The Buenos Aires Blog

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Expats Plan Pringles Protest

Mad that most foreign food items could possibly be banned from grocery stores as of June 1, some foreigners in Argentina are planning a protest to show how they feel about being left without their favorite brands of ketchup and potato chips.

Silvia Smorgen, an expat from Sweden says that should the food ban go through, she is gathering a group to protest at the Obelisco with thousands of Pringles cans.

"We wanted to fill them with change and shake them," said Smorgen, "but change has started to become scarce again and we don't know if we have enough. So we will fill them with dried pasta instead. We will also bang on them with wooden spoons."

In addition, these "Pringoleras" will carry signs that say "Keep your hands off my peanut butter!" and Smorgen hopes to turn the obelisk in the center of 9 de Julio into a giant bottle of Tobasco.

"To ban imported food is to trample on our freedom," says Smorgen. "I love Argentina, I love the people, I love the steak and wine. But if I have to drink Argentine coffee, I might not be able to stay."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Interview with Tina Serif, Author of the 3.5 Hour Parenting Week

This week I was fortunate to sit down with Dr. Tina Serif, author of the very popular book, The 3.5-Hour Parenting Week. Tina is a professional Lifestyle Designer, author, motivational speaker, Ironman triathlete, and digital nomad who moved to Buenos Aires two years ago with her husband and two children.

Southpat: Tell me, Tina, the title of your book is very similar to Tim Ferriss's book The Four-Hour Workweek. Did his book inspire yours?

T.F.: Yes, Sue, it did. As a matter of fact, it was Tim's book that started me on my quest of Lifestyle Design. I was killing myself from my high-pressure job as a piano tuner in Lafayette Georgia, when I realized that there must be more to life than middle C. After reading Tim's book, I quit my job, became a consultant, and Stan and I moved to Buenos Aires. It was the best decision we ever made.

Southpat: The title of your book seems pretty incredible. People must doubt how someone can be a good parent on only 3.5 hours a week.

T.F.: Yes, I get a lot of skepticism from parents all over the country. But most people are very inefficient parents and don't even know it. If you really sit down and analyze all your parenting duties and the time they take, you will find that most of them are not core to what being a parent is- changing diapers, scheduling play dates, helping with homework- so most of those tasks can be outsourced, making you a much more efficient parent.

Southpat: What do you do with your children in the 3.5 hours you have with them? It must be quality time.

T.F.: That's exactly right: quality over quantity. Our weekly time with our children consists of intense, parent-child relationship-building activities. Sometimes we engage in trust-building exercises, meditation, zip-lining, or singing the family anthem.

Southpat: What advice do you have for parents who want to embark on this process?

T.F.: Let go of the social expectations others have of you: that you are not a good parent if you are not at every soccer game, ballet recital, or meal. Next, engage in the four-step process. First, define the kind of life you want to have. I doubt that when most people thought about having children they were thinking of picking vomit off the floor, or teaching them how to brush their teeth. Picture the kind of life parenting should be. Second, eliminate activities that aren't necessary. Family meals, for instance, are often more trouble than they are worth. Third, find a way to outsource all the non-core activities. Stan and I have a team of nannies that get the kids ready for school, help with homework, and schedule their play dates so that we can concentrate on the truly important aspects of their lives. Lastly, find a way to enjoy all your free time.

Southpat: What do you and Stan do in your free time?

T.F.: We both finished P.h.D.s, regularly go big game hunting, and are the 2007 International in tantric sex champions, endurance division.

Southpat: How has Lifestyle Design contributed to your happiness?

T.F.: Oh, Sue, I'm so happy it hurts. I know life's not a competition, but if it were, I'd be winning! I can't stop smiling. My life has never been better. I have sex every day (sometomes twice), I've lost twenty pounds, my children are thriving- they speak five languages! And I love helping people who want to do the same thing. That's why I started my Lifestyle Design consultancy, BE AWESOMER. My website is


Friday, January 8, 2010

Unpublished Borges Manuscript Found!

The Argentine National Library has announced that Borges manuscript was found that has never been published. The find was kept from the public until the authenticity could be corroborated.

"We are positive it was written by Borges," said Maria Giancola, spokesperson for the library. "The question is why he didn't have it published."

The story is titled "La Fila Infinitiva"- or "The Infinite Line" and describes a person waiting in line at a bank that has infinite funds, but the line is infinite, so they never reach the front.

The library is seeking to secure the rights from María Kodama, Borges' widow, in order to publish the manuscript publicly, but it is unknown whether she will release them. It is rumored that she has already been approached by film director Terry Gilliam.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Proposed Carbon Tax on Parrillas

The Argentina congress has proposed a carbon tax on parrillas, in order to do its part in staving off the climate change apocalypse. Argentine scientists have determined that the popular Argentine restaurants, which grill large amounts of meat over coals, contribute significantly to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a leading contributor to the end of the world as we know it.

“We all have to do our share,” says Summer Wheatly, a leading environmentalist in Latin America. “Parrillas are contributing more to the climate change apocalypse than any other business in Argentina. A carbon tax on parrillas will encourage them to think of alternate fuels for grilling.”

A few parrillas are wood burning, using wood cut down from the Brazilian rain forest, but wood is much more costly to import into the city of Buenos Aires. The congress is debating a foresting import subsidy to encourage the move away from carbon.

New Seminar: Dealing With an Abundance of Women

Dirk Samson, American expat and super-preneur, has a new seminar: Dealing with an Abundance of Women: How to date the flood of Argentine chicks that will flock to you in Buenos Aires. Dirk has perfected the dating technique for American men in Argentina, and developed a sure-fire system to increase dating success so that you will be having fun with a different yet gorgeous woman every night. Dirk will elaborate on his new system-
  • Analyze: Focus in on the type of woman you want. Dirk will show you that no matter how picky you are, whether you have breast-size requirements or just like a perky personality, you can get what you want.
  • Desensitize: Starting from the first date, get women used to being with a douchebag. Don’t build up expectations you can’t live up to later.
  • Dehumanize: Think of women like a product. Don’t concentrate on their humanity, or you will get in over your head and lose out to your feelings.
  • Escape: how to throw them away when you are done without any drama, and move on.

BONUS: Those who come to the seminar will be give a coupon for his complementary iPhone app !

Don’t miss out! Only a few spots left! Feb. 14 at Area Cuatro.


(Cost $1,500 pesos )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Opinion: Cablevisión, shame on you!

Cablevisión's monthly magazine, Miradas, has interviews with celebrities every month, and the monthly schedule of programming. To make it easier to find what you are looking for, they have created the following categories: infantiles (children), deportes (sports), cine y series (movies and series), documentales (info-tainment), musicales (musical), variedades (variety), .... and.... mujer (women) !

(Click on the picture for a larger view.)

I'm SO glad they created a category just for women, because now I can find my fashion, makeover, cooking, and home decorating shows all in one place. However, I think the title is VERY unfair!

Women aren't the only people who watch food shows. If you are a fan of Francia y Sus Quesos (France and Its Cheeses) you might be a woman, but you might also be...... gay!

In the name of all my gay friends, I say shame on you, Cablevisión, for completely forgetting the one other section of society that might be interested in these programs. I suggest you change the category to "Mujer/Gay."

The categories Cablevisión has chosen for its guide reflects its closed-minded view of society. Open minds lead to open hearts, lead to world peace.

-Southpat Sue

Ask Southpat: Cheating Boyfriend

Dear Southpat:

I just found out my Argentine boyfriend is cheating on me. I know I should dump him, but I love him. What should I do?



Dear Joy:

You have just moved from the "hoar" category to the "madonna" category. Congratulations! You're a keeper!

It's not that your boyfriend doesn't love you. It's that he loves you so much, he has started to think of you as the mother of his children, the one who will provide a comforting and stable home, leaving him to seek his thrills elsewhere. You have two choices:

1. If you want to be wife and mother, then embrace your power. Take his paycheck, set up house the way you want it, and tell him if he ever cheats on you, it's over. Of course, he will still cheat on you- but at least he will be more careful so you won't find out. And if he's a good provider, then don't complain. Life could be worse.

2. If you want to be the party-girl, then you better lose a few pounds, get a boob job, and start doing your Kegel exercises. Every year your competition is that much younger.

Either way, this isn't going to be your Hollywood romantic comedy, soul-mate, love affair. It's complicated, it's dysfunctional, it's... Argentine. It's partitioned differently than North American relationships. You are not his best friend. You're his girlfriend. Here, there's a difference.

I didn't make the rules, honey. I just report them. Good luck.