Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dr. Pepper therapy

I could really go for a Dr. Pepper right now.

Were I still living in Quito, satisfaction would have been just a bus ride away at a store called El Griego, where gringos can satisfy their hunger for a taste of home with products ranging from grape soda to 3 Musketeers. The likelihood of my patronizing this establishment was directly proportional to my stress level, workload or number of relationship problems. There was never a day too frustrating for a Dr. Pepper or a Mounds Bar to brighten up; something about consuming such familiar junk food brought me a surprising amount of comfort. Not everything could be wrong with the world if my favorite pop was still in it.

The problem is that I have no idea where to get it in Santiago. I don't know how this city's foreign population compares to that of Ecuador's capital, but gringos seem to be much more catered to in Quito, where hostels, English-language books and overpriced gringo goodies abound. I'm sure this has to do with the importance of foreign tourism as a source of revenue in Ecuador.

Whatever the reason, the concrete implication for me is that I became accustomed to a luxury -- Dr. Pepper therapy -- that is no longer available to me. I suppose the best thing to do would be to find a way of dealing with problems that doesn't involve high-fructose corn syrup. In the absence of the necessary will power, however, I've turned to a few substitutes for those days when expat life gets me down:

1. Peanut butter. This is expensive therapy indeed, so I only give in to temptation once every several weeks.
2. Commercial movie theaters. There's nothing like popcorn and plush stadium seats to take you back to the days when your most pressing concern was what time to tell your mom to pick you up.
3. Books in English. There was a time when I thought living in Chile meant I had the duty to read almost exclusively in Spanish -- not the most effective relaxation technique for a non-native speaker.
4. Watching pirated U.S. T.V. episodes online. This deserves an entry in itself.

Obviously, there's nothing like spending time with friends or receiving an e-mail from home to raise my spirits. But these little things help.

So if anyone knows where I can buy Dr. Pepper in Santiago (or anywhere in Regions Metropolitana, V or VI), please let me know.


kumichan83 said...

I once went to a massive grocery store in Las Condes that sold lots of Gringo stuff. I wish I could remember the name! They had refried beans and cranberry juice at least.

Oh and El Griego is nice. One thing they don't have is real maple syrup though. I am really craving it!!

Abby said...

I totally agree with you on the reading bit. I like reading to be relaxing, hence I like reading in English. Oh, and among your pirated TV shows online, do they have the Office? I'm really craving a good episode of that right now and can't bring myself to buy it on iTunes.

lydia said...

jumbo in valpo usually, but not always, sells it.

lydia said...

OR since i just randomly gave you irrelevant info... word on the street (internet) says if you go while supplies last you can get Dr. Pepper at the Jumbo on the corner of Macul and Grecia.

Shannon said...

I have boughten Dr. Pepper here in Stgo a few times. They don't always have it, but they usually do at the Jumbo in Florida Center. I know they didn't have it last week, but they had A&W, grape soda, black cherry soda, strawberry kiwi soda, and Mountain Dew, both regular and code red. I always look for Dr. Pepper when I go there, and when I do see it I buy a few and keep them in the fridge so I can enjoy one a week for a few weeks. Yum!

Leigh said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I'll head to Jumbo soon.

Kumichan, have you tried the Megamaxi? It strikes me as the place where they'd have the most gringo stuff.

Abby, oh do I EVER watch pirated Office. Try or