Saturday, 6 September 2008
First Grocery Shopping
The first thing we did on our first day in Buenos Aires is head to the grocery store to get supplies.
On the way, we stopped at a little coffee shop for a light breakfast. Vlad and I had two media lunas with ham and cheese and CMC had an omlette. We were struck by how sweet the croissants were and then I remembered reading about the Argentine's famous sweet tooth with everything being sweetened. Even the ground coffee Vlad tried to buy in the supermarket came pre-sweetened.
It feels very real when you're buying groceries. We went to a large Supermercado called Disco on Paraguay. It wasn't particularly big by UK standards but seemed to have everything you could want.
The shopping total came to AR$288 (around 53 UK Pounds) which was less than I imagined. And, as it was the first shop we've done we had to get a lot of staple items that are quite expensive. We also got quite a lot of food for that. It wasn't dirt cheap by any means but reasonable.
It's always interesting shopping in a foreign country, particularly to see how different stores present food differently. We had a brief and preliminary introduction to the Argentine approach to meat eating with almost all of the animal available in the fridges. As much as I like the idea of making the most of the dead pig or cow I think it will take a while before I can considering eating brain or worse.
All the standard international food products were available, mixed with the local products, like instant Maté tea. It's a local favourite and from what I read, a national institution. I'm keen to try it but will wait for the opportunity to have it properly and not from an instant "pot-noodle" style package.
We grabbed a cab back fpr AR$8, remember it's around 5 Pesos to the Pound, so not to bad at all. Now we've unpacked and are ready to start exploring, although it's raining and very very cold so I'm not sure how far we'll get.
As you might have guessed our internet is working and we're connected to the world, have made a couple of Skype calls and all seems to be in order on that front.
I'm really enjoying the challenge of trying to understand as much of the language as I can. Vlad knows an amazing amount already, which is very handy although does tend to encourage laziness on our part. I think he too would enjoy it more if he were with people who were at a similar level so he could also explore the language more. I don't imagine we'll be anywhere near his level any time soon though. The people we've met and interacted with so far have all been fantastically friendly and encouraging to it's a pleasure to try and speak a little bit of broken Spanish.