Today we drove down to the Chetumal mercado. My objective was to buy a hamaca (hammock) to replace the one we gave Brooks and Linda this summer. We took Lyle and Liz, our neighbors here in the park along with us. We first went for lunch in a local restaurant that was recommended by our friend Kathe a few years ago. I remembered it for it's excellent tacos pescados (fish tacos) which is what we all wanted. Well! The menu has changed and they no longer have tacos pescados! We had to make do with something else. My second choice was Pescado Veracruzana which was actually very good. Norma's second choice of seafood stuffed Chile Relenos was not so good. Lyle had pork with extra garlic and Liz had a stuffed potato which she assumed would be baked but was actually mashed potatoes stuffed with meat and cheese. I would have taken photos but I left my memory card in the computer!
As we were eating, a hamaca salesman came through the restaurant with two hamacas. He showed them to us and told us the large one was $1200 pesos and the small one $575 pesos. He actually quoted me in USA dollars which ticked me off a lot. We told him we wanted a large one but it was too expensive, He dropped his price to $800 pesos but that was still too much so we said no. I am not a dumb Gringo.
After lunch Norma and I took off to try to find the shop where we had bought a hamaca two years ago when we were with our Dutch friends, Claudia and PJ. We kind of remembered where it was and sure enough we found the shop on the other side of the mercado on Aveneda de Los Heros. We walked in and there was the salesman who had tried to sell us the overpriced hamaca in the restaurant! It seems he was either selling for the owner of this shop or buying his hamacas there which he then tried to sell on the street at a huge markup. He left as soon as he saw us walk in. We found a nice, extra large model that we liked. The color was not perfect but it will do. We asked how much and were told $450 pesos. This is about a third of what the wandering salesman first asked for! We offered $400 pesos and it was immediately accepted. We probably could have got it for $350 pesos but we were very happy with the deal we made. It was a good price and he has to make a living.
Lyle and Liz have been having a little trouble keeping their fridge cold in the heat down here. I showed him the modification I had made to ours by adding a small computer fan to the cooling coils. It moves a little air past the coils and up the chimney and this seems to improve the operation of the fridge. Lyle wanted to find a computer shop that sold used parts. They found one shop which directed them to another shop that we drove to when we left. They explained what they wanted and the repair guy dug through a box of recycled parts until he came up with a fan. Lyle asked him if he had two so he could have a spare so he went digging again until he came up with a second fan. Lyle asked him to test them so he found a 12 volt power supply and showed us they both worked. He handed them over and Liz asked how much he wanted and he said, "Nothing, they came out of the junk!" Wow! Liz gave him $30 pesos to buy himself a beer or a snack and everyone was happy, specially Lyle and Liz.
It was not so great a day for Norma because for the first time in recorded history, she did not "need" anything! No sheets, pillows, clothes, shoes, rugs... nothing!
We got back to the park where Lyle and I installed one of the fans in his fridge compartment while Liz whipped up some strawberry daiquiris that were very delicious. It was a successful day! Tomorrow we will see if their fridge is a little cooler.