It's also Venezuelans coming to grips with late socialism.
"That isn't Venezuela. That isn't us,' said a woman who was looking at sneakers."
Unfortunately, it is. And prices function to allocate demand.
[Tebie Gonzalez and Ramiro Ramirez] debated over the best baby toothpaste. Gonzalez ran her hand over seven varieties of shampoo. She examined each option in an aisle of pasta.Note: these are people with their own house, who used to travel overseas. And emergency runs to Colombia to stock up are not the kind of foreign travel the tour operators promise.
But while things were cheaper than in shortage-hit Venezuela, they were pricier than they had expected.
They decided to skip the flour and sugar, instead choosing seven packages of the cheapest pasta. They went for cloudy off-brand cooking oil instead of the more expensive canola. Every price was checked and rechecked as the couple spent three hours deciding how to allocate their emergency fund.
"It's more expensive than we had hoped, but what matters is that it's available at all," Ramirez said.