Bienvenidos a Argentina!
Sometime during the night, we cross the equator one more time,
our 5th crossing so far this year. And then finally, at 8:20 a.m., 1 day late but right on schedule, we arrive in Buenos Aires, the city who’s unofficial (or maybe even its official) motto is “there’s lots of time to sleep when you’re dead”.
We make it through the immigration formalities quickly, and head to the baggage carousel. We take up our position and wait. And wait. And wait. And all of a sudden, we realize that all of the people still waiting look familiar: and they are! They are all the people who were supposed to fly out on Tuesday night. Somehow, apparently, our luggage didn’t make the flight. Funny coincidence that it is the baggage of the group that got bumped. We all race to baggage handling, to be told what we already knew: our luggage is in Frankfurt. It will be put on tonight’s flight, so we should have it early tomorrow morning. We are told that we can spend a bit of money while we wait for our luggage. And that tomorrow we will have to spend the day at the apartment, waiting for the luggage to be delivered.
Our Home Base for the Next Six Weeks
The drive from the airport is easy, and we are at the apartment we have rented, in Recoleta, the heart of Buenos Aires, faster than we expect. We get the keys and I begin exploring the neighbourhood, looking for grocery stores and restaurants. I discover that within 1 block in any direction there are at least 6 supermarkets and 30 restaurants of all description, in addition to the shopping of every description. We pick a restaurant for lunch, and gasp in shock at the prices – for about the price of 1 Big Mac and 1 Coke in Europe, we can both eat a 3-course meal and a bottle of wine. Greg heads back to the apartment, where we are expecting some service calls. I do a bit more exploring, then head to 1 of the supermarkets to pick up some emergency supplies, like toothbrushes. Standing behind me in line are 2 guys who make some remark to me that I don’t understand. When I tell them politely that I don’t speak Spanish they both switch to English. When they find out that I am visiting from Canada, they insist on meeting us for a drink later to tell us what we must do in Argentina.
Welcome to Buenos Aires!
I head back to the apartment for my nap, and at 5 or so, Greg and I head off to meet Pablo and Marcelo, our new supermarket friends. It turns out that they are visiting from a town about 350 kilometres away, where they both teach at the university, that Pablo is originally from Barcelona, and has lived here for 6 years. They have also arranged for the four of us to have dinner with their friends Miguel and Pablo, who live not too far away and with whom they are staying here in Buenos Aires.
And so, just like in Berlin, within hours of arrival, we have already been taken underwing!