Flash Visit to Buenos Aires

For two days I visited Buenos Aires. The reason? To retrieve my permanent residency that I have been waiting almost 6 months for. The result? They told me it was not ready yet and I needed to come back in another two months. So after travelling the 18 hours to get to Buenos Aires, I spent a night there and returned the next day.

Bus travel

After the jump there are some photos from my visit…

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Old Mr. Rios

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Only a few blocks from my destination, I notice an old man hobbling along the footpath. His slow speed and awkwardness creates an obstacle for the handful of people who are out today, and they all detour around him so as to continue on their way. As I approached him, he looked up at me and asked if I had any money to give him so he could buy a pizza for lunch. This was not your normal person begging on the streets. Here was an old man, leaning on a cane and dressed in an old suit from yesteryear…

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Missing the Date

I thought this said 30-07-2009.

Heading to Buenos Aires, convinced that I was arriving only two days before my provisional visa expired, the first thing I did after dropping my bags off in the place I was staying was head back to the Migrations office in the city. The idea was that I would get my official documents and then stay for a meeting here before returning. Everything was organised, except for one unexpected problem.

I missed the date.

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A Train at High Tide

Weaving my way through the crowded Florida Street Mall, it was hard to think of anything other than getting back to my room. The last few days had seen me flat on my back from a nasty flu and even though I thought my strength had returned, this outing had proved otherwise. Any remaining strength was waning quickly as I struggled through the heart of Buenos Aires in the middle of peak hour. This was the last place I really wanted to be right now.

Reaching the entrance to the subway I allowed my feet to slide lazily down the steps while holding onto the side rail and concentrating on staying upright. Passing through the turnstiles it becomes clear that coming here was probably a bad idea. People lined against the edge of the platform from one end to the other. The masses waiting for a train stood in silence, forming a wall over five bodies deep, and a nervousness filled the air while the people waited impatiently for the train to arrive.

The sardines in a can

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Documents in Argentina

One of the most known landmarks in Buenos AiresI have arrived in Buenos Aires to get my residency here. It would have been easier and more convenient to do this process in Puerto Madryn where I am now based, but the Immigration branch there could not do anything with my English language documents. So here I am in Buenos Aires trying to get everything together. The problem is that even though there is information about all of this, most people that have been through it have told me that there is always one more paper needed before you can actually start (or sometimes finish) the process.

None of this should really come as a surprise to me, since I have been through this process once before, with my old Siambretta motorbike (which I eventually gave away to a good cause after all of that). The procedure is that when you ask somebody, they will give you one answer, but when you get to the next person in the order of presenting papers, they will tell you that the other person was wrong and you need something else, or something different. This makes for a slow process in getting things done, but with persistence and a lot of time to stand in the long lines, and you will eventually get things sorted out. That was what I was about to do here in Buenos Aires.

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Tales of Travel in Argentina

It was 3.50pm by the time I called the taxi agency again. Where was that taxi that they had promised me for 3.45? My bus was leaving at 4.07pm and with a 10 minute drive from here to the terminal, time was getting tight. It shouldn’t have been this way, as I had already arranged everything, which would have given me plenty of time to get down there. Now, as the phone rang, I wondered what had happened to my driver.

The same young girl who had taken my first call and booked the taxi answered the phone again. I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m from the Quintas,” I said, “and I would like to know where my taxi is?” The moment I finished those words, there was a gasp and then a flurry of activity on the other side of the telephone, before she squeaked, “Oh! The Quintas! Yes! The Quintas! Oh my…! I’m sending a car now!” and with that she hung up.

Looking at Madryn city from the Quintas

The view of Puerto Madryn City from the Quintas. It is normally a 10 minute drive to town.

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