We are sufficiently settled in now so we were able to go out exploring a bit today. I have not yet found my gluten free bread so we decided to go to a store called Chedraui Selecto, (note the Mayan influence, which makes a lot of words here seem very un-Spanish). It’s a grocery store but it is full of favorites from the USA. For my Panama peeps, it’s like a Riba Smith. When we got there it looked a lot more like a Whole Foods. There were aisles and aisles of selection, there were samplers everywhere and it was awesome. I didn’t see any section where my bread would be so I asked a worker and he told me to go upstairs. WHAT? There’s an UPSTAIRS? So up we went and WOW. There was a deli (note: in Spanish a deli is called a salchicheria – they seem to enjoy making words really long!), a bakery, a huge cheese bar, a nuts and chocolate bulk foods section, a sushi track, pizza place, buffet, the list goes on. It was like Disneyland for food.
So we explored some more, found some gluten free bread and a few other favorites and then we had lunch in the cafe. This place is perfect for our family. We all had different things and the sushi ladies didn’t seem to mind when Haley and Zoe saddled up to the sushi bar with their plates full of pasta from the buffet.
When it came time to pay for our groceries we went back downstairs on this very nifty cart escalator. It’s designed so the cart cannot move and therefore go crashing down the ramp. Love it!
After Selecto we still needed some staples and a few more home items so we headed to Walmart. We took our time through the store and eventually ended up at check out. Sidenote: a lot of the major stores will accept US Dollars. Their cash registers are designed to just do the currency change and even give change in pesos. This is helpful to use up some of the cash we brought from Panama from our garage sale and the return of our house deposit.
After ringing up our large cartful of stuff, of course one of the last items had no price sticker. So off they went to hunt down a price while the line of Mexicans behind us waited patiently. Have I mentioned how nice everyone is here? Then the workers find the price, we ask to pay in dollars and the guy says yes, hits the button on the register and then there’s some kind of kerfluffle. We had no idea what was going on but the manager came over, took one look at Daniel and says to her compadre “I don’t speak English”. So I piped up in Spanish and they explained that we were over the limit of what they would accept in US Dollars. OK! We can roll with that. So we paid in pesos, shuffling dollars and pesos around, then counting out small bills while the entire line continues to watch. At this point a guy in line who spoke English started to help us but we got it figured out.
So we pay for our items, the clerk gives us change in pesos, we are just about to get the receipt and the clerk disappears again. What? What now?? Well, the receipt tape ran out and it could not print our entire receipt. OK! More waiting! More holding up the line! So the guy gets more tape, refills his machine, gets our receipt and off we go. We all apologize profusely to the people in line behind us but they are all so sweet and just smile and nod and not just politely either. They really seemed to be amused, not annoyed! I love Mexicans. Anyone who doesn’t get annoyed at the crazy gringo family holding up the line is bueno in my book.