Conversions and Hyperinflation
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After visiting three countries in
the past three days, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep the
currencies straight. When I am handed a 10000 guarani bill, I am not sure exactly what I can buy
with it. It almost gives me a headache
trying to determine what the equivalent is in US dollars. I convert the guarani
to reals and then to pesos and
eventually I reach dollars. It seems
silly to go through all those steps, but it just happens, I find that it is
better to stick to what I am familiar with. And while I was not at all familiar
with any currency except for my own prior to arriving in
When I first arrived in Urugauy, I
sat down to have a cup of coffee and realized it was 600 pesos, even though I
was a bit prepared I was still overwhelmed.
It just takes time to get used to seeing such prices on menus and in storefronts. The same held true for
All of these foreign bills led to
me another money issue that is just as
unfamiliar to me. This is the issue of inflation. My question is why are both
Hyperinflation is just something that I was lucky enough to have never had to cope with and I really do think that living through a period when the country was suffering from hyperinflation would be one of the most miserable things to have to live through. I couldn’t imagine going to the grocery store and have the jar of pickles that I picked up off the shelf double in price before I could make it to the register. How does someone deal with with this?
is incredibly harsh on a country and it takes a long time to recover from this
kind of devastation. Many countries, including
It took me a little while to get used to all the money matters of the various countries I have visited, but it is interesting to learn about other currencies and it makes you really appreciate the stable and strong currency of US.
As I followed the narrow path that
led me closer and closer to the waterfalls I became more and more mesmerized
with the stunning beauty of my surroundings.
Every ten feet there was yet another great photo opportunity. But photos really were incapable of capturing
the exquisite beauty that I saw there. The
As I was walking around the falls, I stopped and realized that before I had arrived there, I was not actually convinced that places like this existed in nature. I have seen some gorgeous mountains and some gorgeous beaches, but never had a felt the magnitude of such overpowering waterfalls. Prior to feeling and seeing this wonder, I was never actually convinced that a natural site could produce such awe. The power that is felt when standing alongside those waterfalls is in a way humbling.
Although I never ventured to the
The Itaipu dam is located on the
I had my first experience with socialized medicine this past week and it was actually quite pleasant. After deciding that a trip to the doctor might in fact be necessary Vickie and I called a cab and headed in the direction of the hospital. I was surprised when we ended up on the same campus where we had been attending class, but after giving it some thought it made sense.
When we stepped into the overcrowded waiting room, I just
assumed that I would need to get some reading material out and just get
comfortable because I just knew we were going to be there for hours. The waiting room was about half the size of
our hotel rooms here in
Much to my surprise Vickie’s name was called quickly and she was ushered to the back. The process was simple, we arrived, stepped up to the counter and Vickie game the man behind the glass her name and age and told him what was wrong. It was as easy at that. One thing that I had failed to consider was that Vickie did not have to spend 15 – 20 minutes filling out forms about her health and insurance, forms that have most likely been filled out ten times before. Since no forms were required this meant that they did not have to file the forms, make copies of her insurance card etc. This saves a tremendous amount of time when there is a room full of sick people at the emergency room.
Why were we able to bypass all of those long and tedious questions about her health and her healthcare provider? Well we can thank socialized medicine for that. The Brazilian constitution grants all citizens the right to procure free medical assistance from public as well as private providers and it will be reimbursed by the government.
Most however would argue that socialized medicine is not the
best option, pointing out a few so called myths about socialized medicine. This
myths include: you are not granted equal
access to health care, the quality of health care is not higher, you do not have
“the right” to health care and that red tape does in fact exist in large
quantities under socialized medicine. However, on this particular day in this
particular hospital, the emergency room wait was a fraction of the wait that I
am used to at my local hospital in the
My family arrived this past weekend and we decided that we
would rent a car, thus began our adventures on the chaotic roads of
My brother made the comment that this was in fact the
country he needed to reside in because he could drive fast and crazy in the cities,
more or less, however he pleased.
Driving is always crazier in large cities, but it was especially so in
I was seated in the back of a cab headed to the airport in
Iguaçu Falls, and fortunately my cab driver spoke a great deal of English, so
we began talking. He informed me that he had spent many years living and
working in the
The Custo Brazil, or the Brazil Cost is one thing that has
plagued the country. This cost refers to both the time and money that it will
take to ship something from one area of the state to another. The lack of infrastructure within the state