One of the adventures of living abroad is trying to figure out where to get something I need. Back in the States, whatever random item might occur to me, I usually have a pretty good idea what store – or what type of store, at least – would sell it. During my time here searches have been launched for envelopes, birthday cards, plain yogurt, meditation cushions, tortilla chips, and plenty of other things I can’t remember right now – and those searches have ended with varying degrees of success. A new search is about to be launched, as the long-handled lighter I use to light the stove (since the automatic “spark” button doesn’t work – I don’t think I’ve seen a single one in this country that does work) is running low on lighter fluid. At the supermarket today I bought matches, to avoid getting stuck without any way to light the stove, but I have no idea where to get lighter fluid. Supermarkets here often aren’t quite as all-encompassing in their stock as grocery stores back home; similarly, drugstores tend to be much more specific in what they carry. I also don’t know if they call lighter fluid by some other wacky name and not the rather literal liquido de encendedor that would be my first guess. My initial idea was to go back to the store where I bought the lighter (an independently owned grocery store near my old apartment – this type of store is called a chino here, because they’re pretty much exclusively run by Asians) and ask them. But first, I’ll take the Ask An Expert (Local) lifeline, when a bunch of Argentines come over for game night tonight.


3 Responses to “Searching”

  1. claire Says:

    do they have hardware stores?

    • Amy Says:

      Yes, there are super-huge Home Depot type stores (though not many in the city) and super-tiny local ones with everything crammed in… Could be a good place to check – thanks!

  2. Amy Says:

    Update: I never did find out what lighter fluid is called, but a super-handy friend took my lighter apart to see how it could be filled, then came by with a canister of butane or whatever it was and took care of it for me. Ignorance is bliss.

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