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BA - Estamos Aquí! (we´re here!)

El espanol es muy dificil.

I arrived in BA at about midday on Saturday and had a few hours to kill before I could check in to the hostel and have a nap. I decided to embark upon a quest to purchase a sim card for my phone.

The young Argentinian guy at the hostel gave me some directions in very fast spanish (I made the mistake of saying I could speak espanol un poquito). I wandered into a small newsagent type shop and eventually summed up the courage to say ´deseo comprar una tarjeta por mi telefono´(I wish to buy a card for my phone). The young female shop attendant simply shook her head with pursed lips ´no acqui´(not here). I then approached a middle aged man at a news stand and tried again necesito comprar una tarjeta por mi telefono´(I need to buy a card for my phone). He motions for me to hide my camera bloody idiot tourists I could see him thinking. No, I can´t buy one from him but I understood enough of what he was saying to know that I needed to continue right one and a half blocks, and go to the shop at veinte seis (26).

After a few minutes, much to my sweaty, tired and slightly frustrated relief, I found number 26. I headed into the shop and grabbed some water and gum on the way to the counter. A grand total of 8 pesos or $2. I said to the girl ´tiene una tarjeta por mi telefono´. She looked slightly confused, also with pursed lips and said ´un chip?´´Si si, un chip!´I said. ´No venden´she said quite rudely in between chomps of her gum (they don´t sell). I handed her my 100 peso note which is worth about $25 and she said ´no puedo cambiar´(I can´t change). Aaargh! Please remain calm Reagan, breathe breathe breathe. I handed over my mastercard for the $2 transaction and then headed for the hostel.

On the way back I came across a tiny shop with a ´moviestar´sign out the front. This is a local phone company, eureka! This time I said I´d like to buy a chip. The lady pulls on out of the drawer and tells me it is 10 pesos. I hand her the 100 note (they don´t take card) and suprise suprise she says ´no tengo cambiar´. My head was about to explode. I said ´donde puedo cambiar´(where can I change?) ´no se´(I don´t know) she replies shortly. Two young guys and a middle aged lady come to my rescue. The guys give me change and the lady tells me to pay 40 pesos more because I need credit. She was actually speaking at me for about 5 minutes but we evenutally figured it out. I could hear them talking between them, ´ella es perdida´(she is lost) and then talking about if they were travelling they wouldn´t be able to speak ingles.

I finally have a chip! And credit! We were all laughing as I left the little shop and said ´Gracias a todo!´(thanks to all!). I was quite satisfied with myself but also aware of the daunting language task ahead of me. The next 7 weeks are going to be much harder than I though. Back to the hostel for some sleep before Simone and Tash arrive!

Posted by Reagank 00:38 Archived in Argentina

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