Friday, March 03, 2006

Chacala Thoughts

I went into Las Varas this morning, Friday. This is the day the LV street market is open and I wanted to get some plants and maybe some pots. And some elastic for a sewing project, and some peanuts. Everything went well, except no plants. I think I was there too early.

I intended to arrive about 8:30am, but, darn, the collectivo came by just as I walked out to the beach road, so I got into LV about 20 minutes after I walked away from my camp. Or about 7:50 am. Going home went well too. As I was walking up to the collectivo stop in LV a young woman started to talk to me. She was local and wanted to practice her English with me. Her English was good and it turned out her teacher was Trudy, a Canadian who lives in La Penita. Trudy taught English classes to Chacala students and adults for about six or eight months last year.

The woman, Consuela, and I got on the La Penita collectivo (she was on her way to work) and I got off at the Crucero de Chacala. I walked around the corner, and a couple of young women who work at Mar de Jade picked me up about two seconds later. So it was a very quick trip. I was home before 9:30am. Some kind of record for me.

The market was great. I got two three gallon buckets (plastic) to use for planter pots. They were only 10 pesos, compared to 35pesos ( about 3.25 US) for regular pots the same size. They had the elastic I wanted, and the peanuts. And two nice little wallet cards of Guadalupe and a couple of grapefruits. I found some gladiola bulbs, which I shared with Esperanza. She didn't recognize the name, but we are going to look them up in the Spanish language plant book I gave her later.

The plant truck wasn't at the market, but when I got home Esperanza and Henia told me the plant truck is coming by on Sunday morning, coutesy of Maria/Palila. She's the small lady who is busy all over town and knows alot about plants and herbs. Last summer we traded lots of plants and I learned alot from her. Plus, when the plant truck came driving around Chacala, she would run up to Gordon's house to let me know they were in town. In return, I would get a couple of plants for her.

Last night Esparanza, and a couple of her adult sons, were visiting at my camp, and it came up that E. goes thru my trash (I put it in a large black plastic bag and carry them over to her house when they are half full). I had a package of twelve white washcloths my son had brought me sitting on the table while we were having cookies and apple juice. E. told me she had found one of the washcloths in the trash and had washed it for me. Then we started talking about what I put in the trash. I was sort of appalled and started worrying about what embarassing thing I might have but in the trash, but I couldn't really think of anything. Except that I throw away food that I don't like the looks of.

Then this morning E. came over with the freshly washed washcloth for me and I gave her back that one and a couple more. She also washed a badly stained embroidered tortilla cloth I had given up on. It was sparkly white. I had just cleaned out the plastic containers I keep food in and the fridge and had a plastic bag of this and that waiting for her. They feed the old tortillas to the dogs and chickens, etc etc. And I don't like eating out-dated eggs and give them to her. Etc. I said, here's some old food (comida vieja), like usual, and she told me not to put any food in the trash, to keep it separate and give it to her. So I will.

When I first moved to E's camping area I had a bag of pretzels and everyone in the family except Ginka, one of the adult sons, hated them. We made jokes about yucky gringo food. But now they all like pretzels and I have to eat them privately or they are all gone in one day. Pretzels aren't very popular in Mexico, but they do often have them at Walmart, in PV, where I go about once a month. The other big markets are cheaper so I usually go to them, but when I am having a salt attack, I go to Walmart for pretzels. I really miss Wheat Thins, and Cheezits but they don't have them here. Except at the gourmet place for 80 pesos a little box.

My favorite event for the day was at the market, the tsangui. There I watched two little kids, a boy about 2 1/2 and a girl under 4, unloading boxes of hardware type items from big plastic boxes and carefully laying the items out on the low plywood market tables. Their Dad was unloading the boxes from a truck and the Mom was nursing a baby and organizing some clothes for sale. The kids was working hard and clearly were an important part of the family team. And they were doing a good job. The little would carefully pick and item out of the box and then carry it over to the table, and the little girl would arrange the items neatly in rows. When I went by about 15 minutes later they were still hard at work.

Saw more whales this morning, including some babies practicing their tail flapping. Very cute and close in to shore.

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