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!
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!
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.
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.