Suitcase on wheels     stuck in the snow   sniffer dog

Thursday, April 26, 2007

89. Last days in BA (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

So my van finally sold, for less than what I was hoping, but for only $500 pesos less than what I'd bought it for a year before. As I said earlier, because of inflation it had actually increased in value! With the van sold I was able to buy our tickets to NZ.

My last month in BA has been lazy. The weather's been crazy - lots of rain and flooding, but also plenty of sunny days, yet it's been constantly humid. I've had lots to do before going to NZ but have struggled to get much of it done.

Rosedal - 16 - Vero Ruth Matt Martin bicis
Biking in Palermo

I've noticed a few changes around BA since I was last living here almost a year ago. The inflation is what's surprised me the most. I'd noticed everything seemed more expensive when I was in Bariloche, and I assumed that it was expensive Patagonian prices, but when we got back to BA things were almost as expensive. Everything - groceries, internet, rent. The only thing that's the same price as before is the colectivos (local buses), but supposedly they're also due for a price increase.

Around BA - 07 - Puerto Madero
Count 'em - five cranes in Puerto Madero

However, although everything's now more expensive (and prices are due to keep rising), it feels like people are now more prepared (or resigned) to the price increases. When I first got here, it seemed like every week people were taking to the streets to protest price increases in meat or bread or milk. Since then many have had a salary increase, albeit a token one, so perhaps they're more prepared for price increases. Or maybe they've given up. Something's changed anyway. When I arrived in 05 the country was still feeling the effects of the economic crisis, now in 2007 many people have moved on and it feels like the economy has recovered. It feels better off now. Public spending is noticeably up, with lots of old buildings being restored. Derelict buildings are being cleaned up and converted into offices or apartments. More towers are being constructed around the place, especially Puerto Madero. Speaking of Puerto Madero, even it's rusty cranes have had a paint job. So has the Casa Rosada! Proudly pink, no longer is it a faded metaphor of the Argentine economy.

Around BA - 05 - Puerto Madero Grua

Around BA - 06 - Puerto Madero Gruas
and after the paint job


  • hwy man! sueño de vandriver is end... tenes que actualizar tus proximos pasos a seguir...

    un abrazo de tu amigo PORTEÑO!!!

    By Anonymous Padago, at 7:26 AM  

  • Che Mateo -

    Before you leave it all behind, I feel it would only be proper of you to indulge all of your faithful, patient readers with a final rumination on these past two years of your life. The dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, the creamy middles.

    Buena Suerte,


    By Anonymous Adam, at 7:50 AM  

  • Matt, this is Denise from NZ. I contacted you just before I arrived in BA in January. Thanks for your tips, I was most grateful considering you didn't even know me. Been following your blog to see how you go. Hope you and your girlfriend have a safe trip to New Zealand and much luck when you get there.
    Tenakote katoa

    By Blogger Denise, at 1:29 PM  

  • Nice stuff! I'm enjoying reading your blog here!

    By Anonymous Staci, at 6:54 PM  

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