I'd like to move to Buenos Aires for about a year. What should I know before moving there?
I'm the guy that asked this question
. Basically, I'm a software engineer who would like to move to another country for a year or so, where I can live economically off my savings, improve my programming skills, and start a number of web/software projects that will hopefully be the Next Big Thing. I've been told that Buenos Aires is awesome, and would be interested in any information about what my life would be like there.
Some of the things I'm curious about :
1) General lifestyle. What will my life be like there? What should I know about BA before deciding to live there?
2) Working/Living. How would I find a rental apartment there? Is there a BA-equivalent of Craigslist? I'd also need a place to do my work. Technically, all I'd need is a reliable internet connection and a place to park a laptop, so I could probably do this wherever I'm crashing. But I know that in some larger US cities, there are places where you can temporarily rent office/cube space. Anyplace like this in BA?
3) Visa. I know there's a 90-day tourist visa, but I'm thinking I'd like to stay for 6 months to a year. How hard is it to do the "leave-and-come-back" visa extension? What are the chances they'd deny me return entry, separating me from whatever belongings I left at my rental? What about a student visa? How difficult would it be to obtain one if I'm only interested in taking a couple classes per semester?
4) Expat community. Any good places to meet fellow English-speaking expats? Particularly tech entrepreneurs?
5) Jewish community. I'm a (non-practicing, Ashkenazi) Jew. I've heard that BA has the largest Jewish community in South America. Would they be open/accepting towards me? Or would they shun me because I'm Ashkenazi and non-practicing? I would be open to going to synagogue and becoming more observant. Even though I'm Atheist, I love the Jewish culture and wouldn't mind rediscovering my roots.
6) Tech/startup scene. Is there one? Would they accept an ambitious American software engineer into their social circles? Would mostly be interested in networking/idea exchange, but would also be open to collaborating on projects.
7) Crime/Personal safety. I'm not really concerned about mugging/scams. I've lived in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the US, and have the requisite set of street-smarts. Am mostly concerned about "Express Kidnappings" and things of that nature, where they abduct you, force you to empty your bank account, force you to beg your loved ones for money, beat the crap out of you, and sometimes kill you. If they find that I only have a few hundred in the bank (because most of my money is in a different account) and don't really have any loved ones to call, will they kill me? Are they savy enough to try and make me log into my internet banking accounts? How prevalent is this type of crime, really? Any statistics? How best to mitigate this risk? I know of some countermeasures -- don't look like you're wealthy, only carry your ATM card when you're making a withdrawal, only use ATMs in safe places, don't take a cab after withdrawing money, only use "radio cabs", don't keep all your money in one account, etc -- any other advice for avoiding this horrible fate?
8) Social life. What are some good ways for a recent American expat to meet people and socialize in BA? I'll be taking Spanish lessons before moving there, and will be interested in continuing lessons once I get there. Likewise, I'm also taking some Tango lessons now, because Tango is awesome!
9) Dating/relationships. This isn't the main focus for my trip, but I'm not closed off to the idea of meeting someone there. What's the dating/courtship scene like there? Is it a very religious city? Do people date/hook up like they do in big US cities? Do they use online dating sites?
10) In general, reasons why I ABSOLUTELY MUST MOVE TO BA. Feel free to be enthusiastic!
11) In general, reasons why I SHOULD NEVER MOVE TO BA, FOR ANY REASON, EVER. Don't be afraid to be a buzzkill. I want the raw, unvarnished truth.
12) What are the best books, websites, blogs, and forums for finding out more about what it's like to live in BA?
These are just some questions that popped into my head. Please don't feel like you need to stick to these closely. I appreciate any advice, information, resources, or stories that you have to offer.