okay...quick commentary on Argentina and the status of their crumbling economy. First of all, it is NOT as cheap down here as everyone has told us. Yes, it is cheaper than the US, but 10 dollars US does not take you through a few days of gourmet meals, sightseeing, and hotel stays. But you can get a pretty yummy pancho (hot dog) or even a super pancho for about 75 cents. Yummy.
But the funniest thing is that NO ONE in this country seems to have monedas, or coins. No one. Everywhere we go we hear, tiene monedas? They even have posted signs in all grocery stores, restaurants, etc, saying that by law, if the vendor does not have enough coins to give you back exact change then the amount charged must be rounded down in favor of the client.
So here is my question...if no one has coins...why isn't everything just rounded to the nearest peso to start off with? Oh wait...that is because certain things run ONLY on the use of coins. Like city buses. So if you don't have coins (or the ever popular city metro card that locals have) it is such a headache to ride a bus. Literally when we were in Mendoza we took a bus out to do the bikes and wine tour between the vineyards and trying to break a 2 peso bill into 2 peso coins was almost worth not returning to Mendoza centro at all. We went to about 5 different stores, and everyone looked at us sadly and said that they didn't have change.
I have asked a few Argentinos about this state of affairs, and my favorite of all the theories is that Argentines are secretly keeping 2liter coke bottles of coins at their houses, waiting for multiple coke bottles to be filled in order to cash them in at once and have a bunch of money. According to the government, there are approximately 250 monedas per Argentine, but that is definitely NOT the case.
Maybe this is the real reason their economy is collapsing...