Day 025 Randomocity

Day 025 – August 16, 2011

Random Observations

Call Me Chicken, But…
Yet another moment of newness for me as I wandered down the aisles of one of our local grocery stories. I was going to cook the evening meal so I needed my required ingredients. First up on the menu were chicken breasts.

Now, back in the States, when I shopped for poultry, I am used to buying my preferred fowl wrapped in protective plastic. I’m not sure if this is a federal, state, or local regulation, but I am glad that the chicken that on display in Safeway, Ralph’s, or Wegmans has been covered for my protection.

Thus, I was taken aback when I approached the butcher section and saw parts and pieces of chicken all out on display sans packaging. When I requested a pair of chicken breasts, the person with the blood-stained apron and big knife took out a large two-tined fork and speared the specified flesh. She hoisted the meat, placed it in a plastic bag, weighed it, affixed a price sticker to it, and handed it to me.

When in Rome…

The dinner itself was fairly decent, if I say so myself. I marinated the chicken in a combination of mustard and teriyaki sauce. The recipe called for Bacon Bits, but since that product is ridiculously expensive here, I bought shelled peanuts and crushed them up to serve as the sprinkling on the chicken. Top with Parmesan cheese, throw in the oven for some temperature for some length of time, and there you go.

(Aside: Not sure when this blog turned into a foodie web offering. Let me get back on track.)

A Factorable Difference
In reading the newspapers here in Peru, I have to remember a crucial difference when the story deals with numbers.

Spanish uses the word millones to refer to the English equivalent of a million (1,000,000). However, just to make things interesting, the concept of thousands (1,000) is expressed in Spanish using the word mil.

Milmillones…sort of similar.

Keeping these two number quantities is important when trying to understand the context of a news article. It does make a difference to know if there are 5,000 businesses in Lima working in the field of security or 5,000,000.

If that wasn’t enough, when referring to billions (1,000,000,000), Spanish uses the phrase mil millones. This does make a certain modicum of sense because what is a billion but a thousand million.

But wait…there’s more. The State-side number of a trillion (1,000,000,000,000) in Spanish is represented by the word billon.

Conversion Issues
Some household items that we had shipped to us, via a boat of moderate speed, arrived.

Now that my children have their home video gaming systems and are ready to enjoy Mario Kart, did anyone remember to pack the 110volt-to-220volt converter?


Clinging to Cling Wrap
As I unpack items for our kitchen, I am flummoxed by my emotional response as I take items out their hermetically sealed cardboard boxes. I realize I have only been in this country for a score and five days, but is there truly any reason why I should be so deliriously happy to see Saran Wrap, twist ties, Bisquick and have those items now in our house?

Moving Tip O’ The Day
When packing and shipping your kitchen pots and pans, clean them first before placing them in their cardboard cube receptacles.

I cannot accurately identify what food detritus is residing on our skillet, but it too has expressed how deliriously happy it is to see Bisquick again.


About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

Posted on May 16, 2012, in Peru, Random and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. We were using a butcher shop near us for a while, and the meat was handled the same way…so it’s not entirely a cultural thing. Just that in the States few butcher shops are around and fewer people use them. But I admit it’s a little weird for me to see a bunch of bacon going into a plastic bag even now.

    • Growing up in the suburban utpoia that is Southern California, I never saw a butcher shop. I only thought they existed in the world of television sitcoms (Sam from “The Brady Bunch” springs to mind). One thing we find hard to procure here is ground chicken. The butchers all look at my lovely wife and me as we have tentacles growing out of our heads when me make this request, because it simply isn’t done here.

      • Come to think of it, I don’t think I really had much exposure to butcher shops in Silicon Valley, either. Chicago, yes. And here in what passed for a city in a largely rural state, they’re definitely more common (hell, we get our frozen beef products…ground beef, steak, stew meat, etc…from a local dairy/cattle farm).

        In other news, you DON’T have tentacles growing out of your head? I was imagining those during our college years? I knew I shouldn’t have eaten the butt steak in the damn cafeteria on Friday nights…

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