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

September 28, 2011  
Does your Spanish suck like mine did? The easy and the hard ways to learn Spanish the way the natives speak it; how to fumble along and still not get taken for a sucker.Latin slang and regional Spanish accents and how to handle them

The strange disconnected world of US embassy employees and their military adjutants- Part #1.

Spanish immersion programs; and what it’s really like to live a month or so with a family that makes only 3 to 400 dollars a month. And a heads-up on some strange things that often go on in your host’s home.

How to save 50% or more off the normal cost of a Spanish immersion program and other tips for 1st World would-be Spanish learners.

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September 27, 2011  

Dentistry in LA Part #3. Horror stories at the dentist (bad things that can happen before you even sit down in the chair)

Obvious flaws you observe as your dentist and his co-workers try unsuccessfully to convince you that they are somewhat modern and almost 1st World. And why it’s so difficult for them to keep up to snuff and adapt to 1st World advances in the field

How to quickly spot 2nd tier dentists, the ones the service 80% of rank and file Latins, and why you must avoid them.

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September 21, 2011  

Dentistry in LA Part #2. Comparing the 3 types of dentists you’ll encounter in LA, and their shortcomings.

What Expat dentists and physicians really need to know if their dream is to jump off the 1st World treadmill (before that 2nd heart attack), and get a license to practice in LA.

Crisis dentistry; why even the wealthiest of LA movers and shakers have bad or missing teeth, poor hygiene and often hideous dentistry

Double and triple appointment bookings? Well that’s the norm in LA dentist office, since 6 month checkup and cleaning appointments (and the hygienist guilt routine) have not caught on yet down here in any meaningful way (even with the moneyed classes)

Want to know about the fluoride and mercury/amalgam filling debate in LA? That’s easy…, they’re absolutely clueless so there ain’t no debate at all!

Decorative dental customs of the poor; including DIY Dentistry (where all you need is a pair of pliers, and some really big balls).

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September 20, 2011  

For about a hundred dollars, most Expats can forever solve any water shortage problems in LA (the 1st World too), and easily cope with the increased rationing and H2O shutoffs imposed by those corrupt and terribly managed municipalities

Expats doing conferences and seminars; Part #2, 101 tips and tricks for Expats thinking of doing seminars down here. How to be a success even if you have a stale, rehashed topic and don’t speak a lick of Spanish

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September 14, 2011  

Dentistry in LA at 1/3 to 1/4 of 1st World prices. Sounds like a terrific deal and you get a great vacation to boot. But is it really true? Does 3rd World dentistry look, feel and perform as well as the work done by your hi-tech hometown dentist? Will it last as long? And what if you have trouble with it back in the states? These and many more questions answered. You will be truly surprised!

Why so much of LA dentistry fails after a few years, and since almost no one ever flosses (less than 10% of LA adults), when things go bad and extractions are necessary, the blame is naturally shifted to the patient, NOT on the crappy dentistry (which has long meant a free pass for thousands of less-than-mediocre LA dentists)! That's why even the worst dentists in LA almost NEVER get sued.

Why bad, substandard, and generally filthy LA dental laboratories make for bad dentistry BUT is just another great Expat business opportunity if you have a bit of vision and iniciative.

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September 13, 2011  

Sushi joints; a 1st World business we never thought could make a go of it down here in LA, but still they’re alive and well. And as expected, the standards are not at all up to snuff and eating there should be avoided by Expats, even if the workers use gloves.

Inside information and business tips for Expats. It’s a closed society at the top, and if you have any luck at all, you’ll get a constant stream of inside info and have a big edge in business yourself (and insider trading and such is not even illegal-yet).

What happens when Expats marry and have kids. The often unsolvable problems that occur when your kids are inevitably propelled into higher class Latin society.

Bank runs, why so many LA banks go bust, and how their own executive board members are often the very people that loot them.

The lowdown on those all you can eat ‘food buffets’ popping up all over LA. They’ve landed down here in a big way- but look out!

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September 7, 2011  

Water rationing everywhere; and what it means for EXPATS.

How to have unlimited H2O at your place, even if every neighbor's house is bone dry and stuck on rationing

Everything you never wanted to know about water cisterns and were afraid to ask (but listen up Expats and wanabees, its important you pay attention to this because it will save you a world of grief)

The Latins and their building shortcuts, and why almost all LA plumbing jobs eventually spring a leak- that is, unless you know these simple tips

Stealing public natural resources and other crimes that no one cares about (and that always go unpunished)

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September 6, 2011  

Why coupons and coupon clipping have never really caught on in LA since there’s nothing easier to counterfeit than coupons (especially when locals have very good pirated software to copy them with)

They don’t have “factory rebates”, yet there are ways for Latins (and Expats) to get huge discounts on products and services, if you know how...

How certain going businesses appear sound but Expats should NEVER invest in

Why 1st World shopping bags are the coolest cachet for Latin 1st World wanabees. And why all Latins have a Disneyland/Disneyworld fetish, which for them is the vacation of a lifetime (go figure).

Latins just love T-shirts (new or used) with English lettering (any English lettering). Bring some down, give them as gifts, and be an instant hero with your domestic help, the neighborhood kids and any of your workers

Another insider’s story on how hopelessly dysfunctional LA government offices are and how those useless functionaries really operate

Q: Where can a boss get away with interviewing a young lady with his hand continuously on her leg? A: In LA of course!

Feminists beware; sexual harassment is alive and well and no one does a thing about it.

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