30 November 2014

On Our Way!

At least for the next 6-8 weeks, we are like Portenos, those who live in Buenos Aires.  We arrived yesterday with the main events happening at the beginning and end of our 24 hours of travel.

After weeks of moving and downsizing, purchasing and bureaucratic form completion, visiting and farewells to family and friends, we finished with several days in full on “work mode”.  On the day of take off we were ready to depart. Our 5 duffel bags, 3 bins, 2 carry-ons and 1 enormous suitcase were packed with contents catalogued.  Our many documents were secure.  And our apartment was cleaned and ready for family ….almost.  Still being proud of house and not wanting any visitor to step on a dirty bath mat, I threw the large mat in the washing machine at the 11th hour.  Of course, the driver of the large SUV who was taking us to the airport arrived early.  And, of course, the washing machine stalled full of white suds and door locked.  After some fumbling, the minutes ticking, the door was opened and the soaking mat was rushed down the hall, suds flying, to be thrown down the garbage chute.  A not so auspicious start.

The rest of the journey went according to plan and schedule.  Once again we got all our luggage through security at both ends and through Argentinian customs with hardly a nod from the officials.  The smiling drivers of the two taxis ordered were waiting patiently.  The storage locker staff were welcoming and helpful.  And then off to the AirBNB apartment…1 hour early.

A woman, who must have been the superintendent of the building, ushered us and our bags - now down to three enormous suitcases and carry-ons - through the locked front door.  After much facial expression, gestures and very broken Spanish, she understood who we were looking for and called the landlord of the apartment.  He said he would be 15 minutes.  Forty-five minutes later a flustered and embarrassed young man arrived to reluctantly admit that he had given us the address of the wrong apartment.  

The average taxi in B.A. is not large, certainly not large enough for our bags. And so we trundled through the busy streets hauling our bags which very luckily were on wheels.  Our heavy carry-ons containing books and electronics were on our backs.  I was reminded of the same experience in Venice with two young children, squeaky wheels on bags and cobblestone alleyways.  This time no kids, sadly. No squeaky wheels, happily. And no cobblestones, luckily. 

After a short sit down, Peter and I headed out for dinner to toast the beginning of our grand adventure.  It had already started 24 hours earlier.

BTW, I am now worried that instead of stepping on a dirty bath mat, our family will now slip on a wet tile floor.  First visitors, please bring your own mat and donate it to the cause.


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