Argentina - The Uber Experience

When I travel internationally, I almost always use Uber to get around.   Unlike a taxicab, with Uber, I know how much I'm going to pay upfront and there is a map showing the route taken in case there is a problem.   However, sometimes, even that isn't enough.  

I came to Buenos Aires in April, 2019 with my friend Doris Vincent, who used to live there.   One night, she invited me to join her at the house of her friend Pablo Mezzelani, a talented musician.    I ordered an Uber and we were soon on our way.   Driving there, we noticed the neighborhoods continued to decline along our journey.  It was dark and the streets were not well lighted.  When we finally arrived, Doris said "This doesn't look like an area where Pablo would live."   She took my phone and called him.  Neither of us wanted to get out of the car until we saw Pablo.   He said he would come outside.   He didn't see us anywhere and we didn't see him.    

We doubled checked the address and both the GPS on my phone and the number on the house agreed with his address.   Then I realized what had happened.   Pablo lived in Banfield, not Buenos Aires and we were still in Buenos Aires at a house with the same street name and same house number as his in Banfield.  Whoops!

We were anxious to get out of this neighborhood.  It wasn't great.  I put the new address in the Uber app and our driver said "No!  I don't get paid for my Uber trips when you use a credit card."   That seemed liked "BS" to me, but we later found out that was true due to a crack-down by the Argentinean government.  He then quoted us a ridiculous price to take us to Banfield.   

We were stuck in a bad neighborhood at night with what was now a taxi driver trying to take advantage of us.   Thankfully, Doris is fluent in Spanish and has a strong knowledge of the city.   After some "back and forth" I showed him the Uber price to take us to the correct address and he finally agreed to take us there in cash for the same price he would have received from Uber.  (I think he was as anxious to get out of the neighborhood as we were.)   

We finally arrived at Pablo's house where he cooked us a late dinner and then gave us a private concert by singing to us.  He has an amazing voice.  It was a memorable evening and certainly worth the adventure through a part of Buenos Aires that most tourists will never see. 

Doris and Pablo in Buenos Aires

We met Pablo again a few days later in Buenos Aires, where this photo was taken.   Buenos Aires is a magnificent city.  Be sure to watch my video below about Easter Sunday to see more of this beautiful city of "Good Air."  

Dates of Travel

  • April, 2019
  • July, 2019
  • November-December, 2023

Places Visited

  • Buenos Aires
  • Iguazu Falls




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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