The (Impossible) Search for Change

The ferry to Uruguay was a quite enjoyable ride. You may ask if I knew I wanted to start my journey in Uruguay, why didn’t I fly into Montevideo?

Here’s why. I can sleep well on flights, and there are no direct flights to Montevideo from New York. I chose to fly into Buenos Aires on a direct flight and start in Colonia. I highly suggest this option as the ferry was quite nice as was the (nearly) uninterrupted sleep.

I also suggest getting small change prior to boarding so you can get something to eat or drink on the ride over because…

Once aboard the boat to Colonia, all I wanted was an apple juice. Remember, I had basically just taken an overnight flight, raced to the ferry and finally collapsed in my seat.

Back at the airport I had been so focused on getting Argentine Pesos for the taxi that I never thought to break them into smaller bills.

I also knew I was going to Uruguay so there would be no need for Argentine Pesos until I returned sometime the following week. So I had taken out only what I knew that I needed for the taxi fare. I was left with only 100 Argentine pesos, which is about $25USD.

On board, while the concession stand took both Argentine and Uruguayan Pesos, I couldn’t get change of 100 Argentine Pesos for such a small purchase. I even offered to add a bag of chips and a banana (my standard travel fare), still no luck.

The man at the register told me to check in with the duty-free shop on board to see if they could change my bill.

I walked into the shop, which had two floors, and it was like Black Friday in there.

How much chocolate, perfume and alcohol do people need?

As soon as the announcement had come on that duty-free was open, people rushed to the doors and I didn’t think much of it. Until I had to go in and try to change money.

I could hardly get to the register because of the number of people jammed between myself and the register, I was nauseated by the overdose of perfume in the air and I was overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to shop. I wish I took photos because I had to laugh. It was crazy in there!

I quickly gave up on mission: apple juice and went back to my seat to enjoy the view of my river crossing from Argentina into Uruguay.


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