Everything’s Q3…Even This Article
By: Diana Pastor
You can’t consider yourself to be chapín quite yet unless you have started to make your purchases in the Guatemalan style—haggling over every price. Wherever you go in the market, at stores and at the malls you will run into salespeople who will give you thirteen different prices. If you are looking for the cheapest prices, then you will want to head off to the market at the Terminal, where things are cheapest. Don’t ask me how I know this, but Wednesday and Friday are the two days where things are cheapest. Se dice, OK? Now, if you don’t want to be run over by 1,000 people, get your pocket picked or hike all the way out to the Terminal there is now a new option: the store “Todo a Q3” (Everything for Q3). Also, the closely related stores Todo a Q5 and Todo a Q9.99.
The Todo a Q3 stores have exploded in popularity recently in both in the center, as well as around the La Democracia market. You can also find them in little neighborhoods. If you are from the US or Canada, then you probably recognize these things as “dollar stores”…only instead of dollar stores they are “fistful of Quetzal stores”, or something like that. They’re still working on the best name for these things (send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org). Usually these things have a diversity of products that have one thing in common: they have not sold elsewhere and many items are of dubious quality.
What exactly can be found? Well, on a recent trip we saw plates, glasses, spoons pots and little jars. If you’re looking to finish furnishing your kitchen with things made out of plastic, then you are in luck. You can also find—in one aisle no less—ladies stockings, batteries, headphones, batteries, toilet paper and soap. The things that are sold vary widely from week to week and store to store, so you’ll want to check around for bargains. Are you hungry? Well, there are even places that sell juice, cookies and candy. We strongly recommend you avoid the Q3 steaks.
Where do these things come from? Did you guess China? If so, then you win a free plastic wall clock. There is a lot of stuff from China here, and standard quality of product stories apply. Where to go then? We found equal luck going to the Todo a Q3, the Todo a Q5 and the Q9.99. If you’re looking to live it up, though, then spring for the Q9.99—it shows that you have good taste.