10.23.2008

Buenos Aires - Dirt Cheap Days are Long Gone...

I love coming across new blogs written by expats living in Argentina. While not "new" per se (they've been there for ten weeks or so), Discover Argentina is fun to read... all about a couple from New York City who moved into a furnished apartment in Palermo. My favorite entries are their "Random Observation" entries... picking up on the little odds and ends of Argentina. Some are about the food...

Empanadas are everywhere! They have empanada speciality stores; they’re delivered by the pizza places; sold in diners, grocery stores, pasta stores, etc. I’ve eaten more empanadas in my time here, than throughout the rest of my life. I initially thought all empanadas were the same, and bought them from the supermarket at least once a week, but then last week we had empanadas from Gourmet Empanada and I realized what I’ve been missing. I know now that I will never be able to eat a supermarket empanada again.


While others are about things we noticed and found particularly funny, as well...

As you walk down the street here, you might notice some cars that have jugs half-filled with some type of liquid sitting on top of the roof. We’ve seen this many times and have finally figured out what it means. (Well, ok, we didn’t actually figure it out, we asked our Spanish tutor, Marco, what it meant.) Ready? It means that the car is for sale. Yep, that’s it. I guess a sign in the window is just too simple. The benefit of the jug though is that it is much more visible than a sign when walking or driving by.


So, that sounds kind of odd but we started spotting those, too, and had to ask a taxi driver what that was all about. This was a car we saw for sale in Palermo Viejo:


Now, while the dollar keeps making big gains against the Euro, the Pound, the Argentine Peso and other currencies, things aren't as cheap as they used to be. More people are starting to notice, too. Inflation in Argentina has been quite heady - causing prices to shoot up. While cheaper that most major cities in the world, the dirt cheap prices of just a few years ago are starting to disappear. In 2006, our favorite BsAs hotel, the Bobo Hotel, used to charge $90/night for their smaller rooms. Today, those rooms will set you back $165/night. Popularity comes with a price, I suppose. The political situation hasn't been stable either - witness my earlier posts on the mess earlier in 2008. Now Cristina has her eyes set on raiding private pensions. Fun stuff... can't say it tempers my enthusiasm to go back but some of the shine has rubbed off.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Hey, they are right, empanadas are everywhere. Last year I went to Argentina and I ate empanadas every day. ( I had a steak once!)
I also enjoyed Tango so much, that when I went back to my country, I started tango lessos. I had stayed in an apartment in buenos aires which was near the downtown and La Boca.
I want to go back!
Mark