The most striking difference from arrival to now is how incredibly unimpressed I am becoming with the vast majority of the locals as my Spanish improves. Back home the vast majority of people are stupid and that holds here, but the way the stupid manifests itself is alien. The majority of the locals here seem to have a palpable aversion to doing anything that might matter, and they will go to great lengths to conceal their nothing doing.
The failures of the accountancy Carlos Picos to have done much at all is an illustrative and painful lesson in this. The process of trying to become banked began in the first half of December. The lack of movement was elevated to crisis in Mid-January, to which the firm responded with DAYS of silence. I had to explain to the poor girl at the front desk that my customer's desire to do business in the next week and that if I disappoint this customer by not being able to bank and handle wire transfers, there would be a good chance of there not being any business at all. Two hours later one of the fellows who had been contacted days earlier passed on the forms.
The most offensive part of the affair? On January 30th a fellow from the bank they had applied at finally contacts me. He apologizes and explains he had been on an extended vacation and is seeing my application for the first time. Because out of their subbovine stupidity the people making decisions at the accountancy insisted everything wait until "their guy" at the bank got back from vacation. That I had paid money for a task, and they failed to disclose they would sit on the task because they were too fucking shy to try talking to someone else at the bank... And I am still waiting for the set of notes they said they would provide from the first meeting with them...
Later Mircea Popescu kindly offered a sum of Bitcoin to test the trade market waters here. The city produced $500 in liquity from one trader and offers for similar numbers of pesos.1 A Buquebus trip across the river did not seem prudent when I had iron to hammer into shape before the internet got turned on, and the general effort to conceal the poverty here has left BBisp fiat reserves in a staring contest with the joke prices of today.
On the plus side the fellows at the data center continue to appear capable of running network operations even if their attempts to offer themselves as purchasing agents fall flat. The immigrant population contains some number of people capable of producing reliably human behavior in response to stimuli along with some actually smart conversation. At the cowork there are even locals with solid work ethics doing outsourced work for foreign firms, and still others are managing the space itself competently.
I have conversations now, often in Spanish. Quality conversations though are harder to find. I have a couple reliable conversation partners through the CoWork, but otherwise I am at the mercy of who happens to be passing through the hostel. The number of people who passed through the hostel that I find myself missing on the basis that they were not too boring is starting to pile up. It is a weird thing, what gets missed moving away from home. I do not miss the food much and I am still in contact with the people I care to be back home, but I miss the sound of people cursing and swearing.2 As mission Make Bingo Rich 2018 continues, support on this front in the form of Qntra submissions is greatly appreciated. Or visits bearing commercial samples of interesting hardware and realtalk.
There is a distinct stratification here. There's the abjectly poor. Then there's people who do not have cars. Roughly on the level of people who don't have cars are those who do but slave 12+ hours per day because of their cars. Then there are people who own cars, a very small portion of the population. More detail can be had, but really that gets into granulated neighborhood wank. What keeps me going is the idea knowledge that the sort of numbers that can be had smartly cutting up into marketable units and selling 1 or 2 datacenter racks is enough here to glide over that all. However along the way there every time I have to report a failing or delay, due to my inadequacy to anticipate the lengths the locals will go to in order to avoid doing or because of their failure to follow clear instructions, I have to admit to having more than a little bit of fear.
At least it is looking like Shinohai's suggested 3 to 6 month timeline to fluency in the local language is bearing out. The food is still great. It just turns out that here like everywhere else the rarest thing to find is a first rate man.
- 600 to 1200 pesos or ~20 to 40 Universal Standard Dosiedos [↩]
- Saturday I was feeling a bit homesick and not wanting to do something stupid like get drunk, I went to the cinema for the purpose of hearing English spoken without the effeminate accent Portugues leaves Brazileros with. At the cinema I discover Tres Anuncios Por Un Crimen is how the studio translated the title to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. I was sold at Missouri. I cannot offer an objective opinion if it was a good movie or not. I got too much joy out of hearing Cunt and Fuck said with the polite insistence typical of rural old country. [↩]