Our first day in Corozal began after Hubby slept 10 hours and I slept 12. Hubby said he checked on me twice thinking something might be wrong. Nope, nothing wrong. My body needed a bit of extra rest and took it.
Let’s begin by putting all the cards on the table. I like the simple things in life. So much so that beginning with shower water that was tepid at best did not make me smile. Learning how the gas on-demand water system works went to the top of my to-do list.
Next on the list was food.
Just as our stomachs began to growl in unison, Connie, our landlady, dropped by to see if we wanted a ride to town for a quick tour of shopping opportunities for groceries. We jumped into our shorts and flip flops and off we went. As we rode, I made a list of must-haves such as milk, butter, and bread. However, our first stop was the fresh market.
(Side note: OK, I did not mean the Fresh Market as we all know it. The fresh market in Corozal is a market where fresh fruit and vegetables are sold from vendors who rent stalls and supply them with tables.)
There were stalls on the right side of the market that sold only fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs. On the left, there were stalls where clothing and undergarments were sold. Connie directed us to her favorite vendors, Sylvia and Peter. Gracious to say the least, they assisted up while choosing only the freshest oranges, apples, broccoli, potatoes and onions. Sylvia let me know that new stock would arrive Friday and that she would save lettuce and tomatoes for me. We spent $17 Belizean which amounts to $8.50 US.
Two blocks from the market, our next stop was New World Grocery. According to Connie, nearly all the grocery stores in Corozal are owned by Chinese families. She stated that, “New World is my favorite because they have more choices that any of the others. With this information, we shopped for all the things on our must-have list.
The grocery store was more like a large curb market in the states. The only difference was the many chest type freezers filled with frozen meat. Connie suggested that we not purchase frozen meat and that our next stop was a fresh meat market.
As we drove the quick distance to Juds, the meat market, Connie reminded us not to purchase too much due to the size of our kitchen cabinets and fridge! And that for the most part, shopping is a daily event. (Hm…)
As we entered the meat market, I noticed the cleanliness. (I must admit, I am a germ-o-phobe. Need I say more?) The prices were listed on the wall and seemed reasonable. Hubby and I listened and watch as Connie placed her order. Pork chops, ground sirloin, and flank steak rounded out our purchase in hopes that we wouldn’t have to make too many trips into town each week.
Last but not least, Wnot Bakery . Oh my goodness! The aroma hit us long before we were in the door. Watching hubby choose fresh croissants, sandwich bread and pastries was heartwarming. I just knew he was experiencing memories of his Mom making home-made bread. What made it even more delightful was the gracious nature of the shop owner, Mary. We left with our bag full and our hearts warm.
I’m thinking that absorbing the nuances of the shopping culture in Corozal will take some time. And adjusting to calculating the conversion of US to Belizean monies will be a constant. Little did I know that this shopping trip would be the beginning of many shopping adventures.