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Are you considering moving to a foreign country? Either fully by choice,  perhaps because you, too, are “falling off” the economy of your home country in the Global North? Looking for your new world?

Hear, hear! That’s pretty much how I got Here, Here!

But you have to make choices about whom to trust. Unless you’re willing to figure out things yourself, even if some things take a bit longer. Many people trust “expat facilitators”, or as I’ve seen it too-aptly named, “fixers”, to handle immigration issues. Immigration issues which you could perhaps manage yourself, do yourself, or at least know enough about what you need to get done, in order not to be scammed by those who may do it for you for a fee.

Uruguay jail, with "Carcel" (Jail) engraved on front of building, pickup truck parked in front. Small white stone building.

A Uruguayan jail. Image from El País Digital

Or you could trust somebody who regularly gets involved in and hangs out at “expat gatherings”, “expat sites”, with your banking. It’s all fun and games until your “fixer” is in jail in Montevideo on charges of embezzlement. (more…)

A friend, on a social network, just commented on one of my posts, paraphrasing and de-identifying, “I don’t mind that we make it easy for Americans to come down here to my Uruguay, despite how hard you make it for us to come to the USA. But could we do a ‘Democracy test’ at the border?”

So true! It would be a great idea, as a modest proposal. (more…)

When you come to Uruguay, it seems foreign. More so than the busy place from which you arrive here.

Deco/Fascist Progress-style mural of naked man and woman forging the tools and edifices of "Modern Civilization"

Welcome to Colonia and Glorious Uruguayan Progress, Compañeros!

Most English-speaking visitors get their first taste of my new country from a day-trip by ferry out of Buenos Aires, that chaotic, dirty, noisy, uproarious, wonderfully gigantic capital of tango and drama. (more…)

Example 1: If I write about Batman, a new Android phone, and Bradley Chelsea Manning on my personal “Mark Mercer” Facebook, and write about moving to Uruguay on my Uruguay Expat Life blog/website, Uruguay Expat Life Facebook / Twitter / Google+, (in fact there’s TWO of them there), all of which have “contact me” options, or are inherently a contact mechanism, a la the Tweety-box… Where do you think you should ask me about “Can I move to Uruguay and get residency?”

Right. On the Batman post. In a comment. Then bug me about “waaah didn’t you see my question from a whole hour ago???“, in a comment, on the technology post.  Unless you’re “the goddamn Batman”, no.

Batman saying

All rights reserved and copyright DC Comics. Fair Use, courtesy of Know Your Meme website where I abducted the goddamn image.

Example 2:  (more…)

The Mercosur logo, light-background verson with the Southern Cross in blue, MERCOSUR in blue, the arc of the separator in greenHere in the Mercosur, the somewhat chaotic bloc of partner-rival nations where I now live, there’s a saying… “The South is our North.” The implication being that the “true north”, the guidestar, the pathway ahead and up into a bright future, is to the South.*

My book-in-progress (yes, of course I’m writing a book, isn’t everyone nowadays?) is titled Falling Off The Hemisphere. The title imagery a referback, of course, to the idea of falling “down”, the deepset sensewashing that “South” is “Down” on a map or a globe of Earth.  Which means, of course, that I’m still oriented from the North. (more…)

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