Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Small Things

Yesterday, I found a butcher shop.
That normally wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm choosy about buying meat. Every little farmers' market/mercado always has 2 or 3 vendors selling meat. And those cuts are usually hanging in the air, out on hooks, supper for the flies. Oftentimes, it doesn't look very fresh. Dried blood on the counters and cases (if there are cases).

So--being finicky--I've taken the easy way out and bought meat in the big supermarkets (I buy veg & fruit at the mercados). Well, yesterday I was talking about this to the lady who owns the lunch place I eat at almost every day. She serves "comida corrida" (blue plate special) for about $3, and it's always good. And her place is spotless. She said, "you've got to check out the place I buy my meat for the restaurant. They have the freshest meats, and they're really clean. Here's a receipt from my last purchase. They're just down the street....called RYC Meats."

I took her suggestion and went on an exploratory mission. RYC Meats is every bit as good as she said! Super clean; a big, big selection; good service with several butchers behind the counter. They cut meat to order if you want something special. All of it was fresh looking. And I splurged: $10US worth of meat. That bought a kilo of ground beef, two chicken leg & thighs, very thin-cut "milenesa" of beef, and a package of pre-made meatballs.

On the way home from the butcher shop, I stopped by another find from last week, the flower lady at the mercado. Back in the States, I NEVER bought flowers. Considered it an unnecessary expense. But here, they are so CHEAP! This older woman grows flowers for the market in her back garden and brings them in every day. I bought 2 branches of white stargazer lilies, because they smell incredible. Later, at the gringo library, I bought a dozen roses (for $2.50) from an Indian lady who comes in with her little cart filled with vegetables and flowers.

It's small things like that that make living in Oaxaca pleasant.