As we were preparing for our latest travel adventure, many people back home on the cold Canadian prairie had a hard time understanding why we would go to Mexico and not spend our time at a beach resort. To me, the answer is easy. First and foremost, the friends that we’re visiting don’t live at the coast. Secondly, this trip is giving us a rare opportunity to see “real” Mexico and to learn how the people of this country live.
Shopping here is absolutely nothing like shopping in Tijuana or on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. Market areas aren’t inundated with cheap trinkets and we aren’t constantly accosted by aggressive hawkers. Everything here has set prices, so there’s no need to barter.
Wherever I go in the world, I like to see how and where the locals buy their groceries. Here in Coatepec there’s a Chedraui supermarket within walking distance that sells groceries, clothing, and household items; much like Walmart or Superstore back home. Chedraui is a huge Mexican supermarket chain that originated in nearby Xalapa. A person could easily do all their grocery shopping there, but Richard M and Colleen buy most of their food from small street side vendors and marketplaces that remind me of how we shopped in China. They also shop at tiny hole in the wall family run shops like the one just up the road from here. With it’s rough cement floor, shelves lining the side walls and a meat counter at the back, it’s smaller than our single car garage at home. In all of these places, the products are fresh and locally grown or produced. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this kind of shopping!
So, let’s go grocery shopping…
There are also vendors who regularly come through the neighbourhood or to the gate selling foodstuff. Today we had delicious tamales for lunch that were purchased from one of these pedlars. Yum!