Buenos Aires Black Market
Buenos Aires Black Market.
Life started at 2pm, but it was really 4pm before any real action began. The economy is crazy here in Argentina, and if you take money out of a bank machine, you will get about 8 pesos for one U.S. dollar. But, if you take your U.S. dollars to the Buenos Aires black market, you can get 10 or more pesos for one U.S. dollar. Before Irmante and I left Uruguay, we pulled U.S. cash out of the bank machine. I had only seen it in Cambodia before in my travels where you could pull USD out of a bank machine not in the U.S. However, it seems to be all over South America where withdrawing U.S. cash is an option.
With the economic crisis, Argentinians need to request to leave the country and it is very difficult for them to be able to access foreign currency legally. Repression never works…. And so the Buenos Aires black market comes in.
Zora has a doctor friend who is travelling to Miami soon, so Irmante and I traded money with him rather than with the Buenos Aires black market. This way we did not risk getting fake bills and he gets a good deal on the cash at 10 pesos/dollar.
At Dr. Juan’s house, we smoked cigars and drank beer. I have not really hung out with doctors and lawyers before, but they are just like everyone else. They have the same bad habits and enjoy the same jokes. Juan was in Canada for a while and he told us that he was giving tango lessons when he was living in Vancouver. I can imagine how that was, a bunch of bored and desperate housewives getting tango lessons from a smooth Latin American. That is fantastic.
Juan described the situation with the Argentinians and their mate drink addiction. I like the scene of three doctors standing around in the operating room, hanging onto their mate cups, making decisions. Juan said that when he first started working in the hospital, he found it strange to be in a room, playing cards with other doctors watching the monitors. Someone would calmly say, “Umm, a heart attack. Okay. Alright. Well… let’s go…” and they would saunter to the room where their magic was needed.
We went out for Argentinean steaks tonight. They were amazing! There were five of us who ate. Irmante and I picked up the cheque for steaks, wine, and desert. It was 460 pesos. It is incredibly cheap here. I love that!