Just like home

SEVENTEEN YEARS ago when I packed my two bags and flew to Mexico alone to reinvent myself in late middle age, I arrived in a spectacularly strange world.

Many of the things I was accustomed to simply were not available down here, and most of those things were commercial. I am a fan of capitalism and the goodies it offers.

Flash forward from 2000 to 2017 and — oh, my — how things have changed. Just about anything you can buy above the Rio Bravo is now available Down Mejico Way.

There is even a Mexican version of Amazon.com even though I much prefer our homegrown MercadoLibre.

The list of Gringo chain stores in Mexico is too lengthy to repeat here, and it seems to grow longer each year.*

I was particularly delighted when Bed Bath & Beyond, one of my favorite stores when I lived up north, opened recently in the nearby state capital. I shop there often.

There are eight BB&Bs in Mexico. Six are in Mexico City or its environs. A seventh is in Cuernavaca, the not-too-distant Mexico City playground,  and the eighth is in our capital city, the only one relatively remote from Mexico City.

Why were we chosen over the considerably larger burgs of Guadalajara or Monterrey? God knows.

Mexico commercially improves on a daily basis. You can now get most of what is available to the Gringos up north. Plus, we have great tacos, fresh avocados and beautiful babes.

Best of both worlds.

* * * *

* Very incomplete list: Best Buy, Sears, Costco, Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chili’s, Sirloin Stockade, iHop, Home Depot, Office Depot, Office Max, KFC, DQ, Starbucks.

(Note: We don’t depend entirely on the Gringos for great shopping. For example, the Mexican chain El Palacio de Hierro — The Iron Palace — will knock your high-end socks off, especially the flagship store in Mexico City’s Polanco.)

8 thoughts on “Just like home

  1. I want a Dairy Queen in Ajijic!! Even though I don’t live there it would be convenient enough for me rather than Guadalajara. Not as much traffic for just a Blizzard.


    1. Peggy: The DQ is a relatively recent addition to our state capital, about two years ago, I think. I did not notice it till about a year ago, and I was quite surprised. DQ is about the only such chain that makes no attempt whatsoever to be healthy. They don’t even pretend. Their offerings are notoriously fat-laden and quite tasty as a result.


  2. I guess if I was a full-time resident down here I would appreciate the large stores more. In El Campo (not Mexico, but Texas) I prefer shopping local, independent stores rather than the malls of Houston suburbs, and I shop the same way in Mérida buying mostly in the south part of centro when I can. I still enjoy the vendors knocking at the front gate and letting me know they have fresh mangoes. The first thing we always want to eat when we head north is a Whataburger. Are you familiar with that name? They started out in Corpus Christi.


    1. Bev: Ah, Whataburger! Of course, and I haven’t thought of that chain in ages. Truth is that I wasn’t much of a fast-food customer before leaving Texas. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a Whataburger.


  3. We’ve been squatting for near 30 years here in what used to be far north San Antonio and was even somewhat rural then. Now that everything is building out up this way, we don’t have to go far for anything. It has all come to us. But, hehehe, I shop on my computer at places that offer free shipping so no need to forage except on Amazon. Even the grocery stores are offering drive-up in front of their stores for pickup of called-in orders. And a taco truck on every corner just as was promised in the presidential campaign.


    1. Carole: Grocery stores offer drive-through now? Holy-moly! You people are getting so fancy-pants. And Trump promised a taco truck on every corner? I missed that promise, but it’s a good promise if the owners have their Green Cards.


  4. “* Very incomplete list: Best Buy, Sears, Costco, Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chili’s, Sirloin Stockade, iHop, Home Depot, Office Depot, Office Max, KFC, DQ, Starbucks.”

    And Carl’s Jr. Meh. Two thumbs down for iHop, Burger King and McDonalds.

    ¡Arriba! Home Depot. Great store, great service.

    Farmacias Benavides is owned by the mega drugstore chain, Walgreen’s.

    Soft serve ice cream: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_serve
    “Soft serve is generally lower in milk-fat (3% to 6%) than ice cream (10% to 18%) and is produced at a temperature of about −4 °C compared to ice cream, which is stored at −15 °C.”

    (I was in the soft serve selling biz back in the ’60s.)
    It’s the sundae toppings, etc, that drive up the calories and fat content.

    Don Cuevas


    1. Don Cuevas: I’ve only eaten at Carl Jr.’s twice, and it was pretty good. My primary gripe is they make things so absurdly large that it’s almost impossible to get it into your mouth.

      And I did not know that Benavides is owned by Walgreen’s. Interesting. While I’ve certainly seen them around, I don’t think I’ve ever been into a Benavides.

      Neither did I know you were a soft-server. Live and learn.


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