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Important lessons from the first four hours in Buenos Aires, Argentina

We made it!
So, we’ve been in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a total of four hours.
And here are the most important lessons we’ve learned so far…
Lesson #1: Language Learning
No matter how much you listen to language tapes, (at least beginning ones), nor the help offered from friends and family who soak a language (thank-you SO much for spending the time with us Laura) they just don’t prepare you for what you’ll need to know to get around.
So, we’ll be struggling our way through our minimal Spanish (just as we’ve both done before in German), screwing things up, probably offending people (on accident of course), and working to laugh at ourselves the whole time.
Hopefully we’ll be able to convey the experiences well enough through our writing on this site to be able to have you laugh at with us as well.
Lesson #2: Taxis and streets

Pedestrians do not have right of way in Buenos Aires. We don’t know if that’s the law, but we’ve been informed in no uncertain terms that cars will run you down.

Of course, I didn’t believe it, so I had to test it out myself.

Just kidding.

It’s a big city.
Cars (and their drivers) generally do whatever they want when they’re on the road in big cities.

Lesson #3: Pesos are represented by $, and airport currency conversion will likely NOT offer you the best rates.

We didn’t convert currency at the airport, because they were only buying dollars at 2.75 Pesos to the dollar, when today’s exchange rate is 3.167.

Moral of that story? Know the currency conversion rate before you go. We saved ourselves approximately 9 cents for every dollar we will convert by getting away from the airport currency and going to an ATM at a bank.

At the ATM though, it was rather confusing, because even though everything was in both Spanish and English, Argentina uses $ to represent the peso.

(The Euro uses €, pounds use ₤, etc…)

So I thought I was withdrawing $50 worth of pesos (about 160 pesos), when I was actually withdrawing 50 pesos… I didn’t have enough to pay our driver unfortunately, but we got that all figured out.

Already so many lessons in just a few hours of being here.

It’s REALLY time for a nap, after only sleeping about 2 hours of restless sleep on the night flight down here.

(We were on an older American Airlines plane. We have definitely gotten used to the more comfortable and more modern planes now operated back and forth to Europe, and are a bit spoiled by it. Moral of that story? A portable video player, or a good book, would have been an excellent idea – but that’s another topic for later on.)

So a little (or big) siesta is what we’re going to do now.

We’re here, safe and sound, and will have pictures and more stories soon!

0 thoughts on “Important lessons from the first four hours in Buenos Aires, Argentina

  1. Renee fields

    Tell your wife to NOT CARRY A PURSE. I have a flat cloth like billfold I ALWYS WEAR around my neck & pushed into my pants waist. I even SLEEP WITH IT, as one time I forgot & actually left it in my hotel room but returned before the maid got there!! (Samsonite also makes them & you could maybe buy from a travel agency). I keep my passport in there, my money, travel checks, & airline tickets. You can carry something with just a little money in it to spend, but keep IMPORTANT STUFF INSIDE YOUR UNDERWARE!!! Pay attention with shop keepers when you pay for stuff. They are not as honest as you’d think. I had one in Budapest actually steal my brand new Cannon Zoom I’d sat beside him to turn around to get a blouse I’d been thinking of getting. Turned back around-& no zoom & no one else was in the shop. Don’t wander off down unknown streets. Stay in tourist areas or hire a tour guide from a tour agency. Be Careful. HAVE FUN & know you’ll love your experiences.

  2. Annmarie Gianni

    Hey Guys!!
    Glad to hear that you made it safely, can’t wait to meet you down there 🙂 What’s the weather like -so I know what to pack. Other wise I’ll end up taking way to much.
    See ya in a week!

  3. Oma

    Glad you made it safe and more or less sound. I learned the lesson of the book on travels a long time ago. Sure helps the time pass.
    Try not to get run over. I think they get Brownie points for every victim in foreign countries.
    Nothing like a good long sleep to restore you. Hope the apartment is comfortable.
    Vaya con Dios ( my spanish is also very limited)
    Love Oma

  4. Brian & Jamie

    Glad you 2 made it safe and sound! Jamie and I are in Austin this weekend visiting Jamie’s parents who are down for the weekend.
    Have fun there and take lots of pics for us!
    Brian & Jamie

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