Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fruits and Vegetables and other things

The fruit and vegetable stands, which are everywhere(many entrepreneurs) are wonderful. Huge vegetables-the celery wouldn't fit tin the fridge uncut-of many varieties. Tomatoes all year round. Fruits include oranges, lemons.grapefruit, apples, kiwi, pomegranates, avocado, and also walnuts and almonds. We bought lots of nuts(we thought before the season ended) but Helia told us this is the expensive time of year-the local ones be will be ready to harvest in July! Vegetables & fruits seem to run from 100($.20) pesos to 500 pesos a kilo($1 for 2.2 lbs). They get fruit from the North(hotter) or South(colder) year round so it's always available. There is a little fruit stand on the road to Pirque so we stop there often.

I've started making soup with lots of vegetables. Perfect after a day working out at Pirque.

Some interesting things I've learned: You tip the postman but never the taxi driver! Everyone drinks Coca Cola at nearly every meal! On trash days, the trash(in small grocery bags) is put in the elavated trash basket in the front of the house. When that's full, people hand them on the trees or the fence. We weren't sure we had the right day, but there was the garbage truck about 8:30 at night! The yards are almost all fenced with wrought iron fencing and yards kept very neatly, except in the poor areas. The fences keep the stray dogs out(there are many in poor neighborhoods), in this neighborhood, I've seen people even walking their dogs on a leash! Also, there is very little violent crime here but lots of graffiti everywhere(and purse snatchings) wrought iron fences-solid walls are so much better for tagging, I think. The cars are parked inside the fencing too. Some of the graffiti is quite colorful and art-like but mostly quite ugly. There are many small "Mom & Pop" stores in the neighborhoods(two on this block) that sell Coa Cola, coffee, some fruit and vegetables and milk-Leche, which is sold on small (1 liter?) cartons and kept on the shelf-refrigerated only when opened! It tastes strange, partly because it is whole milk-no 1% here! The wine is cheap-Concho Y Toro also on the road to Pirque. Their "Exportacion" Cabernet in a 1.5 Liter was less than $3 and very good.I believe they keep a certain amount aside for the locals.