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Go about 20 km outside Buenos Aires and you're in the suburbs. The area reminds me of parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. Many street corners have a small guard house like this one where someone watches over the neighborhood 24/7. House owners pay up to 300 pesos ($90) a month for this service.

If you should choose not to partake in this insurance policy, I'm told you can expect your tires to go missing or your house to get burglarized. The idea for this may be yet another import from Italy -- along with pasta, pizza and panettone, you can also buy protection.

Guard House