Kiosco: it’s the ubiquitous store where you can find everything you need. It was fashionable in the 90s to call them “drugstores”, if they had more space, more products, and payphones. Now it’s back to kioscos, plain and simple.
Cordoba y Callao: One of the busiest corners of Buenos Aires.
Expat Chat: Israeli Aviv Cohen says he came down to BA before the country collapsed. In 2001, December there was a total economic and political meltdown, that marked the end of the 10-year convertibilidad process, by which 1 dollar was pegged to 1 peso, by law. He also mentions the three intelligence agencies of the UK (MI6), Israel (Mossad) and Argentina (SIDE; which stands for Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado).
[box] We hope you liked it, if you have some questions or comments, please use:
Audio Zone of Buenos Aires: Fer makes reference to the zone between Talcahuano Street and Callao Avenue, between Sarmiento and Mitre streets. That’s where all the audio and musical instruments stores are located in the city.
Sapo de Otro Pozo: An argentine expression for “Stranger, Outsider”
Mochilero : Backpacker
Canchero: it could be “Player”, or it could be “Arrogant”.
Boliche: Dance Club
Necochea: Seaside city of Buenos Aires province, is around 500 kilometers south of the capital.
Boludo: The ever present word of Argentines, it can mean dude, asshole, idiot.
Che: Another signature word of Argentines: it can mean Hey! or Come On!
2001 Devaluation: Until that year, Argentina was the most expensive country in Latin America, due to an anti-inflation scheme called “convertibility” that pegged the US Dollar to the Argentine peso. The economic meltdown marked the end of that: the dollar was allowed to float and Argentina became overnight one of the cheapest countries in the region…ask any expat who was here in 2003, 2004, 2005…and they tell you how far would dollars go. Inflation has been recently eroding that characteristic that defined Expat Argentina of the early 2000s.
Ezeiza: The codename for Buenos Aires international airport, Argentina’s main, and the only terminal for most flights (meaning everybody has to fly through it). The real name is Ministro Juan Pistarini, named after the minister who designed it, back in the 40s.
We mentioned Dan’s entry on the blog, complaining about arriving to Ezeiza. http://bacast.com/ezeiza-airport-the-worst-line-of-all-time/
baexpats.org: Is a very popular (and informative) forum for expats living in Buenos AIres, mainly those from the US. We mentioned on the show that predominantly the threads are negative (doesn’t mean all threads are negative, let alone that all expats are always complaining :)) Here’s is an example
Fernet with Coca Cola and Diet Coke: We have mentioned already that Fernet has to be of the Branca brand…but the Coke has to be the regular red-label one, otherwise the drink is crap.
Richieri: The common name for the highway linking BA city to Ezeiza International Airport.
UBA: University of Buenos Aires, founded in 1821 (not the oldest in the country, though, that place is for the University of Córdoba).
About University Education in Argentina: it’s PUBLIC, FREE AND OF IRRESTRICTED ACCESS, only High-School diploma and DNI are required to sign up. There’s no payment for tuition, at all, except in post-doctorates.
The origin of this system is a revolt in 1918, called “Reforma Universitaria”. It also involves a system of government in which teachers, graduates and students have a say in the administration.
It has 320 thousand students, out of which 1 in 7 graduates.
Guests at the Chamuyo:
Beatriz Comte, a UBA School of Philosophy graduate. She is in charge of the students exchange programs at the Ortega y Gasset Foundation
Claire Meade Skotn, US College Student, who was in Argentina completing a thesis on “Bachilleratos Populares”, an alternative type of High-Scool education for adults, who weren’t able to take Secondary School.
Julián Massaldi, UBA geographer, former tour guide, who works for The Working World, an organization that helps financially social-oriented businesses and workers-owned factories.
Julieta Galván: UBA and UNC (Universidad Nacional del Comahue) graduate, Portuguese translator and teacher.She speaks of the Chilean system. This year is marked in that country by massive protests by students demanding Free Education. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera responded: “We don’t like State-ran stuff” and “Nothing is Free in life”.
“Argentinos, a las cosas”: ”Argentines, do!”, the advise Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset gave to Argentina.
“Juego de manos, juego de villanos”: “Handlabor, the game of villains”, says Beatriz, going back to that expression of Spanish colonial times, that shows the disdain of the elites of manual labor, as one of the reasons for a culture that is less focused on “doing”, and more on “thinking”.
Max Weber: German sociologist who wrote a classic book in 1904 called “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, that is one explanation to the uneven levels of development in the world (it’s an alternative to other ways of explaining the world, like, say, Marxism).
We hope you liked it, if you have some questions or comments, please use:
Migraciones: The Migrations Department. All foreigners aiming for permanent residency have to deal with this entity, located in Retiro.
DNI: Documento Nacional de Identidad:Any person born in Argentina gets one, alongside a DNI number that is the lifeline with functioning as a citizen in the country. You need it to vote, get married, get a passport, sign up at Social Security, etc.
The Two Moms
Marty Karlin: Dan’s Mother, a Stanford-graduate educator in a Catholic School in Portland, Oregon.
Marta Penín: Fer’s Mother, a UBA-graduate Psychologist and an advisor at a Public School, in a very poor area of Temperley, Greater Buenos Aires.
Política Educativa de “Los Niños todos en la Escuela”…Igualar para Abajo (Downward Standardization): Fer’s Mother is making reference to a policy of giving priority to maintaining kids at schools, at the expense of letting academic standards to drop. Basically, the idea is to keep kids off the streets, and give them some kind of protection. But this doesn’t mean they’ll learn anything. She gives the example of Elemmentary School graduates who can’t read nor write as a result of this. This policy enables the Government to boast figures of school attendance that doesn’t mean education is being given to Public School students.
“La Epoca de Menem”: Marta tracks down the origin of Argentine education’s decline to the presidency of Carlos Menem (1989-1999). His administration had downsizing and privatization at the core of its plan. In the field of education, all schools were downgraded from Federal management to provincial and even municipal, which means severe cuts in budget and a subsequent drop in quality. Familias con “Planes Sociales”: She’s refering to families in which the main income is constituted by social programs or subsidies the government pays to have-nots. One of the most important is the AUH: “Asignación Universal por Hijo” (Universal Child Allowance) that grants poor families a monthly payment of 270 pesos per child, provided children receive mandatory vaccination and attend schools. The impact in the sign-up rate at schools was good, it increased significantly.
2300 pesos: basic salary for a teacher for a 4-hour shift. Practically all teachers do at least 2 shifts, many times in different schools.
“Retar al Niño”: To reprimand a child.
Registro Civil / Nacional de las Personas: The State Agency that issues DNIs, among other tasks like marrying people and registering changes of address.
Constancia: a temporary document that says your permanent one is in the making.
Spanglish Playground: Ways of the Ass or words for the back part of a person in Argentina
Presidente de Mesa/Autoridad de Mesa: Ballot Captain. He/she is accompanied by 1 or 2 suplentes, who are basically assistants and back-up.
Doubts about a person’s identity: It is mentioned it can be an issue, during the electoral process. This comes from the times when it was very easy to forge someone’s identity, and then you would have people voting several times. The Presidente de Mesa is responsible for preventing this from happening, and that’s why checking people’s voting documents is key, have a look at the photograph, check the data matches the electoral lists, etc. If there are doubts, the Ballot Captain can send the vote of the person in doubt to the electoral Court for them to decide if it’s valid.
To preserve order, the non-military Federal Security Forces, are at the disposal of ballot captains (in case someone gets violent about a decision made by the captains, if they come carrying propaganda)
Those forces are…
The Policia Federal: Federal Police, that investigate federal crimes, protect Federal buildings, etcetera. They don’t patrol streets or chase petty crime, except in Buenos Aires City, as this city was a Federal District (the mayor was appointed by the President) until 1994. The autonomy law of the city envisions the creation of a BA City-specific police force, and the brand-new Beta-mode Metropolitana created by incumbent Mayor Mauricio Macri would be that force. But they don’t have yet the muscle, nor the budget to really protect the city, so the Federal Police is still the true acting force in the Argentine capital.
Prefectura: The Coast Guards. Aside, from patrolling rivers, lakes, and the seaboard, they play the Police role in Port areas, such as Puerto Madero in BA.
Gendarmeria: the Border Patrol.
Fiscales: As mentioned on Episode 5, they are overseers of the electoral process sent from the political parties.
Ripped-off boletas: There are very complicated rules for considering valid or invalid a vote if the ticket is not in one piece. For example, if the candidates names’ part is missing the vote is valid, as long as the party’s name and the category part (President, Senator, etc) are complete. It is invalid in the opposite case.
500 kilometers rule: Adrian mentions that people travel 500 kilometers to avoid voting, and that’s because you’re excused from voting if you can prove you’re 500 kilometers or more away from the place you’re supposed to be voting (which is determined by the address on your document, not the actual one where you live). You prove the distance by getting a certificate at the local Police station.
The song speaks about:
Alfonsin, Raúl Ricardo: President of Argentina (1983-1989), mainly remembered for campaigning on Human Rights during the last period of the Military Dictatorship.
Junta: The Military Government that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. BTW, have you listened to our specials on the Junta years in Argentina? http://bacast.com/proceso-dirty-war-35th-anniversary-special-part-1/
Kirchner and Macri: Adrian says mentions the incumbent Federal administration, headed by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who succeeded her late husband, former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007). Macri is Mauricio Macri, the incumbent mayor of Buenos Aires, who recently got re-elected for another 4-year term to end in 2015. He was a presidential candidate until he dropped out of the race earlier this year. Allegedly, his advisor told him he had no chance of beating President Cristina, so it was better to protect his stronghold of Buenos Aires City, and wait four more years.