Buying what you need to sew a dress:
In Denver, you might drive in your car somewhere like a Joanne’s Fabric store, Walmart, etc.
In Cochabamba, you’d catch a bus or a taxi from the nearby plaza a couple of blocks from home. You’d ride from your suburb of “Cala Cala” down the “avenida” into downtown, then you’d walk A LOT and for A LONG TIME as you would visit the fabric store, the zipper store, the button store, the thread store…it could possibly take all day!
Grocery store shopping:
In Denver, you might drive in your car to your local King Sooper or Safeway store.
In Cochabamba, you’d again, go to the plaza, catch a taxi or a bus, head down the avenida into downtown and visit the vegetable market, the meat market (pictured below) where you would get to know the vendors well to be assured of the freshest cuts of meat..btw, a very smelly place to shop!…, and a few other import shops where you might be lucky enough to buy Cornflakes Cereal! Milk was delivered from Pil Dairy in glass bottles with a huge clump of cream on top that you’d fight with your siblings over so you could have it splash onto your Cornflakes, sprinkle sugar over and enjoy! Bread you bought at the local Kiosko shop just a half a block away. You never ate day old bread, but would go every morning and get fresh bread for the day in loafs, but also in “pansitos” which were the very best!
Watching your favorite TV Shows:
In Denver, you might watch Starsky and Hutch, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Big Valley, Mash, etc. on at least 4 channels. People really with it might have had a brand new VCR to record shows on!
In Cochabamba, you didn’t get televesion even until the late 70’s early 80’s. There were only about 2 channels and most of the programming was an odd assortment of spanish shows like El Chapulin Colorado, El Chavo Del Ocho, or Spanish Novelas (soap operas). Several shows from the US began showing up with dubbed over in Spanish voices…like Fantasy Island, Dallas, and a few others. Fantasy Island made me laugh the most because Tatu’s Spanish voice was the deepest bass voice you’ve ever heard! “El Avion!, El Avion!” he’d boom into Spanish homes everywhere. Hmmm….. If the government was being overthrown for the “jillionth” time, all programming was taken over by the political party with the most power and they blasted their political propaganda day and night. Those were fun times!
Other odd assorted things that were different in Cochabamba…
* The “Fish Lady” would come around selling the fresh catch of the day – you’d smell her coming before you saw her – she’d spread out her colorful shawl, sprawl out the fish on it and weigh them for you, then she’d scale and gut them. It was fascinating for a little kid to watch!
* The “Knife Sharpener” man would make his rounds – you’d hear him before you’d see him. He’d have a distinct whistle that he’d blow as he rode up on his bike. He’d sharpen knives, scissors, whatever. The grind of metal on metal was always too much for me, I would always go inside.
* Saturday nights you didn’t hang out at the mall or movie theatres, but you might take a walk with your friends a few blocks down to Avenida America where the “anticucho” grillers were (thinly cut cow heart shishkebobs..with little potatoes on top). Yum! They were the best.
There are thousands of other things, but this post is probably making you fall asleep now it’s so long, so I’ll be done for now.
P.S. Day 5 now, iPodless. 😦