Argentina Safety Regulations

One week in Buenos Aires really makes you appreciate the things the U.S. gets right - simple things, like safety regulations. The sidewalks are uneven and have gaping holes. Lane dividers in the road are mere suggestions. Steps are barely large enough for your foot and often vary in size. Building doors frequently open inwards. I've only seen one person in a wheelchair in this city, but I can't imagine how he gets around this city.

My apartment building, like many others here, actually requires a key to exit. Yes, that's right - in order to get out of my building and onto the street, I have to unlock the building door with a key. Crazy. And dangerous. Picture what would happen in a fire: the tenants all rush to the door, and the person at the front doesn't have a key. Even if they're lucky and someone passes them a key, the stampede of people rushing the door could make it impossible to open. The U.S. vividly learned its lesson on exit doors in 1911; Argentina has not.

This weekend, at a club called Crobar, I noticed another regulation that is apparently missing here in Argentina: railings. The bar probably had about five feet of standing room and then a two foot drop into the dance floor. As you might imagine, with people pushing to get a drink, it's very easy to fall off the ledge. A club in the U.S. would put a railing between the ledge and the dance floor, but why would you do a silly thing like that in the land of no negligence?

You know, maybe lawyers do add value to the world?