CouchSurfing and a Shopping List

CouchSurfing is a social networking site for travelers (i.e. Facebook or MySpace for travelers). Members can connect with people traveling to or living in the places they plan to visit.

Couchsurfing

The main focus of the project is to help die-hard travelers cuts costs by finding a place to stay and avoiding high hotel prices or not-so-pleasant hostels. Whether or not you think you’d like the couchsurfing idea (staying with others or having others stay with you), the site is a great place to make connections with interesting travelers.  I’ve had a couple of couchsurfers stay with me in my loft. It’s a legitimate site with plenty of opportunities to verify who’s asking to surf your couch before you open your door or to verify whose couch you’ll be surfing before you drop off your bags. One guy has been traveling around the world for a year and a half and has almost always stayed with a fellow couchsurfer. Oh, how the stories make me want to hit the road again. But for now, I’ll stay put.

When you join CouchSurfing, you can find groups that interest you and interact with people in the forums. I joined the Buenos Aires group, the BA Cultural Events group, and a Photography group. Posts on CouchSurfing are generally friendly and funny. Travel lovers have a good sense of humor and are typically interested in meeting and helping out other travelers.

Here’s one from the Buenos Aires group in response to a question about how much money one would need while traveling here in Buenos Aires. Some of the prices, which are all in pesos, are a bit low, but it’s pretty accurate and funny, too.

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OK first of all if you have a place to live. You will be needing like 30 pesos a day to eat if you buy your stuff in a supermarket, maybe less. Depends on how much meat you are use to eat.

If you go out to eat, you will spend like 30 pesos a head for a proper meal in a Restaurant, and maybe 15 if you do a sandwich or something simple in a Bar.

Some prices that can make your life easy and give you an idea :

Tuna Can : from 3 to 5 pesos

2 Ltrs Coke : 5

Ravioli : 5 ( one serving )

4 Hamburgers : 7

Bread : 3 /kilo ( Depends on the kind )

Grapes : 1/2 Kilo : 2 to 3

Cokies : 2

Dulce De LEche : 1 kg 4 pesos

Mozzarella : 300 gm , 5 pesos.


Ticket to la Bomba : 10

Mint ( Disco a go go ) : 30 +

Sahara ( Disco a Go ) : 20 +

Movie : 16

Pop Corn + Soda : 8

Beer in a pub : 5 pesos

Latte in a pub : 5 pesos

Medialuna : 1 to 1.5

Condoms : 3 units , 3 pesos if you wanna be safe.

My mother : probably priceless, or very expensive

Sisters : I don’t have

Fede’s Sister : Your Life 😛

Rent a Movie : 5

Melon : 7

Not So Cheap Wine : 8

Very Cheap Wine : 2

Antibiotics : 10

Psychologist : 50 to 100 for a good one.

Dress Shirt : 70 to 140

Denim Trousers : 70 to 120

Leather Jacket : 550 to 750

Decent Computer : 2500

Mac ( Not so decent ): 3500

Broadband conection : 24 to 80 /month

 

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9 Comments

Filed under argentina, buenos aires

9 responses to “CouchSurfing and a Shopping List

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  3. n a n c y

    Very funny. Please post this on BANewcomers newsgroup. Folks are always asking “How much money do I need to live in BsAS?” And it is all relative isn’t it? ie Are you OK with dirt floors? How about shared toilets? What is your idea of a meal? And some come here knowing no Spanish and expect to work. I wonder how they will ever get out of the airport.

  4. Thanks for visiting our blog Nancy. We’ll check out the BANewcomers.

    The price question is really a hard one to answer. I had some visitors recently who didn’t want to pay more than about 4 pesos a meal. And in March, a group that bought a bottle of wine for 400 pesos. It was great wine, although I’m not sure it was worth the 400 pesos.

    Cheers!

  5. Hi!
    Just wanted to say thanks for the post ( and the blog) , I am coming to BA next week and its pretty helpful! What is your opinion on paying your host ( not required, but as a courtesy) for hosting you as a couchsurfer? ( How much? Pay in gifts/ meals?)
    Cheers,
    Rachel

  6. Hi Rachel,

    Some people ask their host if they would like anything from their home country as a courtesy. Others invite them to dinner or lunch or something once they’re here. It’s absolutely not necessary to pay the host, but a gift is a very nice gesture.

    I think a sort of unwritten rule is that couchsurfers shouldn’t stay more than 2-3 nights at someone’s place. So, for example, if you’re coming to BA for a week (six nights), you might want to find three couchsurfers to stay with. This is really an unwritten rule, but works well for both parties. As a host, you get to meet a new person and learn about where they’re from, but it doesn’t interrupt your life too much. As a guest, you get to meet several people, see several parts of town, and never feel you are overstaying your welcome.

    Best of luck. You’re going to love BA!
    Angela

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  8. Dani

    Hi,
    I’ve just arrived from a 10 day stay in Buenos Aires, and find this prices do need an update, or
    i need some tips on where NOT to shop over there.

    Tks, for the post,
    wish i’ve read it before my trip!

  9. Hi Dani,

    You’re absolutely right. Prices have gone up. But here’s a tip. Small markets run by Chinese owners often have significantly lower prices than the chain supermarkets do. I’ve heard people explain that the Chinese owners pay fewer taxes. I have no idea if this is true, but I do know that their prices are lower.

    But these prices do need to be updated. Food prices in particular have risen pretty dramatically. I hear that’s been happening worldwide. Too bad salaries aren’t going up, too.

    Hope you enjoyed your stay in BA.

    All the best,
    Angela

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