I Moved To Oaxaca

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Basketball powerhouse Puerto Rico beat the U.S. mens basketball team. And now Lithuania. Just keep drafting 'em out of high school, boys!

In Moderate Shangri-la-related news ... we are no longer sleeping on the floor or eating off plastic chairs. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and I don't just mean the seasonal merchandise crowding the aisles in Sam's Club. Yesterday G and I went to the Abastos to get us some furniture. The abastos, always an adventure! The big day is supposedly Saturday, but Friday was awfully busy, too. We worked our way down Taxi Street to the entrance to the furniture section, and started browsing. Except for the plastic housewares and plastic tarps, it's an all-around third-world experience: men and women sitting on the ground with their produce, piles of it; mounds of pottery, including huge green-glazed bowls for tejate; live animals like turkeys and chickens, and pieces of animals hanging up for sale, along with that ripe odor. A hoot, in other words!

We stopped at a booth with a couple of pieces that caught our eye; the proprietor was ready, or at least knows his gringos. Instead of starting with his optimal price and haggling down, he gave us a price, then immediately said a second, discount, price. We looked, we asked, we hemmed and hawed (me, mostly -- I got to play Bad Cop, because everybody in Oaxaca knows the women hold the purse strings), got a little more of a discount, then arranged for a truck to haul our pickings home: two dressers, a desk, a bookcase, another bookcase to use in the kitchen, and a bed with drawers underneath. Six pieces of furniture, USD$320. Another $8 for the truck and the guy to help me unload everything.

That only left the matter of a stove -- which we were still without. Damn! It's been a week of Juan Carlos saying, yes, it's coming, my amigo is bringing it, and so on. So yesterday, when we realized 1)no stove forthcoming as of Friday evening, and 2)an early-morning wake-up Saturday without the prospect of a hot beverage to send us on our way, G told Juan Carlos, in his best pidgin Spanish, Look, if your friend doesn't bring that stove by the time we're home from school tomorrow, we will go out and buy our own, then take the money we gave you for the stove off the rent.

Now, Juan Carlos caught a raft of shit from his wife last month when he borrowed, in small amounts during the month, the entire rent. And he's getting close to it again this month. So I don't know whether it was fear of his wife's rage or what, but hey! we now have an estufa. We're eating at home tonight!


  • Oh, I was just tinkering around to see how this worked. What a goof!

    By Blogger Bones, at 4:03 PM  

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