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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Latin America, Mexico, or Central America.
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I just visited Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile with my wife, looking for a place to live. The time spend in each place was short, so my impressions may not be accurate, but here they are:
The people are of mixed Spanish and Italian descent, so they look European, not Hispanic. People are concentrated in cities and much of the land is free for farming. Buenos Aires is a huge city like New York. It looks like a cross between New York and Europe. The other city I visited was Mendoza.
pluses: The people are fit and the women are attractive. They dress stylishly, not like skanks. Very few tattoos or body piercings. No fat people. The diet is the opposite of what is recommended in America - it's very high in animal fat. People eat steaks and also organ meat which is almost pure fat. They use olive oil instead of the American hydrogenated junk oils. So the people are healthy and thin. The food is generally very good. We went to the suburbs to the north of Buenos Aires. They are very nice. They look something like France. We took the train and there were shops at each station with houses around. There are some very nice neighborhoods, nicer than anything in San Francisco. I asked someone about houses in the fanciest neighborhood and was told around $400K. Further north is the river delta. This is filled with islands as the river breaks up into many parts. On these islands are fancy estates and no cars. Prices for things in general are very varied. The rich pay prices like American prices. But the middle class and below go to cheaper places that cost much less. The train to a destination about an hour away cost less than one dollar. Argentina generally has a European atmosphere though the architecture in Mendoza was less impressive than in Buenos Aires. The people were much nicer in Mendoza. The women seem friendly. The people seem more intelligent than Americans.
minuses: There is an extreme economic inequality. I saw neighborhoods poorer than anything in Mexico. And this in a country with a completely homogeneous, European, population. In Buenos Aires, dishonesty seemed to be viewed as a virtue and honesty as a weakness. I was cheated for small amounts of money three time in two days. This is why Argentina is so poor in spite of having an intelligent, hard-working population. Thinking about it, the Argentine currency fiasco is just another example of Argentine dishonesty. The currency itself was a lie that Argentines used to buy foreign products. When other countries realized the lie, the currency become worthless. But I did not find this dishonesty problem in Mendoza. Since Buenos Aires is the power and financial center of the country, I assume it attracts all the slime. For those looking for a wife, I would warn that Argentina does not seem very family oriented. I saw very few couples and I don't think I ever saw a complete family, meaning father, mother, and kids. So the family is broken here and I am not sure if the Argentine women would make good wives.
Overall I could live in Mendoza but not Buenos Aires. I would recommend Argentina outside of Buenos Aires.
The people look like Argentines and have a similar diet. The country has a small population, half of which lives in Montevideo. Punta del Este looks like a wealthy American city and costs the same. It appears to have land-use zoning. It is entirely a tourist area, like an extreme version of Florida. It is virtually deserted except in the summer.
pluses: The food is even better than in Argentina. The meat is superb. The women seem even nicer than in Argentina. The people are honest. There is no extreme poverty or economic inequality.
minuses: Montevideo looks like it is in a communist country. If you haven't been to the old Soviet block, think of a cross between Europe and housing project. The city is full of bland apartment buildings in serious disrepair. There is no construction anywhere. The city is poorly organized as if planned by some central planning bureaucracy. There are big areas of just apartment buildings without any stores. The city has no street signs anywhere and even the locals don't know the street names. The city is the second dirtiest that I have seen, after Cairo. Other negatives: Tax on restaurants is 23%. I saw some body piercings and tattoos, and the general sense of style is somewhat worse than in Argentina. And a waiter hit on my wife while I was there.
I had read that Uruguay has a big government and seeing the country puts this in perspective. This is not a place to live for those who value freedom and initiative. But this is the country I would pick if I was looking for a wife. The women seem nice and well grounded. There isn't as much of a sense being constantly on the prowl as in Argentina.
The people are mix of Spanish and some Native American. The look more European than Mexicans do, but still look somewhat Hispanic. I visited Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, which are neighboring cities on the coast, and Santiago.
pluses: Chile is the wealthiest country in Latin America. Many places look first world. It is clean. Things generally work. Santiago is a very well organized city with lots of clean open space that handles a huge population density. The density of people downtown is higher than anything I have seen in the Americas. It's like Tokyo. There is also a clean and efficient subway system. The buildings are modern and remind me of Tokyo somewhat.
minuses: The women are ugly bitches, almost like Americans. The men look like their spirit is broken, like American men. The people have no sense of style, but modern fashion is everywhere. The food in Chile is disgusting, like American food. All junk food, sweets, and starch. Chile ignores its huge potential to grow and eat fresh food, just as America does. The people look unhealthy, like Americans. The architecture is practical and uninspiring. Television is everywhere. Valparaiso is a colorful slum. The houses are cheap but colorful. Anything not nailed down is stolen. Vina del Mar is a sterile resort for the rich in Santiago. It is has lots of high-rises and a big shopping mall. Santiago is a big city somewhat like NY but without the food. It is endless shopping, all aimed at women. There are very few restaurants or supermarkets.
I don't understand what is wrong with the women in Chile, but I see almost an American attitude in their faces. I can't explain it, but I would not recommend Chile.
My wife is Mexican and I have visited Mexico many times. On this trip we visited Monterrey and Xalapa.
pluses: Mexico has the most corrupt and inefficient government that I have seen. I list this as a plus because it prevents the government from causing trouble. It also means that there is more personal freedom in Mexico than most other places. Although Mexican women have deteriorated severely since I first visited 20 years ago, I still think they are the most family oriented. 20 years ago, 80% to 90% of the women were marriage material. Now 10% to 20% are, which is still higher than most other places. Food in Mexico is quite good, but not as good as it was before NAFTA allowed America to export its junk food into Mexico. There is a lot of fresh meat and fruit. Monterrey is modern Mexico, a huge industrial city. To the southeast is a modern growing suburb. It has the conveniences of American suburbs, but because Mexico is much freer than America, there is much more diversity in the developments there. There are typical housing developments, small towns, and old estates. This is a good place for someone who wants to live an American suburban lifestyle in a non-feminist place. Xalapa is a smaller, more traditional city in a very green landscape. It is actually one of the best places to expat in Mexico, in my opinion. It has an educated population, and so is one of the few places in Mexico where one has a fair chance to meet intelligent Mexicans. It is big enough to have all modern conveniences, but small enough to have a very low crime rate. It has fresh produce. Since it is a college town, there are plenty of young women. The climate is very pleasant. My favorite area is just west of Xalapa, at a slightly higher elevation, where the landscape looks exactly like Northern California, with rolling hills of grass and pine trees. It is too cold for Mexican tastes, but perfect for me. It has small villages which are like going back in time, where people are as likely to ride horses as drive cars. For me, this would be the perfect place to withdraw from the modern world and raise my kids with my values.
minuses: Each time I visit Mexico, I see the changes. I mentioned the decline in the percentage of women who are marriage material. Many women dress like sluts just like in America (but at least they are friendly sluts), especially in Monterrey. I heard stories from a Monterrey taxi driver about how he drove married women to work in brothels or to meet their lovers. I asked him if it was always like this, and he said no, this kind of behavior was very rare in the past. In general, Mexican women have lost their sense of style, which was better (more conservative) than in Argentina, but is now much worse. But I don't think things will get any worse because women must always depend on men instead of the government. Corruption is Mexico's saving grace. Other negatives: Monterrey has a real crime problem, but Xalapa doesn't. The water isn't drinkable and sanitation is generally a problem.
Overall, I found Mexico and Argentina to both be attractive, but Mexico wins for the convenience of being so close to the USA. I think Xalapa would be a good place to look for a wife. Monterrey may be a good place to look for casual relationships.