Joined: 29 Jun 2012
|Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:30 pm Post subject: My thoughts on Buenos Aires so far...
|A little background. I heard a lot of negative things about living in the Czech Republic on this website, and when I went there to live for 2 years, I discovered they were almost entirely false. Prague was wonderful, contrary to what a lot of people told me here. It seems to me that these forums generally have a sort of negative attitude in general, and a lot of the "Job Discussion Forums" are really just people complaining. With this in mind, I read about a lot of negative things about Buenos Aires, and decided to go there anyway.
It turns out I should have believed the boy who cried wolf, this time. I've only been here two weeks, but I am already scrambling to figure out how to go live somewhere else. Buenos Aires is bizzarely, inexplicably expensive, with food, housing, drinking/partying, and dining out all being as pricey as the US or Prague, or even higher. All with all of these things being much, much lower quality. Housing is very difficult to figure out here because of a complex system requiring long-term leases and gaurenteers being the norm, and even the cheapest places I've found cost about 80% of what I would expect to make in month after contacting several schools. Those places could best be described as "third world" (non-working refrigerators, cockroaches, huge cracks in the wall, exposed electrical wiring that seems rather dangerous, etc.) Pay is depressingly low here, with most schools offering me between 60 and 70 pesos per hour, which considering the high cost of living here, is a joke. Also, it seems rather unsafe here. I've been repeatedly warned about huge swaths of town not to walk around in at night, how even in the daytime it might not be advisable to wear expensive-looking jewelry in certain places, to be careful of motorcycle-theives who scoot up next to side of the sidewalk and rob you and then drive away (so don't walk near the side of the sidewalk).
I'm not writing all this just to vent my frustration (although that is part of it!), but mainly for the benefit of anyone else who might be considering Buenos Aires to teach English, and who, like me, had learned to take any criticism from this website with a grain of salt. Despite the fact that nearly every place on these forums is filled with "I'd stay away from here if I were you, unless you really like a challenge or have an alternate source of income", this actually IS the case for Buenos Aires.
To sum up:
- high cost of living
- low pay
- not terribly safe
- very dirty
Right now I'm looking at Santiago, or maybe even Columbia as other places in South America which seem to offer a better cost-of-living to quality-of-life ratio.