A day in the life of an expat in Salta, Argentina

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Matador Life editor Leigh Shulman details her typical day in Salta, Argentina.

I’m a very new expat, only a few months living here in Salta, so for me, much of my day entails getting used to how things work. It’s a lot of little details.

I get up in the morning, get my daughter Lila ready for school. She wears a uniform, so that makes it much easier. No choices of clothing to worry about. The city has been doing work on our street lately, so often we wake up to an apartment — a temporary one until we find a more permanent place to live – without electricity or water.

Today, my internet isn’t working, so I’ll have to pack up my stuff soon and find a café with Wifi. They’re lovely. Lots of tables, plenty of places to plug in, coffee always comes with a cookie and glass of water. This is easy.

Other things, not so much. Going to the gym. Supermarket. Finding a house or apartment to rent. Even the smell of the cleaner in the bathroom is different. Speaking Spanish, too, I’m usually a sentence or two behind in comprehension. While I enjoy the feeling of strange, especially when traveling, it can be exhausting on a day to day basis. I often feel like I’m moving underwater.

By lunchtime, I’ll stop work when Lila comes home for lunch and siesta. It’s been surprisingly difficult getting used to this. You’d think a relaxing lunch with the family and then a nap would be enjoyable, and one day I hope it will be. Mostly, though, I find it frustrating because I can’t get anything done.

No one rushes here for anything. Again, a really lovely thing, in theory, but when you come from a get-it, buy-it, do-it-now culture, it’s hard to slow down.

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