15 Signs You Landed in Buenos Aires

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  1. None of the ATMs at Ezeiza International Airport actually dispense cash: you get an error message or the machine is empty. No one familiar with Argentina is surprised and—spoiler alert—the ATMs in the city are also all empty on weekends.
  2. No business has change and banknotes are old and crumbling. Discounts are offered if you pay cash. The odds of getting coins back are lower than winning the lottery.
  3. Cambio (foreign currency exchange) is offered every few metres on Calle Florida and Calle Lavalle by guys yelling “cambio.”
  4. Food revolves around three food groups, the famous “Ps”: pizza, pasta and parilla (barbecue meat). The main dilemmas include picking toppings for your pizza, the sauce for your pasta and the amount of cheese you want with that.
  5. Life starts at 9 p.m., bakeries open until 10 p.m. and restaurants until 1 a.m. It’s perfectly acceptable to play football in the street with your kids at 11 p.m. and catch a movie past midnight.
  6. Suddenly, “calle” isn’t pronounced “caYe” but “caCHe.” You order “poCHo para CHevar” instead of “pollo para llevar.” Oh, and don’t forget your “CHave” (llave) when you go out.
  7. City buses look older than a Central America long-distance buses, aka the famous chicken buses. They add a colourful touch to the city, though.
  8. Crossing a street take 5 minutes—okay, just Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world, but still.
  9. Any sweet includes spoonful of sticky dulce de leche. Ain’t complaining about that one.
  10. There is some kind of protest going on at Plaza de Mayo, the President did something wrong, the opposition is campaigning and there is a political or economic crisis developing.
  11. Leather is surprisingly cheap. Then you realize how much meat Argentinians eat and suddenly you think turning cows into belts, jackets and bags makes sense.
  12. Women in very high heels and short skirts make tango look like an easy dance. It’s not, though.
  13. Everyone has distant relatives in Western Europe, especially Spain or Italy.
  14. Everything kind of works, emphasis on kind of. There may be power failure, fridges in supermarkets are not very cold, elevators are out of service, etc.
  15. Convenience stores open “25 hours a day.” The US have 7/11 stores, Buenos Aires has “Kioscos 25 Horas.”

In the bus to the airport in Santiago

In the bus to the airport in Santiago

At Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago

At Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago

Boarding the flight to Buenos Aires

In the Sky Airline aircraft to Buenos Aires

In the Sky Airline aircraft to Buenos Aires

Mark drawing maps of Chile and Argentina

Flying across the Andes

Flying across the Andes

Flying across the Andes

Newspaper in Buenos Aires

Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires

Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires

It’s hot and humid in Buenos Aires…

In Buenos Aires

Crossing Avenida 9 de Julio

In the hotel room in Buenos Aires

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

10 Comments

    • Totally not a stupid question 🙂 We have US$, very much welcome in Argentina. We paid the taxi in US$, the hotel was booked on Expedia. ATMs are often empty on WEs in Buenos Aires, we learned our lesson years ago.

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Under the 8th picture, “Map drawing maps” ? Some kind of recursive paradox?
    You look very tired on the first picture.

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