An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why did I come here again?

Oh yeah, to dance tango. And the one good thing going on in my life right now is that Ruben and I are Finalistas in the Campeonato Metropolitano de Tango, which will take place in La Rural here in Buenos Aires on August 18, 2006.

But let me tell you about my problem: finding a place to live. I moved here early in 2004 from Mexico, took a tourist apartment for 3 months, and then was lucky enough to find a beautiful apartment that suited me and my cat, Phoebe, because the owner was my Spanish teacher’s father. OK, so far, so good. Sure, I had to completely rewire and install a modern heater and fix the plumbing, and totally furnish the place from lighting fixtures to toilet, but, well, that was the way I wanted to live. Also, as a foreigner without the famous “Garantia” by a property owner in Buenos Aires, I had to pay the rent in advance, in cash.

But when Julieta, my teacher, got pregnant, I had a feeling that my comfortable life was soon to be over. Three months ago I got notice that when my two years were up in August, I had to find other digs, as Papa was giving the place to his daughter.

Nobody can believe that I can not find a place to live. Sure, there are a million of high-priced tourist apartments for short-term vacation living, but large, unfurnished places without a Garantia, forget it. I do everything I can think of: place “apartments wanted” ads in the paper, search the internet, advertise on Craigslist, visit all the real estate offices, spend each weekend calling and searching ads in the paper, check out all the for rent signs on the streets, tell everybody I meet I am looking and what I am looking for:
an unfurnished place with 2 bedrooms, a balcony or a patio, on a quiet street, hopefully with lots of closets. No, I say, I don’t have a Garantia, but I have a letter of recommendation from my present landlord and I will pay in advance. Most real estate agents hang up on me.

So what is Plan B? Where do I go from here? as my grandmother used to say.

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