Posted by: Jena Davison | February 21, 2010

Barely There

My otherwise foolproof plan faltered this past Thursday night. It was a typical night out consisting of a few glasses of red wine at home with the roommates, a 15-minute cab ride to the Mariscal to meet Kimrey for some cervesas grandes at a restaurant/bar called Cactus and then to El Aguijón to finish the night off with some dancing. I remember halfway through the cab ride subconsciously taking the $20 bill out of my wallet and stuffing it into my bra like I always tend to do. I can´t pinpoint the exact day I started doubling my bra as a wallet, but it for sure started all the way back in my first days in Buenos Aires–perhaps thanks to the influence of my semi-paranoid friend Heather who suggested it.

Nevertheless, all throughout my time in Latin America, I have always been sure to stash away some cash in my bra just in case I am jumped and robbed at some point in the night. I rationalized that I would actually have to be molested if they would get to my money. But, in reality, it has not so much been paranoia as a precautionary measure. Despite the relentless chatter about how dangerous Latin American cities are–especially Quito–I actually have not (and still do not) feel particularly threatened here, and I certainly do not let it interfere with my experiences and everyday life. I similary reasoned that if I happened to lose my bag or wallet in a drunken haze, I could also take comfort in knowing that I had enough moolah to get me safely home in a cab. It wasn´t just confined to nighttime either. I also found myself doing the same during the day without even realizing it. So, for the last four and a half months, I always did this–without any issue and luckily, without any real reason for doing so because I was not robbed nor did I stupidly desert my bag during the night.

However, on Thursday night, somewhere between Cactus and Aguijón, my $20 slipped out. After a quick detour to consume some beverages on the street with my work friend Jesua, who I just happened to run into, I went to pay the night´s cover at Aguijón, only to find it missing. I awkwardly felt around my bra (and then pockets, wallet and bag) for a good five minutes in the midst of a large crowd to confirm. Yup, it´s gone. I then found myself in exactly the situation I was hoping to avoid–drunk, in the Mariscal, without enough money to get into the club where the Argentine electronic DJ was playing, let alone for a cab ride home.

Luckily my lovely boss came to the rescue and lent me the dough, and I continued on with my night as planned. But, I couldn´t help but think how cliché the whole situation was. While this was all to avert a potential robbery or stranding, I found it was nothing other than this precautionary measure that actually left me $20 short. And though $20 seems like a small loss, which I have to admit it is, it actually goes a long way here. That was approximately 1/9th of my rent, 1/15th of my month´s salary and a good 10 almuerzos worth of food here. However, I still think only one instance in almost five months of doing this is quite good, and I will most likely continue to do so…you know, just in case ; ).



  1. I used to always keep a 100 cien billete in my bra when going out in BA 🙂

  2. You are such a great writer! I love reading your blog!! I can’t wait to come visit this summer!! Love you!!

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