Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Locutorios

The locutorio is the bane of my existence. Most people I know have internet in their apartments because they are in shares and thus the internet was already there when they got there. But since I'm renting my own place I have to sign up for internet on my own and it's been a royal pain. Locutorios are what they call internet cafes but they also have phone booths where you can make long distance calls and they sell phone cards and you can buy minutes for your cell phone, called recarga, or literally ''recharge''. They also do money transfer, Western Union, Money Gram, etc. Basically, they're immigrant central, which is why I feel like I live at the locutorio. I'm here every freakin day. I try to switch it up and go to other locutorios but I always come back to this one. The locutorios also function like little mini convenience stores selling international foods from places like Morocco, Senegal, Romania, Brazil and the rest of Latin America. And food is what has led me to search out different locutorios. Someone told me about one locutorio that had a lot of foods and so I went on the hunt for it. I walked up and down the supposed street it was on with no luck so I stopped into another locutorio to ask if they knew where it was. Although, why would they tell me how to get to the competition, right? But lucky for me, a guy who was leaving said he'd walk me there. He actually ended up showing me THREE locutorios, one of which is called Locutorio No Problem. It was like I hit the jackpot.  Check it out:
Those, my friends, are REAL platanos. ( I know they look like bananas but trust me) Along with jalapeños!!!!!  Can you tell how excited I am? Then I picked up the salsa verde, adobo seasoning, yuca, and cheese just cause, why not? And corned beef, eh, something different. I have never been so prone to walking all over town looking for random foods as I am here.

So there's a huge supermarket in the basement of Corte Inglés called Hipercor. Hipercor is like the ''expensive'' grocery store and I was looking for real vanilla extract and my tutora said if any place was going to have it, it would be Hipercor. So after my class today I went to Hipercor and bummer, they didn't have vanilla extract. They did have those real vanilla beans though, where you have to scrape the caviar out but they were expensive so I didn't get them. BUT!!! my greatest discovery of the day was finding corn oil. It was like the heavens opened and God smiled down on me and said, ''I know you can't make real latin food without it.'' I love olive oil as much as the next person but you can't fry with it and I am not exaggerating, the ONLY other oil they sell around here is sunflower oil. It is the most wretched smelling stuff, it smells exactly like that 90s era perfume called Sunflowers. Who wants fried chicken that smells like flowers??

I've started cooking again and earlier this week I made ropa vieja that came out pretty great if you ask me. It only took four hours to make. [#Low&Slow] I tried taking a picture and my lens started fogging up.

 Then, I just wanted to show you guys that the peppers here are MASSIVE.
My beloved locutorio. To the right are the phone booths. I sit all the way in the back and I can see everyone in front of me. They are always on youtube, facebook, or tuenti, which is like the Spanish facebook. And when my students say tuenti it sounds exactly like twenty. Well, maybe a British twenty. I guess with my accent it would sound more like twenny.

4 comments:

Dad said...

I'm glad to see your excitement come back. I don’t remember you cooking like that when I as at your place! I guess you really have to like peppers if you get them that big. Looks like you are still using dollars instead of Euros.

jules said...

Yeah I didn't think a euro would provide for much scale. It is just a coin after all, =)

Traci said...

That locutorio looks like a prison lol. Much different than Mexico.

rubireyes said...

Isn't it strange how finding these little things can excite us so much? I remember doing a dance of joy when I finally found 4C bread at a super here.