Relying on my high school Spanish, we landed in Buenos Aires ready for the honeymoon we'd spent a year anticipating. I was prepared to avoid all the typical traveler mistakes. I knew we wanted to get some money, find the taxi stand and avoid anyone randomly offering a ride. I had the address of our hotel in my pocket and had practiced asking to be taken there in Spanish numerous times.
Pesos in hand, we hopped into a cab from the stand and I successfully asked to be taken to our hotel. The meter was on and I could see how much the fare was going to cost. We arrived at our hotel, I looked at the meter, heard the amount yelled from the front of the cab and handed over my money. We were shuffling around making sure to get all our things when the cabbie told me in a mix of English and Spanish that I didn't give him enough money. The cab fare had drained almost all of my pesos. I was sure I gave him enough, if not, I had lost some of my money between the ATM and the cab stand. He was getting agitated so I embarrassingly gave him some U.S. dollars, thinking it was my fault for not understanding him well and losing my money.
Flustered, we walked into the lobby of the small, boutique hotel. It then hit me - I had given that man close to $100 U.S. dollars for our cab ride between the pesos that I had correctly paid him and the extra money I handed him.
I was not happy. Thirty minutes into our Argentinian honeymoon and I was just handing out money. My confidence was completely depleted and I had no energy left to try my poor Spanish with the front desk attendant.
|Mira Vida Soho hotel|
If he would have treated us any differently when we arrived, I would have sunken into a state despair and retreated to my room for the next day or two convinced that everyone in Buenos Aires was out to get me. Instead, I pushed the incident out of my mind as best I could. We changed out of our smelly travel clothes and hit the streets for lunch at a local spot. Which, I'm happy to report, I paid the right amount of money for.
If you're ever in Buenos Aires, I highly recommend staying at Mira Vida. I believe the man who helped me that day no longer owns the hotel, but it's in a great location and has a fantastic wine bar with the best bartenders.