Friday, November 16, 2012

I’m eating something called “Studentenfutter,” which they sell at the Esso station down the street from the Montessori school. In my life traveling in and among new cultures and economies, one of the things I’ve learned is to remap the landscape in order to find unsuspected pleasures in random places. I discovered they sell German food in the Esso station--beautiful European food in shiny packaging that goes straight to the part of my brain formed early on. The American part. The consumer part, the part that identifies status with shiny European objects. Those things seem to give me a sense of well-being, a sense of comfort, that I cherish while wandering through the city.

Tallulah is adaptable to almost any circumstances, the only completely unacceptable one being that there is no food. Sometimes our gears slip--the gears of different cultures meeting, turning, producing something. And we forget that everything in Luperón is closed on Sunday nights--the vegetable truck comes on Tuesdays and the only things left on the counter at the fruit and vegetable store are carrots, eggplant, and bananas. In some improbable way I guess we were still assuming a world of grocery stores open 24 hours, the world of abundance from which we came. And so I stop at the Esso station (bypassing--why?--the sidewalk fruit/dulce de leche stands, and sidewalk vendors where something I don’t recognize is being sold) to buy shiny European food, things that are familiar despite the fact that I can’t read the labels.

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