And now for the next addition of ‘Expanish Meets…’ A regular spot where Expanish Spanish School in Argentina gets to meet the people who make Buenos Aires the interesting, artistic and engaging metropolis that it is. This time we’re talking to the founders and presenters of BA Cast a new (ish) podcast designed for people living in Buenos Aires.
Expanish staff and students have been listening to BA Cast since it launched last year, and it’s popularity has been growing, mainly through word of mouth. Presented by Fernando (The Local) and Dan (The Expat), not only is it laugh out loud funny at times, it offers a two sided view on life in Buenos Aires, lots of cultural observations, as well as a lot of informative content about the city’s history. Plus… we musn’t forget to mention, it’s great for the Spanish, with Fernando and Dan introducing various phrases and words in Spanish throughout the show. Expanish blog has also been informed that multi-lingual content will increase during the forthcoming season.
So to start, can you tell us a bit about BA Cast?
Dan: BA cast is a bicultural, bilingual podcast hosted by an American expat and a local Argentine that dialogues about culture, language, politics, sports and other topics with the aim of SEARCHING FOR TRUTH. It is for any foreigner residing in Buenos Aires for very short, medium, or long term and any English speaking Argentines. It is uploaded once per week on Thursdays and can be downloaded on our website, www.bacast.com or via iTunes.
Fernando: What I would only add to that is: a little bit of culture clash over the length of a collectivo-ride.
Tell us a bit about why you founded it?
Dan: For me, when Fernando approached me, this was about me having a creative outlet and a place to talk about these issues. It has quickly turned into something with much greater depth and breadth than I had imagined.
Fernando: Seeing so many foreigners living in the city, I thought it could be a good idea to create something in the form of a radio program for them…and then, considering that most foreigners are always carrying around a laptop or a smartphone, started thinking podcasting was the way to go. As Dan points out, it evolved as we worked through it, into something very appealing and stimulating to me, both creatively and intellectually speaking.
And what about your backgrounds…. Dan how did you end up living in BA, Fernando are you from BA originally and are your backgrounds in Radio?
Dan: I left the US to go backpacking around the world, met my wife (who is Argentine) and stayed.
Fernando: I am a Gran Buenos Aires-born and raised Porteño. Lived in the BA metropolitan area all my life except for two years I lived in Europe (London, mainly). I graduated as a “Locutor” (radio broadcaster/presenter) at the ISER National Broadcasting Academy. I have worked in several radio stations both as a presenter and as a producer and currently, I host the English-language program of RAE (Argentina’s Foreign Radio Service) and do replacements in the 80s music FM Aspen.
Where do you see BA cast being a few years from now.?
Dan: A multi-national, multi-lingual show, with correspondents around the world, offering different perspecitves and information on different issues. BA Cast will be known as a show, of the similar to the onda of Daily Show or CQC, where one can laugh about current events and culture, but BA Cast will include much more of a learning component as well.
What do you think it is about BA that attracts so many expats?
Dan: 3 years ago I would have said price, but now I think that it is a combination of the fact that it is “cool”, it is still relatively inexpensive, and it has many attractive features like architecture, food and nightlife.
Fernando: To me, it’s a world-class city, no doubts! For those who like living an urban experience comparable to London, New York, Paris, Barcelona, but in South America.
List your top 5 favorite things about Buenos Aires:
Dan: Asado, vacío, molleja, chorizo and bife de lomo
Fernando: Cafés, corners and architecture, intellectual-cultural-political life, pizza and porteño’s ironic-acid sense of humor (not listing Asado because it’s genetically imprinted on me, lol)
And your bottom 5…worst!:
Dan: Traffic, inflation, lack of food variety, lack of service… *DISTRUST* between argentines.
Fernando: Traffic jams, expensive or inexistent electronic items, summer heat and humidity, football *extreme” fanaticism, not much live music in bars.
What do you think surprises people / new expats the most when they arrive in BA?
Dan: The ridiculous, obvious, and truly interesting responses to this question, and the best way to answer is for you to listen to our show!
Fernando: Right on the spot.
If you could give one piece of advice to newcomers to Buenos Aires, what would it be?
Dan: Be patient
Fernando: Come ready to experience a city that has a lot of great stuff and its share of bad stuff (like any other big city). Be very aware of what you value and what you don’t, if you prioritize certain things you take for granted back home, you may get frustrated very easily. After all, it’s a personal appraisal. Me? I love living here!
And lastly…How is your Spanish (Dan), tell us about your learning curve.
Dan: Why didn’t you ask Fernando this? His Spanish is actually quite good for an Argentine…. I studied for 6 years from age 12-18, lived in Mexico for a bit, so when I came here I had that as a base, which is extensive I would say. I had to relearn accent, tone, and the “vos” form as well as slang so I could communicate here. I completely and totally immersed myself: lived with Argentine roommates, dated my Argentine girlfriend (now wife), and refused to speak English. It took me at least 6 months to be fully fluent, even with the total immersion that I did. It probably took about 12 months to get to where I am now.
For more information on BA Cast go to: BA Cast or their Facebook page (BA Cast: The Buenos Aires Podcast). All of the recent series are available on iTunes and the new series will be available for download soon.