Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day to Day Differences

The other day I had a list of 5 or 6 things that I wanted to shop for.  Knowing what is usually available here and what is not, I figured on being in 5 or 6 stores and not getting everything on this list.  If you live north of the border this might sound odd to you; but for here it is fairly normal if you want something that is not used a lot.  Some of my baking/cooking needs/wants fall into this category.

Here was my list:
1. Ginger, ground/dried
2. Chocolate chips for cookies
3. Doughnut cutter thingy
4. Cake decorating bag
5. Paper thingys for lining muffin/cupcake tins

So I hit the following stores:  Soriana, Ley, Santa Fe, several sweet shops, a cake supply shop which apparently has gone out of business, Woolworths and Waldos.

Now out of those stores I bought exactly ZERO of the things on my list.

As a last resort I finally broke down and went to WalMart.  There I did find the Ginger and the cake decorating bag.  They also had chocolate chips; but being kind of frugal I refused to pay their weight in gold and left them there.

So out of a list of 5 items, I have now visited perhaps 8 shops and found 3 of the items on my list.

Revised List:

1. Ginger, ground/dried    FOUND
2. Chocolate chips for cookies    FORGET IT
3. Doughnut cutter thingy
4. Cake decorating bag   FOUND
5. Paper thingys for lining muffin/cupcake tins

  I have one more sweet shop to try for the rest and then I will give up gracefully and make do without or improvise.
Shopping for out of the normal range of things here is not easy.  The bakeries all sell doughnuts so I know that the cutters must be available somewhere; but to find out where is the thing.  I guess I should have just gone to bakery and asked them to begin with and maybe saved myself some exercise?

So, anyway, this got me thinking about some of the other differences here that are now normal to me; but perhaps to others would seem strange at first.

Let's see, so you are on your way somewhere in your car and you are stopped at a red light.  Now, you would not usually see this as a shopping opportunity; but here it is.

 While waiting for the light to change you can buy or have the following done for you:

1.  Buy a newspaper
2.  Have your car windows washed
3.  Buy whatever fresh fruit or veggies are in season
4.  Buy fresh flowers/roses
5.  Buy toys, balloons, or decorations for whatever holiday is coming up
6.  Watch a juggler, clown or fire guy
7.  Donate to the Red Cross or whatever group happens to be collecting at the time

So, the light has turned green and you now have clean windows, some fresh fruit or veggies and a toy for some neighbour kid, you have donated, have your newspaper/flowers, etc. and you are now parked in the parking lot where some older gentleman has guided you into an available space.
While you are inside doing your shopping you can have your whole car washed to go with the now clean windows.
You come out of the store and another elderly fellow will help you with your purchases and guide you to back out of your parking spot safely.

All of the above of course cost you a few pesos here and a few pesos there; but you are now fully stocked up and have a clean car.  You head home.

While sitting on your patio and watching the world go by, there will also be many more shopping opportunities.

The following people with trucks or on foot will pass by your residence:

1.   The guy selling fish/shrimp out of a 5 gallon bucket with ice in it.
2.   The guy selling clay cooking pots
3.   A guy selling statues of the Virgen or paintings
4.   A lady selling plastic food storage containers
5.   A lady selling health supplements
6.   A guy in a truck selling small kitchen appliances
7.   A guy in a truck selling fruits/veggies
8.   The usual trucks selling water, gas, etc.
9.   The corn tortilla truck/car
10. The flour tortilla truck/car
11.  Someone selling bedding with Disney characters on it and also soft childrens armchairs
Now while you are sitting on your patio looking over all these things for sale you can also listen to the sounds of your neighbourhood.
The birds, dogs, cats, chickens, perhaps a young goat waiting to be made into birria, children playing, neighbours chatting, firecrackers being set off, etc.,

So, for us this is normal.  Would it seem normal to you?


Barb said...

It's normal now but it sure was strange in the

Steve Cotton said...

I am in the process of writing a similar post. For me, it was looking for a telephone. I wanted adventure. I certainly found it.

Brenda Maas said...

Barb. for sure, I guess humans are quite adaptable lol.

Steve: I bet the phone thing was fun. Were you looking for a cell phone to buy or a pay phone to use? Very, very few of the pay phones here actually take coins, most take those pre-paid cards.
Cell phones, I have no idea. I don't have one and don't particularly want one either.
Will await your post on it anyway.

Crazy Rita said...

I found a 2 lb pot roast for about $20 at Walmart in San Luis Potosi. I wonder what they do with the meat before it spoils. I can't imagine anyone buying it.