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Posts Tagged ‘grocery shopping’

I returned to Oaxaca late Sunday night, a little dazed and confused.  Of course, getting the dreaded “red light” at customs didn’t help.  All was fine, though the word “bagels” didn’t register until someone behind me offered the word “pan” (bread), I nodded my assent, and the customs officer smiled and nodded hers.  Whew!

First on Monday morning’s “to do” list was a trip to my local market, Mercado Sánchez Pascuas.  It felt SO good to be walking again, even up hill!  Reaching my destination, completely unbidden, an “expletive deleted” popped out.  How could I have forgotten?  The mercado was in the midst of a month and a half renovation!

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This is a three million peso project that includes replacement of the roof, waterproofing of the slab area, and structural maintenance.  Most of the approximately 100 stalls have been relocated to the patio in front of the Tinoco y Palacios entrance and the parking lot at the Porfirio Díaz entrance.  The latter, I was pleased to see, found room for the annual display of poinsettia.  I will return!

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But first and foremost, food!  I found (or they found me) my favorite vendors.  They may not know my name, but they recognized and called to their gringa customer, who they haven’t seen for almost a month.  Quesillo (Oaxaca string cheese), verduras (vegetables), fruta (fruit), tamales (mole, verde, amarillo, and rajas), and salsas (green and chipotle) were purchased.

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My two shopping bags filled, I headed back down the hill to home, sweet, Oaxaca home.  It’s great to be back!  The icing on the cake, especially coming on top of the sticker shock of el norte, was the above, plus 8 bottles of beer, came to a grand total of 335 pesos — that’s $16.42 (US dollars), at today’s exchange rate.

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Back in the land of putting TP in the wastebasket and non-potable tap water.  However, grocery shopping at my local mercado more than makes up for it with warm greetings from my favorite vendors and its rich bounty of fruits, vegetables, tortillas, salsas, tamales, and cheeses.

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The larder has been restocked with the above high quality essentials, all for only 230 pesos — that’s $12.18 (US) at the current exchange rate.  It’s good to be back!

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After 6+ months of being Under construction,

today, the waiting is over!

This morning, Oaxaca’s governor, the city’s mayor, and the head of the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development opened the newly constructed entrance on Independencia…

and welcomed vendors and shoppers to the newly renovated Mercado IV Centenario.

New stalls, with improved electrical and sanitation systems are part of this renovation project.

Vendors, including one of my favorite vegetable sellers, began moving their goods from the temporary site in Jardín Morelos to their new stalls.

After only a few hours, my vendedora de frutas already looked happily ensconced in her new digs!

There are still a few stalls waiting to be filled…

Any takers???

 

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One of the pleasures of living here, is grocery shopping at the traditional mercados.   As the map from my local Mercado IV Centenario shows, the variety of items sold rivals any US supermarket chain.

Color coded map of Mercado IV Centenario stalls painted on wall.

The freshness and quality far exceeds anything the chains have to offer and you can’t beat the personal attention.

Woman vendor in her produce stall.

There is something comforting about being recognized and greeted by favorite vendors and gratifying about purchasing tamales proudly sold by the loving hands that made them.

White-haired woman sitting behind two plastic buckets full of tamales

However, on May 14, 2012, Mercado IV Centenario, operated by the municipio of Oaxaca de Juárez, began a much-needed major renovation.  The doors have been locked…

Chains locking double doors.

and demolition has begun.

Construction workers demolishing interior of mercado

According to a May 25th article, the project includes a new roof and bathrooms, waterproofing, installing tile floors, interior and exterior painting, and rehabilitation of the water, sanitation, and electrical systems.  In addition, an access door on the busy avenida Independencia will be constructed.

For the duration of the renovation, the merchants and their stalls have been relocated under a big blue tent in Jardín Morelos on Independencia, across from the chain supermarket, Soriana.  Rather than hurting business, the vendors report sales have increased at the temporary site and are hoping to bring the new customers along when they move into the newly renovated Mercado IV Centenario.

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