Travel Plans... what travel plans?

It's no secret that some consider me a bit crazy... yes, crazy in a variety of ways (sure, I'm kind of quirky) but definitely crazy for my family. I love my wife and my big boy and have found that as a new dad, my train of thinking has changed a bit, as well. Part of that has been the desire to protect them and ensure that I take care of their well-being. Of course, that can be manifested in a variety of ways. The most recent way had to do with our forthcoming trip to Argentina... or should I say, our recently cancelled trip to Argentina.

Now, wait a minute... didn't I recently cancel a trip to Rome to go to Argentina? Yes, I sure did. So, here's the crazy part... I've canceled our trip to Argentina to go to... well, Rome!? The reason, for me, is simple. The political situation in Argentina is starting to grow a bit dicey for me.
I might find it tolerable if I was traveling with just my wife but bringing a baby into the picture changes things.

You may have seen recent new stories about the 21 day protests that took place when Cristina Kirchner's government decided to increase taxes on various agricultural products. 21 days of largely peaceful protests across Argentina but protests and blockades that nonetheless led to food shortages in many markets in cities like Buenos Aires. Food shortages... OK, not good with a baby. Now, as I mentioned, the protests were largely peaceful, save for the ones attended by a certain Luis D'Elia who has become a kind of a two-fisted mouthpiece for the government. D'Elia is seen as a thug and the fact that he has been showing up and disrupting protests is not good. This was particularly the case the day after he was captured by the media punching a demonstrator during a rally. One day after breaking up a protest, there he was, standing next to Kirchner during a speech in which she denounced the protests taking place.

On April 2nd, the farmers decided to take a bit of a cooling off period for 30 days - a time when they could work with the government to negotiate some kind of a resolution. To date, the government has mostly thumbed their nose at the farmers and has now started suppressing free speech, going after the media (even government-friendly papers) and even confiscating truckloads of cattle from farmers. It seems like some of Argentina's ugly history is starting to resurface. Pity that a country with so so much going for it, with so many resources and wonderful people always gets stuck with terrible governments (albeit voted in by the people).

If you ask me, what's to say that the whole issue won't start back up? I'm not an alarmist but I'd rather go somewhere where I don't have to carry anxiety about the well-being of my family. Call me a chicken little... whatever... I'd just as soon not have to think about it and just head back to Italy. Yes, I'll have to suck it up and sell a kidney to pay for everything with Euros but, at the end of the day, I'll pick security and peace of mind over lower prices. Argentina will always be there and we will go back... just not in the coming months. Besides, while Italy has its own set of issues, it doesn't have this set of issues.

For us, it's back to Rome. In the meantime, read A Texan in Argentina's blog for more insight on the current situation...

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