We’re still getting the paperwork processed in order for us to be able to drive the car we bought, so in the meantime, a local staff member from the embassy was able to come to our hotel to drive us to get groceries on Friday afternoon. It is going to be an interesting experience starting to drive here, given the amount of traffic and the way the streets are organized, so for the time being, I’m in no hurry to start that stressful process.

The driver (who has been working at the embassy for 15 years) took us to Paiz, one of the major grocery store chains here in the city that is actually owned by Walmart. This particular location was in a mall, so we entered an underground parking garage, where our driver then dropped us off by the elevators.

There are quite a few American products available here in Guatemala City so pushing our cart up and down the aisles was not a completely unfamiliar experience. One thing that immediately jumped out at me was the number of in-store representatives from the various food brands that were stationed near their respective products to offer samples and answer questions. This was a pretty effective marketing technique as we ended up selecting some of our items, like canned tuna and yogurt, simply because there was a helpful representative there.

Once some more of DiploMom’s paperwork gets processed, we’ll have cards that will allow us to not have to pay sales tax on things like groceries, home Internet service, cell phones, etc. The clerk at Paiz asked us if we the card, but unfortunately, not yet. It would have saved us about $10, which isn’t bad, especially considering how that will add up over the course of two years.

It is especially fun being out with DiploTot, who is continuing her charm offensive here in Guatemala. The people here are very friendly and love children, so there was no shortage of interactions for her as we cruised the aisles.

We had a wonderful dinner at the high-rise apartment of DiploMom’s social sponsor, who has been here with her family since October. The views were stunning, so next time we are over there I am going to make sure I have my camera. We’re off later today to explore the Oakland Mall that is a couple of blocks away.