I take an almost daily trip from my apartment down to WalMart. It’s the closest supermarket, it’s cheap and has a good choice. In fact I’d say it’s almost half the price of what you’d pay in the UK, the only indulgence I have is that I pay UK prices for is imported wine. Wine never really caught on here, the climate isn’t right for it, and the only time I’ve drunken Mexican was pretty forgettable. Contrast the prices I remember from Spain where a 3 liter barrel of nice local wine would cost 3 euros, back to what here is almost Blighty prices for an acceptable red. For example a Gallo “Turning Leaf” Calafornian sets me back 100 pesos, which is £5 in real money ( or what used to be real money haha ).
There are indeed small Mexican shops not to far away, but they seem to sell little more than tinned and frozen goods, for the fresh stuff I have to take a trip to the market, which would be fine if it weren’t so far away.
The Spanish, and by extension the Mexicans have an easy way of naming shops. Like much in the language they just do the obvious. For instance, we have a “butcher”, they go to the “carnicero” for their donkey sausages ( “carne” is meat ). No cobblers for these Latin folk, if you want to get shoen, then it’s a swift trip to the “zapatero” for you. A “panadero” is the guy who bakes the bread, where you get your “pan”, so if you are now wondering what a “candlestick maker” would be I would offer forth “candelero”, but I’m not 100% sure.
Now given that the Spanish for milk is “leche”, then you will now see that the “lechero” is the milk man, and not some form of sexual pervert, though albeit that this ancient profession has furnished many a music hall joke about a child’s patronage. So coming to the point, on my walk back from WalMart yesterday laden with a mixture of Mexican and Yankee style comestibles a was startled by a sound coming from behind, sort of familiar, but sort of creepy. Turning round to clock the source I saw it was a guy on a motor trike with the bit at the back painted black and white to resemble a frezian cow. The sound was supposed to be mooing, and indeed it was bovine, but resembled more the screams of distress the animals emit whilst waiting in line for the abatoir. Over all this the guy was screaming “¡Leche!” at full blast.
As he disappeared up the street, I noticed that noone was running out into the street, jug in hand. Like many of the street sellers I remember as a kid; the rag man, the knife sharpener, the line prop seller, the pop man, and that bread van that sold you cakes that aways tasted of petrol, they have all gone, and I suspect that sadly the lechero’s days are numbered.
After all, when you can buy what you need from WalMart, who needs real shops anymore?
Another thing I saw recently on my way back from WalMart was this. I did a double take, they were to far away for me to go and ask the obvious question.
I just couldn’t help but think “twats”, but I’m not sure why….