Buenos Aires

by Miguel de Icaza

I arrived to Buenos Aires from Santiago de Chile early in the morning with very little sleep. But turns out that even if American Airlines and Lan Chile are partners of the One World alliance, American Airlines forces you to go through immigration and customs even if you are a passenger in transit.

Forms had to be filled, immigration cleared, and customs cleared. Only to find out that I lost my airplane by five minutes. Thank you American Airlines.

Loosing this plane was particularly annoying, because there are no more flights from the Buenos Aires international airport to Montevideo that day. I had to go to the Aeroparque airport (40 minutes away) to catch a different airplane.

Cultural note: when you make changes to your airline tickets, airlines feel the need to charge you a hundred dollars for the change. This is a pressing need that they can not avoid, but when it is the airlines fault (like, say, this time), they do not reimburse you anything, or give you a hundred dollars.

Of course the employees that you deal with are not the ones to blame for the company policies, but I wish I was not completely at mercy of the airlines will. Worth reading: `Plane Insanity'.

If I had known that I would be for so long in Buenos Aires, I would have set something up with the local users group.

The one good thing about missing the airplane was a small restaurant in the airport that was cooking `Lomitos' in the airport. I ordered a `Lomito Completo' which is a sandwitch with two steaks of Lomito, ham, cheese, and a egg on top with french fries on the side.

It is not only the best food I ever had in an airport, but one of the most delicious sandwitches ever.

I could not believe an airport could have such delicious food. The restaurant also had wine, which I did not want to have to avoid further dehydration.


Rodolfo and Haroldo picked me up at the Carrasco airport in Montevideo, Uruguay. I was at this point completely exhausted by the lack of sleep from the trip from Lima.

I had a meeting with the founders of a company called Genexus and I got to see their product.

They produce software to ease the development of database applications. A developer only defines the schema of the database, and hooks up the rules, the user interface and the reports they want. What is particularly interesting about this tool, its that it provides an evolution path to evolve the databases: as you make changes and introduce new relationships the software moves the information from the existing tables to new tables and creates and populates them for you.

The software is a multi-plaform software, it is not free software, but it is genuinely interesting.


I did a presentation of GNOME 2 in the University in Uruguay shortly after the previous meeting, this was in what used to be an old church inside a convent. The talk was well attended and we discussed issues of free software, Gnome, and Mono. If people are interested in my OpenOffice slides, I can mail those.

I got to meet my friend Pablo that I have met a few times at previous Usenix events.

After the talk, a group of people went for dinner to a vegetarian restaurant. But being in Uruguay and eating vegetarian food was not ideal, so we split off and went to eat some traditional food from Uruguay. This picture was taken late that night.

Posted on 25 Jun 2002