The Expat Files: Living in Latin America A guide to moving to Latin America, finding work, and settling in.

January 31, 2011  

- Part 2 of Love and Romance Latin Style - The EXPAT Advantage: When Expats and Latins find love- culture clash or perfect match? Universal Expat appeal explained and a dozen reasons why Expats both male and female automatically (and somewhat mysteriously) get 3 points added to the standard 10 point scale the second they step off the plane- (and its not about the money, well, not as much as you think!)

- Chronic Water Shortages, Dental and Hygiene Issues: Latin women make due quite well. But the men? Not quite up to snuff (er, sniff).

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January 26, 2011  

- Love, romance, and cheating - Latin Style: Double digit affairs and single digit divorce rates. Why real Latin men cry and cheat, and why wives look the other way (its about about economics, not forgiveness). Chronic wife abuse, deadbead dads, and other macho pasttimes.

- Bodyguards as 3rd World status symbols: You’re a nobody without one, and why every dirty politician and rich businessman has a gaggle of them (and a few for the wife, kids, and mistress).

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January 24, 2011  

- Politicians: A licence to steal and why they get away with it thanks the endless govt money pit, courtesy of the 1st world of course. Thus every Latin American’s goal?... to get a govt. job of course.

- Getting Around In Latin America: Mass transit, a massive failure- bus bombs, extorsion rackets and 101 other reasons not to ride a public bus. Two ways to get a drivers licence-the hard way (take the test), or the easy way(pay off your friendly bureaucrat).

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January 19, 2011  

- Cuban Economics 101: How to lay off a million civil servants and paper pushers in 2011 and not have riot (that’s a tall order since its one third of the entre island’s workforce). What’ll happen to them and their families? Will they roam the streets? Will they burn and loot? (what's there to loot?) Not likely, and you’ll see why.

- The Latin Sense of Humor (aka; the punch line that never came): Its not exactly like our. What about their jokes, TV, theater and entertainment? Does 1st world humor translate and vice versa? In L.A. sexist and racial humor prevail and the bar is set so low that even a donkey can get gig, and they often do! If you want sophisticated, trendy comedy, forget L.A. and stick to Comedy Central.

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January 17, 2011  

- Remisas: How illegal aliens send billions home each year to latin America and how companies like Western Union get filthy rich from it. Just who gets these billions in remisas, and how are they spent? You’ll be surprised.

- Poor Latins and the American Dream (a little land and a paid-up mortgage?): And how their version of it is not quite the one you’ve always had.

- South American illegals prefer Europe to the USA, and why Spain is the gateway, and how the EEC has an even worse illegal immigration problem than the states. Tourist Visa games and why its so much safer and easier (but much more expensive) for South Americans Latins to slip into Europe than to sneak into the USA.

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January 12, 2011  

- Bolivia - The natives are restless and its Evo’s fault, but still, its a great place for Expats.

- Venezuela: And their love/hate relationship with Yankees (not the ball club). They hate Gringos and love Detroit heavy metal (not the music). How subsidized gas at 12 cents a gallon permanently distorts an economy. Venezuela for Expats? 2 thumbs down.

- Lynchings: Alive and well in rural Latin America. A grisly spectator sport that you can’t buy tickets to like a cockfight. The good news is that indigenous locals lynch their own and not Expats (not yet anyway).

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January 10, 2011  

Is Latin America wired? Yes, and dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century(when a few bribes are thrown in).

I-Phones, X-boxes, Blackberries and hi speed internet- yes they have them, and they work like a charm...(but do leave home without them).

And at least for now, L.A. is not yet saturated with mad, idiot, adolescent pix-snappers and text-messagers on every corner, (except for the children of the idle rich).

- Brazil flex fuel experiment: the real story on ethanol, biodiesil and the massive phantom subsidies down there. How their govt flex fuel publicity program is a triumph, but the program itself? Maybe not.

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January 5, 2011  

- Why chronic racism is alive and well (and actually on steroids) in L.A, and why nobody cares except maybe the Expats.

- A clever new twist on broad daylight parking lot robberies. A very slick operation, and how I fell for it! (Darn, I wish I would have thought of it).

- Getting away with murder- why only 5% of Latin homicides are ever solved (and how not to let a little thing like that ruin your day).

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January 3, 2011  

- Latin govts love rubber checks... and 101 other reasons why Expats should avoid bidding on govt contracts or taking on govt jobs in Latin America (no matter how good they sound).

- BRAZIL economic and crime overview - don’t believe for a second the exaggerated positive govt propaganda (nor the Hollywood "Girl from Ipanima" version either). So what if Brazil has inflation down to 5%?... Big deal. Back in 1994 it was at 1000% and the locals lost everything! But is it safe to put your money there now? Well, a local joke goes...

Q: How can you make one million in Brazil? A: Easy, bring TWO million down.

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