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  • I really don't know if there ever was a St. Paula, but here in Buenos Aires I have come to really appreciate the name. It belongs to a "panaderia" down the street. I have to be careful not too walk by too often, lest my running does not keep up with my eating.

    I love the way they carefully wrap even the smallest of orders. First, you go and pick out the "facturas" you want, using a nice tong and putting it in a nice bowl. Then you bring it over to an old fashioned glass counter, where a young girl in uniform puts the goodies on a nice cardboard tray, then carefully wraps it, putting scotch tape on the bottom of the package. Then, she gives you a ticket with the amount to pay at the cashier, another young woman in uniform. You pay, then you go back and get the package.

    I used to get a bit frustrated at what I called the inefficiencies of this system. After all, in the US, you would just tell the person what you want, and they would dump it in a brown bag and tell you how much it is, a much faster way of doing it. But slowly I have gotten accustomed to this, a better method, and it now seems more kindness and respect than anything resembling inefficiencies.

    Not to speak of the arrival at home, the opening of the package, and the ah!! taste with a fresh cup of cafe con leche.

    No se si existio una Santa Paula, pero aqui en Buenos Aires, me he encariniado mucho con este nombre. Le pertenece a una panaderia del barrio. Tengo que cuidarme de no pasar muy seguido, porque todo lo que corro no alcanzaria a eliminar los efectos de tanta factura.

    Me encanta como empacan hasta los mas chiquitos de los paquetes. Primero, elegis tu propia factura. Despues la traes a un contador muy antiguo, donde una chica en uniforme la pone sobre una bandejita blanca, y la envuelve con todo cuidado, poniendole cinta scotch en la parte de abajo. Despues, te da un ticket que tenes que llevarle a la cajera, otra chica de uniforme. Pagas, y te dan el paquete.

    En otros tiempos me molestaba todo esto, que yo llamaba la falta de eficiencias. Despues de todo, en Estados Unidos, le pediria lo que quiero a un muchacho, me tiraria todo en una bolsa de papel madera, y me diria cuanto es, mucho mas rapidamente. Pero poco a poco me he acostumbrado a este, un mejor sistema, y ahora me parece mas amabilidad y respeto que falta de eficiencia.

    Ni hablar de la llegada a casa, el abrir el paquete, y ah!! el gusto con un lindo cafe con leche....
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