Learning Uruguay

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Archive for January 23rd, 2009

Small bills

Posted by urufish on January 23, 2009


We’ve been here just over 3 years and I still haven’t figured out why I’m always running out of small bills. 

We’ve tried several strategies to keep ahead of not having enough small bills to pay for something.  We would go to Macdonalds and use $1000 bills for food.  We would pay with $1000 bills at the Costa Azul across the street but they got wise to use a few weeks into the program and said sorry, they had no change but they’d be happy to take our credit card.   Not what we wanted to hear. 

Last year, at the beginning of the summer, we got a great idea.  Every weekend we’d go to Piriapolis and we’d pay the tolls with $1000 bills.  By the end of the fall, we had oodles of small bills.  We thought they’d last forever.  But alas, we used up our supply last week. 

Today, it finally came to me what had to be done.  Do the same thing we used to do up north in retail.  Go to the bank and get stacks of small bills.  I must have avoided this early on in Uruguay because my Spanish wasn’t up to the task.  But today, I bit down, went into the bank and did my best to make myself understood.  Amazingly enough, my teller (I say ‘my’ because he knows for 3 years), just smiled, winked at me and produced stacks of small bills neatly wrapped in elastic bands. 

Problem is now solved.  Every time we run low, it’s off to the bank for change.

Posted in Banking, Daily life | 5 Comments »