Dear friends and family,
You must be wondering what exciting adventures I have in store for you. Well, today I went to the supermarket.
You must be patient with me. I have only been here three days.
Actually, I went to two supermarkets and a bakery where both of the women behind the counter asked me if I needed anything because it didn’t make sense to them that my host mother and I were one party. Fair.
My host mother is a master shopper. I suppose you have to be as a mother of three (now four). She is the kind of person who will bring three types of oregano to the counter and have the cashier check which is cheapest. She pointed out a lot of things to me and told me the names in Spanish, most of which I have forgotten already.
The name of the second supermarket is Supermaxi, which some people back home think is kind of funny. Fair. It is the Ecuadorian equivalent of Walmart, apparently, only with more food and fewer poop emoji masks. (If you did not follow that news story, go look it up.)
There are a lot of things I saw in Ecuadorian supermarkets that I have not seen in U.S. supermarkets. For instance, I thought there was only one kind of ham in this world. It turns out there are many:
- Pig ham
- American ham
- Turkey breast ham
- Back ham (??)
And they all look like bologna.
There is also:
- Precooked rice
- Aged rice
- Rabbit rice (arroz conejo—much better in English)
- Eggs sold in plastic bags
- Milk sold in plastic bags
- Mayonnaise sold in plastic bags
- Nice young men who bring your groceries to your car on big carts
- Swivel chairs for the cashiers to sit on
- White carrots
- Innumerable varieties of potatoes (the Andes are the proud birthplace of the potato)
My host mother’s favorite thing to do was to point out how everything that is imported is outrageously expensive. I suppose it was. Things are supposedly cheaper here and I would tell you that they are, only I can’t remember how much anything costs in the United States.
I can indulge in supermarket trips at this point in time because most of what I have done so far involves being curled up on my bed. This will not likely be the case as of Monday when classes start and things either get very very interesting or very very stressful. Probably both.
I miss you either way.
Eat some regular pig ham for me.