Well yes: you can Google Walmart and read about their oft-quoted unfair labor practices in the US, but in Mexico — where benefits aren’t expected and a living wage is a fraction of what’s required in the US — people love the place. It’s only about two miles up the road. Naturally, we had to pay it a visit.
The “Blue Bus” takes us there. (The Blue Bus takes us anywhere in PV, and there’s a stop right in front of our place at Los Tules.) Buses in PV cost about fifty cents (US) per ride. They seem to have no springs and the streets are mostly cobblestone, so they rattle like Phyllis Diller’s laugh. The operators all ascribe to the jerk-and-swerve school of driving (when coming aboard, it’s best to take a seat, pronto), and they only accept cash (no passes; no transfers). They make change while shifting manual transmissions and negotiating PV traffic at significant speed. I usually close my eyes when I ride.
We arrive. It’s barely 9:00 AM and the parking lot is already full, but then again, this store never closes. It’s open twenty-four hours a day.
As promised, the store is HUGE. (Click to enlarge.)
It’s huge and it sells everything. Motorcycles are $13,999 pesos — about $1090 USD.
Electronics, on the other hand, as they are everywhere in Mexico, are outrageously expensive. The computer on the right, priced at $6990 pesos ($530 USD) sells for a little over $300 at home. (Want to make a Mexican friend for life? Offer to bring something electronic from the US when you come to visit.)
Louise, displeased with my labor-intensive, single-cup, filter-funnel coffee technology, spied a coffee maker for $18 US and scooped it up.
I found the tequila aisle and reveled in the selection (and prices!). Everything surrounding me — on both sides of the aisle — is tequila. They have tents on aisle sixteen. I could pitch one here…
Just like merchandising in the US, all the Halloween stuff is out. It’s quite difficult for native Spanish speakers to say the “tr” combination of letters as we do, as in “trick or treat.” I suspect we’ll prowl the town Halloween eve to hear how it’s done.
We returned home via cab — there was no way we could haul all our stuff on a bus — although I told Louise I’d make multiple trips and bring it all home in my backpack if she let me buy a motorcycle. She just pointed to all the cobblestones and mumbled something about a death wish.
Jeesh! Buzzkill. But Walmart is open 24 hours: I could sneak up there tonight at 2:00 and buy a moto while she sleeps. She got a coffee maker, after all…
Katharine Doel said:
Cute dress LL. Glad you got your coffee maker. Hi Tom!
Louise really has no respect for minimalism, but I gotta say, the coffeemaker does a good job of making coffee in quantity, and she likes a LOTTA coffee.
Too funny Tom – great post! I nearly splurted my morning coffee when I got to the “pitching a tent in the tequilla aisle.” When we were in Malta they had buses like the one you described – the local folks called them “boneshakers.” 🙂 And we just rode an equivalent here in Budapest yesterday. Glad that Louise got her coffee maker – looks like a winner. ~Terri
(p.s. Did you get my note on your “This Can’t Really Be Happening To Us” post?)
Splurted!!? Good word, Terri. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it someday. As for the buses, I can’t help but compare them to those in Spain and Greece, which were luxurious and quiet.
Thanks about the reminder re Mike and Florence. I’ll correspond with them soon.
kappy lundy said:
I’ve an idea! You could get a job as a Wallmart checker, suggest they start a delivery service and guess what? You’ll offer to do the delivering, on their bike. Rack up the miles and then buy it used when you get laid off. Just a suggestion.
L. thanks for the e-card. you are a dear.
Love it! Especially the past about buying it used, after *I* used it. I propose the plan to them tomorrow… and tell hyphen it was your idea.