Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation; Mendoza, Shopping and the 3 Stooges

by david on September 18, 2013

Monday June 3rd, 2013

The “Condor Suites Hotel” has the most accommodating staff.  The gentleman behind the front desk offered to check our itinerary with the local tour group (without us asking, I might add), and it was a good thing he did.  Our “winery tour” had been switched from the morning to the afternoon.  The result was we got a little extra sleep and had a free morning to fill up.  We made our way downstairs about 8:30 to make use of the “free” hotel breakfast and make plans for the day.  Breakfast was ok and consists of the typical pastries, cereal, cold ham and cheese, and yogurt.  The girls wanted to go shopping (surprise, surprise), and we headed off down the street.

With some a general direction supplied by our host and Kristine in charge of the map we headed out in search of extraordinary shopping opportunities.  First item on the list was new sunglasses for Janice.  She somehow lost hers on top of the falls at Iguazú.  The problem was to find a pair that met her requirements for a price I could tolerate and not feel bad about never wearing them again after the trip.  It took us several stops, but we finally found a pair and, with that checked off of the list, it was onward and upward.

For the next half hour or so, it was a forced march up and down the streets of Mendoza.  There was virtually no slowing down and looking in windows, or anything else to slow down the brisk pace we were maintaining.  If I mentioned seeing something that looked interesting, I got one of those “you have no idea what we are looking for” stares and the distinct impression that “silence was definitely golden”, so I smiled politely, shut my mouth and tried to keep up.  The march went on for 12-15 blocks and I began to think we were just out for a stroll.  All of a sudden, the girls hit the brakes, turned right and disappeared into a store.  The store sold leather goods and looked like a half a dozen leather stores we had already passed by.  What was so special about this one completely escaped me.  I decided to stay out of their way and wait outside.

As I patiently waited outside, it did not take long for something to catch my interest.  The store next door was hanging a new promotional banner.  That, in itself, was not so unusual, but the way the workers were going about it was. Evidently, there was not a ladder tall enough to reach the required height, so these guys had come up with their own solution.  They had two “A” frame ladders or what I would call a stepladder and each looked to be 10 or 12 feet tall.  The odd part was the two pieces of boom handle attached to the second or third rung down on the heavier-duty ladder.  The lighter-duty ladder was then placed on top of the other ladder and was supported by the 1×4 and the broom handle.  The whole thing was then lashed together with about a hundred feet of rope.  It reminded me of the Saturday morning cartoons where the coyote was trying to get out of a hole and had stacked a chair on a box on a table on a chest type of thing.  I seriously started looking around for a hidden TV camera or for Larry, Moe, or Curly to come walking around the corner.  By this point, I had forgotten all about the girls and was totally enthralled by the happenings outside.  Much to my amazement, one of the workers went up and down the ladders without tipping over or falling off.  The men were almost finished when the girls came out of the store.  I really do not know how long they were in there, but each was sporting a new leather jacket.  I am still trying to figure out what drew their attention to the store in the first place.

 

 

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