Magi Azul - Caribe Beach House

Enjoy my family's adventure living on a Caribbean island as they build a boutique vacation beach house. Get a peek at island living and join me in some mischievous musings!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Isla's Market Milestone

Isla has it's first mega store and all over the island you see Chedraui signs with arrows pointing the way to it's newest attraction. For all you gringos I am not talking about an amusement park or other tourist attraction. I am talking about Chedraui - Mexico's equivalent to Super Walmart (I actually think it is nicer.) As I pulled up to this mammoth in my sputtering golf cart the traffic behind me was growing impatient as  I struggled unsuccessfully to get a good shot of the store and drive at the same time.

Chedauri marks a milestone for Isla in several ways.  It is our first mega store, our first stop light, our first parking garage and our first escalator. My family and  I rode up the escaltor with the fascination of an aborigine seeing fire for the first time. We were like the Beverly hillbillies in New York City  as we excitedly ooohhhed and aaahhhed at the myriad of choices we now had.  The bakery was was like Candyland for my 11 year old. The wine section alone was bigger than most tiendas on the island.  The main exclamation of joy from most islanders was "Now I don't have to go to Cancun!" And though I do happily join that chorus, part of me is sighing a song of lament.

Will the little corner stores and the mercado be able to survive now that Chedraui is here. Though finding everything I want in one place is very convenient, it is not the same in the produce section. As I squeezed all the unripened mameys there was no Jelmy to help me pick a good one.  The light orange tomatoes paled in comparison to Louisa's bright red ones. And there was no Raphael to cut the papayas in half.  As I picked a few pieces of fruit out, my 11 year old chirped in, "Mom, I thought you said you were going to keep buying your produce at the mercado!" My little crusader for justice is right. And so today I am making 2 stops instead of one. I am off to the mercado for the freshest and ripest fruit on the island and the sweetest people selling them too. What I can't find there will be found at Chedraui. I do not want the arrival of this new giant to mark the end of our little markets that have served us for generations. Let me hear an amen if you agree.