My first visit to Argentina was in 2004 (only in Dutch). I was a backpacker then, doing the ‘touristy thing’. This time I returned as a digital nomad, to live in Buenos Aires for a month and learn to dance tango. I can summarize my month in 4 words: walk, work, eat and tango.
Within my first 30 minutes, three stories presented themselves:
1) A taxi-agent at the airport tried to rip me off, by quickly swapping a US$50 note I had given him for a US$10 note and telling me I must have confused the two. But I insisted that he was the one who had made the ‘mistake’ and suddenly, without an explanation, he took the US$10 note back and gave me the change for the US$50. As he walked away, I quickly calculated he gave me the wrong exchange rate and called him back. He then gave me the rest of my money and left. I could not believe it: did he just try to rip me off again, just two minutes after I caught him the first time?!?
2) The taxi driver just smiled and told me this happens all the time. As I was still recovering from the shock (first time this happened to me in many years and 100+ countries of traveling), the road was blocked by hundreds of police in riot armor. “What is going on?” I asked. My driver explained that a company at the airport had recently laid off many workers and then refused to pay them. No wonder the ex-workers were protesting and had been blocking the airport for a week already. The police had just cleared the road. They did not look friendly…
3) As we continued, I saw that the taxi’s gas tank was beyond empty and I asked the driver if we should get some gasoline for the long drive into the city. Again he just laughed and told me his car -like many others- had been modified to use gas. They just change the engine, but the display stays that of a ‘normal’ car.
When I finally I arrived in my lovely Airbnb place; an artist residence with a huge creative studio and nice people, I found that none of my plugs and adapters fit; all power outlets were completely ‘alien’! I had to but an adaptor… So far for being an ‘experienced’ world traveler and digital nomad…
Buenos Aires feels very European, with Italian restaurants, sidewalk cafes etc. There is free Wifi in most of the city, especially in Palermo. Nothing fancy, but just enough for a social media check, google maps, whatsapp etc. I love the trees in the streets; gives it a very ‘green’ feeling.