Continuing my investigations into the minutiae of Buenos Aires life, I want to share with you two more small signifiers of the culture here.
– Inexact change. In almost every situation involving paying for something (restaurant, store, pharmacy, grocery) if you or the vendor doesn’t have exact change or can’t give exact change, everyone just lets it go. It seems that for anything under a peso (about 30c) this is true. Everyone makes do with what they have and provides whatever centavos they have, but if a few are missing in either direction, no big deal. I can’t imagine this working in a place like a grocery in the US, where everything is accounted for to the penny. I am not sure how it all works out in the end, but I like this easygoing attitude about a few pennies.
– Dog walking. This could well be a feature only of my slightly upscale neighborhood (Palermo), but I notice on a daily basis an inordinate amount of dog walkers, usually leading a group of about 10-15 dogs. During any given day I will come across at least 3 different walkers, one day I counted 7. Are there really THAT many dogs in (this part of) Buenos Aires? Perhaps that explains all the shit.