Arrival in Buenos Aires

This is a bit of a change – it feels like summer. Flew in to Buenos Aires late last night and promptly lost our jackets. Not like we need them in this heat, but you know.

We line up to get a taxi and the porter eventualy muscles our bags into the front seat – but not our jackets. Cim realises this as we dirve off, but how do we communicate our loss? He has no English, and I realise there´s no point in ordering two beers from him, the limit of my capability. What the hell is “jackets”. He rants at us in Spanish. No hablo espanyol, I say. He repeats, waves his hands around a bit, slaps his head and gesticulates wildly. As if that´s going to turn me into a fluent speaker: “Oh I see, I didn´t realise you were using the subjunctive…”

He eventually turns the car around and we weave our way back to the terminal. He misses his turning for the airport. Clearly our fault. We arrive back at our departure point and taxi man asks porter man if he’s found two jackets (campalleros -or something). He has, and has given them to the police. “It was these idiots and I´d watch out – they´re Ingles.”

No Espanyol says policeman? Ingles I apologise, and get passed up the chain. They do have the jackets, but they´re already at the opposite end ofthe airport, guarded by a formidable policewoman in an office. She rapidfires. The policeman offers “Ingles” pointing at me. “No espanyol?” she says. “Potruges?” she enquires. I counter “French?” “No” “Swedish?” I offer, perhaps a little optimistically.

Anyway, she wants to know what is in the pockets. I haven’t a clue, but can see half a packet of gluicose tablets. “Small sweets” I say and mime the enjoyment of eating Dextrosol in the airport at 1 am. Unfortunately there is also a single glove, she points out. “where is the other one?” I suppose she is saying. She now suspects I am Michael Jackson in disguise, and interrogates me on Cim´s jacket, producing a pencil with IKEA written on it. “You see, Swedish!” She smiles and hands over the jackets.

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