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cathy mcniven
New member
Username: Cathnniv

Post Number: 3
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 4:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, I will be travelling to SA from Australia to meet and stay with my penpal of 20yrs and her family.
They live in Adrogue a suburb of B.S A.S and i know they are not well off.
I'm wondering how much i should pay them to stay (Board money for food etc) I do not want to offend at all and as i will be using their house as a base i do not want to appear wealthy or make them feel bad in any way.
If anyone has some tips that would be great.
Also how far is Adrogue from B.S A.S city by subway?
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1566
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 9:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do not know much about Adrogue except that it is south of the city of Buenos Aires. You can get there by train departing from Constitucion station (train terminal located south of the City). The trip is probably half an hour. Adrogue will be the 9th station (Constitucion - Hipolito Yrigoyen - Avellaneda - Gerli - Lanus - Remedios de Escalada - Banfield - Lomas de Zamora - Temperley - Adrogue).

Bus (colectivos) is a better, safer option. You should look for #79 (not San Jose) departing also from Constitucion, #74 departing from the Central Post Ofice and #160 departing from Ciudad Universitaria/Palermo. This will take over an hour and depending on your point of departure up to 1 1/2 hrs. You should use coins only for the buses and always ask the driver if you are taking the right one and where to get off.

Since Adrogue isn't that far from the City (about 25km) you can always consider a cab. Driving may take 45/50 minutes. I can't see this costing over usd $18/20.

I really think you shouldn't pay anything. If they have invited you that is what it is. An invitation. Instead, I would take them to dinner regularly. Or buy desserts for home cook outs, or always come back with a nice bottle of wine. In addition to inviting them back to Australia :-)
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David Jones
New member
Username: Surgeryargentina

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cathy,
I applaud you for literally going the 11th mile to visit your penpal of twenty years. It's nice to read a heartfelt posting like yours. It is more than commendable for both your Argentine friend (and you)to have remained close for so long. When I have been a guest in B.A. I did the same things that Roberto mentioned above. I took my host out to dinners(which were a real bargain). I accompanied my friend to the market & picked up the tab several times. I slipped the housekeeper about $20.00 U.S. & thanked her for her kindness & assistance. My host friend, had his personal secretary escort me ALL over B.A. I bought her meals & also tipped her for her kindness & patience. I took into consideration that my host friend was generous (for Argentina) with his part time staff. With that in mind I also made sure to lovingly compensate them for their time spent with me. Even after all I spent on groceries,tips,meals,flowers,etc. I still saved a fortune in relation to what hotel rooms & meals would have cost. I also got an "Insider's perspective of Argentina," which is invaluable. Lastly I got a credit card that gave me 15,000 frequent flyer miles with my 1st purchase. I bought my airline ticket with this credit card. The frequent flyer miles to Argentina, combined with the free miles, ended up giving me 1 free trip anywhere in the U.S. I hope you enjoy your Argentine experience.
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Adam Walker
Member
Username: Adam_walker

Post Number: 74
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 7:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Cathy

If they are not well off and need/expect money, spanish schools arrange family stays here.

2 years ago I came and fell in love with the place (and live here now) - my school arranged home stay for US$180!!! a week (with 2 meals). The exclamation marks are because the family get approx half of this (the schools rip you/them off! My advice to people and friends who come here, is to sort out your own family stay if possible).

In Ecuador the family got about US$10 a day too (I did it there too).

If you are keen on giving them some dosh, I'd suggest you say you looked into it, and you found out this is the going rate... maybe they will need the money. Frankly, knowing how warm most Argentines are, they won't want to take it.

However, otherwise, some gifts and meals r a good idea - definitely take them lots of presents that are connected with your home country - I brought food and buscuits, alcohol, post cards of London etc all from the UK, and they really love this sort of gift.

I also wanted to say, avoid the train at night, the stations aren't the best of places. During the day, i loved them - they have no doors, and people come on selling EVERYTHING from sweets to socks (so takes lots of AR$2 notes :-) I bought anything and everything!) all for AR70c a trip... but otherwise, find out what bus to take, and if you can afford it, as Roberto says, Remises (local taxis) are pretty cheap, I'd imagine a 40 minute trip would cost no more than AR$30 going on the remises I take from Avelleneda.

Enjoy it!!
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cathy mcniven
New member
Username: Cathnniv

Post Number: 4
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2008 - 2:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Thanks everyone for the advice.
I am staying with my penpal because she offered but also because i cannot afford to stay in motels. If i had to i would not be going. I am trying to factor in as much as possible the costs of meals, board etc so i do not run out of money while there. I wish i could get a credit card lol bank would disagree and with frequent flyer wow you scored well.

Ceci is a wonderful girl and her family seem lovely so of course i do not wish to put them out. I will of course shout dinner when i can and buy little things here and there. I am going to Iguassa and Ceci should be able to come so will pay her way (which i need to yet check out the cheapest but best option)

Proximity to the city sounds fine and i think the trains sound fab also although not night of course.

Are the restaurants expensive or should i stick to cafe's ?

What type of Aussie presents could i bring any suggestions?

Thanks again, great forum.
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cathy mcniven
New member
Username: Cathnniv

Post Number: 5
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2008 - 2:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ask a silly question!! hopefully get a smart answer lol
Would my family be likely to afford Lamb often?
The reason i ask is Lamb in Australia is cheap and loved so if i can purchase it there and maybe cook them an Aussie roast dinner it may be something they haven't had and something they couldn't afford?
Just a thought. I know they love their steak!
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1584
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Prices and your perception of what is cheap and expensive will vary. That is my best assessment. In the past, everything *felt* very cheap. Today, you may get a wonderful filet mignon (14 oz) with fresh french fries (called minuta) at usd $11 and you may feel you are getting a great deal. One block away, you may also get a filet mignon (half the size) with french fries that have been sitting on the deck warming up for hours for also $11. But this time you will feel you are being robbed.

In general, prices for eating out are still cheap compared to the US.

I think lamb will be an unsual item here. I have rarely seen it on menus. In fact, there is a "patagonian" lamb that is being offered as a specialty in very few restaurants. Maybe you should try your recipe on a "lechon".
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cathy mcniven
New member
Username: Cathnniv

Post Number: 8
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 6:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks it was just a thought.
I'd love to cook them an Australian meal so i'll keep thinking.

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