Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Getting Around in BsAs

Disclaimer: This post will not be helpful to anyone moving to Buenos Aires. It is simpy to explain how I have been using transportation thus far and, more importantly, to keep this blog going. So here in the warm side of the world, there are various forms of transport. Near me, I have the option of cab, train, bus or subte (metro). Yes, I said train. To get around. The collectivos (buses) apparently go everywhere and are supposed to be fanstically amazing. However, I have yet to ride one unsupervised, so I still haven't mastered what is going on there.

What I do have a note from my mom to ride alone is the subte, or the BsAs metro line. I live on the green line, which apparently here is called the D line, but come on, I've lived in DC for so long AND the lines are color coded anyway. You're just asking me to call it the green line. Don't even get me started on how terrible the metro is mapped out, hence the great buses. Anyway, to get to work I ride the green line pretty much to the end, all the way downtown.

Now, I'm not going to complain about the ferocious heat in the subte (think DC summer but ALL the cars are without airconditioning) or how crowded it gets, because it's a city and I live here and whatnot. But, what really gets me is the subte etiquette, far far different from my apparent world of politeness I lived through in DC. The subte cars here are set up like any other metro, seats lining the outer part of the car and standing room in the middle. Tidbit: in DC I have been flagged down someone allowing me to sit instead of them, because I am a lady. Here, not only is that absolutely not the case, but it is so far from it. People don't even get up to allow older people to sit down. My age men (boys really for this behavior) will sit while me and older women stand in front of them for the entire metro ride.

Whats really annoying is that I constantly give up my seat out of guilt, so I end up standing the entire metro ride. And this isn't a metro center to farragut north metro ride, I take it nine stops. Twice a day. My Spanish isn't quite up to the level to give lectures about letting older women sit, but once it is..watch out portenos on the green line.


  1. haha the D line is why I moved out of Palermo!! It is the worst! In my experience on other lines, I've often been offered a seat, but since it usually comes along with someone asking me if I'm pregnant, I decline (and sometimes cry).

  2. I'm really surprised that none of the men you ride the subway with get up to offer their seat to women, older people or children. When I lived in Argentina (about 10 yrs ago) I was impressed with the chivalry on buses and the subte. Men always got up to offer their seats. Weird that that's changed! Is it everywhere or just the D line?