Too much work, not enough play

Well as it turns out, living in Buenos Aires can often by very similar to living back home in Sydney… too much work, not enough social life… the realities of life as a non-millionaire I guess! And when most of that “work” is actually research & development and not income producing, that just hurts even more!

But I have launched an updated version of my business site, Zava Design, which includes a new blog feature. And have recently added more blog posts there than here… guess that indicates the current balance of work v fun in my life!

And just as luck would have it, rather than working hard through October and November ahead of hitting the road from December for three months… it looks like I might have some new projects coming in for the end of November after a quiet couple of months. As I said, just my luck, and ain’t life a bitch sometimes?! Oh well, life of a digital nomad I guess, you take the work when it comes and adjust your life appropriately. But still beats working in an office 9 to 5 any day!

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Lonely nights in Cordoba

I’m really not sure if it’s the city or me. Three days in Cordoba and I’m out of here, not quite the week I had planned and paid rent in advance for. The city itself is pleasant enough though boasting few apparent attractions. The main square (which I’m sitting in now) is an open, paved and green oasis in the middle of a fairly visually bland city, the majority of the city’s main architectural attractions surrounding me at the moment. Though as just discovered minutes later (literally, hopped onto a city tour bus just after writing that last sentence) there are actually a couple of other pleasant plazas nearby. Not enough to transform this city into “amazing”, but certainly enough to while away a couple more hours on a lovely spring day.

Bu truth be told, I haven’t really enjoyed myself these past few days. And for the first time in my travelling life I’ve felt lonely. Now this is a big deal! I’ve travelled a lot over the past 20 years, some of it with partners, but the vast majority as a single man. And I’ve loved it. Having no one to answer to but myself, the freedom to go where I want when I want, do anything I choose – whether that be lie on a beach, climb a mountain, or get drunk and dance on tables. Continue reading

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The mandatory post about Steve Jobs R.I.P.

Before going to bed last night for a terrible night’s sleep due to the onset of man-flu, I posted the following comment on Facebook:

“I think the Steve Jobs eulogies are getting a little over the top… he had great ideas for shiny new things for people with money, headed a company with ethically questionable manufacturing practices, and had some great speech writers.”

You can probably guess the reaction & comments it provoked from some of my friends. And there’s probably a fair few more who didn’t make a comment, but certainly sent some dastardly thoughts my way.

And the majority of them really are my friends. Indeed if they didn’t have ideas, viewpoints, opinions that conflicted with mine from time to time we probably wouldn’t be friends. Who really wants to be surrounded by “yes men”, whether in business or personal life? I certainly don’t. Continue reading

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From a seed sown of pettiness…

Under leaders of certain countries the questioning of authority is not only discouraged, but can lead to punishment, severe in some instances. Our supposedly liberal, “western” point of view publicly voices its support for the freedom of speech, encouraging the community to question all aspects of the government and laws they may live under. Though as anyone with a passing knowledge of politics and current affairs would no doubt be aware, this public voice of support does not always equate to an actual reality of freedom of speech in many cases. As most of us are aware, hypocrisy is rampant within politics, whatever side of the fence you sit on.

And so to it seems within other communities & their leaders, including one which purports to support the expatriate community in Buenos Aires, baexpats.org. It seems in their little sphere of influence the “leaders” of baexpats – or is it just the one person, Igor? – are not open to any discussion about their decisions or policies. Which for someone promoting themselves as a website for the Buenos Aires expat “community” seems a little wrong to me. But let me lay out the situation and you can decide for yourself. Continue reading

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Crazy, crazy Argentinians!

There’s a few things that are very common in Buenos Aires: beautiful women, good steak, Malbec wine, dog poo on the streets (more on that at a later date), and friends who visit a psychologist. Yes, more common than the US (where I thought it was mandatory if you lived in LA or NYC), it seems that almost every Argentinian I know, plus a few non-Argentinians who have been living here for a while, have a psychologist that they see on a regular basis.

Now don’t get me wrong, as someone with enough mental health issues to fill a semester’s worth of classes on the subject, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with seeking help to address your personal problems. And the acceptance of psychology as an option for dealing with a person’s issues is something that Australian society could probably learn something from, with our major hangups on mental health issues. Just try telling a friend back home that you’re “feeling depressed”, you’ll be told one of two things: “Man the fuck up”, or “Let’s get drunk and forget about it” (that last one is my usual option of choice).

But I’m just truly amazed by just how common it is here. And from that amazement comes an inherent curiosity of why. Continue reading

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Argentinian women: Stunning, but…

Probably not surprising that the question I’m being asked most by my (male) friends back home is: So how are the Argentinian women?

The simple answer would be: Stunning.

The more complex answer would be: Stunning, but…

Yes, they are gorgeous. I spend any day walking around town just agog at the talent walking by. I’m reminded a little of my time living in Sweden many years ago, sitting at a street cafe a sunny, summer’s day with a couple of visiting mates from Canada. One of us (none of us can recall who, but we were obviously all thinking it) turned to the other two and asked: Do they kill all the ugly ones at birth? Continue reading

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Road warrior?

So, to motorcycle through South America or not, that is the question?

Pros:
- Bloody exciting!
- Once in a lifetime
- Some, but not many, will ever do it in their lifetime
- Did I say “bloody exciting”?

Cons:
- A little cliche perhaps?
- Dangerous (or is that a pro?)
- Lots of red tape

Continue reading

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El Ateneo bookstore

Amazing bookstore in Buenos Aires, a converted theatre where they have kept much of the original décor.

Apart from the amazing interior, I did head there on various online recommendations that the cafe was a good place to work from, with free wifi and a nice, quiet environment. Would make a nice change from working by myself in my apartment.

But unfortunately the wifi was down when I was there, and according to an Argentinian also working on his laptop in the cafe, that was a very common occurrence. So looks like I’ll have to stick to visiting El Ateneo for the books, and keep searching for a suitable remote working location. Continue reading

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Haunted by the past

The worst time for dwelling on things is when I’m trying to get to sleep at night. I try to relax, to relax the mind and body as best I can and hopefully drift off to sleep. Fat chance of that most nights. Instead my mind seems to – excuse the bad pun – have a mind of its own and takes the lack of physical activity as an excuse to dredge up anything and everything from the past…

It usually starts with my ex, fresh in the mind of course, and brings forth all those thoughts I’ve had of what I could/should have done differently. Then if I’m really lucky my mind delves into thoughts of Stefani from Germany, or Jenny from Sweden… and now we’re talking 15/16 years into the past. Yes, that is ridiculous I know.

I need to release my mind from the past, I know that… but how?
Continue reading

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I want to ride my bicycle…

Lying back staring at the blood splattered ceiling I’m wondering what injury had been treated in this room that splatted blood seven feet high. My minds dwelling on all manner of injury types when I’m suddenly jolted back into the present by the feeling of needle and twine going through my skin…

After finding an apartment and booking the first two weeks of Spanish lessons, next on the agenda was to find some way to maintain some semblance of fitness while enjoying the magnificent steaks and red wine of Buenos Aires, and indeed to continue to rehabilitation of my knee after my pre-Christmas arthroscopy. Unlike Sydney, swimming pools were not in abundance, and my knee was not yet up to pounding the pavement. Continue reading

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