Friday, May 09, 2014

It's all about the Bolivares!

One thing I need to address here in Venezuela is the money situation.  The currency here is called the "Bolivar" (pl- Bolivares).

It is officially about 6 Bolivares to the dollar.  That is the government exchange rate, and the rate you will be charged on your credit card.  Unofficially, it is approximately 60 Bolivares to the dollar.  Yes, 10 TIMES the actual rate.

I exchanged $500 US dollars for a mountain of bills that stuff my wallet and sit in my safe.

Last night we went out for a nice dinner at a lovely Venezuelan fusion restaurant called Leal.  We had delicious appetizers (shredded duck eggrolls; real fried cheese sticks; other shrimpy things I couldn't eat), dinner (I had a Cazuela de Corvina), drinks and dessert.  It was ultimately 2,000 Bolivares per person about $33 USD per person.  If I had put this on my credit card and received the official rate, it would have been $333 USD per person.

Oh, and PS: it costs 5 Bolivares to Fill a tank of gas in your car.  Yes, you can fill a tank of gas for 12 cents.

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