We are here for just a week, but that doesn’t stop us from playing house in our new house.
There is something about rolling your shopping cart into the hot parking lot that feels like a rite of passage for a wanna-be Yucatán transplant.
Good friends (thank you, Good Friends!) took us to the Costco, the true center of expat life in Mérida. Oh, did you think the true expat center was some place cultural, with local significance? Nope, it’s the Costco, a place where meridano and expat agree is the place to load up on household essentials like family packs of bathroom tissue and bottles, or boxes, of wine. If you want to live like a local, you’re going to be going to Costco.
We went on a Saturday morning, which we were warned is a kind-of “family time” there, with mom, dad, grandma and the kids crowding the aisles for the free samples. But we got there at 10:30, ahead of the crowds. As we left an hour or so later, the parking lot was a lot more crammed with cars. Family time had begun, I suspect.
When we loaded our cart at checkout, I mistakenly grabbed a bottle of olive oil that had been left by someone returning the item. We made it to the car until we realized we had one too many bottles of olive oil. Paul went back to return it, and we saw waving his arms to a employee trying to explain. Maybe we should have just kept it.
Our shopping wasn’t quit done. Along the road were boys selling limes, 10 pesos a sack. Even mighty Costco couldn’t beat that. Then, on to a supermarket for foil, onions, and other odds and ends that we didn’t want in bulk (like wine). At the market, I realized I didn’t have small coins to tip the bagger or parking attendant. I’m still learning the ropes.
We hauled our stuff back to Casa Nana and stocked the shelves, just enough for us to spend our time there this week. It felt good to do something mundane like unpacking groceries at the house. Taking in the sights doesn’t help you absorb the fact this you’re segueing to life here. Doing something normal does. It told our brain receptors that yes, this is our house. The neurons or whatever it is up there that help us process information did their jobs well. It’s sinking in.
I’m still learning little things here and there as I learn the ropes.
I found out at the checkout line that Costco charges less if you use cash. I’m not sure if that’s a cash discount, or a surcharge to use the credit card. No matter, I emptied my wallet to get the discount, and then made a trip to the bank later to replenish my wallet.