Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Janet bought 30 lemon tree seeds from Italy's Amalfi coast last year, and is ready to get them germinating in sand-filled cups. I can find tons of sand at places on the outskirts of town, but I needed only 10kg or so. A friend suggested a nearby mercado. I went by this morning. Vendors first wanted to be sure I wanted arena (sand) and not farina (flour) of which there was plenty. No, no sand here, they said, but two blocks thataway was a tienda that sold sand. Two blocks later I was there: a modest house on the corner, with the living room half full of different sizes of bagged river sand. No signs. It's good that the doors are open, so one can see inside. Grandma is sitting at a desk watching TV, papa is chatting with the daughter who's home for lunch. Pop shows me the options. This is one of those occasions where I'm the monkey who escaped the zoo. The three of them just look at me and smile, the wonder of a tall Spanish-speaking gringo standing in their living room buying sand for God knows what. I pick a 10kg fibermesh bag and pay the daughter, who gets my change from Grandma. I taxi home to avoid toting the sand up to the house, which is over 150' higher than Centro.
A pleasant & productive morning.