Thursday, March 26, 2009

welcome to b.a.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009
I taught from 8:15-9:15 this morning. Before my 10:30 student I ate some medialunas and paged through the guia"t" trying to find the right bus that would take me to the airport shuttle. It looked like many would take me there, so I thought I'd wait until after teaching and take the first one I saw.

My 11:30 student canceled so I had enough time to walk to the airport shuttle. I knew where it was and how to walk there, but I didn't take the safest way. I ended up walking next to a busy road where no one else was walking. Not a good idea, but I safely made it. The airport shuttle was 40 pesos and it all went smoothly. I was so worried about being late. I was worried there may be a protest on the highway (the farmers in Argentina have been protesting lately and shutting it down) and I was afraid of some sort of pile-up. To my luck the trip was perfect.

Before Nick arrived I walked around at the airport to all the taxi booths asking how much it would cost to get to Palermo. 115, 120, &140 pesos. Too much. umph.

Luckly Nick arrived early and everything went perfect with his first trip below the equator. So so nice to see him and have a small piece of home here in B.A.

After greeting him I got tense again.....time to fight / negotiate with the taxistas. First taxi out of the door looks shadey. It wasn't a radio taxi it was just a white car with a logo on the door. How much?? 98 pesos. umm. ok. So we got in it. After we pulled out of the airport I doubted myself. I know better to take these kind of taxis especially speaking English and with my strong accent. Then Nick noticed the gas tank was on E. crap crap crap I'm thinking. I didn't tell him what was going though my mind, but I thought that mr.taxista was going to have to 'get gas' in some shady neighborhood to rob us. I really doubted my choice but I made it because I felt more comfortable because I was with Nick.

Thank god it worked out and we arrived safely.

The rest of the day we went for some coffee at my favorite cafe, took walk in my favorite park, and then in my second favorite park. Then we walked next to what I thought was the U.S. embassy but it is really the residence of the ambassador. Then we found the real embassy which I've walked past 5-6 times and never realized it was my own embassy. It's just brown stone walls and it's set back away from the black metal gate. It's not distinct, but if you look close enough you would notice the u.s. flag on top.

Purple elephant in the room????. I'm the one that really wouldn't notice.

We later met up with friends for a drink and then headed to Las Canitas for an ammmmmazing dinner. So so good. Did I mention how much I like to eat (and not only ice cream!).

Afterward we walked home. Nick's winterfeet weren't ready for the rubbing of summer flip-flops. (I also walk a ton), tomorrow is shoe shopping.


Conor said...

Wow, the last time I went to BA it was 60 pesos a taxi to Palermo. Do you remember the name of the taxi you took for 98 pesos? I know of a good guy who does it for 98 pesos!

yillabean said...

No, I don't remember the name of the taxi. I don't think it was a real company, but maybe it was.

Yep, 98 pesos seems like the going rate. I asked several friends before going to the airport so that I knew what to pay.

Subte is no longer 90 centavos, it's 1.10 now. Same with the colectivos.

Ricardo Reyes said...

About the empty gas tank: most taxis in Buenos Aires use GNC, that's an add-on to the engine that lets it run on "compressed natural gas", much cheaper than regular nafta. The GNC is a big yellow cilinder located in the trunk, and that tank has it's own meter, usually a set of yellow leds added to the dashboard. It's common to see taxis with the regular gas tank almost empy and running exclusively on GNC.

yillabean said...

Hi, Thanks for that information. I didn't realize that. Thanks