Normally, I work in the morning and go play in the afternoons. But a tianguis Juárez day is backwards since you want to beat the crowds and get there before all the goods are picked over. So I had a lazy morning, going so far as to take my coffee back to bed, before getting ready to go out. I tried on one of my new blouses with a slim pair of black capris and the difference to the fit compared to my flowy black skirt was amazing! So I decided to wear that outfit even if the fabric weights were a little heavy for a day that was already hot and sticky at 7:30 a.m.
Needless to say, the brief lancha ride to town was woooooonderful. I’m almost jealous of the captains who get to spend their day going back and forth. 🙂
Since this was a “special” day, I treated myself to a doughnut from the vendor at the embarcadero. Don’t miss her if you see her. Her doughnuts are always fresh and never taste of rancid oil, with just enough cinnamony sugar to make them a fluffy treat.
I walked to Júarez last time, it’s only about 3KM, but since I knew I’d walk for a couple of hours there, I didn’t want to be completely wilted at the start. $7.50 for a bus that goes right by the embarcadero just makes sense in these weather conditions. I got on the first bus marked Juárez and the driver stared at me for a second before asking me in English where I was going. I replied in Spanish, “To Juárez, like it says on your windscreen…” All he could say to that was, “Oh.” Strange…
I have a routine now when I go to Juárez. I get off on the edge of the tianguis (flea market) part and go up and down each aisle, oggling clothes and other wares, until I find an agua fresca vendor, and then walk some more in the area. This time, I found a rare vendor who has a smaller size (poor value), but this meant I could get another flavour later and also not have to spend all my time holding a huge cup. My first one of the day was guava (but of course). I then continued exploring the aisles, even though I wasn’t really in a spending mode. It was just fun to see what was on display. I did keep an eye out for the flip-flops I normally buy at the City Deli, but which they don’t currently have in my size.
After about an hour, I headed to the interior market, where I knew I could find a clean bathroom, and then I was ready for tacos! I have my preferred vendor for those and, thankfully, they weren’t too busy, although I was unable to get a seat. I ordered two tacos with everything, confirmed that spicy was fine (whatever they call spicy isn’t), and then did my best to elbow my way to the condiment counter, but failed. A cook took pity on me and asked what I wanted. I said guacamole and salsa mexicana. He put enough of the former on, but not enough of the latter. When I asked for more, he said, “¡Picante!” and I just had to laugh before telling him to go ahead. Two very full and delicious tacos there are just $30! They’re the best deals on tacos I’ve found thus far in Maz. I then went across the street to get a litre of lime agua fresca.
Once I’ve had my tacos and done a circuit of the shops, I’m pretty much done in. I bought fruit from various vendors and then spotted a garbage bag man. I don’t know if this is unique to Maz or if it’s something seen in all of Mexico, but there are guys who collect for a children’s charity (they have official ID to this effect) and for a $10 donation give you two or three large and super thick garbage bags, the best quality I have ever seen. I put out my trash in little bags from the store, but they can add up when trash collection doesn’t happen (it’s not reliable) and I like to consolidate the little bags into a bigger bag for easier handling. Plus, I have yardmates now who have their own trash, so we share a larger bag. Anytime I see a garbage bag man, I “give a donation” so I can have a few of these big high quality bags on reserve. I’ve even flagged one down while sitting in a pulmonía at a red light!
Then, it was time to see if I could get home on the bus without going a million miles out of my way. I flagged down a bus that I thought went by the embarcadero and asked if the driver if that was the case. He said he would go “close” to it. Always the adventurer, I hopped on and started reading the Noreste newspaper I’d picked up at some point. As we approached the corner of Gutíerrez-Najera and Gabriel Leyva, about two blocks from the embarcadero, I had a feeling the driver would turn onto Gutíerrez-Najera, so I signaled to get off. Good thing I wasn’t relying on him to tell me when were close to the embarcadero because I was right! So first successful bus trip home from Juárez!
My yardmates were home from a week away to Guadalajara when I got in around 11:00. I wish I’d made it to Guadalajara at some point, but it was not meant to be.
Now, I need to get to work…