Saturday, January 19, 2008
Money and Food (El Dinero y La Comida)
So a little interesting tidbit about money: Uruguay is basically a completely cash economy and therefore you don't use checks or plastic cards very much if at all unless you are getting money out of an ATM machine. The currency is the Uruguayan peso and there are about 20 of them in a US dollar. This makes it twice as freaky since your mind plays tricks on you seeing as how you are carrying around as much as 500 pesos around without breaking a sweat...it'll take some getting used to. The payoff is that you can relatively cheap food, which will also take some getting used to, as in finding the best deals and how to be the most economical while still maintaining a bit of healthiness (is that even a word, I definitely don't know what it would be in Spanish)?
The most interesting thing that we are finding out about the cash system is that their smallest coin is 50 centesimos, or half a peso. So, when I go to buy a small item for 9.90 pesos I give her a 10 peso coin and don't get any change back, or when I order a meal for 73.40 pesos I only have to pay 73. For a mathematically, Type-A mind like mine, this whole "give and take" thing gets a little frustrating...
To end, I'll list some of the food that I've had while I have been in Montevideo:
Empanadas (probably more about them later, they're like a meat-filled, folded over crescent roll...maybe)
A Chivito (they say it's just a steak sandwich, but the one I got came stacked with bread and egg and tomato and cheese, not to mention the thin steak cut... it was very tasty to say the least)
Chicken and rice
Ribs and fries
Ham and cheese sandwich
They say that it's really easy to gain weight while down here, and I believe them!