Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday in San Miguel, in Search of a Vivero

I eventually got to the vivero today and got some affordable succulents.
Go to Gardener in Mexico if you want to read about the vivero.
This morning I woke up after a bad night's sleep, feeling pretty good. The sweet dog who lives here was scared to death of the loud, loud music coming from the house next door, and wouldn't leave the house to do her business until after 1am, when the music quieted down.

I was half-asleep by then, but I guess she was just biding her time until she felt safe to go out in the garden. So she alerted me to her need by quietly whining until I figured out what she wanted. Then we went downstairs so I could open the door for her. Actually we went through that routine twice, until she was ready to settle down for the night. What a sweet dog. An excellent communicator.

Yesterday was the day when (I have been told) all the world has 12 hours of light and twelve of dark. I can't understand how that could be, but whatever. It gets light later here than in Chacala. I think it's because SMA is at the top of the area of Mexico in the Central Time Zone, while Chacala in on Mountain time. Never mind. It just gets light later here. Which was good for me and my two four-legged companions this morning. We all slept in.

Anyway, I got up about 7am, and had cold cereal and bananas and milk for breakfast. And a piece of melon. Then I stupidly weighed myself for the first time in 35 months. Now I have to stop kidding myself that I am losing weight down here. I did lose about 15 pounds when I first arrived. But that was when I had a hard time figuring out what to cook, how to buy it, and how to cook whatever it was. Now the problem is the opposite. I know what I want to eat, where to get it, and how to cook it. Not good. Anyway.....

I computed for a bit, and then took the sweet doggie for a walk. It only took me 20 minutes to find the leash. Which is bright red and was hanging next to my bolsa. Whatever. We walked around and took the roof garden photos, and then went by the tienda. Which wasn't open at 8:30 am. I was actually shocked. The neighborhood stores in Chacala are open at least by 7am. Anyway, I was suffering from a Coke fit as we walked home. To distract myself I tidied up the house, and eventually left to go exploring, hoping I would find some plant nurseries.

I had seen three nurseries from bus windows yesterday but I am still pretty disoriented as to directions here. I had north and south reversed until this morning, when I saw the sun coming up in the West. That's when I noticed I was experiencing the world wrong way round. Anyway, I just started walking. Unfortunately, I didn't think to bring my two plastic plant carry-alls, just in case.

After about a half mile or so a bus came by going what I thought was probably the wrong direction. But it was going somewhere, and it's not as though I am on some kind of schedule, so I jumped on. The driver was kind of grumpy, and not very friendly. But the lady who got on at the next stop was friendly as can be. I asked her about viveros and she said there was a big one everyday near the Gigante (a big big groceries+ chain in Mexico). The driver cheered up when Mari (the lady) and I started talking plants and pointing out roof gardens to each other. The driver said I should go to the Botanical Garden if I was going out that way.
Mari, who has lived in San Miguel all her 57 years
and has been a dresser almost that long.

When we arrived at the Centro stop, I asked the driver where to catch the bus to Gigante/the vivero, and Mari said she would show me, and kind of dragged me off the bus. We walked up thru the Civic Plazas , and she showed me where to wait in the shade. Such a nice lady. During our conversation on the bus we agreed that living "sola es mejor" (alone is better) when you are old. Better than taking care of some even older man is what she said, to be specific. I wanted to offer her something for helping me, but by the time I thought of it, she was gone.
So I sat in the shade and watched some families and older women selling their wares. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit, and am sad for their poverty. The lady below was being dropped off by a couple of men. My guess is they were her son and grandson, but I don't know really. She seemed to have something to sell, and when she first arrived she was standing next to the truck, wearing a yellow rebozo. Then a couple minutes later I looked back at her, and she had taken off the rebozo and was sitting the on curb, next to the truck. I watched for a few minutes, and then I walked in that direction, thinking I might buy whatever she was selling. But out of nowhere a young girl appeared trying to get me to buy a bag of five avocados for 10 pesos. 90 cents. Good deal if I didn't hate avocados. Maybe the dog would like to play chase with them.
I asked the girl if she was with the woman (she said no), and I turned to point to her. The older woman was being helped back into the truck. I will never know the true story of whatever was happening for her this morning.

I was tired of waiting for the bus, and hasn't seen any come by, so I started walking. In the wrong direction, as it turned out. I found the giant mercado selling fruit, vegetables, flowers and plastic stuff. It might be called El Nigrogrito. I put a photo of their shrine to Guadalupe on the previous post.
Anyway, I could see they had peaches, and peaches in Mexico, at least around here, are so, so good. I don't think they are picked green, like in the U.S. They are so sweet and delicious, and dripping with juice. So I went in and wondered around. Bought a melon, four peaches, four lemons, and a bunch of grapes for 20 pesos (1.80US) . I walked around admiring everything and taking some pictures.
I took a picture of this young woman. She had seen me taking pictures and posed for me as I walked by. So I took a couple of pictures, but she was right under an overhead light and they didn't turn out very well. She was managing a large flower stand, while wearing the biggest, longest earrings I have ever seen. Even the picture shows her enlarged earlobes. Very nice girl, with lots of smiles and jokes.
Finally I left the store, after purchasing a string of those colorful flags that were hanging from the ceiling. Walked outside and down a street, and saw the bus to Gigante/Botanic Garden coming down the street. I knew where it was going because it was written on the bus window in whitewash. Got on the bus, and headed out.

The vivero looked like it was going to be a winner, but I had to find a cash machine, an ATM, and get some pesos. Found one, got some money and as I was heading back to the nursery a gringa approached me, and asked if I spoke English. She had a familiar look, like she was someone I might know. She wanted to know how to get to the Botanical Garden, and we walked toward the vivero and I pointed out the road to her. She said she lived in the Basque country of Spain, and was with another woman, maybe her Mom. She must of have been on a tight budget, because she wanted to take to walk about 1/2 mile rather than spend $2o pesos on a taxi.
I walked on over to the nursery and started looking around. There were four small areas with succulents. There was a lot of other stuff, but I hardly looked at any of it. Only the succulents. I am hungry for them. A Jade plant never seemed so special. So, I packed up my new plants and headed home. I know of four other nurseries now, and I think everyday I will go visit one.
And Tuesday there is a guided tour of the Botanical Garden, and since I know how to get there now, I think I will go. Someone told me they sometimes sell plants there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Andee
Still learning how to do this commenting thing, seems I have to sign in with Google now that I have Beta. That succulent you photographed is my favorite, we call them Hens & Chicks in California. I enjoyed your photos, the untouristy subjects, good quality clarity and color. And I admire how you find your way around and make an adventure of it.