Friday at the Tienda

people's guide to mexico
Loyal People’s Guide correspondent El Codo with a taste of life in Baja…

This is where I spend the days connected by modem. Visiting Eduardo, and chatting with locals. Can’t remember the last time I spoke ingles. Must be several months now. Jeez, was it before New Year’s? It might have been last summer. Hablo ingles en los estados unidos, pero aqui solo idioma espaňol.

Eduardo’s kids asked me to participate in their pogo stick contest. 193 is the record so far. I count and keep track.

Eduardo has a DF radio station on. Pure reggae.

Car lost the electric radiator fan. Sure glad all this crap is happening here because it is easier to deal with. But it is sure is screwing with the moving north schedule. Gotta get tires, windshield, new air conditioning compressor, get the roof painted and fit the roof rack, make a cage. Ordered a universal stereo amplifier for home and car. When I head south I’m going to look like Jed Clampett.

Stepped on a scorpion barefoot last night. He was not ecstatic about it. Then almost got nailed again in the shower. Picked a washcloth off the hook and he fell right at my feet. A scoop of water and down the drain he went. All are Arizona Bark Scorpions – supposedly the most potent species in the country. My left foot tingles like it’s getting a shock every step I take. Amazing help with arthritic problems though.

High wind but no rain from the storm. Asked the head of ConAgua last week how far down the aquifer has dropped since farming began a dozen years ago. One half-inch in a well 30 meters deep with a water level 3 meters below ground level. Man that has to be one big aquifer.

The kids [his granddaughters in Michoacan-ed.] are doing fine once they get through yelling at me to come home. No more violence in their region. They are shocked about how costly living is here in Baja. They purchased pineapples three for 15-pesos last Sunday at the tianguis. 24-pesos each here. I maxed out on Imperial margarine and butter. Four pounds on the former, 2 on the latter, should last 6-months.

At least I can get mayonnaise without that goddamned limon concentrate added. But there are no carnitas or tamales to be found. Bajacalifornianos have a Mexical diet. Heavy California emphasis. I cannot stand doughy flour tortillas. Or the pure heat no flavor kick they’re on with salsa habanero.

In better news, A local ranchero is going to sell me some lamb chops and I have a planter with menta ready to distill into a jar of apple jelly. Soak the leaves in pure alcohol, let the alcohol evaporate then scrape the concentrate into the jelly.

My vainilla plant has 7 pods. Ready to distill in alcohol. I hope Brenda does this right.

Este esta todo de chisme hasta al minuto.

2 Responses to “Friday at the Tienda”

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  1. -El Codo- says:

    Just for the record, the state of Quintana Roo (pronounced ROW) was next and the final state to be created was Baja California Sur.

    I prefer the sound of “Territory”. Telling friends and neighbors “Well I’m heading for ‘The Territory Of…”‘ is a lot more exotic sounding..

    This piece was written some time ago. The menta experiment turned into runny green liquid. Brenda forgot to scrape the jar so “Vainilla Concentrate” didn’t do it justice.

    And when I saw my first “Emperor Scorpion” itw as like seeing something out of a sci-fi horror flick. The largest scorpion in Mexico and probably among the largest scorpions period. My neighbor, Amparo wanted to extinguish it, but I remembered reading something in a National Geographic article about “The principal Diet Of The Emperor Scorpion Is……Other Scorpions”. She looked at me like I was nuts when I put the mild-mannered B-52 in a jar then released it in a nearby arroyo.

  2. Lorena says:

    My memories of camping in Baja also include a scorpion. It ran out of the fire one night, just after we had sat down on a log to eat a fish dinner, a fish that Carl had speared and grilled. When I yelled at getting stung by the scorpion, Carl looked over at me and said, “Well, you probably won’t feel like eating now, so I’ll finish your fish.” I thought I deserved a little sympathy, but he was right. I did lose my appetite.

    I also remember the scarcity and expense of fresh fruits and veggie, that were either imported from the mainland or grown by local farmers under difficult growing conditions.

    But I also remember the abundance of seafood from the Sea of Cortez, the incredible beauty of the desert meeting the Sea, and the wonderful people we met while kayaking and camping.

    Congratulations Señor Codo on finding such a wonderful lifestyle.