Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And you think prescription drugs are cheap in Mexico?

We’ve been trying to get to one particular restaurant in our neighbourhood. We’re quite the experts about when it is not open. Tiny little place, rapturous review online – we had to go. But the grill was always down and no hours posted in the window. One day we walked by when it was closed, but someone was inside – they took pity and opened the door for a chat. After much to-ing and fro-ing we managed to get it sorted – Monday through Saturday for lunch. Friday and Saturday night for dinner. But not this Saturday (New Year’s Eve) or this Monday (in lieu of New Year’s Day). Okay, then. Today.

The people of Buenos Aires eat late.  At lunch time if we arrive at 1:00 or 1:30 we’re always way early – everyone else shows up around 2:00 or later. Same thing for dinner – 8:30, 9:00 is a good time to show up for the locals. Nothing wrong with waiting til 10:00, though.

We arrived at Il Due at 1:00 – the place was packed. Of course it only has about 8 tables, so that happens fast. There was one tiny table left, which we got. We looked around – business people. There are several hospitals and clinics in our area, and it looks like the folks from those businesses eat their lunch at noon. At one table was a group of six men hauling big bags of something.

Lunch was a set price menu with several choices. For 52 pesos we could have a main course, bottled water, dessert and coffee. For another 10 pesos we got a glass of wine. So, for CAD$14.60 apiece we had the most delicious lunch. I had ravioli stuffed with creamy cheese, ham and walnuts with tomato and basil over it. Wilf had fettucine with baby octopi:


Is that a happy face? Delicious hand made pasta lunch, good wine, dessert, espresso. All good. As we were working our way through our lunch the table full of guys next to us got up to go and shouldered their big bags. Turns out they work for a pharmaceutical company. We could see boxes of the cholesterol drug ‘Crestor’ in one bag. Wilf said commented about the boxes as the guy went by – he stopped and asked if Wilf took the drug. What dosage? He then reached into the bag, snapped off half of one of the shrink wrapped  bundles and handed Wilf 15 boxes of Crestor – 2 pills per box. So – lunch for two, $35.00 including a generous tip. And a month supply of Crestor. 

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