I Moved To Oaxaca

Friday, April 02, 2004

A crabitat at last!

Two weeks ago G-man gave the go-ahead for a pet increase, and today that req finally got filled. For those of you with a hankering for life south of the border, have I got a business opportunity for you. No, not the early-morning espresso-and-bagel cart, or even the burrito stand. How about opening an honest-to-goodness pet store, complete with ... actual pet products.

Sure, I understand the people at Conzatti can't lug their entire inventory to the market every weekend; that's why we got their card two weeks ago, so we could go by their store. Greg and I went looking for it a couple of days ago. We had a store name, a street address, and a colonia. Still not enough. The card said, Priv. Eucalyptos 2004, but around here buildings often aren't numbered sequentially. House and business numbers on a typical block read: 314, 1009, 209, 1114, 213, 708. We gave up after about 45 minutes of looking, and took the bus to the Reforma Gigante instead.

While we waited for the crabs to show up at Conzatti, we cruised the pet stores we did know about, looking for a crabitat. The 50s inspired pastel plastic with palm tree bowls I had learned were not suitable as a crab could easily make a break for it, but the plastic port-a-pet cages and little aquariums we saw seemed awfully expensive. Relatively expensive. I'm used to going to Albany Aquarium and finding 10-gal. aquariums for $10, but down here all we were seeing was $100 pesos and up for 5- or even 2-gallon aquariums. With no lids. Just couldn't bring myself to buy one.

So today, the pet people said, come back in an hour or two and we'll have crabs, and hey! they meant it. So I bought four and carried them home in a plastic bag (naturally, this being Mexico -- can't buy anything without getting a plastic bag to go with it). I put the crabs in a plastic juice pitcher and G and I scooted off to Gringolandia. I'll tell you about Big Fish in a minute, but after the movie we ducked into Sorianas and headed to the plasticware aisles. We ended up buying a Rubbermaid storage container, with lid, a little bigger than a shoebox, for $23 pesos. We also picked up a plastic water dish and a sponge for the crabs. Along with their cut-up juicebox Crab Cave, their housing ran us about $39 pesos, or about 4 bucks. The crabs liberation fee was only 5 pesos each.

Big Fish. Was going to give it an A, then those last three minutes came out of nowhere. Wait, let me take that back. They came out of Hollywood, or maybe a test screening. But we still liked it a lot. Hey Stephen, there's a butt in this one, too.


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