Shopping adventures

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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My last blog for Week 2 is about my experience shopping for shoes and athletic clothes earlier this week. Shopping in Argentina is much different than shopping in America. The first big difference is the absence of huge stores with “one stop shopping”. Here, you go to a separate store for underwear, shoes, pajamas, purses, and candy. That, alone, is very odd to me after being used to America’s big department stores. Also, they don’t have every size out on the rack. Sometimes, they only have the smallest size of every item (because the women here are much smaller for the whole) and if you need a different size, the sale clerk has to run to the storage to get it for you (how inefficient, right?). On my shopping trip, I needed to buy running shoes, shorts, and pants. I went to Avenida Corrientes and Pueyrredon where there is a Mecca of sports stores. Though I had to go to about four different stores, I did find a pair of shoes, sports bras, a pair of shorts, and a pair of running pants. Unfortunately, the shoe store didn’t have the size I needed in the shoe that I liked. They told me to come back the next day and they would have it for me. So I make the trek after class the next day, and they still don’t have it! I was a little upset at this point. If someone tells you to come back the next day and they will have your merchandise for you, they should have it! I don’t understand how people do business down here. Anyway, I did go back the next day and they did have the shoe for me. I thought it was very odd that they didn’t have it in stock in the first place, then they weren’t organized enough to have it the second day either. Maybe they have smaller storage space? Maybe they didn’t have it for me on the second day because they wanted to see if I was really serious about it and they didn’t want to go through the effort of getting the shoe from the warehouse if I wasn’t going to show up for it. There are many different conclusions I can make from this incident, but I think Argentine’s just do business much differently. Another thing I noticed while shopping was that most people know more English than we realize, or than they let on. Some people are complete jerks if you can’t understand their fast Castilian, such as the guy behind the cash register at the shoe store. Even when he spoke a little slower (he was too impatient to really help me understand what he was trying to tell me and speak slow enough for me to understand), he was still using words that I had never heard of after taking three years of Spanish. That’s just unfair and rude. I’m sure he could have found a different word to explain himself, but that would have taken too much time apparently. Most people are very helpful and they know a pretty good bit of English. I guess some days you are luckier than other with finding people who will help you out. Brazil and Portuguese is going to be an entirely different ballgame, however…
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