Monday, February 20, 2006

Boutique de la Carne

How can you go wrong with a name like that? Just one of the many wonders of our neighborhood. We can walk down the street 3 blocks to the butcher shop and a great panaderia (La Parra, Su Panaderia). On almost every corner there is a locutorio (a shop where you can make phone calls, use the internet, etc.), drugstore (typically like a locally-owned 7-11), farmacia (I think you can figure that one out), or an almacen (a small grocery store).

It’s great fun getting to know our neighborhood shops and shopping locally. One or all of us walk to La Parra every day, (Vince and Mia go twice a day to purchase gallititas) and to Boutique de la Carne at least three times per week. La Parra is known as the best bakery in town. Every time we meet a new friend from Mendoza they say, “do you know that you live just down the street from the best bakery in town?” – we do know and we have the chocolate spots on Mia’s clothes to prove it.

While it is great to visit the shops, our conversations with a shopkeeper are always a little stilted. Usually, the conversation goes something like this:



“Como estas?”

“Bien, y vos?” (This is Argentina after all… people say vos instead of tu)

“Bien, muy bien…”

And, then everything pretty much breaks down after that. On occasion we are able to pronounce breads and meats properly… or to say, “quiero un kilo de pechugas, por favor,” (I want a kilogram of chicken breasts, please)… but often the conversation goes more like…”quiero catorze gallitas” literally, “I want 14 crackers,” when I was trying to say, “quiero cuarenta gallitas,” I want 40 crackers. By the time we leave the shop, we inevitably say “estoy apprendiendo Espanol!” (I am learning Spanish) about five times, and have a good laugh with the merchant, who inevitably says, “I only speak a little English” (perfectly, of course).

As you might imagine, we are very popular residents of the neighbor. Everyone knows that when we come in, they are going to have a good laugh!

Now, off to buy some bread!


At 9:12 PM , Anonymous Rosa Lara said...

Your spanish sounds very good!!!! Now you are prepared to survive in any Latin America country. We can't wait until we visit you guys there and speak spanish all day long. Here is still cold, and we had snow last week (8 inches). The circle is done, except for the plants. We love the pictures you posted on the blog, as well as the stories. Take care you guys and we will see you very soon.


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