A Travellerspoint blog

Shopping - Down Mexico Way

sunny 28 °C

Times are a changing in Mexico and American style big-box stores and glitzy shopping malls are quickly replacing traditional markets and street vendors. The numerous stores and supermarkets are well stocked with a wide variety of local and foreign products and the parking lot at our nearest WalMart (known as Aurrera Bodega) in Progreso is nearly always full, while the recently constructed market hall in the heart of the old town is barely 25% occupied. Here is just a glimpse of the extensive food section at the Mega hypermarket in Merida…
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However, there are still plenty of ‘mom and pop’ corner stores offering everything from fresh tortillas to a bottle of beer, a single cigarette or a pair of cheap plastic flip flops. But, when it comes to poverty, this area of Mexico is not like India and there is little obvious sign of penury. However, there are plenty of people scratching a living by collecting empty cans and bottles or panhandling off the cruise passengers, and there is still a smattering of tuc-tucs and tricycle rickshaws that wouldn’t be out of place in Delhi. Just as in many rapidly developing countries, a segment of society is getting left behind and for many Mexicans it is still a make-do and mend world. There are many old cars and trucks that are held together with chicken wire and bits of corrugated iron, and grimy backstreet stores offering repairs to anything that we would discard in our throw-away world. Everything is fixable here – manual sewing machines, old typewriters, ancient computers, down at heal shoes, clapped out electrical goods, and broken teeth – fixed for a fraction of the price at home. So, if you are in the market for an implant or new pair of choppers – this is the place to be.
While food prices are generally about half of what we pay in Canada, Mexico is not a third world country and non-food items in multinational stores are priced similarly to those throughout North America – some imported products even appear to be more expensive. But clothes – especially women’s clothes – are an exception. It seems that about half of all shops are fashion stores (and a fair proportion of the remainder are pharmacies – no prescriptions necessary) so the competition keeps prices low. The Sunday market in Merida is a good place to buy traditional clothing…
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But the market is a great place for all kinds of tourist trinkets…
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We are not shoppers: we don’t trudge around the streets looking for bargains; we simply buy what we need if the price seems reasonable. But we do enjoy the hubbub of a busy market, complete with local food, street entertainers, and a chance to hone our Spanish as we bargain for the odd item. ..
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“Muy caro” means “How much? You gotta be kidding.”

Posted by Hawkson 17:34 Archived in Mexico

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the second photo (an embroidered white) on the left under the black one so reminded of my dear friend Jean Campbell who some of you would remember. She wore a top just like that she got in Mexico when she and Claude went there until they were almost 90. She was my surrogate mom. Iloved her. She died at 91 on a cruise trip to Alaska in her evening gown. what a way to g0!!!!

by jean

Darn! I just spent a fortune at my Nanaimo dentist's office getting a partial repaired. Luuvvv recycled!! Environmentally responsible, eh?

by R and B

Love the variation on Raggedity Anne in the bottom right of the last photo.Wonderful face - great colours.

Tom

by Tom

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