My first day in Buenos Aires was a rather productive one.
I walked by an electric appliance repair shop yesterday, made a mental note of its location, and went there today to see if he could fix my headphones.
My headphones are the Koss PortaPro—the best portable headphones ever made, at a smokin' price—and the connection on the plug went bad a couple weeks ago. If I were back in the states, here's what would happen. I would send my old PortaPros to Koss and they would send me a brand new pair for free. Along with the new headphones, they would send a bill asking that I send them money for shipping. They are an amazing company. Here, however, that ain't gonna happen. The guy at the repair shop didn't have a mini plug as he fixes things like vacuum cleaners and blenders, so he sent me a few blocks away to an electronics parts shop where I bought a 1/8" mini plug for one peso—about 35¢. Then I went back to him where he soldered the new plug to the headphone wire for ten pesos—around three bucks.
Next, I went to a computer shop—JAV Microsystems—where one of their techs, Lucas, got the wireless on my laptop working. This is a great shop. They're friendly, sharp, and have all the latest stuff. If you need a server, PC, or components like motherboards, switches, routers, or just a mouse, they've got it.
Next, I went to Banco Piano and got my leftover Uruguayan Pesos changed for Argentine Pesos. While banks in Uruguay are open from 1:00 P.M. to around 5 or 6:00 P.M., banks in Argentina are open from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Seems like all the banks' hours in Latin America are wacky.
Last, I got registered for language school. Sunday, I'll be moving in with a local family here in Buenos Aires and will stay with them for fourteen days—that was arranged by the language school. I will attend class each weekday for the next two weeks from 8:00 A.M. to noon. Then I'll have a one-hour private class each day. On top of that, there are a couple cultural activities each week. Staying with the local family will be icing on the cake.
I also had a great little lunch at one of the gazillion little restaurants here in Buenos Aires. There are so many stores of every type here, it's silly. My lunch consisted of a sandwich called bondiola de cerdo, basically a sub with pork, and a Coke, for just under ten pesos, or just over three bucks. Good food at a good price.
It's been a very productive day. I can't tell you how important this laptop is to my travels—and without Internet access, I feel like a fish out of water. If I weren't connected, you wouldn't be reading this and I wouldn't be uploading new photos right now!