I decide to cook supper for Lydia and I even though there is a palapa seafood restaurant right next door, I had supper there the day I arrived and it was really really good....eating there everyday would totally destroy my budget. They don’t open until 9am-ish which is normal for a lot of the Palapa places but I need coffee a little earlier than that. Lydia does not have a coffee maker; if I stay here much longer I will be buying her one. Anyway.....I went to the market yesterday to do some grocery shopping, I thought I’d buy some meat and some vegetables (Lydia informed me she does not like beans....how can you live here and not eat bean is beyond me) I go through my whole “Mercado?” routine to all the bus drivers. I wonder if they get annoyed by me flagging them down, making them stop in busy traffic and then not even getting on.....I don’t think so, they all seem so nice, I really wish I could understand all that “dhjhfsjdsdblah blah” they say as they drive away. I’m sure they’re just wishing me well. I get to the market with the help of an 80 year old lady sitting beside me on the bus. I head to the meat first, once I have meat I’ll know what I’m making. The beef looked a little complicated to work with, a whole cow was cut into about 8 big pieces, and it didn’t look too appetizing. I passed on the beef even though the beef guy was very persistent in trying to sell me some. I moved onto the chicken lady. She had chickens without heads or feathers; I was most pleased and bought a big chunk of chicken breast for 34 pesos (conversion link on the left). From there I wandered over to the vegetable stands and discovered that everything is sold by the kilo, being the great Canadian that I am I have no clue how much a kilo is (I looked it up as soon as I got home...I will be prepared next time) The Spanish that I have is useless to me when the people talk so fast with their heavy Spanish accent, I do know how to count, or I thought I did, they can understand me but I can’t understand them. This goes back to some of my other problems that I have; those of you that know me well are already saying “yes, Mary does not listen so well”. So......I need some cheese, have no idea how many kilos I want, the lady beside me is buy a piece that looks like the right amount for me as well, so I point to her cheese and give a thumbs up signal to the man. (As I’m writing this now I’m thinking how ridicules...thumbs up?!) At the vegetable stand it was a little more complicated, the normal procedure is that you tell the man how many kilos of tomatoes or whatever you want and he takes them and weighs them and puts them in bag and then you pay. So I just started gathering some tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, he didn’t seem to mind. I also found some garlic further along, bought some coconut for my yogurt in mornings. Aside from the chicken I can’t remember what this all costs me, next time I go I’ll write down what it cost just for curiosity’s sake. As I’m leaving the market I realize I forgot to buy soap, I had come to the market yesterday to buy soap and had also forgotten. I may have to visit WalMart yet, I’ve told to buy a serge protector, apparently the power of the electricity fluctuates a lot and can blow up my laptop...well, I don’t think it will actually blow up up but it does wreck your battery. This whole little shopping trip took me 2 hours; it’s the waiting for the bus thing that takes so long. There has to be a sheet of paper or something somewhere that tells you which bus goes where...I must find that information soon.
I cooked a very fast chicken stir-fry that was very tasty, garlic bread would have been nice but I hadn’t bought bread...if I have 2 hours to spare tomorrow I might go get some, and soap. Lydia said it was the healthiest meal she has had since she came to Mexico (4 years ago) I could tell she doesn’t cook much, all her cooking utensils were covered in dust when I pulled them out. I don’t mind being the cook, I love cooking and once I know how to talk in complete sentences I think I’ll make a lot of friends at the market. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is not cheaper to buy groceries than eating in restaurants though; I will however research this a little further. If I was in Canada I would seek a government grant to help fund this very important community economic study.