Friday, January 16, 2009

Shopping in Puerto Rico - Frustrating and Surprising at Best

So on Tuesday I opted to head out to Walmart for 3 things - bags of cat food, another nozzle for the hose, and a blanket. Yes I am cold at night now despite having a couple blankets already. It is dipping into the high 60's!!! First off, I should have known it would be hellish by looking at the mall parking lot. I did not realize the kidlets were not in school yet. I persevered parking, looked for a blanket in Marshalls's (which is a huge pigpen, flea market store full of broken and damaged things with really long lines all the time). No king size blankets in Marshalls. I head to Walmart and get a cart since I know they have the nozzle and cat food. I get stuff in the cart (no king size blankets or blankets at all) and find a shirt for yard work as well. I peruse the store since you never know when something new and unexpected will show up like Asian Fish Sauce maybe? No. I see kids pounding bread loaves flat. The typical Puerto Rican "me first and I don't care if I block the aisle to chat and don't care if my ass if blocking your cart" attitude. I get in line. Something snaps as the line doesn't move and everyone in line has 6 people with them chatting on their phones and blocking things and touching everything. Generally a bad day for me and I did what I NEVER have done before - abandoned the cart and got the hell out! I checked Pueblo for fish sauce and cardamon. The other mission was to find green food. I went home to the peaceful property and had some coffee and petted the kitties. Much better.

The next day I am on a REAL mission for the blanket and green foods. This time I head south to Yauco. My first stop is the nursery where we got our cement table. I figured I could start things off well by looking for a big cement or metal doo dad to hang in our "sun room" porch area to liven it up. They had a gecko but it was 20 bucks and small. Hmmm. So I left empty handed and continued on a road I hadn't been on to get to Yauco. And there is front of me is a giant Pitusa Supermarket! Maybe green things are in there? No fish sauce, no green things but I scored some Lays BBQ potato chips (which I ate for lunch- yes big bag). Then there was a Marshall's. Marshalls is a love-hate (mainly hate) store. If you can get past the flea market thing and happen to be in a shopping mood (rarely) you might find something like my cool perfectly in tune wind chime. Usually not. But this Marshalls was like a normal in-the-states store with lower prices. Clean, uncluttered, nothing broken, nothing damaged and no lines! I didn't find a blanket (had to go to San German Kmart for that-6 minutes from my house) but I did find things.

This cute suit was 14 bucks. I can always use a bathing suit since elastic seems to get sticky and disappear here.

I found this neat coffee mug - I like having coffee in the morning in a special mug. $3.99

This rain jacket isn't something I was looking for, but is something I need for rainy hikes or going down to the gate, or from car to store. $14 and pretty blue. You have to get these things when you see them - I haven't seen raincoats here. I love that it isn't an REI price.

I picked up this SPF 40 light weight wick water away yard work shirt for Jeff.

I found this New Balance light weight shirt for caving that has a pocket on the arm (for car key or back up batteries or whatever) and is asymmetrical up top with a zipper. The neck is great because it will be under the harness straps without being a heavy shirt. $12

There was an organized shelf of not too many xmas ornaments so it wasn't overwhelming. I got two "kitties on slippers" - $3 for the pair, and the white kitty for $2.
These geese were $3 for the pair. In Puerto Rico if you see something you even THINK you may need you have to get it. You may never see it again! So I scored. I then went to Grande in Yauco and got cellophane noodles, rice sticks, some other Asian spices/sauces but NO FISH SAUCE. This is a nice store, but still no green. But all in all a worth while trip and the quest for real food continues!


HawaiianDane said...

Yes - I always HATED shopping there in Puerto Rico!! It takes forever to find parking, then trying to push your way through RUDE people! GREAT blog by the way! I am LOVING it! ha ha ha

Summer said...

We just picked up some fish sauce at Freshmart in Aguadilla. And the only reason I remember that is because I remember thinking, "ewww, fish sauce!" when Stefan added it to our cart :). I know Aguadilla may be far, but the owners of Freshmart are opening another store in Rincon soon. It's called Superfoods.

Summer said...

OH and I was totally wondering what was happening to every piece of clothing that has elastic in it. I'm glad to know it's not just my washer that was wrecking my bikinis and sports bra. I dont know how much better it is that it's just PR, but still :)

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

HawaiianDane - I really hate shopping anywhere, but here it can be miserable or like a treasure hunt depending on the mood!

Rosa - it seems like 10 ish is a good time and tuesdays-thursdays are the best.

Summer - You know you need new flip flops when the rubber melds to the top of your feet, and a new bathing suit when what little elastic there was in the first place doesn't hold up what little has to hold up! (ps - since you changed your blog format we can't post - I have some excurion ideas)

Anonymous said...

You might want to try the Plaza del Mercado in Mayaguez for green food. That's where local farmers sell their vegetables and fruits. Much better and fresher than the stuff at supermarkets, and the price is good too.

Reinaldo Jose said...

This is one thing a lot of GRINGOS discover PR is America but is not the MAINLAND