reading you post made me laugh cause i was in the exactly same boat one week ago.... first time buenos aires and zero spanish.
i left buenos aires this morning (after being there for a week) and arrived in Colonia (Uruguay) a few hours ago. (it is a really beautiful small town perfect for winding down after the fast-party pace of buenos aires)
anyways, not spèaking the language can be so unbarable especially in hectic situations.. (this morning when the taxi dropped me off at the ferry, i went into the ticket office and was told im at the wrong port!!! (the right one is another company and ten blocks away) now im running trying to get a cab... finally get one... guy spoke zero english.... so i keep saying the name of it "colonia express" he just keeps asking something in spanish... i keep fumbling through my phrase book.... then we are randomly driving along the water and hoping for the best... im already sure im fuct.... all of a sudden, sign: "colonia express" !!! and the fricking guys is like: "ahh, colonia express" in a tone as if i should have said that in the first place!!! (when it was all i kept saying over and over!!)
anyways i lucked out and that is my story of the week....
but the best advice i can give u is to go to the hostel called "Garden House". (this was recomended to me here by someone else)
it is honestly by far the best hostel ive ever been to on any trip.
the staff are all so cool and so helpfull its unreal..... whereas in other hostels ive been to, the staff is semi-helpfull... the people at the garden house are just awesome (and all speak near perfect english)
honestly i would be lost without the help of these guys cause theyve explained so much necessary stuff to me, not to mention they booked ferry tickets, hostels, finding info about other countries ill be going to etc...
and its also super chill and the cleanest place ive seen to date.
its 36 pesos for the 4 dorm room and less (not sure how much) for the 8 bed room
regarding safety of buenos aires... dont be discouraged by some of the posts.... its pretty safe as long as you dont do things like walk around looking confused with a map in one hand and camera in the other... then youre just a target.
definately stay away from La Boca at night..... but during the day its total safe (tonnes of tourists everywhere)
if you have to walk around alone at night, walk fast and ignore sketchy locals.
being a small cute girl doesnt really work in your favour as far as safety is concerned either...
so stick to safe areas like San Telmo and Palermo in the evenings where there are many tourists and gringos wlking about.... thats where all the bars are anyways...
enjoy buenos aires!