Before We Age

“Just Look it up on the Internet”

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Stephen and I walk through our landlord Graciela’s kitchen to get to our apartment.

Walking up the stairs

The family's rooftop patio used for drying laundry and the occasional cigarette

Our apartment is above their patio

The view looking straight out from our balcony

Graciela is the type of person you hope to encounter soon after landing in a foreign country. She’s welcoming, cheerful, and extremely happy to help, although for many of our problems, her advice ends up being the same. If we want to know a good place to eat, Graciela has ample recommendations. But for trickier problems, from hunting for apartments to finding the right subway, to buying a phone, she has one, universal response. “Búsquelo en el Internet,” with an Italian inflection close to, “It’s simple (you uptight American).”

Graciela is working on installing Internet in our apartment. Every day she brings up a new piece of the necessary tools for this to happen. One day, she provided a router. The next, a modem. The next, an electrical line, although it failed to connect with either of the latter. She has decided to install wifi this week, and we’re crossing our fingers that this goes smoothly.  It seems to be a much more complicated process than in the U.S.

From Stephen’s recollection, wifi was not even an option in the city five years ago.  If Porteños wanted Internet away from home, they had to rent computers by-the-minute at Internet cafes.

Like most of the world however, they’ve latched onto the service pretty quickly. The “rogue” candidate for president has even centered his campaign around a promise of free wifi to the entire country – Obama 2012 anyone?

He is also promising everyone free houses and bags to clean up after their dogs (which they don't).

For now, lacking access to the Internet has provided Stephen and me an excuse to explore many of B.A.’s neighborhood cafes and develop a taste for their café con leche, which is perplexingly better than the American cupa.

Happy after ordering my first café con leche successfully en español

Stephen happy because he just found the coffee shop he spent the past six years in L.A. searching for

It's in the neighborhood Colegiales, where we're hoping to end up

View of "The Oldest Bar" from the outside

There’s no click-of-a-button cure to missing our friends and family in the states, but we feel very lucky to have all of you and we cannot wait for you to visit this beautiful city. Worried about the cost of airfare? Todo tranquilo.  Just look it up on the Internet!

Click here and enter your e-mail address to set up a monthly price alert for the best deals to come visit us: http://www.kayak.com/flights#MIA-BUE/2011-10-29/2011-11-05

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