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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Incredible Monedas Story

The train in Buenos Aires is a very common way to travel. Tickets cost 65-75 centavos depending on how far you are going. Yesterday I was headed out to provincia on the train, and the guy in front of me was buying a ticket with a 2 peso bill. The woman asked him if he had a larger bill or exact change. He said no. She let him pass without paying. The incredible thing is that SHE HAD CHANGE!!! Because then I stepped up to buy my ticket with a 2 and she said the same thing to me. So I pulled out a 5 and she gave me 2, 2 peso bills and 35 cents in coins as change. Clearly, she had been instructed to not give more than a certain amount of coins as change. Amazing.

12 Comments:

Blogger TropicGirl said...

I think it's amazing that in this country coins are so valuable. I too live in BA and can't believe the lengths people will go to (including giving you a free ride) to avoid having to give you coins. Amazing indeed!

9/24/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Don Gonzalito said...

OK, time to start hoarding coins, melt them, and sell ingots as scrap metal.

In the US, the pennies and nickels' cost of manufacture is already more than their face value.

See, we Argentines always in the cutting edge, questioning the very philosophical principles of fiat money!

9/24/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous kapexp said...

Living in Argentina is what it is, so stop complaining and simply accept that fact. Argentina is not the U.S.A. now or ever will be, it is different, different life style, customs, & language. All of the above are the reasons most of you came to Argentina to live in the first place so please stop complaining about not having everything perfect in the manner you think they should be. If you don't like receiving insufficient change then return to your exterior home but please, STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT PETTY THINGS AND BEGIN TO ENJOY LIFE!!

10/01/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, living in Argentina is what it is, and if you don't like it... leave. That's what the locals always remind us. What they don't realize is it is precisely this mentality that perpetuates the mess they live in...

10/08/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Porteño said...

Very interesting blog...

I think that the problem with the coins is mostly psychological! Rumours spread that there's a coin shortage, so people start hoarding them, what makes the problem worse!
I myself have a small chocolate box full of $1 coins in my house, so that I never have problems taking the bus.

Also, most banks will gladly give change of $50 in coins if people would just bother to go there and ask for it. It's just that many people are too lazy or don't have time to bother to go to the bank and ask for it! (at least that was the case two months ago, when I did)

10/14/2008 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

"Time" finally picked it up: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1859249,00.html

I've had the best luck with Banco Galicia. 10pesos in monedas every time! But I have to admit to buying monedas from the "informal" sector, too. There's a place near me in Once that sells 19 for 20.

12/09/2008 01:30:00 AM  
Anonymous doug said...

I have a friend in Caseros who regularly rides the train for free using the 2 peso bill scheme. Heh.

12/23/2008 02:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is a good scheme esp, when the subte is about to close, so many free rides. And when paying the cabbie, give him enough where he is going to have to give you between 1.00 and 1.99 change back, because either you are going to get the change or get about 2 pesos free ride out of it.NEVER give your change at the supermarket, the major ones, they have it, don't want to give it up but they have it. My biggest change achievement, friday afternoon, about 1:30 in a banco near my apt. in Boedo. I walked in seeking 1 peso monedas, because my washer/dryer only took whole pesos. Walked up to the teller, she asked my what I wanted, I said change, how much? I look down and see 5 bags full of just pesos, so I shoot high, I say 100, and she gives it too me, un-frigen-believable. For anyone reading that has lived there, that just doesn't happen. So good luck and keep that change

2/22/2009 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to kapexp

I just dont see where people are complaining, they are just saying it is amazing....and most probably it is because they do not know the reasons why coins are an issue in Argentina.
By the way, the bus companies, sell the coins for values higher than the face value, they are hoarding the coins, and making a business out of the sale. The subway, is not a private company, so it does not have coins to trade, so they just have to let people travel without paying, it is that simple, and again, no body was complaining, but I agree it is amazing, unless you know what the real problem is.

3/14/2009 03:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, a nice blog.
The problem with the "monedas" here is really not possible to explain or to understand why it happens: Monedas are not a perishable product, nor they have a season that need rain or sun or whatever...
Can anyone explain WHY is almost impossible to obtain monedas in Argentina? I can't.

Note to "Porteño": you are wrong (to say the least) that the problem is laziness. Banks are giving a maximum of 10 pesos, and in many cases only 2 pesos.

However the country is beautyfull and people here is nice :-)

4/24/2009 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger bp said...

Any updates on this? Are coins still a problem? Is it getting better/worse?

6/05/2010 02:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! i'm entertaining the idea of spending a little time in argentina. came across this blog.
and am wondering who would buy pesos for more than the actual value? and why?
is that naive of me?

6/18/2011 10:01:00 PM  

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