Trials and Tribulations of a Young New Yorker and His Travels

The Case of the Missing Hostel

Upon landing in Buenos Aires, I walked through the fairly small airport and got to immigration where I spoke a few sentences of Spanish to the man and handed him my passport.  He looked at it and said in a quizzical tone, “Where is your visa?”  I said I do not have one, causing him to look at me like “what are you doing here then?” Starting to become worried, I dropped the attempt at broken spanish and told him how I read that you can pay for a visa once you arrive in Argentina.  This made him realize apparently that he should tell me I was supposed to go to some hidden computers behind an escalator to purchase the visa.  Crisis averted.

Once I made it through immigration and customs I was greeted by a family friend who had offered to pick me up from the airport.  The drive into the city was pleasant, not much traffic due to it being a weekend.  After receiving a brief tour of the city, we made our way to the address of the hostel I had booked.  Once we got there we began looking for it and could not find it.  We went around the block and still nothing.  Perplexed, my host went into a convenience store and asked where the hostel is to which he replied “It has been closed for six months now.”  Again my heart skipped a beat upon hearing this, an hour into my stay in Buenos Aires and two things have already gone wrong.

With help from my friend and her blackberry however, we were able to find another hostel that had an open room as the area where I was staying is a hotspot for backpackers and travelers.  Upon booking the room, I said goodbye to my friend and went upstairs to my room and began to get settled in.  Already I was beginning to have doubts about this trip and whether it was a good idea or not, but then I tried to focus on the fact that two disasters had already been thwarted and that I should feel lucky I had a place to stay.

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