The pressure is mounting. Tomorrow my wife and I leave rainy Sacramento for sunny and warm Buenos Aires. We’ve never been to Argentina and we’ve never taken a trip longer than two weeks so there is plenty of room for anxiety. There is the fear of over packing. This trip we want to take only what we need after over packing last time. The alternative might just be under packing. What is the right amount of clothing? I don’t know. I’ll probably get it wrong this time too. The one nice thing is that summer in Argentina means no need to take a heavy coat.
Then there is the electronics. Modern travel requires a computer, my wife’s iPad, telephones, cameras and all the connections, power supplies and batteries to keep them operating. The apartment has wifi so we can connect on the web and talk via Skype. We did pretty well last trip where the only thing forgotten was a charger for a camera. It wasn’t a serious problem. Camera chargers are found everywhere tourists flock. This afternoon we will set out all the equipment for packing and make sure that it all is there.
The only loose end this time is our cellphones. For the last trip we rented them. This time we intend to use our regular cell phones which we unlocked and buy local prepaid sim cards. This is more adventurous and will tax our limited Spanish but it is cheaper and provides us with local Argentine telephone numbers. The downside is that it can’t be done until we get to Argentina and apparently there is a 24 hour delay after buying the card before you get your number and the possibility of dealing with customer service in Spanish. We will be testing our Pimsleur Spanish. One thing we learned is that we won’t go hungry or thirsty because it seems that the Spanish word for bar is bar and the Spanish word for sandwich is sandwich. We can build on that.
We anticipate that there will be some problems as we settle into Buenos Aires for a month but we are making our entrance as simple as possible. For about the same price as a taxi from the airport, you can arrange for a driver. So when we make it out of customs at the airport there will be someone standing with a sign that has my name on it. He will lead us to our transportation which will drive us to meet the apartment agent who will settle us into our home for the next month. We could have hassled the trip like a native but after a long flight, who needs more stress?
Once we have our home base, it will be time to check out the neighborhood, buy some provisions and those sim cards and try our Spanish (or as they say in Argentina- our Castillano). I can’t promise regular posting during this trip but the plan is to show some pictures once a week with observations about interesting and quirky things I discover. Stay tuned.
For a taste of Buenos Aires, check out this video.