Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Lost in the City

Sunday, January 4, 2015

We got terribly lost today.  Our plan was to go 1.9 miles from the apartment to meet with Adriana and her husband.  We were headed to their house for drinks and a pleasant evening.  The plan was for us to arrive at their house at 5pm.  We left our apartment at 4:30.  Rather than walk we saw the 188 bus coming by, so decided to take it. 
 (Cue music that lets the viewer know disaster awaits.) 
 If something could have gone wrong – it did.  We didn’t have a phone, for two reasons, the apartment cell phone is not supposed to leave the apartment, and we hadn’t had a chance to buy minutes for it yet.  The map we had was for where we thought we were going – it was not a map of the entire city.  And, the bus guide (colectivo guia) in the apartment was from 2012, and the route to Adriana’s house had changed.  The street we were looking for is located in two very different parts of the city – guess which part we were headed to.

Ken was carefully following along with the streets in the guide as we got farther and farther away.  The neighborhood was starting to look a little – well – creepy.  Then we turned on the street (the one in the wrong part of the city) so we got off the bus.  We need to walk to the end of the street and turn right (so we thought).  The end of the street just never seems to come.  Now I am taking things out of my purse and distributing them to different pockets, in the event we get robbed, maybe something will be saved.  We ask directions from a girl working in a store.  After we are finally understood she tells us 6 more blocks – holds up 6 fingers .  These are long blocks.  We reach the end, we turn right, we are looking for the 4,000 block.  We are now at 713!  We wait 20 minutes for another 188 bus and ….. wait for it…. the bus driver doesn’t see us and he drives right by!  The 188 in the boonies isn’t like the 110 down town.  It seems to never come.  This bus stop is scarey so we start walking again until we find another bus stop on a busy intersection.  30 minutes go by.  Back on the bus.  At this point we are kind of stuck.  The bus stops are few and far between and there are only a few bus lines on offer.  It’s Sunday so places are closed – there is nobody to ask.  There are no taxis trolling the street.  We ask a man who is on the bus with his wife and his scowling daughter.  He tells us we are in the Province, not the City.  He says, get off the bus, take another bus back to the subte (subway) and get on a subway that will take us back to civilization.  At least we think this is what he said.  We get off the bus.  We stand forever at another creepy bus stop and the bus guide tells us the 20 will get us to Retiro.  Retiro is a main bus station and we know it well, so we just went there.  This bus took an hour to get to Retiro – that’s how far away we were.  And, I mean to tell ya, we saw some interesting neighborhoods on that ride.  The word shack almost doesn’t describe the dwellings we drove by.
Finally!  Retiro!  As we were getting ready to find another bus to get us to Palermo, we said “What are we thinking?!” and hailed a cab.  

Our round trip took us 4 hours!  Adriana and her husband went out searching for us, afraid we had met with some disaster.  

We now have minutes on the phone, a map of the whole city, and a new bus guide.


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