Right now I'm having anticipatory flash backs of standing at the counter of La Gloria Tortilleria, listening to the hum of the conveyor belts carrying golden disks of corn into the waiting warm ovens. The smiling senora behind the counter (whose name is unfortunately not flashing back) gives me a smile along with a stack of steaming tortillas. She quickly wraps them in brown paper and takes my 10 pesos in her plastic-gloved hand. I wrap my new treasure in my tortilla towel and stop to get my roasted chicken from Fannie right next door.
She takes a hot chicken covered is achiote seasoning and cuts it into pieces with her scissors. I always marvel how her little hands have the strength to cut through those chickens and their bones like she's cutting construction paper. After exchanging happy "Como estas?" Fannie also bags rice, beans, slaw and some hot sauce with my charcoal roasted chicken. She knows I prefer an extra bag of rice instead of the spaghetti they usually put in the bag and makes the substitution without me having to ask. That is what I call service! All I need next is an avocado from the little Mayan lady who sets up her card table of assorted produce under a tree and a tarp on the other side of the road. Now this is one stop shopping Mexico style.
I can hardly wait 10 more days till I return to shopping in Mexico. It has it's pros and cons. But right now all I can seem to think about are the charms of buying venduras (vegetables) from Jelmy, who always makes sure I pick good pieces and tucks a gift of some kind of fruit in my bag. Or Raphael, a couple stalls away, who always has the best selection of produce in the mercado. Oh and how could I forget the fresh squeezed orange juice from Martivino. Grocery shopping in Mexico is an emotional experience of textures, tastes, smells and smiles. It somehow makes pushing a cart at Super Walmart seem so hollow and mundane. Sometimes less is truly more.