Veinte dias en la Argentina: Buenos Aires y las conferencias
April 27, 2011
Two days ago I have returned to Rosario after some very intense but rewarding days in Buenos Aires. In the moment I am staying with two students (Lis and Martín); of course through couchsurfing. They are great and we had some good chats but so far no nights out togehter. I am often very tired. That has something to do with the 2,5 hours of Spanish a day. It was similar in the first months in Turkey. Different environment, different language a lot of stuff to learn and to see.
Classes are going well. I already know a lot of words and understand basic questions but it is still quite hard to form sentences on my own. Knowledge about grammar is missing so far as well.
The Elcato university has been quite awesome. Everything was in Spanish and I was totally screwed in that respect. I could only understand the technical terms like banko central, socialism, protectionismo, medologica and stuff like this. Besides that I got to know a lot of interesting, intelligent and awesome people from whole Latin America. I will meet Luis, a young libertarian from Venezuela, at the Mises University. I am really looking forward to that. I got accepted for these three seminars:
16.07.-22.07. Liberty and Society, Philadelphia, Institute for Humane Studies
24.07.-30.07 Misens University, Alabama, Ludwig von Mises Institute
01.08.-06.08 Advanced Austrian Economics Seminar, New York State, Foundation for Economic Education
I have to book a lot of flights. I will spend a good part of my saving on these trips but I am very sure that it is going to pay out for me. Especially because these events are not only important for my own academic education, for my upcomming Masters program in Spain but also for networking which is quite essential for somebody like me who goes down this narrowed path of Austrian Economics. Regarding this, I already did a good job at the Mont Pèlerin Society meeting in Buenos Aires. I got to know so many interesting and well know scholars. People like Marc Skousen (www.mskousen.com), Mart Laar, former prime minister and reformer of Estonia, nobel prize winner Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa and a lot of amazing Austrian scholars. It has been quite stimulating to listen to these distinguished experts on topics like the war on drugs (Gary Becker who is for complete legalization of all drugs – just awesome this guy), why populism is so popular and capitalism so feared in Latin America, the Chilean case, Argentina etc. I have met a lot of people from Think Tanks and learned about new opportunities for me. The market within Think Tanks is small but I will see what is going to happen in the future.
During the whole time I was wearing a tie and a suit. It was quite surrealistic to meet all these people, to chat with them about philosophy, psychology, economic and politics on the one hand and on the other hand to go back to the hostel I stayed in to sleep in a room with seven other people for nine euro a night.
After these exhausting day I had some time to check out the city and to meet some ex-fellow students from Erfurt. We were hanging out, visit some historical places and watched a football game together. It has been fun.
I am going out to dinner with Diego tonight and we will discuss my internship in Fundacion Libertad within the next month. I hope to write some papers about Monetary History of Argentina or something like that. Dunno.
Some pictures from the conferences and Buenos Aires:
List of differences:
- one liter beer bottles which people normaly share
- guys who are pushing away cars so that you can park your car or get out of a parking spot. That is a pretty awesome system!
- a lot of broken sidewalks
- Mate a drink with a lot of herbs as a social activity. It has coffeein in it, so I like it
- not that much variety in the food. The normal Argentinian diet seem to be: Pizza, Empanadas, Asado (awesome), Sandwich <- kind of unhealthy. On the other hand are most of the people quite skinny. Don’t get that. Fruits and vegetables are not very popular
- everybody is warning me of the high risk of getting robbed. Do not like that! Only carry cash and my cell phone with me.
- football is more like carneval and quite an event with singing and jumping…Very peaceful compared to German football though
- slums -> very high gap between middle class/ the rich and the poor. Sometimes the slums are only ten minutes away from the skyscrapers. In Turkey it was more seperated. At least in Istanbul it was.
List of similarities to Turkey or Germany:
- street dogs (not so many cats as in Turkey though)
- cheek kissing (only one-sided)
- price level is more or less the same as in Germany
- the busses are so comfortable and reasonable priced. It is better than an ICE and cheaper of course.
- street venders with good food
- people are more friendly and seem to be happier than in Germany