Emiliano is from Argentina. This is what Emiliano has to say about the exchange of goods and services in Argentina, though please note that Emiliano has only been to San Luis once before, and it was an utterly unremarkable experience due in large part to the fact that San Luis is utterly and absolutely unremarkable by all accounts/metrics/matrices. The point is, they do shit a little differently down here, as compared to the rest of Argentina, where people actually live.
If you pay in cash you save roughly 20-30% right off the top. The whole country offers a Cash Discount.
- Many business are cash only, regardless.
- The exchange rate at banks and through official channels like ATMs or whatever is currently 8.6 Argentine pesos to 1 US dollar.
- The Argentine peso is unstable and fluctuates so much that saving money in US dollars makes a great deal of sense. In fact, because of the instability of the Argentine peso, there is a healthy black market for US dollars.
- Because it’s an illegal black market the exchange rate is typically much better. Sometimes as high as 13.5 to 1.
Our Black Market Money Laundering Event might have been a welcomed educational reenactment-type experience if we weren’t already late to eat street meat with Ted King, Joe Dombrowski and Tom Danielson. In the end, here are our highlights;
- After some negotiation we arrived an exchange rate of 11.5.
- The main dude, the dude doing most of the talking, wanted to buy my white Oakley Radar XL blades. Attempted #disruption!!
- We were only able to exchange $1,000 due to the fact that the ad hoc laundering consortium wasn’t prepared to handle our level of business, and therefor didn’t have enough pesos on hand. We postulate that this issue may stem from the fact that the highest denomination in the Argentine Pesos is a 100, the equivalent of 10 American Dollars. Neither party brought a briefcase.
- We made tentative plans to meet the following day for a Black Market v2.0 sesh.
We were supposed to meet for our Street Meat expedition in the lobby of Vista Suites (VS) but we were late and so our Garmindales had already left and were presently at “the spot.” Joe Dombrowski texted us the directions: Go to the roundabout and turn left, we will be there. From the front door of the Vista the only visible roundabout was to the right, so we went to the right, toward a pile of tires and a vacant bombed out building complex that was probably, at this very moment, bidding for the 2015 Parkour World Championships.
“Wait, they’re not going to that cart we saw last night, the one you asked me if I would eat at, and I said maybe, but I was thinking the whole time no? Are they? I mean, how low are these guys down to go?”
It turns out that the cart, located on the corner of Av Lafinur and Junin, is called Carrito Bar El Ray Del Pancho (The King of Dogs). We found the dudes behind the cart, sitting in the shade atop a low wall. They’d already ordered Lomos. They recommended we do the same. So we did, we ordered Lomos too. First of all they’re greasy, and they come wrapped in paper and embedded in a plastic bag. The bread is flat,dense, and extremely white, it’s basically a sandwich cut in two, the centerpiece is Philly Steak-style steak (Lomo is a cut of beef), then you have some ham, an egg, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, some onions, a few slices of tomato, and cheese.