Twenty-four hours on a bus can dull the senses of even probably the most scam-wary traveller. My boyfriend Joe and I were in the final month of a six-month globe trip. It had been my birthday and as a result of extraordinarily negative planning we’d just invested it on a cramped and smelly coach travelling.
We have been desperate for any hot bath and a lie-down and had booked a half respectable resort in Microcentral. We all knew the particular lodge was just a few blocks from the bus station in our weary state agreed that it had been a few blocks too many and decided to catch a cab. We had been on the tight budget, but catching a taxi was hardly a splurge for foreigners in Argentina. (Since the peso lost 75% of the worth in 2001, Argentina was each and every travellers dream)!!!
Once we emerged from your bus sta, a cab driver pulled up and waved us over with a friendly grin. ‘Welcome to Argentina! I’m Matias. Your 1st time here?’ His excellent English and hearty welcome instantly put us at ease. We sank to the again of the cab, grateful being off the bus and moments away from a comfy resort.
We’d barely left the station prior to Joe and Matias have been in full conversational swing. Matias provided they are driving us throughout the main sights near to our hotel. So we invested the subsequent 20 minutes sightseeing while he drove us up Av De Mayo previous grand Victorian architecture and blushing pink Casa Rosada, and past the Obelisk in Plaza de la Rep?blica. It absolutely was great to have an instant tour but I was tired and much less than attentive, and getting much more and much more anxious to get away from my dirty clothes.
Matias sensed our restlessness and provided to acquire us to his ‘friend’s’ hotel, which according to him, was much better value than the resort we’d booked. ‘Oh, right here we go’, I thought. We’d come across this scam a million instances before. I exchanged glances with Joe, whose eyes persuaded me to humour his new buddy by letting him to consider us to the hotel.
Once we got there, Matias and Joe went inside to speak to Matias’s ‘friend’ while I stayed within the cab. Devoid of the distraction of Matias’s constant chatter I observed that the meter was nonetheless running. And it wasn’t just clicking around slowly, it had been spinning like an one-armed bandit and we’d already clocked up around 50 pesos! Having just arrived in Argentina, I’d no thought what the exchange rate was but something told me this wasn’t good.
After what appear such as an age, Joe and Matias emerged searching grim-faced and obtained back in the taxi. The previously congenial atmosphere had evaporated and we drove silently to our booked hotel.
By the time we got there, our fare was more than 70 pesos, which we paid devoid of question, thanking Matias for the tour. As he drove off we could see him within the rear-view mirror chuckling to himself. Later that night, right after a well-needed rest, we asked the hotelier how much a cab from your bus sta would normally price.Much less i need to say… Thank you Matias!
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