Back to the Pier

This morning, I headed back to Aduana on the Progreso pier to give them the copy of my residency card. As a reminder, here is what the trip would look like if there wasn’t major construction going on on the Periférico. The red arrow points to the teeny detour I had to take the last two times I went up.

The teeny detour has ballooned into this. Thank goodness there was almost no traffic:

I finally made it to the pier entrance and presented my driver’s license and reason for being on the pier. The guy had no idea what to do with me and called his supervisor. The supervisor looked at the holograma (windshield sticker that serves as my permit) and asked for my “sello,” seal or stamp. I had no idea what he actually wanted so I pulled out the pile of paper an inch thick I have for aduana. Figuring he probably wanted the official-looking certificate I initially got at the border, I started to look for it while pointing out the paperwork I was given last time. I told him, “All that was missing last time was a copy of my new card, so I’m just dropping that off.” He gave me a big smile. “Oh! Okay.” Then, to his underling, “Just take her details and she can go.” I guess they’ve got new guys working security at the pier since last year and my first visits this year, I spent a lot less time explaining what I was planning to do. In fact, the first visit last year, the guard preempted my explanation.

I made it to the aduana office and again explained my reason for being there. The security guard got the lady whom I always deal with and she said the copies were good but I needed some more paperwork. She had me sit and then came back with three forms for me to fill out in triplicate and then she promised to be back. There’s nothing to boost one’s confidence in their level of fluency than to be given a bunch of blanks to fill in surrounded by very flowery legalese full of big words. I got it all filled out, ruing my super long name, the very long permit numbers, my extremely long address, and my terrible handwriting. But I got through it and the lady said everything looked fine… and to come back Thursday to pick up the final bit of paperwork. Gaaaaaaah.

Rather than go “straight” home, I decided to see if I could find the Chedraui supermarket all the expats rave about that has replaced the one near Costco as the “good” one. I’d exhausted all the usual sources for Heinz sweet pickle relish, hence my particular interest in going today. I vaguely remembered it might be near City Center, so when I found one in Monterreal, I figured that had to be it. It was pretty easy to get to even with the detour and it would be easy to get home, no navigation help needed.

Parking there was a nightmare. There’s only a bit of above ground parking and I don’t want to risk underground parking with Moya since the one time I did that (in Ottawa), my roof rack scraped the ceiling! I drove around in circles until a very tight (in terms of getting out — there was plenty of space on both sides) spot opened up. I’d seen some red flag guys on my many circuits so I knew I’d have help getting out again.

Soon as I stepped in, I knew I had the right store. It felt very posh and like the higher end supermarkets I’ve encountered in Europe, the US, and Canada that have islands or stations where food prep is done in the middle and products are stored all around. There were also some restaurants, including revolving sushi!

Chedraui remains my favourite of the Mexican supermarket chains and I can understand why expats love this particular store. You see, Chedraui stocks a lot of higher end and imported foods, but also has competitive prices on regular Mexican groceries. If I go somewhere like Superama or Soriana Híper, I’m almost guaranteed to walk out with good European butter, but Mexican staples are more expensive than at my neighbourhood Super Aki. At Chedraui, you get the best of both worlds. They even had the sachets of wet dog food I buy for Bonita at a regular price that is lower than I pay on offer at shops in my neighbourhood. They also had lamb, which she loves, but which few stores carry. You’re getting a treat tonight, luvvie!

I found relish without any problems, confirming that I know where to find it if a store stocks it, and, after checking the expiry date, put two bottles in my cart. I picked up a few more things, including a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a single bottle of Scottish ale that was on offer, plus some staples I’ve been meaning to pick up. The meat aisle wasn’t worth a second look although I did find some very nice prepared meatballs I’ve bought before at Superama that were less at Chedraui. Similar situation in the produce — it looked as tired and generally unappetising as at most supermarkets. I buy most of my fresh produce from the Chuburná market on the weekends, and what I can’t find there, I buy frozen. I did pick up half of a pineapple and a quarter of a watermelon as they smelled and looked very sweet and delicious.

So all told, while this was a very nice Chedraui, I don’t see any reason to go out of my way to shop there regularly as I have two others that are more convenient to me (and which have better parking), but it’s good to know where it is. Next time I can’t find a product like relish or good butter at my usual haunts, I’ll know exactly where to go.

I got in and played with Bonita a bit, then got done the work I had to do today. It was a struggle as my mind is mush from how much I’ve typed in the last five days! But it’s back to the grindstone in the morning. I just need to make a mental note to take half of Thursday off. If I have to go to the pier ever again after this, it will be too soon! 😀

4 thoughts on “Back to the Pier

  1. Hoops, hoops and more hoops. Nice to have the relish as an intermediate prize as you wait for the real prize.

    • Here’s a fun fact about me that only those who read the comments will know: if I’m going out specially for a burger, I make a point to stick the bottle of relish in my purse. 🙂

  2. OK, it is time for everyone who reads your comments to give up at least one secret, too. I carry a small bottle of Texas Pete in my purse because southern food is too bland. Because I was brought up in the south, what I do to food is considered an insult to well known southern cooks.

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