Day 9 in Buenos Aires.
Finding an apartment is an exercise in corruption, inconvenience and obtaining cold hard cash ... lots of it.
I went to an agency where a handsome man spoke fluent English. My BA friend, Marlene, accompanied me. The agent showed me a wonderful, light-filled loft but when we returned to his office to do the paperwork he wanted $450 for the agency fee, two months rent, and 21percent tax: all in cash.
When Mr. Smooth started talking with his coworker in Spanish, he forgot Marlene could understand everything he said. He was intending to skim from both the apartment owner and me!
I left, it was just getting too impossible. The agency wouldn't take a debit card, credit card, Paypal, or check. They wanted me to wire money into the owner's bank account. I found out later about the skimming. It's politically incorrect to say so, but I'm going to say it: Argentina is third world when it comes to doing business.
I have to find a place soon. My son, Elliot, and his friend are coming for Christmas. They can't spend Christmas in a tango house. I promised them a tree and everything.
I want to upack my suitcases, cook in a kitchen and have my own bathroom and decent coffee in the morning.
Seriously thought about packing it in and returning to Minnesota with my tail between my legs, my ass well kicked by this decaying but beautiful whore of a city.