The most authoritative source of news and intuition-based reporting for the Buenos Aires Expat Community.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pickle-Brine Colonic: Boost Your Immune System

A spa in Recoleta, BellaCuerpo, has developed a new treatment for those who are worried about contracting swine flu: The pickle-brine colonic. It's advertised as a sure-fire way to boost your immune system and leaving you refreshed. Ada Martinez, the spa's owner, says the cure has been a family remedy for ages, and she decided to share the secret with the rest of the world.
"My great-grandmother discovered the treatment when she had to store her pickle brine in an enema bag my uncle used it accidentally. We've been using it in my family for ages, and I recently introduced it in the spa. Clients love it."
Ada claims that the special colon cleanse not only increases your chances of battling the flu, but also has helped several members of her family overcome their alcohol addictions. Clients of the spa who have tried it say it leaves them feeling refreshed and energetic. What's more, some clients report a pleasant after-effect of flatulence that smells like dill. The treatment costs $75 pesos and takes about half an hour.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Children's Book Celebrates the Joys of Protesting

Bang That Pot, Baby! is a new picture book by Felicity Summers celebrating the group ritual of freedom of expression. Summers, an American living in Buenos Aires with her family for the last three years, has been struck both by the strong sense of family in South America, and the strong desire for expression. Protests are common in Buenos Aires, with residents taking to the streets in large numbers, banging pots and pans in support of their favorite cause.

"There is no reason why a protest should not be a family affair," says Summers. "Even if the children are not old enough to understand the cause, they understand solidarity. When I protested against Bush in the U.S., we had a neighborhood party, with all the children coloring in the signs. It's a fun way for them to participate in democracy. It's never too young to learn to speak out."

Bang That Pot, Baby! celebrates the fun of protesting South American Style with her own photographs, and whimsical rhymes:

I bang them in the house,
I bang them in the street,
It's a happy party
With everyone I meet!

I bang them in the yard,
I bang them on TV!
On the boulevard,
Hey, Mommy, look at me!

I bang them for a cause,
I wave my little sticks,
Even though I'm young,
I'm learning politics!
Bang That Pot, Baby! is available on

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ask Southpat: Is My Argentine Girlfriend Only After My Money?

Dear Southpat:

I have been dating an Argentine girl for about three months now. She is beautiful and fun to be with. I'm beginning to worry, however, that she's only after my money. Should I be worried that I'm dating a gold-digger?



Dear Joe:

Of course she's after after your money. Who cares? It doesn't mean she doesn't love you. You're not settling for a horse-face, don't hold it against her for not settling for a broke loser.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a better standard of living, and there is nothing wrong with an Argentine trophy wife. They're all the rage. Ask Matt Damon or Robert Duvall. You bring home the bacon, and she cooks it up in a thong. It's a win-win.


Southpat Sue

Please Welcome Zeke to the BAB!

Dear readers,

Your humble editor is happy to announce a new addition to the BAB: Zeke Zimmerman. Zeke has worked for years in a prestigious Wall Street firm, and travels between Buenos Aires and New York regularly. He has an instinct for finance and a fabulous eye for fashion, so look for some posts on Money and Style from him. His first post is below.

Finance: Three Places to Put Your Cash

Many expats move to South America with the goal of leveraging the currency exchange between countries and living either partially or completely off of their savings, trying to stretch it as far as it will go. The recent economic crisis has complicated those who hold U.S. dollars in cash, because interest rates are low, and fear of inflation is in the air. Gold is the traditional vehicle of choice for crisis situations, but the price of gold has already risen so far, many are wondering if there are other choices to consider.

After some in-depth intuition-based financial analysis, I have come up with three investment choices to think about that hold mid-range promise:

Plutonium. Plutonium has fallen since its high in 1985, after the release of Back to The Future spurned a rally. With countries like North Korea and Iran looking to expand their nuclear capabilities, the demand for Plutonium will rise through the next decade.

Rhinestones. Rhinestone reserves have held steady over the past three decades, but the popularity of the bedazzler has created an uptick in demand. As the bedazzler hits the Asian and South American markets, rhinestone prices should rise and remain steady for at least five years.

Wax. Although wax has become increasingly popular since the 90's, it's price should remain steady for the near term, since body hair is nowhere near coming back. I have had my eye on the adult film industry for years, and hair is still out. This means wax is in. Look to large bee farms especially, as the popularity of organic wax will rise with the green movement.

Talk to your financial advisor about index funds that contain these commodities to round out your portfolio and hedge against inflation. Fidelity is starting a rhinestone fund and a wax fund, for example, that seek to balance risk by investing in a variety of companies in the industry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Q & A :The Art Scene

Here is a recent question from the BANewcomers mailing list. I thought I would share it with you, dear readers, since many of you might have the same question.

Are there a lot of expat writers and artists in BA?
Is it anything like Paris was several decades ago? Or New York in the 60s/70s?
I'm talking about the real thing, not people who sort of say they are just to seem cooler

If so, what's the community like and where do they hang out?
Yes! Buenos Aires has a thriving artistic scene! We expat writers and artists (the real ones) hang out at the "Moveable Feast" cafe, smoking cigarettes and clicking our fingers at poetry readings.

It is just like Paris or New York of the past, except the women shave their armpits.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Most Expat Stories Not Original Enough to Be Published Anymore

Moved abroad? Want to creatively cash in on your experience? Well, if you are thinking of turning your long, meandering blog posts on tango or mate into a book, think again; the "I'm Special Because I Moved Abroad and You Can Be Special Too If You Read This Book" genre is over-saturated. I interviewed Karen Rightwell, publisher at Bibliophile Publishing Group, Inc.

Rightwell: Travel writing has been popular as far back as the book of Exodus, but the world is extremely small these days. It takes a lot more than parting the red sea to have a compelling travel story. We knew that Buenos Aires had jumped the shark when Matt Lauer highlighted it as a destination on the Today show. We are swamped with query letters from South America and Thailand, especially.

So what is Bibliophile looking for?

Rightwell: Everyone's experience is unique, of course, but people want to read something extreme. Someone who has started his own nation-state, for example, or perhaps a family who has spent the last decade living in a submarine. Those would have real market potential.

Can you offer any tips to those that have an idea?

Rightwell: If you think you have a book idea that will sell, make it stand out from the others. You can write your query letter in all capital letters, or write it as a conversation between Hello Kitty and My Melody. Taking out all punctuation makes us have to slow down, so we spend more time considering the idea.

If you have the next great expat book idea, you can email query letters to

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BAB News: Get Ready for a New Look to Our Site!

Our most awesome web master has informed us that within a week, we will have a completely redesigned site with Flash, animation, and tango music that you can't turn off. We might also have Second Life integration as well! So don't be confused when you see BAB 2.0..... It's still the same authoritative source of news for the Expat Community in Buenos Aires!

Chavez Bans the Color Yellow

Add another thing to the list of banned items in Venezuela. Coke Zero is was already banned for "health" reasons, now the color yellow is seen as a sign of anti-government subversiveness. Besides, Chavez has stated, it makes people look washed-out and weak, which is not the image he wants for his people.

The country will be given one month to get rid of all its yellow clothing and paint houses a different color. Huge vats of red dye have been placed in "color treatment" centers around the country where citizens can dye their clothes and pick up cans of red paint.

Foreigners planning to travel to the country are warned to leave behind any yellow clothing. Those found wearing the offending color after the deadline will be questioned by authorities about their loyalties and imprisoned.

First Expat Intramural Softball Game Cancelled

The first expat intramural softball game between the City-Slickers (oil company employees and spouses) and the TOEFL-Tuffies (English teachers), has been canceled because the City-Slickers star pitcher has had some complications from a recent "procedure" and won't be able to play for another week.

This is disappointing, because it was going to be a good match-up. The league is still deciding whether there will be a re-match, or whether the inability of City-Slickers to play counts as a forfeit. "We don't really want to win by forfeit," commented an unnamed Tuffie. "But personally, it's probably a good thing, because a lot of us were at the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl last night."

Stay tuned for the match-up between Team Tango and Web Warriors.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AR Customs Tries to Tax Del Potro's Trophy

Juan Martin Del Potro, 2009 men's winner of the U.S. Open was miffed early this morning when Argentine Customs officials stopped him at Ezeiza International Airport and tried to levy a tax on his newly won trophy. According to customs rules, Argentine citizens need to claim and pay taxes on any items over US$300 that they bring back from the United States. After a lengthy negotiation with the authorities, they waived the fine, finally acknowledging that his trophy qualifies under a little known "National Hero Exemption."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Buenos Aires Best City for Under-Performing Americans

Americans used to move to Buenos Aires because they wanted to study Spanish or Tango. Increasingly, they are moving because they are being pushed out of the job market by companies who are cutting loose the bottom ten or twenty percent. Silicon Valley Insider recently found that Buenos Aires is the best destination for under-performing Americans to become somebody.

Due to the more relaxed work ethic, low performers fit right into the "Mañana Mañana" culture, and workers' rights protect them from being laid off. Recent college graduate Mark Loafer explained, "I was tired of competing with over-achieving Asian students. When we go up for the same job, I have no chance. But here in Buenos Aires, I don't have to sleep under my desk to get ahead at work. Skipping an occasional lunch sets the bar higher for everyone else."

Easy street may not last forever, though. Increasingly, German and Swiss college graduates are also discovering the city and will soon make things difficult for their less anal-retentive counterparts.

Your Humble Editor Already Dissed by Prestigious Member of Expat Community!

Dear Readers,

I try my best to reach out to fellow expats in order to inform and enlighten. However, it appears that some members of our community are still in the dark. Here is a reply I had from prestigious member of our community to my Facebook request for friendship:

most authoritative source of news - isn't this a little strong? How come you have no information about yourself on your blog or Facebook? If you believe so strongly in yourself then why not tell us who you are?

She obviously hasn't READ THE BLOG YET because she could see that my awesome editorial staff has come up with some fascinating stories, like the tampon store and C. Kirchner's never before mentioned affair with John Lennon. Here was my response:


No, I don't think "authoritative" is too strong at all. Maybe it's not strong enough. Although there is not a lot of content yet, I believe my blog will be the best darn expat blog in the world, serving up nuggets of enlightenment dug up by hard-hitting investigative journalism and intuition-based reporting.

But judge for yourself.

I have filled in some more personal information in my Facebook profile. Thank you for suggesting it.

-Southpat Sue

Her reply:

I have had my blog for almost 4 years. It is syndicated on Globalpost and at times Huffington, New York Times, CNN, La Nacion, Clarin. I can tell you that what makes a blog great is the writing. I think a blog stands for itself. You can say what you want about yourself, but the content is what moves people. Whatever... Why stay anonymous if you believe so much in what you are writing? I believe only those who are ashamed to be known write anonymously. My opinion. Good luck.

Wow. NYT, CNN, and The Huf. Congratulations. However, The B.A.B. does not set it's ideal as being a sweetheart of mainstream media. I still don't think she has read the blog or looked at my Facebook profile, because she would ascertain from my interests in Argentine mime and mate colonics that I am passionate about this city.

Oh, well. I can't enlighten everyone at once.

-Southpat Sue

P.S. I'm not anonymous. I have a name. It's Southpat Sue. If I were anonymous, I would sign my posts "Anonymous."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Study Finds American Women in 50's Have Better Chance of Getting Struck By Lightning Than finding Love in Buenos Aires

A new study, published today by the organization for fairness in intuition-based reporting, has found that American women in their 50's have a 1 in 700,025 chance of finding lasting love in Buenos Aires: slightly less than getting hit by lightning.

While American women in their twenties have a 50/50 chance, odds of finding Mr. Right drop precipitously in inverse proportion to their age.

"This has a lot to do with the differences between cultures," says Rhonda Schirmer, a sociologist who practices in the Argentine capital. "American women have a trust-based relationship paradigm. Women in their twenties who move here are able to shift that paradigm, but after age 50, it's much harder to do so. In Argentina, love and trust are not mutually exclusive."

But not all hope is lost. Brenda Baker, a 52-year-old writer and tango dancer, has fought the odds to find love with her new Argentine boyfriend, Augustine. "A lot of people warned me against dating Argentine men," explains Baker, "but sometimes it pays not to listen to advice. I found the man of my dreams in Arentina." Baker says that Augustine has plans to help her open her own tango studio once his divorce is final.

Is love possible in Argentina? Yes, but grab it while you can, says Schirmer. Life is too short to tango alone.

Floor of Area Quatro Paved With Gold

Another in a long line of expat start-ups, Area Quatro has paved its floors with gold. Why, you ask? Because it's a symbol of the Midas Touch that foreigners have starting businesses in the Silicon Valley of the South. CNN has recently just written an article about the roaring success of such small start-ups, and eyes all over the world are turning south for new opportunities in this difficult world recession. But is paving a floor with gold going too far?

"I wanted a symbol of success," says founder Marcus Fineman. "Gold symbolizes wealth. And besides, if the business fails, I have a hedge against inflation."

Although the offices are 75% complete, Fineman says he is still not sure what his business plan will turn out to be. "I want to be flexible. There are so many different opportunities. We are thinking that we will be a combination bar/tanning salon, but I'm also very bullish on the long-term real estate market, so we might have separate offices for that."

If you visit Area Quatro, be sure to wear your sunglasses. The future is bright.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Drinking Conservatively" Cancelled Until Further Notice

Drinking Conservatively, the weekly social meeting sponsored by Republicans Overseas, has been canceled until further notice. Faith Fairchild, president of the organization said that it hadn't gotten the turnout she expected.

"Of course I'm disappointed," she commented. "I had hoped to build a community of like minded expatriates. But I think I'm either the only conservative expat in Buenos Aires, or the only expat who drinks conservatively."

Fairchild has several cases of Asti Spumante available for sale. Email if interested.

New Tampon Store Opens in Buenos Aires!

A tampon store has opened up a new store in Barrio Norte to fill a niche market. "There is really a lack of tampons here, and I have no idea why," said Tanya, the proprietor of Women's World. "Stores carry them, but like only one brand, and it is almost like a black market for expat women. I thought I would turn the black market into a pink one."

So far Tanya's business is doing well, although it gets some strange looks from locals; most of the business is expats. Vagina-based businesses are an emerging market in third world countries, where traditional male-centric societies haven't opened their eyes to the needs of women. Tanya also sells disposable douche, feminine spray, and concentrated cranberry tablets-- a well-known remedy for bladder infections. They are looking to possibly expand into the vibrator market early 2010.

Letter From The Editor: Welcome to the Newest and Best Expat News Source in the World!

Thank you Mrs. Kirchner, for presenting us with the motivation for starting a new blog. In proposing to decriminalize libel, you have asserted Argentina as a country that not only affirms the rights of its residents to free speech, but the right of every Porteño to create his own reality.

"I prefer a billion lies to shutting someone's mouth," Fernandez said in an address to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.
You go, girl!

In this spirit, we hope that The Buenos Aires Blog may serve as a source of information and enlightenment for all English speaking residents of Argentina's great city.

(Above is a picture of Mrs. Kirchner in her lesser-known hippie days, before she started practicing law. We have been told by unnamed sources that she adopted this look after meeting John Lenon in one of his rare trips to South America. After a short love affair with Lenon went sour, she dropped the "flower girl" persona for her "Gucci girl" image we all know and love.)