“The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother. I shall always delight to meet an ass after my own heart when I shall have finished my travels.”

~Mark Twain

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
~ George Bernard Shaw


I am Expat Bob. No, that is not my real name. Duh.

I had a few to drink and decided to update the About page in order to make it more serious in tone. woooOOOoooo… The end is near, dig your bunker, put on your tinfoil hat!

I have traveled my whole life, beginning with camping road trips as a child and moving my way up to living internationally. I’ve lived in campgrounds, I’ve lived on a boat, I’ve lived as a suburbanite, as a rich yuppie, as a pauper, and as South American glitterati. I’ve lived as a playboy and lived as a hermit. I’ve owned and ditched more property and wealth in the past few years than most people accrue in a lifetime. I’ve lived among the rich and poor, rubbed elbows with the important and unimportant, inhabited the densest urban areas and gone insane from sensory deprivation in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

I’ve come away with the conclusion that most people are morons. Good-natured morons, true, however through that good nature, they place too much faith in a select few really bad sociopaths; therefore we end up with war, famine, and the other horsemen of the apocalypse.

Then I must ask myself: are they really so good-natured if they allow their effort to be channeled in this way? And then I answer, “not really.”

I have abandoned my homeland of the USA because I find it repugnant that I must be complicit in the US government’s waging of death and tyranny at home and abroad. It is a waste. Of people, of capital, of soul. We have 3 choices: contribute to the mindlessness, watch it from behind iron bars, or contribute to the nonviolent mindlessness of another jurisdiction. I choose option 3.

Therefore I exile myself to the armpits of the earth in search of a second passport, so that I may relieve myself of the burden of the previous one (I find it most insulting and insidious that one must go through such a process to opt-out), and therefore rid myself of its obligations and complicity in tyrannical acts. I do not wish to be one of those people who is “not really” good when all things are considered.

This blog contains many exploits and misadventures from the process. I hope that you may learn from my victories and my mistakes.

Fun facts:

My favorite shirt is the one that says “I don’t care about apathy.”

Or any of the ones with zombies on them. I like zombies. They are more honest than most people.

  1. Detesto Gringos de Mierda says:

    otra gente no tienes estos problemas. Quizas es por que sos un tipico gringo de mierda.

    • Expat Bob says:

      Clearly you are biased, “Detesto Gringos de Mierda” (“I hate shitty gringos” for you slow gringlish types)
      Maybe you would have more credibility if you changed your name to “Estoy Neutral y Objectivo”

  2. Carol Peters says:

    I’m your first admitted devoted reader…/c

  3. It’s all great stuff, BlogBob; but you know that, I hope.
    Gordon from I M

  4. Duc 600SS says:

    Thanks for your excellent insights into expat life in Uruguay… Some of your comments are indeed priceless !!! I also have been scouting Paraguay and I share your assessment but I would truly welcome the opportunity to learn more from your experiences… 😉 In particular, why did you feel the need to apply for residence in Paraguay when you obviously already had a cedula from Uruguay? Any news on the motorcycle front?

    A warm greeting from Europe, Expat Bob !!!

    • Expat Bob says:

      Always have a backup plan, that’s the short story. That and the harsh treatment when seeking citizenship.
      The motorcycle sits in a crate, still locked down by Aduanas.

      • Duc 600SS says:

        Bom dia, Expat Bob and ‘brigado for your quick answer. I’ve read your story about the lady while applying for citizenship. After pondering about it, I would reckon that she was trying to assess if you had any permanent social bonds to the country. It’s a valuable lesson and one not to underestimate. I’ll make sure I’ll sign up with some sort of “cultural club” if I’ll ever go that route…. Paraguay is the easiest way in, for sure, but nothing is what it seems in that country…. not even the Ypicarai lake is blue, like the song says. If one can call it a lake, that is. However, I’m a “gringo” in the brazilian sense (and not in the spanish one) so they are generally less strict. in Brazil they issued me a CPF card without even having to translate the documents and they weren’t really the proper ones anyway

        Sorry about your crated bike although that’s another valuable lesson. I wonder if there is some sort of exception for older, collectible models. I’d sure hate to leave my Duc behind…but even Paraguay all but forbids the importation of anything with an engine bolted onto a chassis.

        It’s sort of funny reading your posts and remembering what life was like as an expat in the midwest. in the mid 70s. We’d have to drive three hrs to score a loaf of decent bread and some “imported” prosciutto… Imported from Canada, of course…

        The third valuable lesson is to forget about buying anything and just rent a flat in punta de l’este or something. I would hate to pay tax on my DIY projects and on top, spend ages sorting out property tax.

        Hope you’ll get that baby out of the grips of the Aduanas and really: thanks for your content. I look forward to your next posts.

  5. gringagirl says:

    How about doing a piece on socializing/dating, either Uruguayos/as or ex pats? The “conventional wisdom” a la ex pat, seems to be that Uruguayans already have plently of friends and family, so they certainly don’t want any of us in there because that category is already filled. And speaking decent Spanish won’t necessarily help,though I guess it can’t hurt.

  6. interesting says:

    it can’t be denied that we Uruguayan people have a very own style of life. Certainly many of us do not like working and are not very reliable. But it is our country. We do not have to please american expats. You should think more about your own attitude. I have never met a person with so many problems and negative experiences in this country.
    You call yourself an alpha male. Maybe that is what you want to be, but you are not. You are an autocratic idiot who is not able to get along with other cultures. Many things you tell in your blog are just not true. Don’t talk about things you just have no clue about. If you behave like a “gringo de mierda”, dont be surprised when you are treated like one. Same will happen to you within half a year in Chile. Don’t forget that you are just guest in South America. Nowhere in the world bigmouth foreigners are very welcome, less if they don’t even have a decent knowledge of the local language.
    I have to admit that some anecdotes in your blog made me burst out laughing. Most of all when the “Alpha male” got screwed by his so-called retarded neighbor with the new keylock. You can be sure that he didn’t forget to inform you and to give you the new keys. He wanted to fuck you and he did it. That is the way Uruguayans deal with unbearable neighbours. In fact you don’t understand anything.
    Your introduction says that you do not like very much other people and you hate their children.
    So, how can you expect that we like you and treat you with respect?
    You can be sure that I can change my contract with UTE anytime without my wife. If I want furniture without finishing, I get it. If I want unroasted coffee beans, I get them. If I want sushi, I go to a sushi-restaurant. Many problems you are talking about just do not exist. The problem are not our people, the problem are YOU. It seems we won. We got rid of you finally!!! Of course that is not important, but it feels so good to kick a gringo ass.

    • Well, “interesting”, it’s apparent that expatbob is not the only grumpy old fart on this site! Give him credit, man: he has a great sense of humour, and is what I call “post-tribal” – meaning, he doesn’t give a shit about nations and nationalities, patriots or patriotism. More power to his elbow!

  7. Chris says:

    How is Paraguay do you think for operating a business? Im also an anarcho-capitalist but am not that articulate so I may have to make money a different way than from putting out a newsletter about how bad governments can be.

    • Expat Bob says:

      Unless you speak Spanish it still might be tough. The language barrier is the most difficult by far. If you can read, write, speak, and listen, you can start to figure out what the barriers are to business. Personally I have not researched the business angle much, but suffice it to say my friend ExceptionalUruguayanBob moved to Paraguay and made a success of a business that dealt in import and refurbishment of printing machines, something he could not have done in Uruguay (hence his exodus).

    • Expat Bob says:

      Also, having seen the way most South American countries operate, I’m putting my money where my mouth is in Chile. The market in Paraguay isn’t big, but if you can find something that everyone needs there, you’re set. The market in Chile is much bigger and with much more disposable income.

  8. Ricardo says:

    I enjoy your blog very much. Keep ’em coming! You are living the life that I dream of living!

  9. wesmouch says:

    geat blog. love your work

  10. pedro says:

    so, your stock of bills from Brou will buy you six gold coins or 333 silver coins. I had trouble finding any PM’s in Uruguay. You know any sources? How are they availability-wise in Chile?

  11. nicki says:

    Love the new about page! I met you once in MVD and was curious why you were living there…get your story better now.

  12. Bob says:

    I’d be very interested to hear how your progress is coming along for your second passport!

  13. Eddie Cohen says:

    Hello again. I’ve been slack for quite a long time, but just spent several days reading your entire blog from start to finish. You’re a very interesting soul.
    I lost your personal email address. I’d love to hear from you again.

  14. William Click says:

    Thanks for posting about Uruguay. I have (unfortunately) been giving too much credence to International Living magazine and was leaning heavily toward visiting there. We, too, want a second passport, in large part because health care is getting to be very poor for senior citizens in the USA. After reading your blog this evening, I have changed my mind about Uruguay and will look elsewhere. Keep up the good work!

    • Expat Bob says:

      Yeah, some 2+ years after applying for passports and they are still incubating wherever the ñoquis sit on the nests. Nobody knows anything, what a surprise. What a massive waste of time and money the whole adventure was.

      • William Click says:

        I look forward to hearing more of your experiences. It seems the backward policies I am trying to escape from in the USA may have spread more in the world than I first thought. If you had to pick up and choose a country this very day to expatriate to and get a second passport, does any place come to mind?

      • Expat Bob says:

        I’m going to write something about this because a lot of people are asking me the same thing. Stay tuned.

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