Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Expat Report: 26 months Later

I’d like to start out by thanking the readers who have shown me their love and support on my expat blog and on my web novel blog. I’m nearly two months late writing this, but I felt it was necessary to write a blog entry honoring the last two years of my life in Argentina.

I'm happy to report that McDonald’s recently began offering an Americanized breakfast with bacon, scrambled eggs, and two pieces of bread that comes pretty close to the texture of a bagel, minus the shape or the hole in the middle.
Walmarts in Argentina now sell bacon and it tastes like home. Zach was kind enough to make some for me because I have absolutely no talent for cooking.
 The public hospital in Cordoba no longer charges (an already cheap) out-patient fee but on the downside, getting an appointment to see a doctor is a lot harder. I’ll talk more about that in a future blog article.

Now some of you know that I’ve struggled with social anxiety and depression all my life but I’ve been able to get treatment for it thanks to the free healthcare in Argentina. As my 37th birthday approached, I decided that I would try to control my condition on my own, without the need of a therapist or anti-anxiety medication. It’s been two months and I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ll admit that I wasn’t prepared for the mood swings or the unexpected anxiety attacks I’ve experienced. I find myself staying indoors a lot more these days. To compensate I try to bring my friends to my house as long as there’s money for snacks and drinks.

A lot of people have asked me how college is going so here goes. I quit. The choice wasn’t easy but I ultimately didn’t feel that the university and I meshed at all. I could spend the entire post pointing out why but I’ve done that already in a previous entry and that’s not what this entry is about. I also decided to quit back in June for another reason and it was really the deciding factor. When I got here, my family did their best to support Zach and me. Unfortunately, they have their own problems and the last thing we wanted was to be a financial burden to them so we cut the proverbial umbilical cord. My time is now spent working as a freelance writer. The amount of income I get from the articles depends mainly on the consistency of the work. Unfortunately, that’s out of my hands. It’s usually up to my freelance handlers (as I dub them) to provide me with a sufficient number of articles to make ends meet every month.

Zach has also joined the freelance writing team, but his true passion has always been in the kitchen. So he created his own website so people could order some of his amazing pastries. Visit his site: Zach’s Bake Shop at - http://darkecloude.wix.com/zachsbakeshop. Here are some photos of the amazing things he bakes.

In addition, he created a group called English & Muffins where expats and Argentineans meet at a hostel to play fun and sassy games that help non-native English speakers practice their English while enjoying his delicious muffins and cakes. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EnglishSpeakingMuffins/

Aside from the freelance writing, I’ve decided to revive my career as a fiction writer by publishing the web novel I had originally self-published through LULU.COM before I left the States. All 17 chapters of Hunter’s Vendetta are now available for your reading pleasure and it’s free but it’s also copyright protected. So I better not see the novel turned into a film without my consent ;-) Read it here - http://vendettachronicles.blogspot.com.ar/

I also celebrated my 37th birthday back in July with Zach and two new friends who threw me a surprise party. I’m usually the one planning big surprise parties for others but it’s rare that I’m the center of attention. Suffice it to say it was awesome. They decorated the house with themes related to my favorite shows like Supernatural and Star Trek and themes like zombies and Superman.
 
It seems like a lifetime ago since Zach and I stepped out of that plane in Cordoba but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our old lives in the States. 
My friends back home have gone through things that I wish I could have been there for. I have one friend who lost her son in a terrible accident. I have another friend who got remarried and is expecting her first child. I used to ask her teasingly when she would make me an uncle. Now I won’t be there. I sometimes wonder if the choice we made was the right one or if Zach and I would still be together if we had stayed.
The truth is I don’t really have any of those answers. Fortunately, I have friends, both fellow expats and Argentineans, who continue to help me get through the rough times. I've also been lucky enough to meet kind people who have been willing to bring items back from the States, like a couple of my favorite Sci-Fi novels. Plus, as always (and possibly forever) Zach and I are always there for each other in the end.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. The info on health care was especially interesting to me because I have a number of chronic conditions including diabetes and bi-polar disorder. Would be VERY interested to read more about the costs and quality of care and prescriptions. Also would be interested to know about any health insurance options and whether you've opted into them or not and why.

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    1. I have a friend from the States who lives here and she is also a diabetic. I'll ask her. As far as the bi-polar disorder is concerned, I can tell you that the cost to be seen by a psychiatrist and a psychologist is zero but the meds without insurance can range about 160 pesos (18.79 USD) per medication. The medical insurance is a bit iffy. Most people automatically get insurance benefits which they call "obra social", through their jobs. I've been meaning to look into getting insurance here to cover the cost of meds as well as life insurance in case something happens to me. I'll do some more research and let you know or I'll publish a post with more info.

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