Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gringos in Mazatlán


Here in Mazatlán we are yards away from both a busy street and the ocean. As I listen to the mixture of sounds, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between traffic and surf. Perhaps two-thirds of the RVs here in Mar Rosa RV Park are from Canada, including every U.S.-bordering province except for the Maritimes. License plates abound from British Columbia, and these people are here for multi-month stays. With the exception of someone from Ohio, the U.S. visitors are all from west of the Mississippi.

If you can tear yourself away from the lovely beach, getting around the city is easy and inexpensive. Yesterday we rode a bus into downtown for nine pesos each, which amounts to a little over a half dollar. The bus had a hand-printed destination on its cracked windshield, and a little girl who was maybe four or five years old sat on the driver's knee. Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, I suppose.

We rode a pulmonia to an indoor shopping area with dozens of vendors selling clothing, arts, crafts, food, and such. Vendors tend be assertive and friendly, and to an extent you can haggle on prices. Nancy and I must have Gringo emblazoned on our foreheads, because the vendors immediately try out their English on us. For regular shopping, the big chains like Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stand ready to take your pesos. We've been buying groceries at a nearby Mega super market, which is as modern and well-stocked as any in the States.

One night this week we attended an excellent flamenco performance in the historical part of the city. You can see a YouTube video of the dance troupe on their website.