25 April 2008

The Perfect Apartment By Luciana

Erika and I have been scouring the web for the perfect apartment in Buenos Aires and I think we may have just found it. For weeks and weeks, this adventure has been tricky--okay, a pain in the ass--since Craig's List targets wealthy telecommuters and adventurous expats that have drug habits and tango aspirations, and we want a place we can live in, that:

1. Is located in Palermo (Palermo Viejo, Palermo SoHo or Palermo Hollywood)

2. Has A/C and Heat since it gets muggy in the summers and kinda cold in the winters--thought it's all relative, something I've learned from watching my Mom complain about the January Marine Layer in Southern California when the temperature dips into the 50's.

3. Is dog-friendly

4. Is a one-bedroom apartment instead of a studio so that we can get away from Zoe when she tries to wake us up in the middle of the night for a blackmail snack, and also so guests have a couch they can sleep on without having to hear me hitting on Erika

5. Is within walking distance of the subte, el parque and other points of interest

6. Is furnished

7. Or even better yet, is fashionably furnished, or at least the opposite of dreary

8. Has a balcony

9. Will allow us to move in in July

10. Perhaps the biggest obstacle, is $650 or less a month

After checking the "temporary housing" section of CL, a section I rarely look at since the name makes me think of jet-setting tenants and inherited apartment barons, trying to rent their apartment during vacations to faraway places, anyway, somehow I found the perfect little apartment of my dreams by accident, and after emailing Luciana, the owner, and negotiating the price from $630 to $570--yes, you can negotiate rent in South America like anything else--I showed Erika pictures of the place, talked it over with her and we're both on the same page. So we're going to wire Aldo, her uncle in Buenos Aires, the money so he can meet Luciana, get a small tour of the apartment, and give her our "reserva" for our July move-in.

It's crazy to think that in Chicago $570 won't get you anything except a crappy basement apartment somewhere in the West Side next to burger shacks and places to cash checks, but in Buenos Aires, you can rent an adorable apartment in the most fashionable barrio and live an excitingly hip but nevertheless, modest life in one of the most metropolitan and European cities in South America, or in the world. That, my friends, is the allure of moving to Buenos Aires and one of the perks of the Expat Life. ¡Holla!

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