Tuesday, March 9, 2010

running erands

I have recently felt more and more liberated to go and run our errands without my husband. This has happened for many reasons one of which that my Spanish is doing much better. Also aside from doing better I'm OK with looking like and idiot when I cant find a word. Another reason is that I'm finally feeling healthy. I'm loving this thing about being able to eat and not feel like crap.
When I say running errands I should say walking errands. For the most part I decide at the spur of the moment that I want to get some things done before my husband gets off work. So as long as its in walking distance for a 3yr old we go for it. Here is how these things go sometimes.
The other day I decided to get the girls hair cut. I went to the only place I knew was within walking distance. We got there at 930 and the sign on the door said it didn't open till 10 which I knew really meant 1030ish or 11. We then headed back towards the house after I had to explain to Alana why we were not getting her hair cut. On the way home we walked past a place that looked to me like a taraza (which is a place where you can throw parties and such) and there were a couple ladies having coffee inside. I knocked a little and peaked in. "¿Es este una taraza?" Is this a taraza I asked. No the ladies answered with a nice smile. In case they misunderstood my Spanish or if I said it wrong I said, "¿Es este una lugar para fiestas?" Again they gave me a nice smile and said no. "¿Sabes donde es una?." Si Si they shook their heads and with grandiose movements of the hands they explained where one was. I only had to ask them to repeat themselves one time and then the lady actually got up and came out to the street to point out the house I need to visit. "Muchas gracias," and I stand long enough for her to adore my girls and tell them how cute they are. I found the correct house and asked for her taraza, she said it was booked for the weekend I need it though. And because Joslins (my baby) so cute she grabbed her and brought her inside her house to show her around for a bit. Thats how people do here they just take your baby and show them around then bring them back its so odd but Im getting use to it. She then tells me of another taraza that I could check into and we walk past our house in order to go retrieve the phone number which is on a sign outside the building. I had also ended up with another number I found while walking. Then we headed home for Joslins morning nap. So although we didn't get done what we wanted we did get something done. After Joslins nap we went back and the lady inside said the one who cuts hair moved (no change in the paint on the outside that said she was there and the hours). We looked for it for a bit and ended up not finding it. So this time around aside from getting some numbers for my husband to call we didn't save him any running around after work, he had to take us up to our normal lady to get the girls hair cut.
A different day we had the truck and I drove us downtown and parked in our normal lot where they guys know my husband enough not to try and rip me off even if I don't understand everything they say. ;) We first met a friend near the fountain who I recently met. Its nice to know someone to speak English with and who understands a little more than the other Mexicans why I am the way I am, even if she is more Mexican than American. lol Anyway we all walked up to our favorite watch maker and I picked up Issacs watch. I really enjoy this guy and if I ever get up the nerve Ill ask him if I can take a picture of him with his cool magnifying glass attached to his glasses. We then looked for a bit for the place where we normally get our ink refilled for the printer until I remembered it was the wrong day for the sale. On Thursdays you can get two cartridges filled for 175p, those of you in the states that's gonna kill you huh. ;) (and now Issac has decided hes going to fill it himself anyway, so say a prayer that it goes well)
Then we were off to get the rest of the pictures printed for Joslins scrap book. This is where my friend had to leave us and was actually the first time all day I ended up needing a little help. I had to leave my address and for some reason she wasn't understanding the way I was saying 61 and it took me a bit to think to just say six one. Even after I repeated to my husband what I was saying the only thing he could come up with was that maybe it was because I was adding the B after it to close and it was throwing her off. But anyway we got through it and she of course then had to ask me all the questions everyone does. and I say,"Si de Estados Unidos,...tango casi dos años aqui, pero no se nada español cuando cambio aqui,..... si vivo aqui aora.... si para siempre,... si me gusta Tepa es muy bonita, .. si y tranqilla." (please excuse my spelling if I didn't do to well) She then tells me it will be about 20 min and we head on our way. We hit up the padacina for some felt for cupcakes I want to make for Joslins party and go get juice. Actually we get Alana ice cream at her favorite place then head over to one of the juice places where you walk up to an outside counter (I wish I knew a better way to describe this)and sit on metal bar stools outside and have your drink. This particular juicery didn't have the cookie I wanted for the baby so I took two steps to the left and ordered one from the next vendor. We sat and enjoyed the weather and some good conversation, I love talking to Alana shes so funny. Of course when we went back 25 min later the pictures were not done. Not only were they not done but the machine was stalled and no one had checked it until I came back. I took a deep breath and reminded myself I live in Mexico, and that I like it here. While we waited for the machine to be fixed and my pictures to finish the lady behind the counter carried my baby around and let her play with all the stuff behind the counter including markers. When it was finally time to leave she let her keep the markers that were in her hand because she didn't want to see her cry. As soon as we were out of site I took them away and she fussed a couple min and it was all OK. I find this to be easier than telling people to just take them. People here also love to give babies candy, suckers, chocolate, ext. I usually let Joslin play with it while we are around who ever gave it to her then take it away after we walk away. Seriously babies nor kids need that much candy in one day. We then headed home in the truck feeling well accomplished and knowing that I just saved my husband a lot of trouble after a long day of work.


  1. glad you're out and about alone with the kids! isn't it crazy that many errands here can take all day to complete? last week, we needed to make a bank transfer to the US, and it took us three visits that day to get it done. eventually, we all evolve into more level-headed people if we just expect that errands might not get done the first time around or that we'll have to wait a bit.

  2. Amanda - I love reading your posts, because so often I can relate! For example - isn't that exactly how Mexico is? You want to run errands? well you don't call ahead, look in a phonebook, or find the address (and hours of operation) online. No, you have to go walk around and ask people until you happen to find what you're looking for! And the babies! Yes! Strangers always grab my little boy and disappear with him to show him around to other strangers! And then he comes back with whatever they're letting him keep (clothes pins, a bag, candy). Yes, candy. They started trying to give him candy at 4 months. I put my foot down and said "no" then, but I know that now that he's 8 months they'll just start giving it to him anyway no matter what I say. So I may as well grin and bear it to some extent. I like your approach. How nice it is to read that you experience so many of the same things. I'm happy to hear you're feeling more confident with your Spanish and are better able to interact with people and get your errands done. Just think where you'll be next year! Rattling off Spanish like a pro!

  3. I can picture where you and the girls were hanging out, because whenever we go to Tepa, that is usually our first stop. Downtown, el Mercado and Parisina. There's even a tiny store a little further down that sells cake decorating and candy making supplies.

    That is so great that you are getting out there. And just so you know, complete strangers will never stop asking you questions about why you moved to Mexico. I still get a couple of questions a week...after 9 years! :D

    And I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better. I was thinking about you and your possible surgery today, while helping Nick with his homework.

    Say HI to the girls and Isaac for me! :D

  4. You know, I think what you 2 girls are doing is so cool! Raising your kids here, I mean. And not in gringolandia, either. It's such a gift that you're giving your kids.
    It'll make them good people!

  5. When I read your post I can smell the smells and feel the humidy and the dust, I can imagine everything. I used to have a huge problem with everyone touching my childrens heads as they walked by. I hated it. I often would tell people don't touch my children. strangers would walk by and touch my children as they pass. I don't know where their hands have been. I don't know. Life is much slower there. I'm glad you are thriving. And feeling more confident.

  6. Alice-I am getting a little better each time I go out to be surprised rather than to expect to get done what I plan. ;)
    Vadose-this is also why I love reading your blog. Three cheers for blog friends. lol
    Leslie- I grown at the thought of always having to explain myself but maybe some day it will just be something I accept.
    Thanks Trailrunner and your right on I would much rather raise them in true Mexico and not gringa land or any tourist area.
    PVgirl I'm glad I can bring thoughts of Mexico to you so vivid. Although I must add that it is not at all humid here, I know it was bad where you were but the weather where I am is perfect pretty almost year around, never to hot never to cold, and rarely humid. You should come check it out sometime. ;)

  7. glad to hear that you're doing good Amanda!Sometimes it feels good to NOT be dependant on someone else...and be able to do things for yourself again. Congrats!