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Observant. That’s me. I’m the person who will tell you that in upper class Chilean Spanish people say “raya” for the dash that separates the ninth and tenth digit of their national ID number, and in the middle and lower classes people tend to say guión. And I’m the first person to point out when a graffitied wall has been repainted with new graffiti. I just notice stuff.

Which is why I was so extra surprised when I was walking not three blocks from my house the other day and saw a little sandwichboard sign saying “Tottus, ya inauguramos” which means Tottus (a supermarket), we’re open!

Really? Open? A new supermarket? Three blocks from my house? Impossible. It seemed like some kind of a joke as R and I walked through a mostly empty parking lot to enter what is, in fact, a brand new supermarket just three blocks from my house. I have no idea how this thing was built without me noticing. I pretty much walk and bike everywhere, pass by there with some regularity, read the newspaper, and still? I had nothing. So, brand new supermarket, and me scratching my head, wondering how it went in without me seeing it. Also, strange new products: an $8 box of falafel mix (how many people in Chile even know what falafel is?), and bake-your-own marraquetas, which I have to say look downright tempting. Marraquetas are sort of the national bread of Chile, 4 french bread rolls cooked so they stick together. Perfect for sandwiches and things.

So I continued on my day, with my new 75 watt lightbulb (gasp! Tottus does not have that lightbulb tester thingy which certainly would be illegal in the states, non-Chile dwellers, it’s basically an empty live socket which you stick the bulb into and press a button to make sure it’s working. Shocking! (oy, bad pun)). And R and I went out for some nibbles, and then made our way along the plaza, the same plaza where I have a cup of coffee at least a few times a month, and go to to take out my plastics recycling, and bike past, and walk past to get anywhere that’s not downtown, pretty much (which is uptown from me, but that’s another story), and we found that one of the better ice cream places in Santiago (Filippo, if you’re wondering) had opened a location. Right there, on the plaza. Where I go all the time.

And I hadn’t noticed it either. I’m thinking I’m going to have to rethink how observant I believe myself to be. I wonder what else I haven’t noticed lately. Or what else I think is true and really isn’t.

Yay, new supermarket and good icecream. And I say I want to move out of Barrio Brasil, why?

And it has come to my attention that I write about supermarkets far more than is probably normal.

Supermarkets on NileGuide
The Shangri-La of Supermarkets
Donating your coins (or not) at the supermarket