Life in Joco: Errand Day

While most of the things I need and/or want can be purchased right here in Joco, sometimes an errand day to Chapala and/or pueblos in between is required (as, occasionally, is one to Guadalajara).

Last week, my friend Kathi and I agreed that we needed an errand day.  Errand day is comprised of everyone involved making a list of where they need to go and normally consists of going to every place on the right-hand side of the highway until you reach the last outpost of your shops and then turning around, heading back toward Joco and doing the same thing, i.e. stopping at all the places on the right-hand side of the road.

Now it’s not that Kathi or I fear making left-hand turns, but sometimes they’re just a pain.  And then trying to turn left to get back onto the only highway that runs from Joco to Chapala is even more of a pain.  Oh, and we usually throw lunch somewhere in the middle to make it feel more like a social outing so that takes some left-hand/right-hand planning as well.  (And you young people think we old retired people don’t lead exciting, intellectually-stimulating lives!)

But this time was a bit different.  Kathi really only had one errand to run (to the dry cleaner in Ajijic), but I had a list of stuff and I wanted breakfast out instead of lunch, so we re-arranged the whole day.  We started with breakfast, ignoring all the stops on the right-hand side of the road because a lot of them weren’t open when we were passing by at 9:30AM.

FYI:  10AM to 2PM, then 4PM to 8PM are the hours for a lot of places with the hours between 2PM and 4PM reserved for comida (lunch) and maybe a short siesta.  Much more civilized, in my opinion, than working from 8AM until 5PM.  Getting off work at or after dark allows you to go out, enjoy the nightlife, get to bed by 1AM and still get a full eight hours of sleep before you have to get up to get ready for work again.  (On the other hand, most Mexicans around here work six days a week, although they do finish for the day at 3PM on Saturdays.)

But I digress.  For whatever reason, I got it into my head on Thursday that what I REALLY wanted for breakfast was biscuits and gravy.  And while, oddly enough, there are several restaurants at Lakeside that serve them, I wanted mine from the American Legion in Chapala, mainly because I had some books to drop off for their library.  As one of the few of my friends who does not have at Kindle or a variation thereof, I am the recipient of MANY paper books (both hard and soft cover) from my friends.  Lately, I have become inundated with them and passing them on has become more difficult as private book exchanges/libraries have also become swamped with books.  But I figured the Legion could handle 15 good ones without causing the library to implode.

So, about 9:30am, off we went.  Only after we started our drive there did it dawn on me that I can no longer eat gravy.  Gravy is made with milk and recently, I’ve developed lactose intolerance, so gravy would definitely ruin the rest of the day for me and for Kathi and for my underwear (if you get my drift).

Nonetheless, to the American Legion we went and we each had a delicious breakfast.  While the restaurant itself wasn’t exactly jumping, there were lots of folks on the patio outside, either selling things, buying things, or playing games.  And I was able to drop off a bag of books for their library before Kathi and I set off on our real errands.

We’d already accomplished a few of them when we wound up at the Lakeside Animal Shelter so I could buy some canned cat food, which I have yet to find in Joco.   Also, in a fit of optimism, I bought flea collars for Sierra and Rosalita.  I don’t even have a PLAN for catching Rosalita, much less putting a flea collar on her.  I’m thinking it would probably be easier to just put the flea collars around my ankles.  Otherwise, I’m gonna need a pussy wrangler.

Although now that I think about it, I did buy some twine that day also, so perhaps Antonio could fashion a lasso for me.  Then I could borrow Tiko (one of Kathi’s dogs) or Tasha (Jonnie’s dog), put Antonio’s son Pedrito astride the dog and have a little cat-roping contest here at the barb abode….complete with water hazard in the form of the swimming pool.  I’m gonna have a couple of drinks and think about that.

I know, folks, that you’ll be shocked to know that Kathi made a scene and embarrassed me at the ferreteria (hardware store) where we stopped for the twine.  Antonio’s been asking me to buy some raffia (twine) that he uses to tie up all kinds of plants at my house….particularly those that surround the sidewalk leading into the kitchen door.  He does that so I don’t have to use a machete during rainy season to hack my way from where I park Stormy the truck into the house.

I asked the woman at the store if they had any and she said, “Oh, si, en muchos colores.”  So I was pretty excited and was gonna get myself a colorful ball of twine until Mrs. Hoffman (that would be Kathi to you newcomers) insisted that the ball of twine they would sell me would last me way past the end of my life.  (Kathi, having spent the past couple of weeks clearing out the belongings of a recently-departed friend, has suddenly developed an aversion to any “large” acquisitions.)  “No, no,” said Mrs. Hoffman, “you just need to buy a few meters of it.”

So off trots the young woman, gets one of the guys to drag down a big old spindle of twine and starts measuring off four meters of the stuff.  I take a look at what we’ve got and there’s no way that this amount is even gonna wrap up the bougainvillea plant between the patio and the kitchen sidewalk, so I ask for ten meters, and they start measuring out more.   (We’re conducting all this business in Spanish, you understand, ’cause we’re cool like that.)

I look at the ten meters of raffia and decide that I still need more when the guy says to us, in perfect English, “Why don’t you just buy this 10 peso roll of twine?  It comes in nice colors and sounds like you need it and you can always buy more later.”  And he whips out exactly what I’d been envisioning, except in neon yellow.  Even better!!

Now Kathi swears that she thought a “roll of twine” was gonna be the size of the world’s largest ball of string like in the movie “Michael” with John Travolta, but I say she was just making me look like some kinda of gringa fool in front of these nice folks in the ferreteria.  Really, who are YOU gonna believe????

About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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6 Responses to Life in Joco: Errand Day

  1. Miguel de Joco says:

    Barb, you just make my day with your posts! Nuff said.

    • Barbara says:

      i was thinking about you yesterday (Friday, 8 August). Was at at the Chinese restaurant across the street from your house picking up a little food para llevar. i don’t know if it’s the price or the food, but the joint was jumping. during the few minutes i was in there, i think 12 mexican folk came in for take-out, too! and i’m still trying to figure out what language the folks behind the counter speak. nobody seemed to fully understand what the young girl was saying when the fried rice ran out. but she definitely spoke to me in spanish when i left. I LOVE JOCO!!!

  2. Gaby says:

    way too funny !!! gracias….

  3. Got me chuckling, even at the end of a long, hot Tlaquepaque day. You’re the best!

  4. Kathi says:

    It’s not a successful shopping/errand run if ‘someone’ doesn’t make some sort of scene! Our Barb is easy prey (heh heh heh) ……don’t ‘cha just find that so lovable about her???
    No, really, you all know what I meant about the basketball size roll of raffia, didn’t you?

  5. Karen says:

    What a great adventurous day you two had! Happy cat wrangling.

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