On Thursday I moved into another guesthouse that a Scottish friend Duncan found. How he found it I don't know, as it's not listed in any of the guidebooks or well known at all. It's pretty much across the road from Etty's House where I stayed for 2 weeks in January. There's no signage or anything so it's not obvious its a guesthouse. So I'm back in the Congreso neighbourhoood, which I don't really like, and it's pretty much the same as Etty's House was, i.e. a lady is renting rooms to tourists and students in her house, but Arahaus
is much nicer and cheaper; I've got my own room with a double bed for $350 pesos a month. Compare that with around $500 pesos for a dorm bed sharing with 4 others in a hostel at Tango Backpackers. But best of all, the only other people staying there are 2 Argentine girls my age, so I've finally been getting to practise my Spanish. Friday was a great day, I went and checked out La Boca (another one of the touristy areas of town) with Steve from SE Asia and with Ruth, a girl from the hostel, and since Ruth speaks no English Steve and I mostly spoke in Spanish when we could. That night we went out, and although the night was crap party-wise since as usual we couldn't find a party and we had to wander the streets, I had fun being an interpreter between Ruth and her friends and an Irish couple we'd met.
Random pic: More bank protesters. Most of them are over 50
One of the bemusing things here is often when you pay for something the cashier will quickly inspect the bill - even with a ten peso bill. And now I know why:
When I moved hostel I took a cab from Palermo to Congreso and paid the $10 peso fare with a $50. He gave me my change, part of which I used to pay for my room in Hebe's house. After I'd paid her I noticed one of the ten peso bills I had left was a bit dodgy looking. The print on the bill was ever so slightly blurred. So I showed Hebe and she thought the same, we checked the other bills I'd paid her with and sure enough, the taxi driver had given me a fake $20 and two fake $10s as change. I was pretty pissed off, especially as it's quite obvious they were fakes. But I had my suitcaseonwheelsn and bags with me so was in a hurry to get out of the cab and into the guesthouse. The prick even shook my hand and wished me luck with a big smile on his face. He had a bill-holder full of bills too, obviously fakes.
Random pic: The oldest tagger you'll ever see, protesting at the bank
So there it is, in the past two weeks I've fallen to the two of the infamous South American tourist traps - cop bribery, and fake bills. I managed to offload one of the tens to another cab driver and another in a bar, now I'm just stuck with the twenty which will always be subject to slightly more scrutiny than the tens. I think I'll keep it in my back pocket for the next time I have to bribe a cop...Listening to: 95bfm.com