Friday, November 20, 2009

To buy...

I love Fridays. That’s when I go to the Mercado with Santiago and buy meat and fresh fruits and vegetables to send up to the village where our drilling crew lives near the project.  It also gives me a good chance to practice my Spanish.

The Mercado is mayhem – but in a wonderful, whacky kind of way. It’s bigger than a typical Farmer’s Market as many of the merchants sell to restaurants and other stores. As we inch our way through the throngs of trucks, people and the occasional donkey, I can purchase incredible produce without even leaving the truck!

I’ve never seen such huge green onions and radishes –jicamas are as juicy as cucumbers – and the raisins are so much better than the little packets of Sunmaid I used to fact --- they are even more delicious when soaked in rum and served over ice cream!

Look what $7 can buy you:  Big bunch of bananas, 1 cantaloupe, 1 seedless watermelon, 5 avocados, 4 pears, 5 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 2 bunches of green onions, 2 bunches of radishes, 2 jicama, and 2 pounds of delicious raisins!

Roger was away for a few days last week so I called one of my taxi drivers and had him take me shopping. Jose is very helpful and I just have to say what I want to buy, and if he doesn’t know where to find it, he makes a couple of calls and off we go...kind of like a husband but he doesn’t care how long I spend shopping! He took me to a nursery and I bought a beautiful Mexican pottery planter and I picked out a few plants --- while I was paying, the gardener filled the planter with lush soil and planted the flowers for me – all for the extra cost of $1.20.  For a brown thumb like me, this was a great bonus.

Two little boys, Omar and Emelio have started dropping by for a visit with a request for papitas (chips). One time Roger gave them Cabo baseball caps and the boys were happy to pose for me – awfully nice kids and at five years of age, they speak at my level of Spanish.

I was invited to a baby shower this week and got to meet many of my neighbours. It was the first time I went to an outdoor baby shower that started at 9 a.m. and tacos were served along with fresh fruit and cake. Very little English was spoken but I did meet Omar and Emelio’s mothers and apparently we are well known as the friendly Canadians. While I didn’t understand much (o.k....most) of what was said, we were able to chat about our families and they were able to understand me when I explained we’ve been living in different countries and really enjoy living here.

A photographer came to the shower, and while trying to read the local newspaper, El Imparcial, this morning, I discovered this picture in the Socialite section!  I'm the gringo in the front row, second from the right.

The weather is cooler, but still beautiful. Temperatures range from a low of 10C in the early morning to the high 20s in the afternoon.  Not too shabby for mid-November.  Roger and I plan on watching the Western Final between Calgary and Saskatchewan on broadband internet on Sunday --- it will be a different experience sitting back with nachos and cold beer with the air conditioning on in the house!

Hasta luego.

A different language is a different vision of life. ~ Federico Fellini

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