Escaping Claudia’s Apartment

AirBnb is quite popular in Argentina. The first apartment we stayed at was owned by Claudia, whom we never saw – she had a building caretaker to manage residents’ concerns. The keys were left in a combination lockbox attached to the front gate of her building. The unusual thing about the gate was that you had to turn the key in the lock to leave as well as to enter. Somehow or other, when we were evacuating the apartment, both sets of keys ended up in the lock box while we (Girish and I… Doug was spending the day at a Regus office, more on that another time) were still inside. WTF!

Luckily, the gate wasn’t solid — we could slip our hands through the bars and touch the lockbox. However, we couldn’t see the dials that we had to turn to produce the code. We had no mirrors at hand, so we started using the reflection produced by my iPhone screen. It wasn’t going well, and we were growing nervous when we realized what any selfie-taking dame would have thought of automatically: we could use the phone’s reverse aperture to see the lockbox. From there it was a hop, skip, and jump to get our backpacks into the cab of a grumpy old man and ride to Hostel Obelisco in bustling Centro.