|Time to pay the rent...|
The Chilean economy is very modern, and has China-like growth figures, so much so that they're trying to slow it down. You can buy nearly anything here, though size 12 shoes are a bit hard to come by. That's why it's been surprising to find out that credit cards are often not accepted here. Every hostel and restaurant has the Visa and MasterCard sign in the window, but they make a distinction here between domestic cards issued by Chilean banks, and 'international' cards. The latter are often not accepted, and the former are generally not available for foreigners. Several hostel owners have told us that they don't accept international cards due to big transaction fees.
So, we almost always pay cash for everything, even for a week's rent in a hostel, which is hundreds of dollars. And with an exchange rate hovering just below 500 pesos per US dollar, we are often carrying around hundreds of thousands of pesos. It's a strange feeling, but like a lot of aspects of Chilean life, we're starting to get used to it.
Speaking of tough adjustments, the kids just finished their 3rd week of school. Hopefully they'll write soon about their experiences.