Archive for the ‘Expanish Meets’ Category

The diversity of age at Expanish

Monday, November 16, 2015 11:50

Categories - Expanish Meets, Spanish - 1 Comment

Are you planning on studying at Expanish but are experiencing cold feet and doubting this new opportunity? We all experience those last minute doubts, am I too young, am I too old, will I make friends? But you definitely do not have to worry, we can promise to you that you will be overwhelmed by the welcoming and vibrant atmosphere at expanish.

To say the least the students of expanish are a friendly bunch that create a diverse and dynamic environment. The age of students varies from 16 years old to the late 70s, you will have no problems finding friends most suited to you.

This for some may require students to shift from their comfort zone and outreach towards a crowd older or younger. This has many positive aspects, you have the opportunity  to socialize and befriend people who you normally wouldn’t diverse with, learn from people who are of a more matured age and most importantly it is a fantastic opportunity in expanding your horizons and making friends from all different levels. Not only will be this a rewarding experience for your spanish language but will enable you to create some long lasting friendships from all ages and parts of the world.

Classes 12 300x200 The diversity of age at Expanish

With the mix of ages, not only will you be learning español but also from other students, allowing you to create different points of view that you may have never considered before, and as they say, older people have a wealth of life experiences that you can benefit from. And not to mention, they give fantastic advice! Often our opinions and perspectives on life are shaped by our age, our expanish culture is a great opportunity in being exposed to ideas from different generations. Regardless of age, everyone is studying at expanish for the same reason as you, to learn and immerse themselves into our beautiful spanish language and culture!

Take the next big step and join us at Expanish and throw yourself into one of the best life experiences!

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I want to learn Spanish: different ways of approaching the language

Monday, November 16, 2015 11:28

Categories - Expanish Meets, Spanish - 0 Comments

There are a variety of ways in learning Spanish and improving your spanish. Firstly attending a language school and committing yourself to the language is the perfect way in getting your spanish started! At school you will learn everything you need to (depending obviously on how long you are at the school) it’s up to you to commit, attend classes and religiously complete your homework. If you want to go above and beyond there are many ways you can throw yourself out there and practise and connect in spanish.

theschool20 1 300x165 I want to learn Spanish: different ways of approaching the language

The second best way in approaching the language and emerging yourself into the Argentinian culture is by making friends with the locals! There are many ways in making friends with Argentinians! Argentinians are super friendly and approachable, you won’t have problems at all. There are many language exchanges that offer you the opportunity to meet Argentinians and swap languages, you can speak Spanish and in return they speak English-it’s a win win situation and you both get to brush up on your language skills. There are also many other ways to connect with locals, for example Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people. Firstly you can search for locals who are willing to meet up and make friends with tourist. You would be surprised, as a lot of people are interested in a meet up over mate in the park, you never know they may turn into your best friend here!

Meet locals and practise your spanish by doing something as fun as bootcamp or yoga in the park! Buenos Aires is big on this, every weekend there is usually free yoga available for everyone! You can also join other groups such as art classes, dance classes, cooking classes and other social groups. This is a great opportunity to occupy yourself and meet other people!

Read a book. As simple as it is, all you have to do is buy a book in spanish, pick a nice park and READ! This is the perfect way to improve your spanish, this enables you to read over the context that you have learnt or you haven’t, highlight new words, look words up and enjoy a book.

This is probably one of the most enjoyable and easiest ways in approaching a language by listening to music. All you have to do is shazam some local songs, look them up and download them. If you really want to learn new words and phrases this is great as you can easily pick up new words and learn them. At the start it may be a bit challenging but once you get the hang of it in no time you will be singing along to spanish songs.

Remember in order to improve your spanish and immerse yourself into the culture, you must PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE and throw yourself out there, you must take up any and every opportunity in speaking spanish and meeting locals! It may be challenging and scary at first but your spanish will greatly benefit from this! You will thank yourself later…

They key to approaching and improving your spanish is commitment and determination, if you adopt these two powerful characteristics you will get very far with your spanish language and experiences in Buenos Aires.

 

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First day at Expanish

Monday, August 3, 2015 11:28

Categories - Expanish Meets, Uncategorized - 0 Comments

This day for many is nerve racking, it’s like the first day of school all over again. The thought of the unknown and embarking in on new experiences for some is intimidating and overwhelming however for some being the most memorable first experiences. That first experience in meeting your best friend, trying mate for the first time (famous Argentinian drink) or simply the comforting feeling that you are in a safe place in Buenos Aires.

Usually the case is everyone feels slightly nervous, however these feelings go within no time after feeling more at ease with the situation. On your first arrival at Expanish, within the first hour you will feel completely free of any emotions that may have been affecting or holding you back! The first hour involves a fun packed orientation where you get to meet your fellow peers, play games, are informed on general information of Buenos Aires and are required to complete other enjoyable activities-we can’t reveal all as that would be no fun, and everyone likes surprises!

However, before all these fun filled activities, a small exam, “un chiquito examen” is required to distinguish which level your spanish is at. Then from there, the teachers can determine the most suitable and appropriate class for you. You will also receive a welcome pack which is filled with useful information on the best places to eat, how to get your first subte card, weekly activities the school has to offer (definitely get on board with this, it’s a great way to make new friends) discounts for places to eat and lots of other useful information. Oh and not to mention you get a cute expanish bag, it’s great to put the books in and keep as a little memory/souvenir of the school 🙂

The morning tour you are introduced to our wonderful school and may meet some of our teachers on the way. You will definitely meet Gabriel (Expanish Academic Director) which is by far a favourite and plays a very important role with your studies at Expanish. If you are having any doubts, worries about your studies or either just want to add classes, Gabriel is your go-to man. On your first day you will also meet our famous Milva! Expanish and Milva go hand in hand, when you think of Expanish you think of Milva, you could say she’s kind of a mascot for Expanish. Milva works at reception and will help you with all your needs, even if it’s the smallest question or worry Milva has all the answers.

After your first class, to end the day you have a tour on general advice, directions and locations of surrounding neighbourhoods and a talk on safety-for example distinguishing between fake and real notes. This talk is very useful and will give you the heads up on what to do and what not to do! We can promise to you that your first day will be very welcoming, memorable and simply just nice. What more could you ask for, studying a language you enjoy in a beautiful city-mind you in the best location of Bs As, meet and make friends with people around the world, oh and get taught by the best teachers? Nothing beats an experience as such…

expanish 222 de 237 300x165 First day at Expanish

Mundial en la escuela!

Monday, June 16, 2014 13:47

Categories - Expanish Meets, Sports - 0 Comments

71121 interes general Mundial en la escuela!

En Expanish transmitiremos los partidos del mundial que se televisen en el horario en el que la escuela está abierta. Mirá los horarios:
1559350 709777185753729 1333312982789576441 o 121x300 Mundial en la escuela!
¡Te esperamos en el 6to piso para verlos juntos!

Si los partidos del Mundial te encuentran en la Ciudad, podés compartirlos gratis y al aire libre. Acercate a las dos pantallas gigantes en plaza San Martín y parque Centenario, para que vibremos juntos con cada partido.
Si deseas más, acá esta.

Sudafrica reunirse partidos Obelisco DyN CLAIMA20140513 0088 30 Mundial en la escuela!

Te tengas un lindo Mundial!

Día de la Patria

Monday, May 26, 2014 12:03

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Expanish Meets - 0 Comments

post 13929 1337935546 Día de la Patria

El 25 de Mayo de 1810 se formó el primer gobierno patrio. Fue la primera vez que en Argentina hubo un gobierno conformado por locales que no dependían de las órdenes de los españoles.

Argentina todavía no era un país, sino una colonia española denominada el Virreinato del Río de la Plata; como muchos otros países latinoamericanos, era un país regido por leyes impuestas desde España.

En Mayo de 1810, sucedieron una serie de hechos, conmemorados como la Revolución de Mayo, que llevaron a la destitución de virrey Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, quien fuera reemplazado por la Primera Junta compuesta por Cornelio Saavedra como Presidente.

Durante la Revolución de Mayo se inició el proceso de independencia de España, que finalizó durante el Congreso de Tucumán el 9 de julio de 1816 con declaración de independencia de la Argentina.

En cada 25 de mayo es tradicional festejarlo comiendo pastelitos de membrillo o de batata con chocolate caliente.  Es tradicional rellenarlos con dulce de membrillo o de batata, y también con dulce de leche. Los costumbres coloniales se hacen presentes en el festejo. Eran el orgullo de las familias patricias servir chocolate caliente, mientras era un símbolo de estatus se acompañaban con facturas caseras.

La costumbre de los churros, las tortas fritas y los pastelitos sigue formando parte del tradición nacional. En cada nuevo aniversario de la Revolución de Mayo, los argentinos salen en busca de dulces tradicionales, ya sea para disfrutarlos en medio de un festejo o para lucirse como anfitriones con el propio chocolate patrio.

También celebramos el día de la Patria con nuestros estudiantes en Expanish! Los regalamos con riquísimos pastelitos y chocolate caliente. Fue una grand sorpresa!
DSC03802 300x225 Día de la Patria DSC03804 300x225 Día de la Patria DSC03807 300x225 Día de la Patria
Un poco de tradición argentina en clase! Gracías

Actividades al Aire Libre

Friday, April 25, 2014 14:13

Categories - Buenos Aires City Attractions, Expanish Meets - 0 Comments

mariage pique nique%2Bpicnic%2Ben%2Bboda Actividades al Aire Libre
Cualquier tipo de actividad de entretenimiento resulta positiva para la salud corporal y psicológica.

Desde hace ya algún tiempo la preferencia de hacer actividades en lugares cerrados es menor que  la ejercitación al aire libre. La actividad al aire libre ha demostrado ser más barata, saludable y agradable.

El entrenamiento al aire libre es más provechoso que ejercitarse en un gimnasio o en casa. En tal caso, estaríamos lejos de la naturaleza y de todo lo que nos ofrece.

Es más relajante realizar cualquier actividad al aire libre. Quedarse en medio de la urbanización ó en lugares cerrados  ha sido más estresante para el organismo que quedarse un rato en bosque, donde hay un aire más limpio para respirar.

Nos divertimos mucho más. Porque podemos ver cosas y personas diferentes cada día, lo que resulta más atractivo y motivante para continuar moviéndonos.

Aun en invierno, el sol sigue allí y lo percibimos mientras ejercitamos al aire libre. Este no sólo nos ofrece felicidad y un mejor estado de ánimo, sino que además, ayuda a la piel a sintetizar vitamina D buena para el organismo.

Podemos comprobar la diferencia y personalmente. ¡Entrenar afuera es mucho más divertido, efectivo y alentador sea la época del año que sea!

Plaza Francia 800x531 300x199 Actividades al Aire Libre plaza lasheras1 300x219 Actividades al Aire Libre

En la escuela Expanish hay muchas actividades gratuitas ó de bajo costo para nuestros estudiantes. Entre las actividades, tenemos un Welcome Tour semanal, paseos por la ciudad, conversación en bosques.

Y también, en Buenos Aires hay opciones para quien quiera disfrutar de lo mejor de la ciudad. Mirá el sítio Agenda Cultural BA.

¿Entonces, vamos caminar en el parque?

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Expanish Meets Au Pair Argentina

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 8:34

Categories - Expanish Meets - 0 Comments

For people looking for work abroad and the chance to experience another culture, country and language, Au Pairing has always been a popular and worthwhile option, especially in and around Europe. However, until recently, it was a relatively unknown concept in Argentina. Thanks to Au Pair in Argentina, set up by British Expat Anna Templeton, that’s all changing. Expanish Spanish School Blog wanted to find out a bit more….

Tell us a bit about Au pair Argentina

So Au Pair in Argentina introduces fun, enthusiastic and experienced British, American, French and German au pairs to warm, open minded Argentine families. We like learning through play, so au pairs are encouraged to get creative with the kids, cook, do arts and crafts, play games. It makes their job more fun, but also means the kids learna new language without noticing. We arm au pairs with lots of activity ideas in our welcome packs and at orientation.

The positions we have are either live in or live out and the hours are normally 25 a week so great for a steady income and for still having time to explore the city, study Spanish, have fun.  Our live in positions are great for those who want the full immersion experience, and have an avenue to practice their Spanish (out of working hours), and live out seems to be preferable to au pairs already living in Argentina who don’t want to give up their flat, but want a job that is rewarding and fun and not in an office! Both are great for getting to see the “real” Argentina, learn about the culture, make Argentine friends and get properly stuck into living abroad.

I was an au pair so I know it can be a bit lonely some times, so Au Pair in Argentina arranges events, days out and social gatherings for our au pairs so they can get to know each other, and see bits of the country that they might not have seen before.

Tell us a bit about why you founded Au pair Argentina?

As I said I was an au pair, and I thought it was a brilliant experience. I loved the job satisfaction I got, the bond I made with the family and it really helped my Spanish. I was quite surprised that in a country which has masses of bilingual schools and a real interest in learning a second language, that the au pair scheme was not available. So I thought why not set up Au Pair in Argentina…

aupair Expanish Meets Au Pair Argentina

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up living in Buenos Aires?

On a whim. I was frustrated by London; my freelance job that felt like it had hit a dead end and really wanted a change. My friend had been transferred to Argentina with her work and suggested I joined her. She had a flat paid for by work, where I could stay, so  it seemed like a no brainer. Was supposed to only come for 6 months, but after several months of enjoying myself I founded Au Pair in Argentina. I was having a great time; I was excited by Au pair in Argentina so it seemed silly to leave. I initially extended my stay for a couple of months, this turned into a couple of months more, and suddenly I had been in Buenos Aires for almost 2 years!

What cultural differences will Au pairs notice when working closely with Argentine families?

I think appearance is a big one. The majority of us are vain, but Porteños take pride in appearance to a new level. What you look like, how you dress, the impression you give through your style/look matters big time. Also tidiness. Most of our au pairs are pretty neat and tidy people, but not by Argentine standards. That is definitely one of the most common complaints we get, that au pairs are messy and this can just be because they left some clothes on their bed!

Also I would say timing. Au Pairs need to prepare themselves for the more laid back schedule; the vague arrangements, the eating late, the mañana attitude. I personally think this is a perk, but each to their own

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What kind of people do you get applying to be Au pairs?

All sorts; 45 year old people starting again, 18 year old gap year folk, people studying in their year abroad, Russians, Danish, English, Americans, everyone! Sadly we only take native German, French and English speaking 18 – 30 year olds who have some level of childcare experience, so we can’t help everyone who gets in touch.

List your top 5 favorite things about Buenos Aires

The “onda” so cool, underground and with an amazingly positive energy

The people – they are supposedly the most unfriendly in the country, but I love Porteños, never before have I felt so welcome in a country

The  beautiful old houses – Peaches – So stylish and cool.

Social life; eating out is cheap and great, night life is cracking, people are friendly

Spring – I love how Buenos Aires turns purple with the Jacaranda, the weather is amazing, and the people come out to play

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And your bottom 5…worst!

Crime – I have been mugged twice and it was not fun

Ever increasing inflation – how can my shop cost AR$150 pesos one week and AR$200 the next?

The dog poo on the streets – particularly in autumn where the leaves made it impossible to see where to avoid

Dulce de leche – controversial I know, but found in almost every sweet dish, which as a hater means puddings are hard

No change – where is it all?

If you could give one piece of advice to newcomers to Buenos Aires, what would it be?

Bring chillis and cheddar

And lastly…we have to ask this. How is your Spanish?

Good, finally feel confident in it…doesn’t mean I still don’t make MASSES of faux pas !

To find out more about becoming an Au Pair in Argentina visit http://www.aupairinargentina.com/

 

Expanish meets: Spanglish

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:34

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This week Expanish Blog Meets the owner of Spanglish, a popular Buenos Aires language event and a great way for Spanish students to practice their Spanish and meet locals.

  5039053274 a65af702b7 300x87 Expanish meets: Spanglish

Tell us a bit about Spanglish?Spanglish Exchange puts a twist on the traditional language exchange by pairing native speakers in a series of mini-conversations, half in English and half in Spanish. Equally attended by expats, travelers and Argentines, we host events almost daily in bars around Buenos Aires. There are no requirements, no tests….no pressure, just a lot of friendly people who are eager to meet other people and practice a language socially.

How did you come up with the idea for Spanglish and go about launching it?

A friend of mine had asked me to teach an English class for her. I reluctantly agreed and after a few weeks I realized my students didn’t speak English outside of the 1.5 hour class. After almost a decade living a double life in the educational field as a teacher and in the event industry as an organizer and entertainer, I decided to combine my passions and the first Spanglish Exchange event was held on October 22, 2008. The ten people in attendance had so much fun and were so thankful that I dropped everything else I was working on and dedicated myself to growing Spanglish. It was a niche market and we grew rapidly…also because in the beginning I was working 70+ hours a week on it! I recently traveled solo through Mexico, and I spent an hour at a bar writing in my journal…and wishing a Spanglish were there so I could meet people.

ba from above1 300x195 Expanish meets: Spanglish

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up living in Buenos Aires?

When you’re an expat people often only know your life post-BA. I came here on vacation in 2005 and fell in love with the city. 6 years later I’m still here, but that’s a longer story. There was an article in the Buenos Aires Herald about that. My real passion is politics and poetry…and I have a BA in one and a Masters in the other. Buenos Aires is a great place to experience either, so it’s a city that plays to my personality.

What kind of people come to Spanglish?

We get this question a lot. The truth is…everyone comes to Spanglish; we get Argentines who are still finishing high school and 80 year olds who want to continue improving their English. A lot of students and business people as well as those who like to travel abroad. As far as travelers go, we get vacationers here for one week and expats who’ve quit their jobs and sold everything to move to Buenos Aires.  

How can people expect to benefit from coming to Spanglish?

The obvious answer is that they’ll improve their language skills. I always tell people it’s like a sport…you don’t expect to be an ace football player practicing once a week. Attending regularly they’ll hear different accents and expressions and be able to handle themselves in a variety of situations. But Spanglish is more than about language practice, it’s about creating friendships that go beyond one’s stay in Buenos Aires. Most people won’t do their Spanish homework on a Saturday night, but Spanglish on Saturdays if full of people practicing. One of my biggest motivations for growing Spanglish is seeing all the friendships that begin there

spanglish 300x231 Expanish meets: Spanglish

What are the biggest challenges people face when learning Spanish?

Fear.  Most people are scared to death of making mistakes and sounding stupid. But that’s the best part about Spanglish, both sides make mistakes and usually end up laughing over them..  If you really want to learn another language you have live in it, argue in it, love in it, defend yourself in it…and that only happens when you spend the majority of your time with people who speak that language. At Spanglish people meet and practice with at least 6 different native speakers, increasing the chance they’ll find not just a language partner, but a person that they genuinely want to communicate with.

List your top 5 favourite things about Buenos Aires

Spontaneity, you never know what to expect. Life doesn’t run on a clock. The abundance of good steak. That people here are blunt and curious. And that there is always something to do.

And your bottom 5…worst!

See my top 5 favorite things. On my bad days, they’re my least favorite things….yes, people, there is such a thing as too much good steak. I was a vegetarian when I got here!

If you could give one piece of advice to newcomers coming to Buenos Aires, what would it be?

Bring high quality towels. And socks. And Ipods. And Heinz Ketchup. And cheesecake. And bring it to me at Spanglish. In all seriousness, I’d say drop the idea of what the guidebooks tell you about Buenos Aires and use every bit of time here to live the culture. Get to know as many Argentines as possible…be curious, explore. And if you have an Ipad, don’t whip out in the middle of the street

images Expanish meets: Spanglish

And lastly…we have to ask this. How is your Spanish?

It could be better…You know the saying, “en casa de herrero cuchillo de palo?” I fall into the category of people who are “fluent” enough to get away with not taking classes, but not as fluent as I should be for how long I’ve been here. I recently learned that slang for procrastinating is “voy pateando” and I’m definitely guilty of that. So, I’d like to come out and formally declare, I, Maya May, am going to take an intensive Spanish grammar tune-up. Do you have a class for that? Stay-tuned for updates on my progress to 100% native fluency.

For those of you who fancy giving Spanglish a try (Something Expanish highly recommends!) visit https://www.spanglishexchange.com/

Expanish Blog Meets Go Flash!

Friday, September 30, 2011 4:49

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Expanish Spanish School blog loves hearing about news and interesting ways to learn Spanish so when Isabel Glove showed us her new slang flash cad project ‘Go Flashcards’ we tought they were great.  Neat little packs of themed flash cards to help students practice their Argentine street slang and get one step closer to being a true porteno!

Tell us a bit about how and why you developed the cards

After having both lived in Buenos Aires for a while we had learnt the local lingo, whilst friends still struggled despite doing classes. We were always playing around with flashcards, but they only taught the boring stuff everyone already knows. So we decided to make a different type of flashcards that teach you how people really speak here.

Who are the cards aimed at and how do you see them being used?

The cards are aimed at anyone interested in learning the slang and conversation words and phrases in Spanish or English. The GO flashcards are small and fun so they can be used on the subte, with a group of friends at a party or when you’ve left Argentina and want to carry on practicing your vocab.  

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up living in Buenos Aires?

I first came to BA as part of my Hispanic Studies degree then returned after I graduated. There is something about Buenos Aires that keeps drawing you back! Emily moved here with her Argentine partner after they met in Australia.

RESERV1 300x225 Expanish Blog Meets Go Flash!

List your top 5 favorite tourist destinations in BA

Ecological Park near Puerto Madero
Palacio de Aguas Corrientes
Museo Evita
Tecnopolis
Tigre

List your top 5 favourite things about Buenos Aires

Bike paths
Feeling like part of a community in a big city
Free cultural events
Parks
Asados/barbeques

Seeber05 300x184 Expanish Blog Meets Go Flash!

And your bottom 3…worst!

Caca de perro
Overuse of plastic bags
The subte closes at 10.30

If you could give one piece of advice to newcomers to Buenos Aires, what would it be?

Try your best to make friends with Argentines. It can be all too easy to take the easy route and just hang out with fellow expats, but it’ll be worth the extra effort when your Spanish improves and you experience a real asado!

And lastly…we have to ask this. How is your Spanish?

Pretty good. Emily and I are often confused as Argentines despite our blonde hair and gringa faces!

Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 15:21

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For this month’s edition of Expanish Spanish School Meets, we speak to Jonathan Evans from Buenos Aires Local Tours a tour company that offers the chance to explore Buenos Aires, travel by collectivo and get tips and advice from a very well informed Buenos Aires expat.

Nueva imagen 1 Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

Tell us a bit about Buenos Aires Local Tours?

Buenos Aires Local Tours offers a daily, free, walking and public transport tour of some of the most interesting areas of Buenos Aires. It leaves every day, Monday – Saturday at 11am from Plaza Italia and using colectivos and subway we visit Abasto (Carlos Gardel’s house and street art), Congreso, Avenida de Mayo & Plaza de Mayo.

b 420169 Buenos Aires 300x225 Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

Tell us a bit about how and why you founded Buenos Aires local tours?

After traveling for 18 months around South America I wanted to find a way to live in Buenos Aires without working in an office – I’d done enough of that in Europe!

I’ve always enjoyed catching a bus here, it’s always felt like an achievement, successfully decoding the system and figuring out where to get on and off. One day it hit me that this was what I could offer visitors to Buenos Aires – give them a way to see the city, but at the same time making public transport the focus, rather than just another walking or organized minibus tour.

I spent a few days planning a route, catching buses around town to become familiar with the lines and areas and sights that could be easily covered. My favourite part of the tour is Abasto because it is an area that most tourists would never visit but it is full of fascinating history, culture and street art.

0295 abasto 300x225 Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

As the tour has developed I’ve also become aware that it’s not just about the sights. The people that come on the tour are genuinely interested in Argentina and what makes the country tick politically and culturally, so often we’ll end up having a long discussion about the upcoming elections, corruption or the economy – it’s not your average walking tour!

And how on earth you manage to make a living when the tours are free!?

Tips! I decided to go with free tours as I wanted to allow people to pay what they were able, or what they though the tour was worth! A backpacker traveling on a budget won’t be able to afford a USD125 walking tour, but he or she can come on my tour, get a great introduction to the city, and pay what they can.

So far, everybody has been very generous and I’m making the same, if not more than I was working full-time in a office here in Buenos Aires and enjoying it much, much more!

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up living in Buenos Aires?

I’m from England and came here on holiday for 2 weeks in 2007. I stayed in a great hostel in Palermo Hollywood for 10 days and did a 4 day trip down to the Peninsula Valdes to see some whales. I absolutely loved it. A year later I had left my job, sold all my stuff and came back to spend more time here and do some traveling round South America.

puerto madryn Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

I spent 18 months doing that, my girlfriend (who is from Colombia) decided that we wanted to give living here a try, so we came back in May 2010 and I started the tours in December.

List your top 5 favorite tourist destinations in BA

In no particular order:

1. Abasto, particularly the filete and Gardel murals near the Carlos Gardel museum. It’s a very unique area with a special place in Buenos Aires history & culture – as a tourist it feels like discovering a secret.

2. La Costanera – walk past the docks of Puerto Madero and there’s this great promenade along the edge of the Ecological Reserve full of great barbecue stands. They say choose the one with the most taxis parked next to it!

3. Plaza Serrano, Palermo Soho – it’s cheesy and not especially ‘authentic’ but it’s a great place to sit on a sunny afternoon, sipping a Quilmes and watching the world go by. It’s where Buenos Aires first got me!

4. Recoleta Cemetery – another obvious one, but it seriously is an incredible place. Amazing architecture, beautiful sculptures – it gives a fascinating insight into Argentinian history and in some cases their overblown sense of importance! Take a camera and snap away.

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5. San Telmo – it has a much more gritty feel than Palermo, based in its working-class roots. It’s a great place to explore with lots of classic wood-lined bars to stumble across, some fantastic street art and tons of attitude.

List your top 5 favourite things about Buenos Aires

1. Anything goes – lunch at 5pm? Dinner at 1am? Beer delivered to your house? It’s all possible and nobody cares, they just let you get on with it.

2. Public transport, especially the colectivos (buses). They’re frequent, go everywhere and very cheap – the only way to travel.

3. Spring – the North may be heading into winter but October and November are the perfect months to be in Buenos Aires – the purple jacaranda trees burst into life and everybody is out in the parks and squares

untitled Expanish Meets Buenos Aires Local Tours

4. The history in the streets, from the Palacio Barolo to the secret house overlooking the Obelisco, Buenos Aires is full of fascinating stories and characters. I love finding out about these places and sharing the stories on the tour.

5. The people, regardless of where they are from, expat or local, almost everyone I’ve met here has been interesting, interested in me, funny and generous – it makes a huge difference.

And your bottom 3…worst!

1. The Subte. I love catching a bus, but the subway system can be a struggle at times. Overcrowding, unexplained delays and people standing on the left of the escalator are the main problems!

2. Inflation – prices are creeping up every time you go to the supermarket – it’s frustrating and can start to limit what you can afford.

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3. Political adverts everywhere. 2011 is an election year and the streets are covered with posters, and corners are full of people thrusting leaflets into your hand. It’s a novelty at first, but soon wears off.

If you could give one piece of advice to newcomers to Buenos Aires, what would it be?

Get out there and explore. Coming on my tour will give you some of the tools you’ll need such as understanding the bus system which is very useful. Otherwise just walk around soaking it all up – try a new barrio every day.

And lastly…we have to ask this. How is your Spanish?

Getting better every day! I have a degree in French & Italian so languages are kinda my thing and I’ve not had lessons in Spanish as there are many similarities with French that I’ve been able to pick it up as I go along. I think that learning Spanish is one of the most important things you can do here – your experience will be so much richer if you can just make that little effort.

Jonathan’s Buenos Aires Local Tours run Monday to Saturday from 11am at Plaza Italia.

 

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