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Things You Miss as a Foreigner in Buenos Aires

It goes to say that while living abroad you have to put up with missing your family and friends. However, having spoken to some of our Spanish students here at Expanish in Argentina, it seems that expats and Spanish students alike have some pretty strong feelings about what they miss from home. So we asked one of our members of staff (from the U.S.) who has lived in Buenos Aires for a number of years, to tell Expanish Spanish School blog about the things he misses most from home….

I find that after being in Buenos Aires for a long period of time my longing for things from back home, has continued to increase. Usually a quick vacation back home will help recharge my “living abroad batteries”, but I also find that talking with fellow foreigners also helps so I have written a theraputic blog entry about it.

Food!

My cravings for specialy food items is constant.  Although Buenos Aires is a very international city with an increasingly expanding international food scene, I still find a lack of certain ingrediantes and dishes.  In your home country if you do not live with your parents, you could still make a version of your mom’s homemade tuna noodle caserole or at least find a subsitute for it at a store.  While living abroad this is not always a possibility.  Can you find cream of mushroom soup in Buenos Aires?

Because lists are fun and I like making them, I have made a couple short list of things that I miss as a foreigner here in Buenos Aires (keep in mind that I am from the United States so my list is a little biased towards my home country).  My first is food I crave:

  • Crab Cakes
  • Large Shrimp
  • Good Curry
  • Chocolate Chips (regular, dark chocolate, mint, etc.)
  • Peanut Butter and other Peanut Butter-related items (cookies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc.)
  • Salad Dressings
  • Fresh Tuna
  • Good Guacamole
  • Bagels
  • Cheddar Cheese (not the Argentine stuff that is processed)
  • Pad Thai
  • SOUP!!!!
  • Food coloring
  • Donuts
  • Any products from Trader Joe’s

*I know I can get many of these products are available here in Buenos Aires, like soup or food coloring, but they are not as accessible and I find that I am not motivated enough to find them.

Electronics!

Import tax anyone?  Foreign-made electronics are unfortunately slapped with a high import tax making most items more exepensive here than other countries.  This is to promote people to buy Argentine-made products, but it makes those necessary foreign products extremely expensive.  If you have an ipod and your cord broke, do not be surprised that replacing it will cost you three times what it would at home.  Here are some electronic and electronic-related items I miss:

  • Dish Washer
  • 4G Wireless Networks
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Refrigerator Ice Dispenser
  • Reliable Internet Connection
  • Netflicks (pirate movies do not count)
  • Kindle (the best eBook reader out there)

Cultural Stuff

I know “Cultural Stuff” is a pretty broad topic, but I wanted to mention a few things and it was the best category that they would all fit into.

To give an example, since I am from the United States a large portion of my adult life has been spent in a car driving.  Going to school, to the store, or to the doctor involves spending at least 10 minutes behind a wheel and, simliar to most porteños, I do not get a chance to do that in this city.  That is why I miss it, so I have compiled a list of more cultural things that I miss:

  • Driving
  • Hip Hop (Music and Dancing)
  • Recycling
  • Shots
  • Quality Customer Service

Luckily I recently discovered a new website called The Mule Pool where you can hire someone to bring you anything you want from your home country.  You can hire a “mule” to bring you anything from Instant Quaker Oatmeal to an Xbox 360.  You also get to choose how much you would pay that person, depending on how much you really want the product.  If you will be coming to Buenos Aires soon, it is also a way to make new friends and make a little money as well.  If you are planning on taking Spanish classes at Expanish Spanish School , it is a way to help with the costs of your trip!

Murphy