Friday, April 24, 2009

black market cilantro

i haven't been writing as much as i have in the past. things are starting to seem normal. the morning subte smoosh is to be expected. people bumping into me without apologizing or acknowledging they stepped on my foot is normal, but i understand that when your all just trying to get to the Center, no body does it on purpose. i've started bumping without apology as well, in the subte and on the street.

today while teaching a class, protesters passed the office I was in. they had loud drums and even louder fire-crackers. it sounded like a revolution, but since i've seen many protests now, it seems almost normal.

after teaching this afternoon i was finally able to sit down with my landlord. he said the second bedroom should be ready by this weekend. he wants me to find a roommate next week, by the first of may (which is on friday). i told him that if we want to find someone quickly we need to make the room and the apartment as presentable as possible. right now the apartment has the bare basics, it doesn't have a homey or comfortable feeling at all. he said he would see what he could do, but said he doesn't want to spend additional money since he just repaired everything in the apartment.

tonight i'm headed out to a friends house. we're going to make dinner together. between the two of us we have most of the ingredients for the meal, except for green onions, limes and cilantro. so, i went out on a mission...and it IS a mission to find these things. in my neighborhood there are at least 2 vegetable stands on every block, but they have the SAME thing as everyone else (this is the same case with empanada places. there must be 5 empanada places on everyblock but they all sell the same ones!) (when people say argentina isn't diverse they aren't just talking about how the people's everything from empanadas to shoes!)

back to the veggie mission..... the fourth place i tried was one of the Chinese Stores. again, their dirty appearance seems normal now, but almost oddly comforting in a strange way. so, i made my way to the back where the veggies are and asked the veggy guy who was sitting on a bucket with his 7 year old kid. i asked in Spanish if he had some cilantro. he paused, then said he had some, but it was his. he reached into the cooler, behind the milk and pulled out a bag of cilantro!!! i couldn't believe my eyes! not that he was stashing it, but that he had cilantro. i bought a fairly large bushel from him for 6 pesos; i paid him directly. i was a little nervous walking out of the store, but the Chinos didn't stop me. two veggy stands later i found my other things.


krebiz said...

That's funny. One would think that with native South Americans (Indians), the Spanish influence, and all the German and other European influence, there would be at least a bit of diversity. But no cilantro!
So where'd you find the green onions?

yillabean said...

I don't understand the non-diversity thing either...not to mention it's a city of 3 million who live here and 7 million who commute into the city each day for work.

There is no shortage of beef, pasta, pizza, empanadas and wine.