Get me a cocktail!

I must register a protest.
For a week now I’ve had a bad hankering for a pia colada. I’ve got the rum and the pineapple. All I need now is the cream of coconut.
Unfortunately, there is no cream of coconut to be found in Canberra.
Mind you, there’s plenty of canned coconut milk and coconut cream, in the Asian section of the supermarket. But “cream of coconut”, which is pre-sweetened, is nonexistent. In New York, it’s an item that is readily available in the Latin food section of every supermarket, as well as your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican bodega. The fellow at the local liquor store here told me that I should just mix coconut cream with sugar and call it a day. Well thanks a lot, smartass. I could have figured that out on my own.
Asian foods, particularly Indonesian, Malay and Chinese, are the ethnic stuff of choice here, owing (I guess) to the large populations from those countries. I do like a good Chinese or Malay meal, but I miss New York’s vibrant Latin community, the infinite variety of Goya foods on the store shelves, and the greasy spoons like the aptly named “El Economico” on Broadway and 231, where I would spend $5 on a sublime lunch of Cuban sandwich (ham, fresh pork loin, garlic sauce and pickle on a long roll, smooshed in a sandwich press to about 1/2 inch in thickness) and caf con leche, aka espresso with milk and sugar, to make a Starbucks barista weep with shame. Or on less pecunious days, I’d get a big order of rice and beans which would last for two days of meals. (Luckily, I had a big jar of Beano in my medicine closet.)
I submit that what Australia needs is a few “Chino-Latino” restaurants, those wonderful, crazy hybrid eateries run not, as I once thought, by a Cuban and a Chinese in partnership, but by ethnically Chinese immigrants from Havana.
And a Coco Lopez distributor. Now, please.

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