To give you an idea of what a peso is worth, here are some basic costs. Milk and petrol both cost about 20 pesos a litre, a lemon is 4 pesos, a jar of jam is around 40 pesos and mince is around 60 pesos a kilogram. The Argentine peso is broken up into 100 centivos. The centivos holds such little value that most shops have their prices in whole pesos and those that don’t usually round the change in favour of the customer. The supermarket around the corner from us has a great method for dealing with pesky centivos coins. They have a jar of lollies on the counter and use them as change if they are ever short of centivos coins. Just this afternoon I watched a young man take the offer of a lollipop instead of the last of his owed change.
Long life and fresh milk sell for a similar price and equally populate the supermarket shelves. The only thing that is surprising is that milk is sold in plastic bags.
The local bird here is the mosquito. Coils, repellents, sprays and well trained frogs are sold in every shop to help combat these creatures. They like to hide away from the sun in long grass. For this reason people practically scalp their lawns when they mow them. We are in the process of pricing an electric whipper-snipper after one quote to have our lawn mown was one third the cost of our own machine. Perhaps we sounded a little bit too foreign when we were asking the gardener for a quote. I was riding home from school the other day and a mosquito flew into my eye. Luckily I did a weekend workshop on Piracy for Beginners a few years back and I was able to ride home using only my good eye. No one wears a motorbike helmet here and I was wondering how many people are blinded from being struck by a mosquito.
Another local bird here is the colibrí. This is a very difficult bird to photograph as its wings can beat anywhere between 70 to 200 times a second as it hovers around the flowers. Humming birds frequent the kids’ school and we have planted some flowers in our garden in the hope of attracting colibrí.