4.1 Argentina : The Land of Milk & Honey

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{feasting on grapes at sunset on the rooftop deck of our hostel in downtown}

For 20$ a day you too can sponsor a twenty-two year old American girl in Argentina. This small daily sum will provide a room, food, coffee, and beer for this expatriate.

But really, think about how much you 20$ a day is. I know your first thought is "you can do a lot with that!" ... but if you pay 500$ a month in rent that would leave you about 3$ a day for food.

Luckily the exchange rate is pretty rad here in Argentina. 20$ computes to about 75 pesos. Our room in the hostel usually costs between 38 - 45 pesos leaving us about 30 for playing. But our first week in Argentina we haven't had any fancy pants local food Smörgåsbord because a dinner entree costs at least that, and would require us to fast for the entire day to afford it. This isn't that out of the question for me because since I got here the heat has made basically all food that doesn't come on a stick and end in -sicle completely unappetizing to me. But, for Eli who requires as much food as Michael Phelps, it isn't really an option.

So we make most of our meals in the little hostel kitchens in Buenos Aires. And luckily we eat really well thanks to a little place called carrefore the grocery store. As far as I'm concerned everything in there is free.

You can get a steak as big as your head for 9 pesos, US $2.75
You can get 40 oz of beer for 4.5 pesos, US $1.25
You can get a whole bag of rice for 1.75 pesos, US .45 cents
You can get grapes for 5.99 pesos p. lb, US $ 2.50 --> Grapes are like $12 a pound in the US right now!

As a person who ends up spending their life savings at Whole Foods after a paycheck, and then is forced to eat tuna & ramen for the rest of the month, this grocery store is like the land of milk and honey.

Even though it would be nice to eat like a rich tourist here, to indulge in the local fair (which is so cheap by US standards) , there is something really wonderful about being in a new country and after you're done walking around all day you stop at the market. You walk down the isles holding hands, caucusing about the dinner menu, and then you go home to a dirty little cockroach kitchen. I undoubtedly manage to burn the steamed rice and Eli cooks another culinary masterpiece, and you sit together at an indoor picnic table that your legs don't fit under, and then wash eachother's dishes.

It all makes me realize that luxury isn't in a car with heated seats, or a house big enough to hold a baseball team. It's in being able to go to the grocery store and not having to choose between eating enough and eating well. And in the company you share it with.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful reflections! Im so jealous of your adventuring!

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  2. you look like a tiny little mouse! cute pictures. also- it looks to me like eli is the EXACT physical manifestation of your perfect man!!!

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  3. Love this Sam. And yes, so soooo true.

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