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BsAs-Beware of the "Offer you can't refuse"

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My wife and I recently returned from a 24 day honeymoon excursion beginning in Santiago, including a 14 day cruise around the horn and into Uruguay before docking in Buenos Aires. We then spent 4 days in Buenos Aires and then 3 days in Mendoza. We had the most wonderful time and our trip report will be in the form of our honeymoon blog site. Suffice it to say that we loved Buenos Aires and the people.

There is just one thing that I feel must be said here though. I am going against my core belief system in one sense because I am not usually one to complain about another person in public. I just learn and move on. However, maybe this will be benificial in helping someone else finding themselves in a similar situation.

It was litterally less than 10 minutes after we got to our hotel room when I got the phone call. A gentleman with whom I had been corresponding in doing research for our trip was on the other end giving me an "Offer you can't refuse". He offered to pick us up from our hotel, take us on a tour of the city followed by lunch at "a place of your choosing". Afterwards he would drop us off at San Telmo for the Sunday fair. I accepted his generous offer with gratefulness. He then informed me of one hitch in the offer, there was one other couple going with us and, since his car didn't seat 6, my wife would have to sit on my lap. I reluctantly continued to agree knowing that would be a tight fit.

He showed up a little later with his wife driving and immediately upon looking at the car, I knew we were in for a cozy ride. We rode for about 10 minutes where we picked up another couple who got in the back seat with our host. My wife squished onto my lap in the front seat and I kept one hand on her backside so that our host's wife could shift gears. On our driveby tour of the city, if it wasn't out the right side of the car, we didn't see it. I didn't care much, because the real reason I was there was to meet this man and talk with him.

During the "tour" we were asked where we wanted to eat. My reply was that we had eaten not too long before leaving the ship and that all I wanted was a good salad. The other couple had no input either as to which restaurant to choose. Our host informed us that since neither of us had made a decision, he was making it for us. I believe two of the words he used in his description were "fancy" and "French". I could be wrong on that. He took us to FERVOR.

I sat at one end of the table between his lovely wife who spoke no English, and my wife. The restaurant was quite noisy, so I spent the entirety of the meal not hearing 95% of what was being discussed at the other end of the table. I was getting the distinct feeling that the couple who didn't have to sit on top of each other were the guests of honor and that my wife and I were secondary. I can't recall the number of times I had to lean forward and say "excuse me?" And I found that a shame because I was finding our new friends from the UK to be very friendly and interesting. I would have liked to have spent more time getting to know them. And as for the food... I ordered what I had thought was to be a salad featuring hard boiled eggs. What I got was a salad consisting ENTIRELY of hard boiled eggs. Period. Just 7 hard boiled eggs. 22 pesos.

Part of our discussion at the table consisted of my telling of our credit card woes since we had left home. That 2 of them were not working - And that 3 big checks that were supposed to be deposited were not, forcing us into a budget we were not expecting. That we were just hours in the city and didn't have any local currency was let known as well.

The check came. Our host picked it up and told us all to give 130 pesos and that would cover everything including tip. I suggested that since we didn't have any cash that we pay with our credit card and take the cash from the other couples. All agreed. Then our host took 50 pesos from my hand and said that was what I needed to pay for the tip. I told him at the time that I was under the impression that tipping in this country was customarily 10%. He corrected me and told me that was what I needed to leave for a bill that was $368.

Itemizing the tab goes briefly as follows:
host - $139
guests of honor - $165
us - $64

We received $210 in cash after the tip so our share paid was $158 ($47.48 USD as the visa company charged us) for a salad, a plate of grilled vegetabled and a coffee. I watched others at the table eating very delicious looking salmon and chicken. Our host didn't even finish his meal but ordered 2 desserts. I did not complain about this out loud at the time. I was a guest and the tour was not over.

Or was it?

We got outside the restaurant and our host told us that we needed to take a taxi to get to San Telmo. He immediately went to hail a cab for us. He couldn't get rid of us fast enough. I had to insist on going back inside his car to pick up my camera. before getting the boot. I would have liked pictures with the lovely couple from the UK for remembrance sake. And a picture of the resaurant and our host for visual is telling this portion of our story would have been priceless.

Live and learn.

I just found out today in getting back online that the couple from the UK was actually dropped off at San Telmo. Our host actually made good on his word to them. They didn't have to pay for a cab. Good for them.

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