Sunday, October 7, 2007

To market

My vegetable delivery scheme has changed in my absence. They're not doing deliveries these days. Now they're part of a twice-weekly market, one that's not too far from my apartment.

In the email they sent to tell me of the change, they warned that the market location wasn't much to look at from the outside.

When they said that, maybe they meant that about 200m in front of their door, you'd run into this:

. . . or that it was located in the alley next to a commuter railway station, beside which stood rusted out train cars, some of which apparently were serving as living quarters for down-and-out families.

But once you get past all that, you get to the large bright yellow shed that houses the market.

It was great. I mean, modest, but great. It's early spring, so I had limited expectations. It'll be exciting* to see how it changes going into summer.

I bought two bunches of spinach, two kinds of cheese, a dozen eggs, a kilo of tangerines and some yogurt. I even had a little chat with the guy who makes the yogurt about full-cream versus skim yogurt. (He was pleased I was buying the full-cream yogurt.)

No, I did not take pictures of the produce. Please! What kind of blogger do you think I am?

There was quite a bit of English being spoken there (by the customers). And the woman in line in front of me for the yogurt was from Spain. Interesting that it should be such a magnet for outsiders. Foreign influence in Argentina has been a mixed bag, but it's nice to think it might help expand the market for sustainably raised food.

* Some of you may have to stretch your definition of "exciting." Not me, though!


Matt said...

notice any differences in prices since you got back? is inflation as rampant as i'm lead to believe (i'm easily lead)? are tomatoes really 17 pesos a kilo??? can you still get 2 paraguayan hookers for 25 pesos an hour?

Dan said...

I've definitely noticed a difference in prices, yes.

Tomatoes are spendy. The chino next to me has them at 10 pesos/kilo. The thing is, I actually think the tomato price spike is halfway legitimate -- these things are supposed to cost more when they're not in season. Plus, the sustained cold in the winter really screwed the crop up.

The problem is that everything else is really going up, too. Milk and medialunas are up like 15-20% over four months ago. Potatoes used to cost around 1 peso a kilo. Now they're at 4 pesos a kilo.

And people eat every day, and everyone needs to buy food to do it, so it really puts upward pressure on all the other prices. The barber goes to the market one night to buy dinner, quickly grasps that it's getting more expensive and the next day raises the price of a haircut.

Matt said...

prices of fruit and veg have gone up a lot here in chile as well due to the exceptionally cold winter, in some cases double normal price. however, the big difference here is that prices will go back down when supplies increase (in december). there's been a lot criticism of the government here for allowing inflation to rise so much in the last few months. it's going to be a hyper-inflation like 4.5% this year, 0.5% over the central bank's maximum allowable. damn copper prices making life so insufferable. the fun thing here is that they have an inflation index called the UF (explained somewhere on my blog) that is predicted and fixed over a month in advance so everyone knows exactly how much inflation is running.

i'm assuming you ignored my final question before because you don't want to admit you know the answer. i will continue to assume this until i receive a satisfactory response.

tomatoes (quality ones) at the local market here are around 3-5 arg pesos/kilo and 7-8 pesos in Jumbo. I picked up a couple of kilos of tomatoes on the vine on special the other day for 5 pesos/kilo.

it doesn't make much sense that tomatoes are 10-15 pesos a kilo in argentina. all the tomatoes where i live are currently coming from Arica, about 2000km north of here. transport costs are around double those in argentina so they can't pull that card...yet tomatoes are 2-3 times more expensive.

once inflation starts to escalate it's almost impossible to control. The KKs are playing a really dangerous game. Or they're both unbelievably stupid.

Dan said...

I refuse to pay over the government-negotiated price ceiling for Paraguayan hookers.

I have no idea what the game plan is for Mrs. Kirchner, who is essentially running unopposed and who is thus able to run a campaign in which she DOES NOT MENTION INFLATION. It would be hysterical if it weren't, as you suggest, playing with fire.

I have this problem all the time with politicians: I can't decide if they're willfully lying and thus evil or have convinced themselves of whatever fantasy and are simply ignorant.

Matt said...

i prefer to think of politicians as willfully ignorant, evil liars.

your paraguayan hooker response has been duly noted but, come on, everybody knows that you can't find one for under 40 pesos these days, despite double K insistence that they're on the shelves for a legal maximum of 20.