that when you travel to Argentina or live in Argentina but with money in foreign currency, your money will be worth a lot more! But can buy more stuff for a lower price – not bad for us!.
For Argentines and Argentine businesses, it means that products from abroad becomes more expensive. Especially, businesses relying on foreign products for their production or those who imports from abroad to sell in Argentine. They will have rise the prices of their products.
Rises in prices are reflexed in the inflation, and Argentina has for years been fighting with one of the higheste inflation rates in the world. It highly affect people here because their salaries normally don’t increase at the same speed as the inflation.
Gata and life with a pet
Back in January, I told you the story of how we had adopted a little female cat from the street in front of our building block.
I had named her Gata. Gata meaning female cat in Spanish, which is kind of a strange name but she doesn’t seem to mind at all.
Status is: Gata is still living with us, and she is happy and a lot more confident in the house. She loves sitting on my papers (strange cat?) and fights her little white toy mouse.
However, she never goes further away then our balcony. Actually, she hated me for an hour when I took her to the new terrace we made on the roof.
Oh, and she loves tuna! So, if you want to befriend her, remember to bring some tuna!
It has soon been two and a half year since I moved to Buenos Aires. As any city it has its ups and downs living there. Public transportation can be a night mare, but the streets covered with lusty trees and the European-styled architecture are amazing.
I’m hoping to be able to write more here on the blog in 2019, thus, next year seems to be as busy as the last one.
Stay turned, and please let me know in the comments if there is anything about living in Buenos Aires that you would like to know more about!