December 31, 2010

El Ultimo Dia del Año 2010

Wake. Snooze. Snooze again. Drag self to the gym on the 31st floor of our apartment and enjoy the amazing views. Why haven't I come here before? Oh, right. Too busy vacationing.

Relax, read, shower. Wait for return of security deposit, which was clearly an exercise in formality. Pablo rings the doorbell and walks in to hand back an envelope full of the cash we handed him several days ago. The exact same bills (or amazing reproductions :-)). This time, unlike at check-in, he avoids even the pretense of purpose, no counting towels, glasses, etc. Instead, he explained how no one else had to work due to the holiday today and he was sorry he couldn't come tomorrow, but, it's a *real* holiday, even people in tourism get it off, if they can. He was also helpful in explaining that it may be somewhat impossible tomorrow AM to get a taxi to Aeroparque -- dia de ferria and all. Wish us luck!

Finally, around 1:15 PM, we entered the Subte and headed to the ridiculously huge bus station in the hopes of booking our overnight bus trip between Buenos Aires and Mendoza next week before the bus trip counters closed for the holiday. Success! But, like all good travel adventures, there was much confusion. You need to give documentation or ID to book a bus ticket, unless you book it on the internet, in which case you can email ID photocopies later, but the Internet convenience fees (not to mention wacky cuota requirements) make in person booking preferable. Eventually, just before leaving, we somehow mentioned that we had ID from the government of *CALIFORNIA* and, it turns out, you can use your driver's license as sufficient ID to book the bus ticket even if your passport is back in the safe. Phew. Also, the Omnibus terminal is after the train station if you are walking from the Subte. It's not right there, but just keep walking, eventually, it's impossible to miss -- it looks like hundreds of buses.

We walked a bit downtown before grabbing a taxi, coming back to the apartment to put our washed laundry on the drying rack, and heading out for a very late meal. 3 PM deliciously stereotypically Argentine lunch of empanadas, lomo, and salads. Of course, another Cafe Americano for me (mystery #1 -- Americano is cut with water, Cortado is cut with milk, when you ask for Americano, they understand that it should be cut with water, but often confirm with "cortado? si?").

Walk.

Ice cream!!! Finally. It had been highly recommended by many who'd sent their travel recommendations, so I was thrilled to join the fun.

Buy agua con gas and 200g of spicy Fiambres to add to our light dinner plans for cheese, wine, bread and Cohetes.

Nap.

Read.

Spanish TV footage of New Year's fireworks in Sydney, Taiwan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Munich.

Simpsons in spanish. Oddly, an hour long presentation of multiple episodes cut together. E identified each splice with amusement (this episode doesn't have anything to do with the last story except there's a boat and police...)

Loud local intermittent fireworks enjoyed from the balcony with queso, fiambres y vino accompanied by the bounced voices of local high rises -- singing, yelling, cheering.

And now. we're off to the gym to enjoy the midnight fireworks from the 360 degree view from the top of the building.

Happy New Years!

3 comments:

Matt Ginzton said...

They are extremely careful about asking for ID when buying a bus ticket, and exactly as careful about never asking for it again after that. Seriously, in all our bus rides, they asked for an ID for every purchase, but never once matched it to anything, asked to see the real ID when buying the ticket, or asked to see any ID when using the bus ticket to board the bus. We just ended up memorizing our passport numbers and using those.

Also in Argentina, all credit card forms want not just a signature but also a document number, but nobody ever looks at what you write there -- they want you to write something there and will notice if you don't, but they don't seem to care what.

Elmer said...

Yes, we were amused that any ID number appears to work when they want to see one.

Also, we wrote tips in the tipo y doc line at least twice before we learned that you had to ask if you can add the tip before the run the card and that many places won't let you because the deals with the banks vary, and some employers opt to negotiate a better fee on general charges in exchange for a 20% or more fee to the banks on their employee's tips.

Elmer said...

Point being on the tipo y doc line -- they truly don't care what you write since they were taking our noted tip as sufficient ID.