Monday, May 28, 2007

CyberShopping in Argentina, Experience Worthy of Surrealistic Life

Address > Enter > Pop. The website that I was looking for opened up. Click-Click. "Awesome! The exact tennis shows I was looking for!," exclaimed my friend, Would you come get them with me?

Jobless, and with lots of free time at that time, I agreed to go with him. Besides I'd never been to the area of Buenos Aires where the store was located and I wanted to explore that part of the city.

After a 40-minute bus ride we arrived at the given address, although wefelt we were in the wrong place: an area of low houses next to the railways. But the address was correct; so we walked about two blocks to thedoor of the "store", a white house built in the beginning of the XX Century.

A guard received us at the door, he asked a couple of strange questions from the other side of the bars, he asked for our ID, wrote our names downin a book and opened the bars. As we walked in, we passed through a metaldetector and the guard searched our bags; the situation was strange and it reminded me of the pre-departure flight procedures.

After we passed these controls, he opened a second door where we found a third door thatseparated us from the tennis shoes. Behind the last door, the stored resembled any regular shoe store in Av. Santa Fe or Av. Cordoba, with shoes and tennis rackets displayed on thewalls, and various people trying on shoes and clothes. However, the atmosphere was tense, and the salesmen kept looking into the cameras and the safeguarded door the whole time. I felt like the protagonist of one ofthose hidden camera prank shows. Only this time, it was no joke; my friendwas as stunned as I was.

After a little while, the storekeepers brought the shoes he had previouslyreserved through the Internet. He paid for them in a hurry and left theplace as fast as we could. "They were the exact shoes I was looking for!" he told me as we were leaving, "and I had not been able to find them anywhereelse." At that time, he was defeated by desire. In his place, I would havesettled for the desire, and from now on I can assure you I will stick totraditional shopping. As of now, in Argentina, Internet shopping is not made for me.

No comments: