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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shopping in downtown Mazatlan

Sunday a.m.

It’s going to be another beautiful day. Probably high 70s. At home it is in the mid 30s down to low teens at night. Brrrrrr. But not much snow there this year – ice yes, snow no.
We left home almost four months ago (10/14) or 122 days ago. Will be leaving Mazatlan on the 10th of March on our way home. A long time on the road. I just hope the weather in the US will be good then.
Friday we went to the Centro Historico to look for some things Bill needed for his leather work – actually things we could readily find at home but more fun to look for them here. We walked our feet off exploring sections of the old downtown that we’d never seen before. I had no idea there were so many stores of every kind imaginable there. And something to eat at literally every corner. This is a fresh juice stand: oranges, grapefruit, carrots, pineapple – you name it and they will juice it for you and put it in a cup. And they also add “healthy ingredients” if you want them – like some green powder that’s supposed to be really good for you. I’ve seen it sold in the market it just called Verde.
They also sell and use bottled water.
Across the street was a fruit and sweets stand. Big plastic cups of cut up fresh fruit with a plastic fork. Tastes really good on a hot day. And the red and yellow things are shredded coconut hunks. All of these articles are sold by their weight. See the scales hanging there.
First we went into Parisina. It is a big yardage and craft store. But this time we went to a different one than we usually go it. They had what we both were looking for. I finally broke down and bought some seed beads. 200 grams each of three different colors and a package of needles and a spool of thread. My whole bill was US$3.60 – I checked on line and #11 seed beads are going for US$3.50 for 40 grams. Next time we’re over there I’m going to pick up some other colors.
A lot of the stores here have a strange system to pay for your goods. First you always have/need a clerk to help you. When you finish shopping she or he adds up your purchases then gives you a copy of the bill. She/he then takes the purchases to a counter where you will pick them up. But before you can go there you have to take you copy of the bill to a cashier and pay for them. After they are paid for you go the counter to pick them up. And if it is a buzy day you spend a lot of time standing in both lines. Pay here
Pick up here – it makes it easier if you can spot your pile of stuff among all the piles of stuff – so the clerk doesn’t have to hunt for it.
Valentines Day is really celebrated. Little store of little store was full of Valentine merchandise.
Spotted this cute girl dog – it must be a girl she was wearing a dress.
We kept walking looking for a couple of stores that I had read about that sell kitchen supplies. Many blocks later we found them. One right next to the other. Looking towards the back of one of them. Bill was looking for cookie sheets with low sides (he uses them when working with his leather) and they had them. The aisles are very narrow and the shelves high and the store extends back quite a ways. The entire front of the store is open to the sidewalk.
We were still in shopping mode. We had been given the name and address of an artists supply store that sold printer sized canvas for photos and we were on the right street – it was quite a few blocks away though. Bill asked the clerk if we could leave our packages there and pick them up later. No problem. So off we went. First thing we did was lose the street at a five way corner. Which one was the one we wanted? We asked a fellow shopper and soon were headed in the right direction again. Oh my gosh we were on the street with the Shrimp Ladies! Had no idea. They line both sides of the street. Had to stop and take pictures.
Each lady had her own big blue canvas umbrella over her area and buckets and buckets full of iced shrimp and a few other things like crab and octopus. It seemed to me that there weren’t as many as there were a couple of years ago. Didn’t buy anything but sure looked.
On to the store we were looking for – this is it. Very modern and they did have the canvas and it was cheaper than what it sells for in the states. I know cause I’ve bought it there.
Here too Bill had to pay at a caged cashier then go to the clerk to get the paper. Successful shopping day. But now we had to walk back to the car and hope we took the right turns at the corners. Now that we weren’t look for a particular store I could look around as we walked. This was for an Architect – his office was inside.
A couple of pieces of the old sidewalks – at one time they must have been beautiful.

Stopped and picked up our shopping bags and a couple of blocks later was the Municipal Mercado the big central market – it is one whole, big block square. Goody we weren’t far from the car.
There were a couple of tourist tour vans parked in the street by it and made me think of when I took a cruise through the Panama Canal about twelve or so years ago. [was it really that long ago?] Our last port of call was Mazatlan and we took one of the city tours. Our trolley parked across the street from the Cathedral and about a block from the Municipal Mercado. The guide told us what to see and to be back at the trolley in 45 minutes. Off we went. Everything seemed so strange and exotic then. And we worried about getting lost. Now we walk around the area like it is home. And we answer question from and give directions to tourists like we’re natives. Funny how things work out.
Friday evening in the Plazuela Machado was special too but this is enough for now. We are expecting company again and I want to start a beading project.

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