So we made it to Buenos Aires. I’m exhausted from an 11-hour flight from Washington, D.C. – not to forget the short flight from Boston. We both got some sleep on the plane, but apparently not enough to make it through the day. We’re now taking a break at our hotel after walking around in the city, and I’m about to fall asleep. Some noteworthy things about today:
1. One-way tickets to Argentina work just fine. We called the airline (United) in advance to make sure they would let us board the plane, and into the country. United said it was fine. In Boston, a staff member wanted to make a stink about our one-way ticket, and we told her what I just wrote. Everything went fine. At immigration in Argentina, they only asked us how long we intended to stay when Matt had to pay the entry fee $140 (Germans go in free, at least). We told him two months – legally we’re allowed to stay for three. The second officer who gave us our stamps asked NO questions at all. Very different experience than U.S. immigration.
2. $100 peso bills seem to be a problem here. I had read that you should get small change in order to take a bus in Buenos Aires, so after finding an ATM (which didn’t take Matt’s card with a metal strip) at the airport, and only getting $100 peso bills, we desperately tried to buy some small items (gum, shampoo) at several stores in order to get small change. They wouldn’t take those bills! $100 pesos are about $25. How are you supposed to spend your cash? Anyways, we ended up changing more money at an exchange office, and got some smaller bills there. We were so exhausted that we skipped the bus, and took one of the registered taxis. It will also take us some time to figure out the bus system here, and there is no direct subway connection to the airport.
3. Loud and crazy! The city is insanely busy, and I would not recommend wandering around when you’re exhausted. We only went for a small stroll earlier on, and we’re postponing the rest until tomorrow. Can’t wait!
4. They really seem to love their president here. Fuerza Cristina (Fernández de Kirchner) signs everywhere, as well as Viva Néstor for the previous one.
5. Argentinian Spanish is a challenge. I do understand most of it, but the taxi driver was a tough one. I’m very excited about becoming more fluent!
Time for a nap now.