David: Estancia La Margarita
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Argentina, etc.
My name is David Cummings and I come from London England. I moved to Argentina in 2003 after a lifetime of playing and singing music for a living in different countries in the world.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started my blog about five years ago when I purchased Estancia La Margarita (www.estancialamargarita.com) and had many requests from people asking me what it was like to run and live on an estancia in Argentina.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
They are all interesting to those interested in them.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Argentina differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
In my previous life I was always on the road going to different gigs. Here I divide my time between the city Buenos Aires and La Margarita running the farm and hosting guests. I didn’t speak Spanish when I came here so it was a big shock for me, and few spoke English so it was tough for a couple of years but it’s fine now. Biggest thing for me was when they eat dinner. It’s never before 9 and most often at 10 and indeed can be at 11 or even twelve. It took a bit of getting used to now it’s normal for me.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Argentina? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Not prepared at all but wouldn’t change everything; life should be full of surprises otherwise it’s boring.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I remember when I was learning Spanish I would ask for a tea in a confiterria (café). It’s a simple word yet there was no way that they could understand me, they always said que que and I would say tea and they would say que que . In the end I use to put a tea bag in my back pack and get it out before opening my mouth and point to it saying “uno por favor” – it worked a treat.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Argentina?
Maybe learn a bit of Spanish. Leave behind your driving habits in your country and always get three quotes and references for everything.
How is the expat community in Argentina? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
It’s good especially in BA there are a number of organizations.
How would you summarize your expat life in Argentina in a single, catchy sentence?
Crazy but always interesting.