Since Joel took a taxi to an 8a.m. interview, I decided to try shopping by myself. As I walked through the neighborhood, I repeated phrases in Spanish that I might need to use: Cuánto le debe? Cuánto cuesta? The shop owners were sweeping the floors at some of the fruit and vegetable markets. Cell phone guys were offering minutos, as usual. I scoped out the options then retraced my steps, deciding on a larger store that sold dry goods as well as refrigerated things. Since I was alone, I took time to walk down all the aisles just to see what they had to offer and to become more familiar with names, prices and availability. I probably took more time than I should have deciding whether to buy the raisins and peanuts mixed or in separate packages and whether to buy toilet paper in single or double rolls.
One advantage of shopping at a larger store is that they have an electronic cash register that shows the prices and total (in case I don’t catch how much I owe, verbally). The screen showed 20,800, and I thought I had just the right amount in bills. Thankfully, the guy was honest and corrected my mistake. I had handed him 28,000 instead of 20,800.
The 6-pack of milk was heavy, so I didn’t purchase bread, eggs or milk on this trip. It took me about 30 minutes to walk, meander, purchase and return to the house where we are staying.