I have an account with an International bank so I'm able to withdrawal funds via ATM, without any ridiculous service charges. However I can only withdrawal $300.00 pesos or $100.00$USD at a time, supposedly for security reasons, but I can continue to withdrawal funds up to $1,500.00$USD per day....go figure. Also, I cannot withdrawal $USD, only pesos, in other words, I need a shitload of pesos to pay 3 months rent. Apparently it's common to carry a huge wad of cash in this country. I'm an American....I don't' typically large have large amounts of cabbage on me. I use my debit card to buy a pack of gum! So, I'm riding the bus with a ton of cash in my "Rick Steves" money belt, I'm such a complete and utter dork!
Now comes the fun part! One must visit a Cambrio de Casa (house of change) in order to convert Pesos to Dollars. Deidre and I visit our neighborhood change house, but find they are short of $USD, they have a boatload of Euros, Australian Dollars and Brazilian Reals, but no US Dollars. Then we go to another change house, which is disguised as a travel agency, with a long time resident of BA who has befriended us. Initially I get in line with everyone else, but today's limit is $1,000.00. Then our friend comes to our rescue. She speaks rapid fire Spanish to a few of the clerks, speaks on the telephone with the "people upstairs", more heated discussion, a wave at the closed circuit television and then everything is fine, the limit has been temporarily waived. I give them the remainder of my cash and they promptly exchange for $USD at a very favorable rate. Should any of you visit, bring "extra" money, I'll gladly exchange for pesos!
Send lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan-Warren Zevon