Dê-me dois

Greetings from Buenos Aires, where the downtown is filled with the sweet rhythms of Portuguese. I just heard a beggar on the street approach a couple guys from a great distance, chatting them up entirely in Portuguese. (After they declined to donate an elusive Argentine coin, the dude told them off in English.) The tourist maps include Portuguese translations and at the botanical garden, a sign directed vistors to “Sanitarios batrooms banhos.” (Good news: No flying mammals. Bad news: No toilet paper.)

The growing economic importance of Brazilians carrying their overvalued reais abroad to buy up consumer goods doesn’t stop here in Argentina. I haven’t yet confirmed a third-hand rumor I heard, but I’ll share it just for fun: Supposedly the Miami Macy’s provides advertising pamphlets to airlines arriving from Brazil, inviting the tourists to come in before the official opening hour and have the store to themselves.

In the 1970s, Venezuelans in Miami became known as the “damedos” set because they were so eager to spend overvalued bolivars that they would supposedly say “that’s cheap, give me two” — in Spanish, “‘ta barato, dame dos.” It didn’t last.

2 thoughts on “Dê-me dois

  1. Thomas Locke Hobbs

    I was under the impression that the ‘demedos’ phrase originally referred to Argentines in the late 1970s when they also enjoyed a strong currency prior to the pan-Latin 1982 debt implosion, although shouldn’t it really be ‘che, dame dos, boludo!’?

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