Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The great Sube adventure

It may be easy for locals but we had such a hard time looking for somewhere selling the limited Sube card!!!

Unlike Hong Kong, not only that you got money, be able to find any railway stations and you can buy an octopus in any service counter- it's nothing like that!

To explain first, why we need coins (moneda) in the first place?

First, we are on budget and apart from the ride from airport, we haven't got on any taxi thereafter!

Bus ride is 24 hours here (compared to subway- Subte, operating 5am-11pm on Mon-Sat and 8am-10:30pm on Sundays and holidays.) and very convenience. But the problem is the coins!

Coins are precious in Buenos Aires!!! (According to lonely planet, to be like locals you have to treat coins like your treasures) In order to get on a bus, you need coins, and no note accepted. Despite Ar$2 note exist, you must save every coins to get on a Ar$1.1-1.7@ bus!

Read this! 'Spare change? There is none in Buenos Aires!'

Despite pleading, begging and asking for coins everywhere, and telling everyone 'no moneda por autobus' in order to urge some small changes with a sorrowful face (like Adley did to the waiter in Sunderland Club after milonga), we got a glimpse of the wonderful Sube smart card that people are using! And you need only one card for your group of friends in the same bus ride.

The next thing, we start searching crazily for one!

Okay, we've asked around, some online source said its available in underground station, we tried a couple of Subte station and train station, only to find that only recharge for the card available, but not for selling.

Do you think it is a post office ?
We asked someone using it and was told its only found in post office (Correos).

Then, we found the official website, explaining how useful it is! and have all the 'where to get it' location listed! Fantastic!

We went to the listed location nearby, it's a kiosk cum post office but the lady told us its not available there and suggest us going to some bigger post offices. We found one, queued up for half an hour and was told its all sold out!

And then Adley found the other listed post office in our neighborhood, which was either sold out or unavailable. Then he discovered a temporary Sube booth in the Constitución Train station in rejoice (while I retreat back home to make lunch after searching around our neighborhood painfully for hours in despair), when he managed to get into the long line among the locals, took out his passport and have the form filled up, there was a fire in the station and everyone fled! The fire-engine had to come into the gate and the booth near the gate was dismantled (Well, this is south america). The discontented mop cursed and left.

With limited Spanish, Adley managed to learn that they will be back same time, same place next week! Next week, not tomorrow!

He was home for lunch. We searched on the official site again, and suddenly found a Sube car will be appearing in front of the Casa Rosada for some the days only! We dashed there after lunch and luckily get our limited edition Sube card.

We are proud to learn afterwards that not all local managed to get one as its sooooooo limited!

Now we kill one problem - not having enough coins to go around the city!

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