So the past two days, I have definitely let a bit of homesickness get to me. It all started Tuesday night when I got back to my apartment from meeting up with friends for a few drinks and found Sex and the City on tv in English! All of a sudden I found myself on Jcrew.com, craving peanut butter, and wishing I was back home snuggling with Trot and Emma! Speaking of other cravings, in a desperate attempt to find out more about “leche larga vida” (long life milk that doesn’t have to be refrigerated until it’s opened) or whether or not normal (American style) milk exists in BA, I wound up on the online forum for American expats living in Buenos Aires. This website, http://baexpats.org/index.php, is pretty hysterical and actually pretty helpful. It introduced me to a part of the city I may never have learned about.
The Jumbo and Easy. And it said they sell peanut butter. Imported Skippy, to be exact.
Some online descriptions describe the Jumbo and Easy as Argentina’s answer to BJ’s, Target, Wal-Mart, all those horrendous American big-box stores we can’t help but turn to for shopping convenience. My friend Molly says it’s like Ikea and Super Wal-Mart had a baby. A big, big baby. So yesterday, I decided I would make the trip to Jumbo and Easy to stock up on whatever bulk dry goods I could get my hands on. As a side-note, lunches with our homestay families aren’t included in IFSA-Butler room & board, and as I don’t want to pay to eat lunch at a café every day, some real grocery shopping was actually necessary. As all varieties of fresh fruits, veggies, and meat are available at the corner kiosko, all I needed were the Jumbo and Easy dry goods.
The trip to Jumbo and Easy was an experience I’m glad I could have. But I think I’ll be rationing my hoard so I never have to go back again. I ended up with this:
3 Ziploc Tupperware containers
2 boxes Barilla Farfalle pasta
1 box cous-cous
1Kg brown rice
2 cans lentils
2 cans chick peas
1 jar of “Gurken-Sticks” (pickles!)
1 small wheel of brie
an assortment of pecans, walnuts, almonds, raisins, and dried pears
1 box granola
Nature Valley granola bars
1 12oz. jar of SKIPPY SUPERCHUNK EXTRA CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER
At first, I thought I wasn’t going to find the PB. Nowhere to be found in the jelly/preserves/dulce de leche aisle, I searched frantically in the American imports section (Tabasco and Ramen noodles were also chosen to represent our country at the Jumbo Easy), but to no avail. Up and down every aisle, I had given up on the one real reason I came to Jumbo Easy, when I saw it. Just one lonely 12oz. jar, nestled alongside some other misplaced items at the back of a half abandoned shelf. I like to think it was the last jar left and it was saving itself just for me.
I’m totally OK with being a peanut butter crazed American. I’m getting used to the fact that I’m actually homesick, a feeling I’ve never travelled with until now. I am missing a lot of people, and 2 dogs, back home, but I know that once I find some regularity in my routine (and now that I’ve found the peanut butter), everything will be just fine.
I think it’s time to make a sandwich.