Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Café con leche... 17 pesos

Por este café con leche que hace dos años me salía 8 pesos, ahora se cobra 17 pesos.  Los números no importan tanto hasta que te das cuenta que lo que la mayoría de la gente gana no es el doble o más que el doble de lo que ganaba hace dos años.  No sé como hace la gente para sobravivir.  Es impresionante la inflación.*  Por eso se dice por acá que todo se ata con alambre – es hacer de mago, inventar una manera de sacar jugo del limón exprimido.  Parece imposible ganar en pesos y pagar precios calculados en dólares.  La comida, los colectivos, el subte, todo subió.  Todo.  Es impresionante cómo hace la gente para sobravivir.  Impresionante.

(In English...)

This café con leche (coffee with milk) that two years ago cost 8 pesos, now costs 17 pesos.  The numbers don't matter so much until you realize that most of the people don't earn double or more than double the salary they earned two years ago.  I don't know how people survive.  The inflation is incredible.  This is why they say here that everything can be tied (fixed) with a piece of wire - it's the act of a magician, inventing a way to squeeze more juice out of a lemon that's already been squeezed to make lemonade.  It seems impossible to earn in pesos and pay prices that are calculated in dollars.  Food, buses, the subway, everything has gone up.  Everything.  It's incredible how people make do in this situation.  Incredible.

* There is a big discrepancy between the official rate of the dollar to the Argentinean peso (about 1 to 5) and the black market rate (el mercado paralelo = 1 to 7.8).  This means that if you come with dollars or have dollars, you can exchange them for a much higher rate than the official one, but if you earn in pesos (and it can be very hard to buy dollars as a local), you likely are earning closer to the official rate.  Prices, however, are calculated in dollars, since many of the suppliers also calculate their costs in dollars. 

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