Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trip to Merida

Señor B and I went to pick up a few groceries this morning. You can buy liquor in the grocery stores here. The store we frequent has a whole aisle dedicated to it. It's just so weird to see booze along with the groceries. But they're not allowed to sell it before 11am so if you're planning on picking some up, you have to make sure you're checking out after 11. Just another one of those cultural differences that makes us smile.

Something else you can buy here...3 litre bottles of coke. I'm in heaven!

Then the girls and I took the AutoProgreso bus into Mérida. We wanted to buy some authentic Mayan items, not any of that tourist dime-a-dozen crap that you can find just about anywhere. Our neighbour told us where we could find a market that was Mayan vendors who come from out of town every weekend, but we didn't see them.

We stopped at the tourist information centre and the gal there seemed less than happy to help us. Her surly face and complete lack of enthusiasm was quite off-putting. She sent us to some bazaar but it was all that tourist junk.

So we went back to the Gran Plaza which is the main square in Centro, the area of Mérida that we were in. Some guy started talking to us and took us to a store that sold Mayan stuff. We thanked him and looked around but didn't see anything that we wanted to buy.

So back to the Plaza. Another guy took us to another store. He said that, for the opportunity to practice his English, he wasn't going to charge us for taking us there. We were a bit dumbstruck. Were we supposed to tip these guys? The first guy was still so very gracious when he left us, even though we didn't give him anything. Knowing when it's customary to tip is still a challenge to us. We don't mean to be rude by not tipping. We're just not always sure when it's expected and when it's not.

Anyways, we still didn't see anything we wanted and we were getting hungry, so we went for lunch. We went to the same restaurant that I went to for the bloggers conference. Las Vigas. Good food and the owner speaks English. I had the Tex Mex enchiladas and the girls both had lasagne. We got a pitcher of lemonade to share. Total cost was 184 pesos, or a bit less than $18.00 For the 3 of us!

Then we took the bus back to Progreso. It was a wasted trip, shopping wise, but it was an outing. I'm so disappointed we didn't find the market we had hoped for. I know that I had said Monday was Méxican Revoltion Day but today is actually the day. In México, when the holiday falls on the weekend, they tend to make the Monday just prior, the day off. There was to be a big festival in Gran Plaza tonight so I'm wondering if the vendors weren't allowed to set up today. Our neighbour had said the vendors are there until late in the evening but if there were other things going on, maybe they couldn't be there. I have no idea. I'll have to ask her.

My bug bites... The one on my thigh is ok. The one on my leg...well...I might go see a doc tomorrow. The chlortripolon that L gave me has worked wonders for the itch. The swelling is down a bit but the redness is increasing. My entire calf is red from my knee to my ankle and it's wrapping itself further and further around my leg. Plus, I have a blue-ish area at the top of my calf that looks like a bruise. It's just so weird that it might be worth having it looked at. We'll see what it's like in the morning.


  1. There isn't much in the way of handicrafts to buy here except embroidered clothing,hammocks and some stuff made from henequen. I wonder if your friend was talking about Merida en Domingo? Every Sunday there is a street fair in Merida, with closed off streets and a lot of vendors. There is also the state run Casa de Artensenias on Calle 63 (x 62 y 64 I think). I also like the place that sells minitures but never remember where it is. Those guys who take you to stores get paid by the stores so I wouldn't tip them. Don't you tip in Canada?
    Generally you tip people who do you a service, ie the bellhop who carries your bags, the maid who cleans your room or the waitstaff in a restaurant. I don't tip taxis unless they do something extra like carry bags. I do tip the guy at the gas station for washing windows etc...tipping is awful custom, I would much prefer that people got better wages instead of tips but that is life!


    ps. I am glad your bites are better.

  2. Theresa, I think she might have meant Merida en Domingo. She said the streets were closed for it but she was sure they were there on Saturdays, as well.

    I had a feeling that those guys received something from the stores for bringing people in. We do tip in Canada, but we don't tip people who guide us to places. Unless it's customary in Canada and we're unaware of it. It's a challenege here, figuring out who expects a tip and who doesn't.

    I agree that it would be better if people got a better wage and tipping became obsolete. It would make things so much simpler.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. :-)

  3. There is a Corazon de Merida where they close off the streets on Saturday evening. I think it starts at 9pm til midnight and there is Noche Mexicana 8pm to 2am. Noche Mexicana is at the Remate de Paseo Montejo

    regards, Theresa


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