We walked to YPF for coffee this morning, but it wasn't open :-( Our co-workers told us everything would be closed because it's census day for this province (equivalent to a state). But we'd held out hope for the sake of caffeine. The kind of caffeine that comes in a delightful concoction called cafe con leche (coffee with milk).
*sigh* We haven't been having coffee every morning at YPF but more often than not. Partly because it's so good AND cheap, but also because it's a good way for me to get out and meet people. The YPF is much more than a gas station. It's the local coffee shop and hang-out place, and we often see the same faces. The ladies who work there are quite tolerant of my kindergarten Spanish and cheer me on when I get something right.
We've been seeing these signs all over town but the significance did not hit us until this morning. "Wait for the census in your home." So we are home for the day. I wonder if someone will come down to the cave to count us?
Because we had been warned that everything would be closed, we stopped on the way home last evening and picked up some meat for today. Pretty much everything is expensive here EXCEPT the beef. It's more than it used to be, but it's still less than what we pay in the U.S.
Argentines fondly remember lower beef prices like we fondly remember lower gas prices. These prices are for kilos (approximately 2 pounds per kilo) AND in pesos (divide by three to get dollar cost). It takes some mental gymnastics on our part to break down what things REALLY cost.
Produce, cheese and lunchmeat are more expensive than what we paid in the States. We probably won't buy lunchmeat very often and we hope to grow some of our own vegetables this summer [think opposite seasons].
But the cheese...well, the cheese is necessary. We are addicted to the cheese. Cheese is a staple of life, much like chocolate.
Additional staples of life: soft tissues and toilet paper. What I've found so far does not come up to the standards of even minimal softness requirements. So I am on a quest to find something better!
Oh, and remember I packed Charmin in our suitcases? Can you believe one of the packages disappeared in transit?! The nerve of those baggage handlers! It did crack us up though that whoever snitched it totally passed up the printer in the same suitcase, in favor of the Charmin :-)
And if anyone who has lived in Argentine before, or who lives here now, has recommendations on which brand(s) of tissue or toilet paper to buy, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT.
And on that note, Adios!