Many areas in South America have plastic and glass bottles that are reusable. A bottle of soft drink in a retornable bottle is generally 30 pesos. When you return the bottle you are given 10 pesos off the price of the bottle you are buying. You can’t take three empty bottles in and receive a free bottle of soft drink – it’s one for one. I think the owner of the corner store was stuck in a rut. I had one returnable bottle and was buying two new bottles of soft drink.
You have two bottles but you’ve only returned one.
Are you going to put one bottle back on the shelf?
No I want to buy both of them.
But you have only returned one bottle.
Yes and I want to buy this one in exchange for the empty one and this one for full price.
(Frustrated) Arrh – you don’t understand.
I understand you. I’m returning one bottle and buying two.
Do you have another empty bottle?
Did you take lessons from Basil Fawlty?
She called the lady over from the veggie section for reinforcements and tried to explain how I didn’t understand the process. I retold my story and the veggie lady was as dumbfounded as I was. She told the lady on the checkout that I wanted to buy two bottles of soft drink. Eventually my radical plan was understood and I was allowed to leave. I may have thrown her world off its axis by a few degrees.
All the schools in 9 de Julio run a split shift system. Children either attend classes in the morning from 8-12 or the afternoon from 1-5. This means that the majority of children in 9 de Julio don’t even get to have lunch together. Our school has a completely different model where they do curriculum in the morning and extra curriculum in the afternoon. The afternoon activities consist of music, sport, English, vegetable gardening and literary workshops. Truce came home and said she needed a kilo of rice, an old sock, some rope and duct tape for an afternoon workshop. The plot thickens. Was there a kidnapping workshop we had mistranslated? The children are making their own hammers to learn how to hammer throw. If we’d known that we would have bought long grain rice for an unfair advantage.