This write-up originally appeared on VICE Spain

I remained in a luxury resort, purchased hundreds of beers for under a tenner as well as paid to fill the gasoline in all my neighbours’ autos– all in a country where, to get toilet tissue, you need to queue up for hours.

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The worldwide financial crisis and a healthy and  balanced underground market have actually turned Venezuela into an economic mind-fuck. According to the federal government, one euro deserves 8.3 bolívares (BsF). If you were to offer that same euro on the black market, it would certainly net you 812 BsF.


This is due to the federal government’s complex as well as convoluted currency exchange rate controls, which I won’t clarify here, since a) I don’t really comprehend them myself, as well as b) there are lots of informative posts somewhere else written by people who actually understand just what they’re discussing.

What I do intend to do here, however, is aid my country’s tourist sector by demonstrating that, in Venezuela, because of these strange and also complicated financial controls, you could live like a king for a whole month with just one EUR100 bank note. If you’re a neighborhood earning regional cash, life is tough; very basic products like toilet tissue are in extremely short supply and also you’ll need to queue for hours just to get your practical them. If you’re a tourist bringing over foreign money, the country is your oyster.

Before embarking on my high-end experience, I made a list of all the important things I intended to do, on top of living my normal life in Venezuela. Below is that list:

Rent a space in a costly main location in Maracaibo (where I live) for a month.
Invest one night in a five-star hotel area.
Acquire a return plane ticket to Caracas, Venezuela’s resources.
Lease a convertible and own around for a day.
Get lots of beer.
Get great deals of medications.
Have dinner in five of the most effective dining establishments in Maracaibo.
Get massage therapies and also acupuncture at one of the most lavish massage parlour I could discover.
Provide every person in my building enough loan for a full container of gasoline.
When I was done creating my list, I offered my EUR100 on the “black market”. I understand you’re probably imagining some dodgy guy with a shit moustache and also an untidy tracksuit ushering me into a lock-up filled with imitation Givenchy purses and “massage therapy oils” made out of old chip fat, but in Venezuela marketing currency is as basic as publishing a message on your Facebook page claiming: “I am offering EUR100.”

All you do next is wait. Ultimately someone will certainly comment, and then that person will purchase your loan.