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You know you’re in Argentina when …

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It costs more to die than to live.

A fascinating ‘city of the dead’, the Recoleta Cemetary in Buenos Aires is possibly the world’s most elaborate graveyard. You have to be extremely wealthy to get a plot in Recoleta: even the city’s most famous resident, Eva Peron (Evita) wasn’t considered classy enough to be buried here and her body had to be snuck in 30-odd years later by her adoring fans under the cover of night.

Recoleta: city of the dead

Recoleta: city of the dead

All you can find to eat is faux Italian food.

Argentina has a sizeable Italian population but even this doesn’t explain the almost complete homogony of its restaurant scene. Want to eat anything other than Italian? Good luck.

Italy-crazy

Italy-crazy

You never have enough small change.

If you think you can pay for a 6 peso item with a 20 peso note, forget it – you’ll be asked for a 10 and made to feel pretty bad if you don’t have it. Many a cold stare came our way in the supermarket when the poor cashier had to leave her desk to hunt down change for our 100 peso note. Coins are even more rare: in fact, they are often melted down by the bus companies (which only accept coins) for their higher value in metal and not re-circulated.

You want to live on the buses.

Really, Argentina’s buses put National Express to shame. Your own personal TV, full meal service with alcohol, and a fully reclining seat are all standard features on the luxurious ‘cama suite’ long-distance buses. Better than many hostels and a great way to travel overnight.

Cama-suite bus with all mod cons

Cama-suite bus with all mod cons

Last year’s Lonely Planet is woefully outdated.

If Lonely Planet tells you that something costs x in Argentina, assume it’s at least 3x. We were not the only shocked travellers to be caught out by the rampant inflation of this country; nor were we the first to hurry on up to much-cheaper Bolivia … new blog piece coming soon!

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Written by Emily

December 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm

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