This is partially true. No, I did not receive any real gifts. As I have mentioned before, Venezuela has a supply shortage…issue/problem/situation that they really don’t know how to handle. I say that because they think they are handling it, but they aren’t. Anyways, obviously this has never been an issue for me until I actually needed something. Sometime last week I realized I only had two rolls of toilet paper left so I went to the big Kromi market that is always overflowing with toilet paper; the shelves and peoples’ carts are so well stocked that usually there are crates of toilet paper in the aisles that make it really difficult to push your cart around. Just my luck, I arrive to aisles of bare shelves where toilet paper once lived. Dang. So I figured, no big deal, there will probably be some in a couple of days. Nope. Thankfully, I remembered my reserve stash of extremely luxurious American toilet paper, I thought. So on the way to a lesson today I decided to pop into a little corner market, Plazas, and HELLO, jackpot. Soooo much toilet paper. They had also received a generous shipment of milk, so people were stocking up. It was quite a strange experience, one that actually made me feel a bit giddy. I later explained the feeling to my students and they told me that I was officially a venezolana, especially because I bought a 12-pack even though I’m only here for two more weeks (okay, it wasn’t my intention to hoard, they didn’t have any 4-packs). Woot!
Ta-da! Also discovered at Plazas market: dental floss. Who knew that would be so hard to find here?
Well, I think we’d all agree that that was a great success. What could follow that, you wonder? Something infinitely better… I found where they sell the DARK CHOCOLATE at the grocery store. I’m embarrassed to say that it has taken me over a month to find this staple food in my diet. I did think it was kind of odd that even though the aisles were stocked with plenty of cookies and candy that I could do without, there was no plain chocolate. I had written it off as another oddity. So, I head into the pharmacy (which is another section/shop within the supermarket) to look for previously mentioned floss and was momentarily taken aback; I found the promised land. AISLES of chocolate. Why yes, of course, the chocolate is regulated and sold in the pharmacy. I should have known. And that is why today felt like Christmas!