Who would have thought I'd write about a supermarket. Holy Walmart! This is an exception to the things I promised myself not to write about. Ask my friend Kathy B about the Super Che. She and Pat (husband) were here on opening day, with the extremely skimpily clad "Sol Girls" out front, enticing the men at least, to have a beer (it was a hot day). And if 25,000 people do live in this region of Mexico, they were all here that day! Buses. Taxis. Hordes of people. You'd have thought we had never seen a supermarket.
In fact, many people in this region had never even seen a supermarket before. There were concerns though, because this is a community based on shopping at the public market place, and little tiendas. Unbelievably, not much has changed. We all still shop on fruit and vegetable street, fish street, chicken street, and the public market. We still go to our favorite bakeries, and get our honey scooped out into whatever container is handy, on the street. Instead of 4 stops, we all now make 5 stops.
What? You can get wine at Che. Decent wine. Cheap wine. Malbec from Spain and Argentina. Cabs from Chile. White Burgundies from France. Carlo Rossi, for God's sake. For those of us who can't live without North American/European chocolate manifestations, we took heart, real chocolate. The import section alone is a marvel. This section even has it's own ceiling and lighting, highlighting the products, like nothing else in Che. It's the first section you see when you enter the store. They know their market.
Admittedly I cruise that section everytime. (And so do our friends Karen and Ed, when they visit us, just to see.) Rice crackers, Thai, Chinese and Japanese condiments, salad dressings from the States, a ton of products from Italy. There are also aisles of cereals, flour, baking soda, yeast, syrups, cake mixes, even brownie mix, toilet paper, paper towels, canned Charros beans, a bakery that in a pinch, ain't bad; and TV sets, furniture, bedding, kitchenwares, motorscooters, and motorcycles, swiming-pool stuff, chips; yes indeed God smiled on Huatulco the day the Che opened.
BC, before Che, we survived. Those of us who retired here are spoiled though. We still have guests coming down with suitcases loaded with things we "need". And although we didn't bitch about not having choices and lack of variety in some products, we persevered and shopped ingeniously, buying prudently. We still love going to the market, and still do most of our shopping there. But I didn't know what I was missing until I was in Veracruz and went into a Chedraui supermarket, and loaded a basket with tupperware-like containers, some plates, a ton of wine, chocolate covered almonds, trail mix, and some spices I hadn't seen since moving here.
For those of us who grew up with the mega supermarket as "the enemy", let me tell you, we have no shame here. We hit the Che at least once a week. We moved here knowing our life would change, that we would be trading a priviliged lifestyle for peace and simplicity. We loved it, don't get me wrong, but for Che I would have so missed pine nuts, basalmic vinegar, polenta and MM's. I would have survived. I would have....