Women expats and helpers who live in Buenos Aires have voluntarily given their time to put together ‘Hola, Buenos Aires!’ e-book for those wishing to relocate to Argentina’s capital city. The ladies are from all over the world and, after experiencing the city first-hand, decided to take an old, spiral-bound city guide that they had found in the University Women’s Club of Buenos Aires, update it and turn it into a modern manual for managing the metropolis.
The first edition of the book was published in 1989 with six or seven contributing women. It was then updated, with the last print edition publishing in 2003. The new e-book is a result of the efforts of 23 contributing ladies, including some who no longer live in Buenos Aires, but helped out with editing and proof-reading.
All proceeds from the US$14.99 cover price of the e-book will go to the Association of Sponsors of Rural Students and Schools (APAER), an Argentine NGO that promotes education in disadvantaged rural schools.
The book covers topics ranging from food, traffic, the ‘how-to’ of everyday life (like paying bills, when stores are open), to coping with culture-shock. The Argentina Independent had the chance to sit down with one of the project’s leaders, Michal Leon, who has been living in BA since October 2009. She is an entrepreneur as well as wife of the South African ambassador to Argentina. Although their time in Buenos Aires was up at the end of September, Michal felt it would be helpful to update the book for those choosing to move to Buenos Aires, helping them to have an easy and accessible guide to help them in the integration process. In a way, the digital version of ‘Hola, Buenos Aires!’ is her legacy in Buenos Aires.
“When you move to a country with someone from that culture, the shock is much softer, but for those who do not have that, this book will help them,” Michal explained.
When it comes to the basics, the book also helps out on letting sojourners know things to expect that you are not expecting, like food. The simpler things, like peanut butter, tomato juice, tomato and bean sauce, just do not exist. Hot sauce is also hard to come by, although some foreigners have taken on the challenge themselves.
There is a section on where to find a screwdriver or how to get your laundry done if you do not have a washing machine, as well as sections that have information for those who are bringing pets, or even legal matters that expand beyond the embassy. There is a chapter for those who are choosing to leave Argentina and how to prepare for that, too.
“The book is meant to prepare people who choose to live in Argentina for a month up to forever,” Michal added.
The book was released online on Monday and costs US$14.99. All proceeds go to APAER. To download the book, visit: www.uwcba.com.ar.