So far Argentines have been nothing but friendly when confronted with our bumbling Spanish. Sometimes Ben meticulously prepares a vocab list, but more often than not we walk into a store with no idea how to ask for what we want. A few examples so far:
"I don't know how to say it in Spanish, but it's the thing you use in the kitchen to open the thing that is like a jar."
-- Abrelatas, or a can opener
"We're looking for the thing you use in the kitchen for cutting. Of wood. You have one in the window."
-- Tabla de picar, or a cutting board
"A quarter kilo of coffee."
[Some words we don't know]
"Umm... For that thing."
-- Café molido para un cafetera de émbolo, or ground coffee for a French press
"When you have a problem in the middle of your tooth."
-- Caries, or cavity (asking the health insurance saleslady about dental coverage)
Aside from a few grumpy riders on a crowded subway train, most Argentines have been delightfully simpático. They smile easily, they've helped us out when we're totally clueless, and despite the lack of lane markers or traffic lights, they haven't even tried to run us over crossing the street.