bodyguard – Buenos Aires – Becoming a Deadly Haven (Avoid “Restaurant 36”))Article))

I just returned from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it is getting worse by the minute. When you have a good thing, everyone thinks it will remain that way by momentum in Buenos Aires, it never does. I am writing this article for a few reasons: one, I hope the officials of Buenos Aires wake up, and two; it is becoming dangerous for Americans to go there.
I suppose it is dangerous in any big city in South America, the officials are more corrupt, and it is always harder for these countries to accommodate the American tourist, they have a different way of thinking, and it is not service related, more than it is: give me the dollar, and once received, the services then melt down. They do not necessarily think of the future, but rather the present.
I’ve been in just about every country a few times in South America, in Buenos Aries twice. It is a beautiful city that seems to have a tinge of Paris and Madrid melted into it. The dollar is not bad 3.16 pesos to the dollar. But it is a world no longer safe to walk around with your wife. The tour folks in South America, just as soon wash their hands of you once they pack your package together, should you deal with a South American Tourists Companies, and we have dealt with them in Lima going to Buenos Aries, and several other South American cities. The American Embassies are more helpful, and have emergency numbers 7/24; you will need to know the numbers, for your guides will not know them.
Most of the hotels, in Buenos Aries are not equipped with staff that can speak English and Spanish (let’s hope you can or your guide), and if robbed, and there are twice as many robbers in Buenos Aries than Lima, I do believe, and there are many in Lima, so be careful, for the police will simply try to talk you out of doing a report, saying in essence, “What for, it’s just a simple robbery, and no one was hurt.” Do not go walking anyplace in Buenos Aries without a bodyguard or group of people, it is no longer safe.
There were two robberies in a ten minute span, when we were by the train station, which the police told me and my wife to not go in, in fear we’d not return out of the station alive. I asked the police why they would not go into the station to look for the robbers, and they simply refused, as did the desk clerk refuse to do the report at the police station.
My recent trip to Buenos Aires was in April, 2007. My previous one was five years ago, and it has gotten worse. The authorities and the people blame the Peruvians for much of the turmoil, coming into Buenos Aires, I blame the city per se, and everyone is pointing fingers and taking no blame. I feel the police are in on the payoffs here, because robbery is taken so lightly.
In the nightclubs, they no longer cater to the customer; I went to several of them, as I had down years back. When my steak turned out to be a lower class of meat, for a higher class of dollars, that was on the menu, the manager fought with me; this was at the “Restaurant 36” by Congress, downtown Buenos Aires. I asked him to go talk to the cook (maybe he made a mistake), and he refused, and he said,”We have a good reputation.” My wife said, “You had, and now it is going down the drain, because your cooks are more correct than the customers, whom are simply your Ginny Pigs.”
A few other pizza places had the same attitude. I am sorry to be so negative, but it is simply a fact, until they start making the customer priority, it is neither safe, nor going to be a good experience for the traveler to such places.
Incidentally, I talked to the tourists that were attacked, the woman was all bruised up, and the gentleman was all cut up, it is a shame this once beautiful city is becoming no more than a haunting house for mischief. You guide may tell you it is safe to walk anyplace in Buenos Aires, do not take him at his word, it is not so.

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