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Where do you buy “ordinary stuff”?

Sure, I know where to buy local artisan products, groceries, beer, … I know of a lot of ropa usada stores, hardware stores, motorcycles, … If you have been here, you get the idea. But, what I would consider ordinary stuff seems to be harder to find. I am going to list a few items — mostly so you get the idea. Where do you buy them? Locally? In Guatemala City? On-line?

For extra credit, does Pana need an “ordinary stuff” store?

The subject of the day was women’s cotton panties. It’s pretty easy to find inexpensive nylon and polyester underwear but how about cotton? In fact, most any new clothing made of cotton. (Yeah, jeans are easy but other stuff?)

Computer accessories is another item or, more generically, consumer electronics accessories. For example, you can buy computers with an HDMI output and TVs with HDMI inputs but finding an HDMIĀ  cable seems impossible. Let’s toss in batteries for a UPS in here. A new UPS, sure, but not a replacement battery.

Eye glasses. I know of two places that are pretty up-scale (for here). Don’t locals buy glasses and, if so, where?

And let’s toss in services — anything from changing the oil in your car to re-roofing your house. Sure, I find these things — by asking people I know — but it would be nice if we had a generic place to look.

That should convey the idea of what I am talking about. Input is appreciated — including saying you want to start/help start an Ordinary Stuff store.


5 comments to Where do you buy “ordinary stuff”?

  • admin

    There are a whole host of issues with the alternative, buying on-line. See http://a42.com/site/pg/s/1/4/127

  • SpiralCee

    It sounds like you’re saying you want to open an import store! I mean, a store with all “Western” stuff. Here in Canada, we have little shops run by Chinese people. They stock all sorts of imported Chinese things for the immigrants from China… and it sounds like you want to do the same thing but in reverse down there. Am I making sense? šŸ™‚
    Doesn’t the Despensa Familiar carry all this stuff? That would be the first place I would look if I wanted something “American”.

  • admin

    No, not at all. I don’t know what “the Dispensa” has because I don’t shop at WalMart, no matter what name is on it. Nor do I want “American stuff” meaning “from the US”.
    To go back to what I was originally looking, cotton panties, it seems that in the US, plastic is the norm and you actually have to look around to find cotton. It is more like I am looking for “normal products” rather than those with a lot of marketing push behind them.
    I found where to buy eye glasses (and I am reasonably sure the frames are not from the US), the panties I bought on-line were made in China and virtually everything in computing is from China. So, I guess I am looking for something without a middleman.

  • jeff

    I am from the U.S. and when I visited this beautiful lake it was the U.S. visitors that were the most intrusive.

    Stay away and keep your business ideas to yourself.

    Lake Atitlan does not need people like you!

  • admin

    Huh? I am not a visitor (if you are talking at me) and SpiralCee is Canadian. Having lived in Central America for 14 years (minus seven days), I see a lot of problematic usanos. If I was going to help someone start such a business, the person I am helping certainly would not be a usano and I have a track record (here and in Nicaragua) to prove that.

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