Argentina on the surface appears like a modern European city, but during our stay we have learnt first hand that services such as banking, postal and shipping are archaic and thrawt with bureaucracy. There are forms needed for every major transaction, and each step requires days to complete.
Everyday purchases here, like groceries, restaurants, utilities and transport are paid with Argentinian pesos. However, because of the instability of the Argentine currency, larger items like cars, and property have to be paid for in US dollars. This causes huge problems for Argentinians as the banks have restrictions that only enable them to withdraw $100 US dollars per month. And so, an illegal "blue market" was created.
The official exchange rate in banks is $1 US dollar to 8.5 pesos, however on the blue market, you can get 13.5 pesos for every $1 US dollar. That is a huge difference when you start to change large sums of money.
Eventhough the "blue market" is supposedly illegal, the transactions take place on a major throughfare in Buenos Aires, "Florida Street". The cries of "cambio, cambio" can be heard as you walk down the street. When in Argentina do as the Argentinians do. We have also been playing the money game.
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.