Argentina 2009 – Day 2

I awoke mid-flight on AA997 with the realization that my classic 2004 iPod was not playing music. I like to bring this iPod on the long flights since it contains my entire audio collection. But there it sat, with the back light stuck on and with the title of a track it was not playing. In my stupor, I struggled to remember how to reset the iPod. It wasn’t until after I switched to my iPhone and put it away (still glowing) did Gary remind me that it’s a combo of two keys. Since I had tried a bunch, I remembered that it was up key and middle key. Lo and behold, iPod crisis was over.

The rest of the flight was uneventful and we finally landed in Buenos Aires. I wish I had a window seat to get an overview, but the glimpses I got looked good. We headed out the jetway and caught up with Mom before heading to customs. We didn’t fare to well in timing since our plane was late due to the weather. We arrived just after an Air France flight, so customs resembled LAX in mid jumbo dump. It was so crowded, we were held at the top of the escalators so as not to cause problems down below. It took about an hour before we emerged from customs and found our luggage. By the time we arrived at Baggage claim, our luggage was sitting next to the belt. We had to wait for Shirley to arrive, so we hung out in the airport for another hour. She finally arrived with some of the Doctors for the conference I will be helping them with while I am in BA.

We headed to the shuttle bus, a 15-20-passenger bus, so it fit all of our luggage and us. We got hustled by some guy who wanted a tip for helping to load the van. One of the Spanish-speaking Doctors told us, “Of course they want a tip, this is South America!” On the way into Buenos Aires to our hotel, most of us fell asleep in the traffic jams, only to be awoken here or there by a sudden slamming on the brakes. The last one was just before the hotel, and I think it was the driver’s way of waking us up.

The room was not quite ready for us, but since we are here for the conference at the hotel, we have access to the business club so we relaxed until it was ready. I discovered that the WiFi is tricky here in the hotel, so updates will have to be planned well in advanced. I went back downstairs to get information on a Buenos Aires tour for tomorrow and met up with Mom and Shirley. I helped them get some of the conference items into their makeshift office at the hotel. Looks like there will be a lot of work to do in the next couple of days, but thankfully I will be able to get out and see the city. It was shower and naptime next as we needed to recharge before venturing out to get some dinner.

We did not venture far from the hotel, and we ended up at Carletto Ristorantino right along the inlet on Puerto Madero. The food was good and I enjoyed a rare glass of wine with my meal. We ate around 8pm – early for the locals. They usually do not start eating dinner until 9-10pm. Most of the bars and clubs also do not start until after 1am and run past when the sun comes up. It is very similar to other places in Europe, and takes a little bit of adjusting. With the convention that I am helping my mom with over the next few days, I am not sure how much I will get to see or go out and do, but by Sunday I will be in full tourista mode.