Quick notes, as I am very much into 2 different books right now and want to get back to them this evening. 🙂
Argentinians – They are everywhere. The most impressive aspect of cell phones are all of the cell phone stores. We have tons of them in the states, but they seem to be more plentiful in the cities here. Buenos Aires, Salta, Tucuman all are overflowing with them. We even saw some small huts similar to hot dog stands (called panchos here), butselling cell phones. My favorite brand name is Movistar, which is a cell phone store, not a rental place. The other observation is how crowds of people stand in front of the cell phone stores (and most stores, for that matter) staring longingly at the phones.
My international group – I have a couple brit gals in our group, both 19 years old, who are very connected. SMS´s have been flying on one of their phones whose still works down here. Our guide uses SMS all day to keep in touch with her friends. The brit gals say that the 8-12 year olds in the UK mostly have their own phones and they see it´s use as more for SMSing than actual calls.
This oasis for the foriegn traveler and local alike is so sparse in our US cities. Why is this? I usually travel the US with my own computer, but if I didn´t, where would I go in the average US city. I can think of only one or two cafes in Chicago off the top of my head. I passed 4 on the way back from the public square here in Tucuman, a couple blocks from our hotel. This was true in every semi-big town we have been in so far. I find it so odd we don´t have as many.
Facebook and other Social Networks
Facebook – I was able to sit next to the aforementioned brit gals in the last internet cafe I was at and watch them use Facebook together. They were sure to edit their status daily on the trip, check for messages, return any wall comments, check who had tagged them in photos and, of course, search for others in our tour group and promptly friend them. On gal was shocked when I was less than creative in my “how do you know this person” response.
Hive – One of the Dutch gals on the trip was not familiar with FAcebook and only by name with MySpace. She said that everyone is “hiving” in Holland. I intend to ask the same question to the others on the trip as well.