Sunday, March 9, 2008

Watch Out for the Drips

I moved into my host home this morning. I'll be staying here for fourteen days, the duration of my language classes.

So as to make sure to make a timely arrival for my first day of class in the morning, I wanted to travel the route to the school, so, after dropping my bags at the apartment and taking a nap, I purchased a good map of the city at a magazine stand, walked the few blocks to the subway station, bought a subway pass for ten trips, and hopped on board to travel the route downtown and track down the school. After arriving at the appropriate stop—about twenty minutes after departure—I walked the few blocks to the school and located it with no problem.

Hungry, I headed back toward the main avenue to find a place to eat. While walking along a side street in the direction of the main thoroughfare, I walked precisely underneath a leaky air conditioning unit some floors up. Unbeknownst to me, it dripped cooling fluid on my head, my camera bag, and my shirt—I thought I had merely be assaulted by a few water droplets. Thankfully, a helpful couple—a man and woman in their 40s, I would say—were nearby and gladly pointed out the green goo all over me. They had a few napkins and a bottle of water handy and helped dab the ickiness off of me. What a kind gesture. I thanked them and made a beeline for food.

In a moment of weakness, I walked right into a McDonald's. After a wait of about five minutes, I placed my order and reached into the front left pocket of my shorts—where I keep my money—only to find over 150 pesos absent. All my cash, gone. That's over $50USD. I turned around, bewildered, and walked out, heading back to the subway. No money, no VISA—that's in my backpack at the apartment—and no way to buy lunch. I'll go home, shower, get some cash from an ATM, and buy dinner.

Welcome to Buenos Aires, sucker.

5 comments:

Jill said...

It's good you had nothing more valuable than money in your pocket...and that nothing more serious happened!

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you can find one down there, but the European Travel guy on PBS recommends getting a money belt and wearing it under everything else.

Eduard

Jay said...

I have one. I just hardly ever carry anything with me, so it's hardly worth using. From now on, I'll carry less money. And, if anyone ever tries again to offer me assistance for any reason whatsoever, I'll just punch them in the nose and tell them to stay away from me.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are a few honest people down there so you shouldn't have to punch everyone. It might get a little messy anyway? Maybe you should get a "flashlight", then again you might be worse off if you lost that too.

Mike

Shahar said...

Hi Jay,
This is a most common trick. Sometimes people also throw a cash note on the floor, another one starts looking for it, makes a hassle and the other one will grab your bag or pocket cash...

Loved your Rio pics :)

Shahar