Well the term Supermercado is a misnomer by American standards. (No COSTCOs spotted yet) but the few S-mercados we’ve seen so far in BsAs are like all the rest; storefront operations that look no different than the hardware or newsstand along any typical city street. But we gotta stock up on some basics (tp, dish soap, coffee makings and of course some papas fritas (potato chips) and cerveza (Quilmes -our favorite locally made beer thus far) so off we go.
It’s always fun scooting around the store, “Oh look at this!”, etc. The fruits and veggies don’t look so neat and trimmed, but their color is nicer and you can actually smell the fresh aroma from the tomatoes and other fruit. It makes you hungry right there. And you get the sense they came from just outside the city limits, not picked half-ripe and hard, shipped across the country (think Con-Agra barf).
Oh another cool thing is no matter how big or small the Super Mercado (most are like a longer double-car garage) is the separate little area that just sells cheese & meat sorta deli style. They’ve got great hunks of a zillion kinds of cheeses, sausages and many other meats which you can just point to and grunt. They slap them on the ole scales and make eye contact till you reach some sort of mutual agreement on how much (priced in the Peso/100 gram sort of way) is enough, then it’s wrapped in paper and away you go.
But apparently some things in the grocery gathering game are the same the world over. Two check-out lines only, snaking back into the crowded isles of the store and just like at home you can hear the kidlets yammering to their mom or dad, reaching for whatever goodie they want right now!, and the various, some successful, some not parental protests. But there we are having finally worked our way to the cashier -and she was fast, had the first bag loaded till she spyed the credit card. We’re busted, no can. We’re in the infamous “cash only” line. Dang, and we thought we we’re doing so good!
Oh well, today’s a new day and undoubtedly a few new lessons too!
GetOffYourButts.com . . . . . . turns into a travel blog direct from Buenos Aires in early Feb.