So don’t be shocked if you and your lunch mate have to suspend your meal to pick your table up, carry it two meters to the side, let a rumbling, oversized truck pass, then send the table — and contents — back to the street where you can eat your meal in peace. Or not.
When it’s time to go home, you have two choices: The subte or a taxi. You already know from the morning commute what the subte like, so hail a cab. It can be a little tricky, so pay attention.
The yellow-over-black taxis are ubiquitous. At last count, there are almost 40,000 of the buggers zipping around Buenos Aires’ Avenida and back alleys. To stop one, wait on the edge of the sidewalk, not in the middle of a sidewalk cafe though, and face the cars. Keep your right arm angled downwards as though you were a clock and were pointing to 4 o’clock. Don’t keep your arm any higher or you are just as liable to stop the next “collectivo” (bus), that comes by.
Climb in and show the operator where you want to go. Be prepared with smaller pesos; most drivers won’t accept a 100-peso bill.
If you were REALLY a resident, the evening meal would be served around 8 pm and your sisters, brothers, grandparents, parents, children, whew — your extended family would all meet around the table in one big noise inspired, Malbec induced cacophony of genders and ages all talking at once about whatever their favorite topic du jour is.
Jerry Nelson is an American freelance travel writer now living the expat life in Argentina. At last count, Jerry has traveled to — and worked in — 155 countries. Never far from his coffee and Marlboros, he is always interested in discussing future writing assignments. Email him today and join the million or so who follow him on Twitter.
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