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

October 26, 2011  

-The continuing misadventures of Expat Eddie. More on how a completely unexceptional guy like him turned $2000 into a million plus by just applying some basic 1st World standards to 3rd world businesses (and by not reinventing the wheel)

-Expat Eddie’s first “embassy party” and the powerful Banana Republic Air Force general that took a shine to him (and the ensuing fallout of that affair)

-A new twist on LA hooker business and big city LA nightclubs; how certain officials mix business with pleasure

- A QUIZ;

Q: What should you do when you find out your nice, rich, new neighbor next door happens to be a big time criminal?

A: Invite him to a Sunday barbecue of course! (this is Latin America after all)

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October 25, 2011  

- How to prepare for the Spanish speaking world before you dive in

-Dealing with how the locals speak. Unraveling some very common slang terms. You can be certain the locals won’t speak the kind of Spanish you were taught at night school (or high school)

-Having that “taah da!” moment: when your brain finally begins to translate things in your head automatically. Suddenly listening to people talk is no longer hard work and there’s no more mental fatigue…taah da!
-When local and national disasters strike, Latins don’t panic or whine to the government. When a road washes out or a bridge collapses local civilians just call a few neighbors, get a few shovels and picks and get to work on it themselves. Because they know the government won’t get on it for days (unless it’s impeding some blowhard bureaucrat’s daily drive home)

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October 19, 2011  
The lowdown on the three LA countries that are trying like mad to tax and spend their way into 1st world status; Argentina Costa Rica and Chile

How the Costa Rican traffic authority has instituted an extremely lucrative means of gouging drivers, especially directed at tourist drivers.

The ins and outs of LA property taxes, and the specific heavy handed case of Chile. How Chile soaks its property owners, 1st world style; and many more reasons why Chile is not a good bet for those frugal Expats who want to get away from big brother and live the simple life.

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October 18, 2011  

More on the cost of living– how to judge the cost of living in an LA city or country by examining its major daily newspapers

Newspapers are not dying in LA like they are up in the 1st World. They’re alive and well but they pay their workers peanuts. Even full time reporters with advanced college degrees often live with their moms and dads for years since the average reporter makes about $3-400 a month

Finding a Spanish translator Part 2. What about those amazing pocket translators and hi-tech voice recognition devices? Do those things really work? If so, then why hire a flesh-and-blood translator for a hundred a week (unless she’s Miss Venezuela) when you can get it all translated by Android app? We’ll tell you why.

A word about Google translate, a free service that’s free, very simple to use, and really handy.

Be a junk gold and silver broker in LA; another great Expat business opportunity explained in detail and that involves almost no startup costs but has 1st World monetary rewards written all over it

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October 12, 2011  
What about Belize? They speak English there, so it must be a good pick for Expats, right? Well, it’s not my cup of tea but …

The obvious racism in Costa Rica that tourists never see (and its deep, deep, roots).

Racism and prejudice on steroids, that’s a fact of life in LA and practically no one does a thing about it. But what about 1st World Black Expats or persons of color (other than tourists) who decide to come down long term or permanently? Do they still have that all important “Gringo Advantage” we talk so much about… or not?

Beauty pageants in LA; one of the four national pastimes (the others being soccer, tax evasion, and software/DVD/clothing pirating) and how racism rears its ugly head even among beauty queens

The further misadventures of Expat Eddie and his runway model girlfriend (i.e., how did a crazy guy like him ever end up with a down-to-earth beauty like her?)

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October 11, 2011  
Those scary LA murder and crime stats, how crime statistics mislead, and how to really compare them to crime in the US and the rest of the 1st World. LA crime statistics reported in the 1st World media don’t even begin to tell the real story and are just downright confusing. Here’s the real dirt crime and some specific LA examples.
What cleaning ladies and gardeners are saying about Expats behind their backs.
Expat Eddie takes a thieving employee to court - and loses! Why? Because he didn’t bother to bring his lawyer. In LA its not enough to have proof and be in the right. You need your lawyer too- since you’re a rich 1st World guy and the thief is a poor downtrodden local (who just happens to need your Plasma TV and DVD player more than you do)
What are these things called passport embargos and arraigos? They are court orders that block you from leaving the country! How and why the LA courts can keep you from travelling, and why LAlocals can get around that kind of order a lot easier than Expats can (but you can do it too if you know the tricks)
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October 5, 2011  

Real estate tricks your lawyer can work out with the seller that can save you (the buyer) thousands

The anomalous “Tramitador”. He’s your LA lawyer’s motorcycle ridin’ right-hand-man and the guy that‘s forever greasing the broken wheels of the legal system 

The best unknown money saving real estate trick of all (and this one’s 100% legal!)

How to buy property and/or own a business completely under the radar, and it’s perfectly legal too (er… it’s legal if you’re Latin).

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October 4, 2011  
Real estate buying tips; how to slice ¼ off the already cut-rate LA property prices.
How 1st Worlder’s get suckered into paying too much for LA properties (and are more than happy to do it!)
How to spot desperate Latin sellers when perusing the property ads.
Tips on buying farmland and rural properties
Why every big fish in LA (including the so-called educated “best minds”) think the economic slowdown that’s just now beginning to take shape down here is just a tiny blip in the normal business cycle. Which by the way, means us PRN listeners have a huge advantage over the average numbskull.
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