Today, we were supposed to bring our passports to school because immigration was coming to take our fingerprints and check our passports. Of course, I left mine at home. However, I had three back to back classes and didn’t have time to get them in between class. Nor could I wait until after my last class because he wasn’t planning on staying all day. I sought permission from an administrator to miss part of my classes so that I could go home and get my passport. She informed my professors of my issue and they sent me on my way.
The issue with this is that my homestay is a good 30-40 minute walk from school and I needed to get home and back as quickly and cheaply as possible. I decided to take the bus because it is only 2 pesos. I quickly ran to the bus stop, got on the bus, and paid. As soon as I did this I realized that I had gotten on the wrong bus! In my haste, I got on the bus going in the opposite direction of where I live. By the time I got off of the bus, got on the right bus, and finally retrieved my passport, I was already 30 minutes late for my class. Since the bus wasn’t very fast, I decided to speed walk back and ended up being an hour late for a two hour class. Lucky for me it is still part of the two week shopping period where professors are more lenient. I also had already received permission to be late so it wasn’t a big deal.
All of this is to say that getting around in Buenos Aires can be confusing. The bus is cheap but it requires either coin or a sube card, both of which are difficult to come by. Not to mention the fact that there are so many different lines that even the locals get confused. The subway can get crowded and is the stomping ground for pickpockets so it is not always the best option. Taxis aren’t too expensive but NYU recommends calling a radio taxi in order to make sure it is safe. Walking is fine but can also be time consuming and tiring.
Is it possible to get around in Buenos Aires without the help of Google Maps? Of course! NYU has provided a Guia-T which helps with figuring out which bus to take where. There are also websites such as mapa.buenosaires.gov. ar and omnilineas.com that show the bus route. Telling the driver where you want to go aides in making sure that you are getting on the right bus. Asking the driver to inform you when you approach your stop never hurts, although there is no guarantee that the driver will remember to do so. When riding the subway be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings tightly in front of you. When flagging a cab on the street try to use only radio taxis, and if you have time, call for a cab for heightened security. If you get lost use your senses and don’t get off of the bus in a shady area and don’t ask for directions from random individuals on the street.
Getting around in Buenos Aires can be tricky, but the sights are worth the hassle.