Friday, April 10, 2009

Buenos Aires Photo of the Day - How Sweet It Is

Life in Buenos Aires is sweet, at least as pictured on these sugar packets I got in the southern suburb of Adrogue. It was a a very nice cafe with shelves of gluten-free products.

We had taken the train there and were walking the few blocks to the cooking class when I realized in my insistence that we build in extra time, I had made us almost an hour early. The cafe was charming and the cafe con leche was good. Plus I got these cool sugar packets as souvenirs.

Buenos Aires Tourist Tip: Be sure you always save your coins in Argentina. Coins (monedas) seem to be in very short supply and you need them for buses and for small purchases. At the Constitution rail station in Buenos Aires (where we took the train to Adrogue) we saw a long line snaking through the station. I can't be sure because my Spanish is so eccentric (well, bad), but I think they were lined up to change bills into coins.

You also want to keep a stash of smaller peso bills, since not every merchant wants to or can cash the larger ($100 peso - about $28 US) bills. One tip I read somewhere and used worked well. Most cash machines in Buenos Aires will accept request for withdrawals in $10 peso increments so request $590 pesos and you'll get five $100 peso notes and nine $10 ones.
One other caution, because of Argentinean issues (not sure exactly what they are), cash withdrawals are very limited, about $600-700 pesos at a time (although you can do mulitple withdrawals in one day). This meant a lot more fees from my bank at home because of the more frequent withdrawals.

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