Today I woke up to my 5 year old son shouting “Where’s my flashlight!?”
It was 6 AM and since it’s been cloudy and raining for over a week, it was pitch black at that time.
We got my son to our bed for some more sleep, and I handed my brother another LED light for when he woke up.
He’s staying here for a few days and he’s sleeping in my son’s room.
Once we got up, I turned on the emergency light in the kitchen so we could all have breakfast.
Half way through, power comes back on and we manage to catch a bit of news:
There’s fuel and food shortage, food is expected to go up another 30%-50%. There’s also a bonus: The Roca train is “delayed”… the one I take to work…perfect.
I talk with my brother and since he’s going downtown too, I decide to wait a few minutes and go along with him in his rental car ( rented the cheapest crap, both to save money and to go unnoticed)
As we get into the car, I notice he has almost no fuel left.
“ Don’t worry bro, will go to the gas station before we go”
“Haven’t you heard?” I say “ There’s no fuel. They said on the news this morning that most gas stations are already dry. You should never let it drop below ½ a tank. These things happen all the time here.”
After a couple of stations with “NO gas” sings, we decide to go in the opposite direction from the heavy morning traffic, away from the city rather than towards it, and we soon find a Shell station with gas.
My brother brings out his golden Mastercard and his European ID.
As I pull 50 bucks I explain,” I got it bro, they don’t accept credit card”. I look at the clerk at the pump to confirm “ Do you?”
“Nope, sorry” He says. “ Only cash”
Traffic is hell driving towards down town Buenos Aries, and my brother wants to drive fast on the slow lane, next to the sidewalk.
“ Don’t do that” I explain. “There’s a reason why there’s little cars on this lane. It’s full of junk and debris. Also full of nails dropped by the tire repair guys trying to make a buck or two fixing punctured tires”
After a while my brother notices “In Spain I just pick a lane and stay there driving calmly”
“Over here; first, there ARE no visible lanes, and second, this avenue is so full of holes, I have to worry about avoiding the cars and the holes on the street at the same time!”
He’s been away for two years, so I guess he forgot what it’s like.
At night, we had dinner ( made some homemade pizza) my wife and son, along with my brother and my two nephews.
He was going to take them back to his ex wife’s home. Before going out he asks. ”It’s pretty scary out there. How about giving me a gun?”
I handed him the Colt 38 Detective Special I’ve been handing him since he got here-He hasn’t shot a single round in may years, so I wasn’t confident about him handling an auto-
A couple hours ago he walked back in “Man, the streets are empty, very little street lights working. And the faces of the few ones out there…”
When he asked today, as we drove towards downtown, how do you get used to the food shortages, the lack of fuel, the prices, the crime.
I just told him “Bro, you’ve been away too long”