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Day 017 Randomocity

Day 017 – August 8, 2011

Random Observations

Revelation of the Day
Early on this fine Monday morning, I made my way down to our local grocery store – around 7:30am (ah, it is so lovely to have the kids away at school so early) – to pick up some foodstuffs for the house. On my approach, I was taken aback to find my entrance blocked by doors that were both closed and locked.

A quick scan around the shuttered doors showed me that this business did not open until 8:00am.

I live in a country where grocery stores are not open twenty-four hours a day (and there are simply not enough exclamation points on my keyboard to stress this point). What sort of looking-glass world have I been deposited in?

To be fair, after about a minute (or ten) of ruminating on the situation, it dawned on me that there might be reasons for this non-24-hour season. First off, there may not be that big a market for people wanting to go to the market at 2:00am. If there was money to be made by late-night munchers, I’m sure some business would step up to take advantage of that. Secondly, people, both shoppers and employees, may not want to venture forth after midnight as people are concerned about their security. Finally, since most grocery shopping (at least here in my area of La Molina) is done by empleadas and since those helpers who don’t live with their employers probably show up to their workplaces around seven or eight in the morning, it makes sense that the stores wouldn’t open until their main clientele arrived.

Of course, I could be 0-for-3 and completely and utterly wrong.

Flavor of the Day
At said store, once it opened, I bought a new flavor of yogurt (my second since my Peruvian adventure started). Called “frutado sauco”, it is light purple (lilac perhaps?) in color and contains tiny bits of a type of dried fruit or berry that is crunchy.

Of note is that the yogurt that I buy here in the 150 gram cups is thinner than yogurt I bought in the States. The yogurt here is almost drinkable, which is ironic because the “drinkable yogurt” sold on the shelves here in Peru is thicker and more akin to a shake, albeit a thin shake.

Punctuation Marks of the Day
In a story in a newspaper I bought (La Republica for those you playing Sin Polaris Newspaper Bingo), there was a story about how much Peru exports to China. In the article, it mentioned that the country I now live in exported, in millions, $5.148,80, worth of goods.

No, you didn’t read that number wrong. It was indeed five-point-one-four-eight-comma-eight-zero.

Now indeed there is no rational or logical reason why the comma should be used to separate the thousands place from the hundreds place, but that is the format I am used to so it was a tad jarring to have to do a mental translation to understand that Peru exported over five billion dollars worth of goods to the Middle Kingdom in 2010.

Yet another quirk to become accustomed to.

Memory Device of the Day
We had workers in our house today fixing some of the heater/air conditioning units in our house. While they were doing their thing, I learned a new Spanish word, which was estufo (outlet). Similar to people’s first names, I have learned that it can be easier to remember things if I can relate the word in some way to something else. For example, if I meet someone named Bob and then stick the image in my mind of them in the ocean bobbing like a buoy, I am more apt to recall their name when I see them again.

The way that I have forced myself to remember this new word is to remind myself that estufo looks similar to “stuff”, and what else do you do with an outlet but to “stuff” an electrical plug into it.

Laugh all you want, I still remember the word.