Some of you out there may be speculating that there is a grammatical error in the title of this blogpost but it was completely intentional. Upon arriving back from one of my trips to and from Colonia, Uruguay for the day, I did the usual and when I landed back in the ferry terminal in BsAs, I stepped out onto the side of the main road to hail a taxi.
Todays blog will incorporate several themes including how to stay safe and get to know strangers while avoiding sending mixed messages that can happen when two cultures colide. The first tip I want to share with anyone travelling to and from Uruguay via ferry from Buenos Aires is when you land in back in Buenos Aires and are in the ferry terminal again, there will be some taxis waiting for you right outside on the grounds of the ferry terminal.
Unless you cannot walk another step, don't accept an offer from a taxi driver. They are operating at a fixed rate of at least 70 pesos to wherever you want to go in the city. Instead, walk off the ferry grounds, find a main road where a stream of traffic is coming towards you and stand there and wait until a taxi comes along. Those taxis aren't contracted by the ferry terminal company and are just normal taxis so you will get a much lower per minute rate. Making that effort to walk those 5 mins out to the main road and catch a regular taxi is gonna save you 30-40 pesos
But lets get to the interesting part, I picked up a taxi and I ended up nearly getting picked up while in a taxi. It was driven by a handsome young 25 yr old who struck a conversation with me. Although I was tired, I remembered enjoying the conversation. There was a really nice vibe between us and at the end of the ride, he said he would like to continue to get to know me and we could exchange numbers if I wanted. I was OK with it so I gave my number and we decided to be in contact soon
This next paragraph is gonna be important. Just know that Buenos Aires does not have the reputation for kidnap or murder that somewhere like Mexico city does. BA is one of the safest big cities in Latin America and if anything were to happen to you, it would likely be being pickpocketed or robbed of money. There are plenty of foreign girls who meet great Argentine guys at events or nite clubs and become friends. You have to take caution but there is no reason to be paranoid.
There was something sweet and endearing and though my tendancy is towards women, the occasional guy sweeps me off my feet. I went to visit his lovely apartment in Las Canitas (another neighbourhood) a few days later. And I will admit that I was sort of flirting with him from the time we exchange numbers until I went to visit him. The reason I tell you this is so that you know that I openly acknowledge that the miscommunication between is partly my fault.
I can be a real flirt at times towards both men and women, that's no big secret. And on the west coast of Canada, if I met a guy for the first time and felt a good vibe and he invited me to his place to have some beers and maybe a movie, it would be no problem. However, porteño men like to move really fast and being flirtatious is gonna give them the idea that you want to do alot more than beer and movies to say the least. And it was only later after chatting with my local housemates that they explained to me how accidently I was dropping signals and giving the green light in porteño culture that I was giving my body away from free.
In this culture, if you get invited to a guys house in the evening, there is a likely chance that he's got a little more on his mind than movie and popcorn. If you feel a guy is genuinely interested in you then go out on a date outside of the home during the day to a cafe or for pizza. After establishing a relationship that isn't based on one's ability to drop your pants, then only pay a visit.
I had to sadly inform this handsome young porteño that I play for the other team. However it did feel good to get into a little mischief and get away with it...like the gorillas from Tarzan's "Trashin the Camp"
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