Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Shopping can be exciting

Posted by urufish on February 18, 2008

hiperpiria.jpg  Devoto Piria – scene of the ‘almost’ crime 

Note:  If you have no patience and want to get to the ‘exciting’ part right away – go to the 2nd last paragraph now.   

This was the first weekend of the year that we were able to get away for most of the weekend.  A family friend dropped by from BA on Friday so we took to the opportunity to go to Piria for Sat/Sun.

We left on Saturday morning for Piriapolis.  The traffic was light.  We only had to go back once because we forgot something.  When we arrived, everything looked beautiful.  A local friend volunteered to drive to the house every night and water the lawn and plants.  They really looked spectacular.  The best part was the new pool.  Last time we were there, it looked like Arrancopelito’s in the beginning–pea soup.  No matter how much chlorine I put in it, it was still green.  But like her pool, ours is now clear because she gave us her pool guy.  Yes, he really does a great job.  We could see the pattern in the floor clearly for the first time.  

That afternoon, we drove around quite a bit, showing our friend all the changes (she was born and lived here before she married and moved to BA).  We drove out towards Arrancopelito’s house, passing by Punta Fria, Punta Colorada and Punta Negra. Lots and lots of new houses…  Punta Colorada is fast becoming a very nice seaside resort. 

Everywhere we looked we saw signs for beachfront lots for sale.  Hopefully, a lot of people buy them and when we go next year, it will look even more fantastic.  I like the way the sand dunes move onto the road and everyone is zigging and zagging to stay out of them.  It’s great when the guy coming towards you is zigging when you are.  Always liked to play chicken.  My wife didn’t care much for it though.. You guys know how women get when we play these games 🙂

When we were almost at Arrancopelito’s place, we turned and drove onto to the beach.  We had Mordy, the dobie with us.  We wanted to let him run free–and run he did!!!  He just took off and ran from one end of the horizon to the other, almost knocking me over a few times.  This beach could aptly be called a ‘wild’ beach because it’s completely empty in both directions.  No wonder she likes this place.  We hung around there for a half hour or so.  Then headed back home.  Dropped the dog off on the balcony to guard the ‘casa’ and we went to the big Devoto in town.

We parked across the street because the lot was full (as often is this time of the year).  I thought the place was full but not quite.  The meat and cold cuts and dairy sections were jammed, but the boxed and canned food section was nearly empty.  That was unfortunate for my poor wife.  Like most American husbands, I headed for the part of the store that interested me while she did the boring stuff.. like buying food. I spent some time in the beer, wine and liquor section and then I moved to electrical, plumbing and finally, briefly, the AV section. After about a half hour, I went looking for her. 

I found her in the soups section. BTW, soups here are not what we think of back home.  I haven’t seen a can of soup since I got here.  I’m talking about vacuum sealed pouches soup section.  Anyway, when I came up to her, she was red in the face and looked ill.  Before I could ask what happened, she said something about smelling ether really strong and it made her sick to her stomach.  She said some guy walked past her or was near her and that he smelled really bad, like ether.  Now she had a horrifible headache.  Our friend was there and she said she smelled it too but by time she caught up to my wife, it wasn’t very strong.  I took her out front and sat her down and she was saying her ears felt like they were going to explode and she had this horrible headache and she was pissed.  We thought nothing of it until this afternoon, when her brother came to visit and she told him the story. 

He asked her to describe the guy and what he was doing when she smelled the ether.  She said he had some kind of pouch and he was putting something into it when the smell hit her.  Turns out this is a method used by the ‘bad guy’s to steal from people on the street and most recently, in supermarkets.  They carry ether in a spray can.  They spray it near someone like my wife.  The reason he chose her is that no one was on that aisle and she had her purse on the cart.  If her friend hadn’t come around the corner when she did, he would have taken the purse and gone.  Apparently, a lot of them use this technique but spray something in your eyes–which blinds you temporarily (not seriously), but you still end up losing your purse or whatever it was the thief wanted. 

The story ended well.  She woke up this morning without a headache.. And of course, thanks to our friend, with her purse intact.

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2 Responses to “Shopping can be exciting”

  1. Irv-

    The morale to the store is don’t carry purses.

    Ever since our violent purse snatching in MVD last year, Chris no longer carries a one. Local are not, if you’ve got one, you’re a target. This makes me wonder if Piria is catching up to MVD in the petty crime/robbery department? Using drugs to rob people is pretty violent in my book.

    Steve
    http://www.coastaluruguay.com

  2. urufish said

    Delia’s cousin, being a self confessed expert in this area had quite a bit of information for her when she talked to her yesterday.

    First of all, this has been going on a long time. Several years according to her. The people who do this are well connected because you cant get this product easily. You need some connection to the medical community.

    Then there’s the non chemical, beach variety of this method of purse snatching. This one involves pairs. One pair accidentally kicks sand in your eyes and while you’re cursing him, his associate is making off with your stuff.

    One very strange version of this is the one where they open your door or window a bit and fill your room with gas so you dont wake up while they rob the rest of your apartment.

    Very innovative.

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