A few miscellaneous other things from the trip to T & T that we forgot to put in the other blogs:
Best quote so far from a guide book in the Airbnb in Trinidad: “Taking a taxi at night is much cheaper than being robbed.”
One of our new vocab words is “Lime” or “Liming,” which in Trinidad and Tobago means to hang out or chill. Examples: “We were liming at the beach.” “Let’s go lime at the bar.” “Let’s lime.”
Exchange rate was approx. $6TT per $1US and stable weather it was a credit card or cash.
Argentina has what they call a Blue Dollar exchange rate which is similar to a black market rate for US. This was brought to our attention, but apparently didn’t since in as much as it should have. Basically, the government has set an “official” exchange rate of around 9.3 pesos/US dollar as of this writing, however due to inflation and other factors US cash is substantially more valuable than the official rate. Most restaurants or stores will use an exchange rate between 14-1 or 15-1 pesos to US dollars. Cash is truly king in Argentina. Just to provide some context, getting money from an ATM gets you approximately 9-1, we received 15-1 from a Western Union in Buenos Aires, and 14 or 15-1 in just about retailer or restaurant. What this means is that if you bring enough US cash you can get a substantial discount on your trip to Argentina. We should have brought more $US. That said, there is a money transfer service called Xoom which allows you to transfer funds from a US account to be picked up at a casa de cambiar or exchange house. It is as close to the blue dollar rate for those of us who didn’t think ahead enough to bring a lot of $US. We have used this once already and are planning on using again when we get to Mendoza, Argentina. We received a rate of 13-1. Not too shabby.
This is a very American problem, but we are having difficulties with the use of bathrooms in Argentina. Nearly all bathrooms have a sign that says :”Please do not put paper in the toilet”. Apparently the sewer and waste water systems aren’t that good down here, so nearly every private toilet comes paired with a nice bidets. For those of us who aren’t used to bidets, this also means throwing all paper in the waste basket. And I mean ALL paper. As you can imagine, some of the paper tends to leave a little odor. We are definitely going to have to figure out the bidets soon.
Autumn on Drew’s weak attempt at a beard: “I’m just not sure that’s how beards are supposed to look.”