2.2 : My First Day as an Argentinian Bus Driver

Coming off the plane the airport smells like heat. Airports manage to all look the same, but here the ivory linoleum floor and butter colored walls feel more like they are washed out from sun exposure than banality. The floor to ceiling glass walls let me look out on the new country like an aquarium exhibit - there are construction workers! Argentinian construction workers! (How does this make everything more exciting?)

I'm ready for my first steps in South America. I throw my arms open, walk down the stairs and sing "Buenos Dias Argen---"

and I'm on my hands and knees. On the ground, making some sort of noiseless groan, feeling like I'm going to barf. And my ankle hurts like hell. Only I would roll my ankle before I even touch solid ground on a new continent.

After getting our backpacks {mine weighing, may I remind you 42.8 lbs} we go to the bank. My first opportunity to speak some real Spanish! Its 90 degrees, I'm limping, and carrying a huge heavy backpack, and the bus will arrive in 15 minutes.

what I said: "Yo necesito dinero porque yo voy a manejar autobus!"
what I think I'm saying: "I need some money to ride the bus"
what I'm really saying: "I need money! I'm a bus driver!"

Luckily this man is feeling patient (or clairvoyant) and I get enough coins - which Eli I didn't, because I'm the expert traveler of the duo - and we both get on the autobus publico to ride our way to the city center. It will take 2 hours and cost 2 pesos. Alternately we could take the private bus which will cost 40 pesos and take 45 minutes. But this is no time for luxury.


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