There is a small store near where I stay in Medellin, Colombia that sells plastic bags and potato sticks. The combination is strange, especially given this is all they sell and one seemingly has nothing to do with the other. The bags that the potato sticks are sold in are not the same type of plastic bags as are sold in the store. They have quite a variety of plastic bags — sizes and thicknesses. There is only one type of potato stick.
WTF, one might think. Sometimes you need to just sell whatever you can, whatever that might be. Doesn’t matter if they go together. But maybe after eating potato sticks, you need a bag of plastic bags.
The store is adjacent to an empanada place. They do nothing but make and sell empanadas. It’s not a sit down place, only order and eat. They’ve got bright colored red sauces, homemade, one hot one not. The place is always busy with a gaggle of people around eating and others picking up (paper) bags of empanadas to go.
The store is focused. They know what they are doing. If you like dripping greasy empanadas, then you might love these things. I’ve tried them and seems like the kind of food better left for others. If you’re a mighty hungry (hu)man, you may eat several of them.
The plastic bag and potato stick store is never busy. I’ve never seen someone there. The person tending the store is sometimes not there. When she is, her face is buried in a mobile device. She must have business as she’s been there for a while.
Lot’s of people eat hot dogs in Colombia. It’s a favorite fast-food on the streets in the evening. Drink beer and eat a couple of dogs. Their dogs are not like the hot dogs in the U.S. They are little mini-dogs purchased for the equivalent of about one dollar. They bury them in a huge white bun, then smother them with about four or five sauces and overload them with potato sticks (presumably purchased from the plastic bag and potato stick store). The sticks provided some crunch to the dog. A huge festive treat for the mouth — for a few seconds.
The street vendors and the empanada shop both do one thing and do it well. The plastic bag and potato stick store is doing what it can. Not that one is better than the other. Sometimes we have a hankering for an empanada and sometimes we just need some plastic bags and potato sticks. It’s a good thing we don’t need either too often.