Cash Economy Baby!

I remember my first visit to the American Express office in Taipei, Taiwan.

I was there to receive a wire transfer for a business transaction, which was then converted from dollars to yuan, leaving me with a large bag of dough that I had to transport across town for my transaction.

I was startled to learn that carting around large amounts of cash was not unusual!!

Many people were streaming out of the American Express office with duffel bags stuffed with bills. I never really got used to it. I always felt that I was leaving the bank with a target on my back.

Argentina seems to be much the same. We will show up and pay the balance on our short-term rental with cash. Many Argentines don’t have bank accounts, or they keep limited amounts in the bank after the 2001 financial crisis. Everyone wants Euros and US Dollars (in that order). Cash is king!

*Sigh* It looks like we’re going off the grid! (I will miss the automated Quicken download of all of our expenditures from credit cards. I don’t want to hand-enter cash transactions!)

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