Super Mercado National

I’ve been in Santo Domingo a little over a week now and it is approaching the time when I need to do all of my laundry. I asked my new home stay mom, Rosa, what the process was and she told me I have two options. 1. I can go to the laundromat about 4 or 5 streets from my house, leave my clothes and pick them up the next day OR 2. I can use her washing machine and hang the clothes on the line in the back yard to dry. For this, I would just need my own laundry detergent. So, this time, I opted for choice #2. Easier to do my own laundry at home than to try to transport it to the laundromat that I don’t know the address of.

So, before I can do my laundry, I had to get laundry detergent. Today after my really long siesta, I headed out for a Super Mercado adventure. It took me about 10 – 15 minutes to walk to the Super Mercado. I’d guess it’s about 10 blocks from here, but waiting to cross traffic is an adventure in itself. (see human frogger post)

As usual, my walk was filled with the music of the city …. honking horns, yelling taxi drivers and public buses and my favourite, the continuous melodious (ha ha ha) cat calls from men in every direction. (I’ll have a post about this soon!)

Along the way, I passed Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Burger King and Scotiabank. None of which I’ve visited since I’ve been here, but funny to find American franchises so prevalent and close to my home.

I arrived at the Super Mercado and was pleasantly hit by a wall of cold air. It almost took my breath away. I think I may have paused for a moment before continuing to walk as I breathed in freshness. With a temperature of 86 degrees, feeling like 91 degrees with humidity, air conditioning is greatly appreciated. And, this little adventure was at 5pm when it had already cooled off by a few degrees and the sun had gone under a few clouds.

I was surprised at the resemblance of the store to our own in Nova Scotia. It was small (similar to a co-op sized store in Truro, not the Superstore on Joesph Howe Drive), but had most of what you need. There were about 10 short aisles, arranged similarly to shelves at home, just with different brand names. For example, the first aisle had yogurt, cheese, butter etc. The second aisle had all kinds of different pastas and rice dishes. There was an aisle for soups and sauces, one for snacks, the produce and bread area and also the miscellaneous things like cleaning supplies.

I bought only a few things to keep me going for the next few days. My breakfasts and suppers are prepared by my home stay mom, so I really only need snacks and lunches. To this point, I haven’t done much snacking because honestly it is too darned hot to want to eat most of the time. My meals have all been good and I’m not feeling my best the last couple of days, so snacks have not been high priority, just water. Today, however, I found Hersey’s chocolate bars and Pringles chips … I’ve already devoured the cookies and cream chocolate bar while writing this post.

Here is a list of what I bought on this first trip to the Super Market.

Cereal – Honey Bunches of Oats – $209.95 Pesos / $5.40 US
Laundry Detergent – 32 Loads (liquid) – $209.95 Pesos / $5.40 US
Hersey’s Bar – $39.95 Pesos / $1 US
Hersey’s Cookies & Cream bar $39.95 Pesos / $1 US
Can of vegetable soup – $69.95 Pesos / Less than $2 US
Can of Chicken noodle soup – $54.95 / Less than $1.50 US
Pringles – $64.95 Pesos / Less than $2 US

All together, with tax it came to $729.60 Pesos / $18 US

I headed back out in to the damp late afternoon air and started sweating profusely immediately. This, however, doesn’t stop the barrage of comments, compliments and stares from local men. 10-15 minutes later, I was back inside my home. Tonight I will ask my mom to show me how to use the stove so that I can have soup for lunch tomorrow!

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