Looking for a shirt in Spanish...
OK, a few shirts I saw today were in Spanish, but most were in English. Some examples:
- Love me!
- It's only Rock 'N Roll but I like it
- Married to the mob
And the winner is...
And my favorite today? Standing in a bank line a full block long:
IN [blank space] WE TRUST
I think that just about sums up what Argentines have told me about life here. Especially with a change in government coming, there is a gallows humor about the economic situation that makes this the perfect shirt for today.
Perhaps problems are just more open here
With the four-day weekend/holiday, everyone was out of pesos by today. The banks were out of pesos on the weekend, and everyone was desperate to get cash. There were waiting lines at all the banks and places that changed money. In fact, some places weren't marked as cambios, but the lines outside gave them away.
We don't have an unofficial exchange rate in the USA, so I'm not sure what this could correspond to. It reminds me of the lines at gas stations in the 70s, and only being able to fill our car with gas on odd-numbered days. I was really little, but that memory has stuck in my head.
Last night on the way to the milonga in the rain, I passed a circle of policemen, surrounding an older man who was on his knees on the ground. At first, I wondered if he was ill, It was not clear at all what was going on, but everyone passed the scene as if nothing was happening. It felt really scary to me.
One taxi driver told me that the police just help the mafia, and that he had been threatened at the airport to leave a certain area by the police and the mafia. He said, "The police are supposed to provide public safety, not mafia safety." As I walked away, I kept worrying about the guy on the ground. You don't need seven policemen to deal with one person.
As is obvious by what has been happening in the United States with the police, perhaps here there is just a wider swath of the population who distrust the motives of "public safety" officers. Here, it's probably going to be a long time before police have car or visor cameras.
According to a friend, the day that Macri won, the stock in one of his friend's companies rose by 8%, and the other stocks declined about 10%. "Everyone knows who is going to benefit from this government," he said. "The people already knew it on the day Macri won."
But this happens in the USA as well, whether we are willing to admit it. If (goddess forbid) Trump becomes the next president, I could see exactly the same scenario happening all over the place. Of course, I'll be moving to Canada (it's going to be crowded).