The first impression Argentina got of Elise Wyatt was of her wearing a medical mask and rubber gloves. The swine flu paranoia has spread to South America, but not enough to where people outside the airport bubble wear protective gear.
The city is wonderful. It has a mix of modern and old architecture, fashion, pollution, pedestrians, unforgiving public transit and dog walkers. With big cities also come taxi drivers who try to rip tourists off. Of course after being on a ten hour flight, sitting next to the bathrooms, you're subject to the persuasion of a overly decorous taxi driver. Needless to say, he tried to rip me off majorly for the trip, which is about 30-40 minutes. All the anger I felt was lost in translation, I mean he had let me speak terrible Spanish to him and believe it was good. I managed to only get out, "Es muy caro!" Exhausted, I handed him what I believed to be more than fair and told him that's all he was getting. I didn't need a dictionary for the words he said under his breath after that.
Yesterday I successfully acquired myself an Argentine cell phone and a place to live. All without fist fights or too many hang gestures. Living in a city where you're not great at the language will motivate you to do one thing. Take lessons. A gentlemen on the street today offered to give me private ones, but I kindly declined. Before he could pull out those business cards, I'm sure he had, I informed him that I had already got my hands on another tutor. Which is the truth, but fortunately my tutor comes with recommendations, but we'll have to see about the business cards.
Monday I will move into my place. That should be followed by my immediate immersion in a Spanish speaking house where I will be repeating "Bueno" y "Si." A lot. At least I'll have my own room to experience panic attacks.
Soon enough I'll be living that montage of 'girl in the big city.' You know what I'm talking about. Until I do, I'll be keeping myself busy not getting lost.
Signing off from a Buenos Aires hostel room.