Culture Reality Check

talbur

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This morning I was in line at the local-chain supermarket. When the customer in front me of me finished, I moved up, placed my things down on the checkout stand - without a delay.

The checkout clerk walked away from the register to another desk and began cutting up a display sign. I was expected to wait while she did some 'busy work'.
The manager -whose job seems to be to sit there and occasionally make change for the checkout clerk-continued to sit there and do nothing.

I asked if the store was open or not. From my accent, it would have been apparent that I was a foreigner. My question was met with an angry glare from the manager.

Argentine supermarket: the manager is the queen that relaxes all day, the employee helps you when it is convenient for them to help you, and the customer must wait and be grateful for the opportunity to shop in the store.

AAAGHGGHGHGHGH!!!!!

Ok, I got that off my chest. Now I go back to loving 95% of everything here. :)
Ok Expats....feel free to tell me what a horrible, demanding, intolerant ugly American I am.
 

dsp27

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There are no decent supermarkets in this country. That's why I do not go to any. I buy everything I need from the small shops: Panaderia for pan de masa madre, carne from the carniceria, fruit and vegies from the verduleria, the dietetica, etc etc. and then there is one bodega called Bodega Amparo that sells imported and local staples and service and quality is great (it's not cheap thou). Then for all simple supplies like paper towels etc I just pass thru the local Chino, there is never a line and I know the family that runs it. Alternatively you can order delivery from Disco.
So I have not been in a major supermarket chain such as Coto for over a year now....
 

zensailor

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Shop neighborhood shops....you'll find what you want ( if you keep your eyes open ), make friends with a number of families, and help the locals in that the money you pay them goes into their pocket ...... not into the bonus pool of some corporate suit 5000 miles away that makes more $ by eliminating customer service and minimal pay to employees.....the neighborhood stores want you to come back and make an effort toward that....... BUY LOCAL
 

Ries

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I avoid Coto and Disco if at all possible. Its absolutely true that, the bigger the store, the worse the service. And, usually, the narrower the range of choices, and, usually, the lower the quality. They have queso maquina at Disco, while my neighborhood fiambrias have 2 dozen much higher quality choices.
 

Newman_ZA

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There are no decent supermarkets in this country. That's why I do not go to any. I buy everything I need from the small shops: Panaderia for pan de masa madre, carne from the carniceria, fruit and vegies from the verduleria, the dietetica, etc etc. and then there is one bodega called Bodega Amparo that sells imported and local staples and service and quality is great (it's not cheap thou). Then for all simple supplies like paper towels etc I just pass thru the local Chino, there is never a line and I know the family that runs it. Alternatively you can order delivery from Disco.
So I have not been in a major supermarket chain such as Coto for over a year now....

This ^. I took a bit to get used to this but now I would not go to Supers for much of anything if I could avoid it. There are still things I go to supers for (dairy items and toiletries). I would rather support someone selling booze on table top outside their home than buy from a Super. Most times they are cheaper and friendlier.

Part of the culture is to spread your spend around at specialised stores.
 

Millie

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I felt the exact same way as you did when I first got here ,and for a period of time thereafter and then I got used to it, but I understand and commiserate with how you feel….
On the flip side , while on a recent trip back to Boston ( first time in the States in two years ), I felt like everything was moving way too quickly and that I was being rushed all the time, everywhere I went and every line I stood in, and I had anxiety about feeling so rushed actually…it felt alien to me….and invasive somehow ....
 

Rich One

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I have 4 or 5 Bolivian verdulerias within a block. The prices are astronomical Capuchina lettuce $280 per kg. tomatoes $350 per kg.
I walk 5 blocks to Coto the prices are Capuchina $120, tomatoes $200 prices from Monday 17th. I would rather buy from the Bolivians but....
 

elhombresinnombre

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I suspect that's something to do with the way that the spending power of the people in your area is perceived by the small shopkeepers local to you and I further suspect that Coto prices don't change much store by store. Way out west, still in CABA but near the General Paz, verdulerias, carnecerias etc are reasonably priced and good but a friend who used to shop in those stores and who has recently moved to Palermo simply can't afford to pay Palermo prices on the street and so shops in Coto instead.
 
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