Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Grocery Madness

We needed some staples for the house so we headed on down to one of the local grocery stores.  We sauntered about taking in what was available.  The produce room was of particular interest to me.  Nicely refrigerated and has the feel that someone with a machete in hand just dropped everything off.  It gave me the opportunity to learn that limes here are actually closer to a walnut in size than they are to a lemon -- fascinating.  I don't know if it is a climate thing or if it's just that we genetically modify ours, or what.

We found many variations of picante sauce but surprisingly pretty much no options in the salsa department.  Unless of course you want to count Salsa Ingl├ęs.  But that would probably be pretty disappointing with chips.  Actually, there was this jarred stuff, but understandably Nic balked and we passed on it with hopes of finding something fresher another time.  Instead we picked up some chips, avocados, onions, and tomatoes.  For future reference, the local stores keep the freshest or ripest items up by the register.  Our last unripe avocado in the trash can can attest to that.  

Hunting in the breakfast aisle Nic made and odd discovery:

But what are they?  What are they for?  All we know is we need a huge bag of them!  Checking out of the grocery store was an interesting feat.  We stood in line only later to discover that the real line appeared to be to our right.  I shifted over to that line for safe measure.  Only to discover that in this store there were no real lines.  Only collections of people that want to buy things.  A bunch of locals had been treating the checkout process much like they treat the gringos on the waves.  It's not first come first serve here -- it's first to cut the gringos in line first served.  Apparently the "system" is to slap your stuff on the counter as quickly as possible as the cashier haphazardly throws things through the scanner.  I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure some things may have been rung up twice while others not at all.  Anyways, we got out of there with our loot.

We later discovered another grocery store that had a little more sense of order to it, with like, real actual lines and stuff.

Arbo de Guano de Iguana

Not 25 feet from the front steps of our apartment is a big tree right next to the road. On our first day here as we were walking around, a downpour started and as we were walking under the tree it began dropping huge chunks of green guano upon us. At the time we weren't sure what their source was, the theory was maybe monkeys, though we hadn't heard any. (monkey, 'mono' in spanish, imagine a monkey wearing a monocle says our linkwords Spanish book)

Today as we were walking back from breakfast we spotted the real source, the tree is just covered in Iguanas of varying sizes and colors. From big giant old grey ones to younger green guys, the tree seems to be the local hangout for our prehistoric friends.

Somehow knowing the source makes the guano less threatening, but you better be sure we'll be watching our heads and giving the tree a wide bearth as we walk by, especially during the common afternoon squalls.

The Setting

This being my first attempt at surfing my arms feel less like flesh and more like overcooked pasta.  

Since I can't always be surfing*, thankfully much fun can be had just taking in the sites.  Sayulita is nested in a nice protected cove which makes it easy to take in the surfing and the coastline at the same time.  I have never been to any part of Mexico, so I'm equally excited to see the giant alien looking fronds littering the runoffs leading to the ocean as I am the crashing surf and the brown surfers who mock it.  I need to spend more time hanging down on the beach.   One problem has remained since I arrived: Necesito la guitarra!  I've heard rumors of an old man that peddles some cheap guitars on the beach but I have yet to run in to him.  I guess I need to spend more time on the sand -- not just in the water or in a bed.

So long as you find a nice stretch of beach that hasn't already been "decorated" by the very well established canine population (think dog doo cooking in the hot sun), it's possible to sit back, relax, and see some pretty fantastic surfage by the locals.  I enjoy their company much more from the beach (with Marc's 300mm lens) than when out on the water competing for waves (for which I am always the last in line).  These guys can surf any wave and make everything look so easy in the process.

*For me its closer to a flushing of the sinuses.