When your grandparents tell you they had to do any chore walking up a hill in the snow both ways- believe them!
We are learning skills that we never thought we would learn on our sailing trip. Skills we read about in sailing magazines but secretly thought, “Oh, we won’t have to do that.” Or maybe even “That doesn’t look that hard.” Well it is. And I feel so lucky that we have the choice to return to a life of convenience. Because some people never experience a life of convenience at all.
Q- GROCERY SHOPPING
- At Home. This one sounds easy, right? Get in the car, drive to Safeway/Vons/local grocery store. Park as close as you can to the entrance. Walk less than 3 minutes to the front door. Shop. Carry your groceries to the car and load the car. Drive home. Unload the groceries. Done! I remember griping about carrying groceries up the stairs to our lovely apartment in Palo Alto. We have to carry the groceries aaaaaaalllll the way from the car and aaaaaaalllll the way upstairs! I wish we didn’t have stairs! I would complain.
- On a boat. Let’s start with the fact that we are in a foreign country, we live on a boat, do not have a car, and we do not have bicycles.
I decide to walk to the grocery story but forget the map. I wander for an hour in what I think is the right direction. I walk under trees and bugs jump on me. I walk by fancy hotels and condo complexes full of timeshares. I walk by construction sites, a beach access, and a family on horses. I think I’m lost and I ask a nice bellhop for directions to Soriana. He confirms, “You are lost.” and proceeds to give me directions including so many busses that I lose count.
“La Mega?” I ask.
“Oh, that is only 7 minutes away from here.”
He says 7 minutes but I think he means 17 minutes. Nevermind, it is close enough. It is right across the street from the hotel Temptations, “An Adult Experience.” I finally arrive and step on to a people mover that whisks me above a beautiful blue fountain to the second floor.
Conor comes with me for Round 2 at the Mega
On the second level people are enjoying ice cream and Starbucks on an open patio overlooking the ocean.
What IS this place?! Can I live at the Mega?! I walk in and it gets better. There is a bakery immediately to the right. I get 2 churros for 5 pesos. That is less than 50 cents. An hour later after I have walked down every aisle I go to the checkout stand, pay my bill, tip the bagger (customary as baggers are usually students or retirees), then realize I have 5 bags. 5 bags? Obviously I didn’t think this through. Next time I must remember to bring more cloth bags. And buy less food! I cram as much as I can in to my purse and awkwardly hustle out the door and across the street to the bus stop with the rest of my loot in thin plastic bags. I remember a fellow cruiser giving me bus directions “If you go to the Mega, take the 1 to downtown San Jose and then take the 5 to the Mercadito in La Playita which is right by the marina.” Bus 1 comes and I manage to carry my bags on to the bus and the bus driver helps me watch for my stop. Getting off I manage to drop only 1 can and a nice lady fishes it from under her seat and hands it back to me. I walk a block and wait for bus 5. I wait so long that I think I can maybe walk back instead of taking the bus. The bus finally comes. I approach the bus and one of my bags break. Coffee, canned veggies and milk tumble to the ground rolling away from me and under the bus. I am not pleased. A teenage boy is nice enough to help me collect my runaway food items and the bus driver is nice enough to wait. I get off at my stop and am so happy. Just a 5 minute walk to the boat. As soon as I start to walk the rest of my bags start ripping and I am carrying my remaining groceries like a 5 year old who is trying to carry too many toys at once. Apples and avocados are spilling out and hitting the ground. I pick one item up only to have another fall out. This continues all the way to the boat. Conor now goes to the grocery store with me. It is much easier with two people and a little planning.
- At Home. Carry the laundry to the laundry room. Sort clothes. Put clothes in the washer. Move to the dryer when done. Remove from dryer. Fold laundry and put away. What a splendidly easy chore.
- On a boat. Well I have 3 options in San Jose del Cabo.
- Pay $10 per load and someone will pick up the laundry and drop it off at the boat the next day.
- Lug several bags on to the bus and through town to a Lavanderia. Laundry Mat.
- Do my laundry on the boat.
When we first arrived I refused to pay $10 per load as I thought that was highway robbery. (Although thank goodness that Mama Riley surprised us by paying for several loads of hand delivered laundry during her stay). I also was too lazy to lug the several bags in to town. I did this in Ensenada and ended up getting lost and a nice man tried to sell me knife sharpening for 5 blocks (I told him I was on vacation to get rid of him and he responded, “but don’t you prepare any food?!” Does that mean that everyone in Mexico on vacation travels with kitchen knives?)
So this leaves option 3. Do laundry on the boat. They had quite a set up on the long dock. The long dock is a future fuel dock. The boats on the long dock have no access to power and it is outfitted with communal water hoses that are not long enough to reach the boat. The cost is about half of what we are paying and it is a lovely communal atmosphere. One boat had a great laundry bucket. Another had a special plunger that is used specifically to do laundry by hand and another had a clothes wringer. Since Moondance is in the “high rent district” with water and power we were on our own. I can do our laundry. It doesn’t look so hard, I thought.
Laundry at the dock
I get my 5 gallon bucket out, laundry detergent, a stick, dish gloves, and a pile of dirty clothes. I don’t know why I got the stick. I poked the wet clothes with it as if I was checking to see if they were dead. Then abondoned this method of agitation and started using my hands. Within 5 minutes I had suds in my hair, I’m soaking wet from the hose and I’m sweating. Agitating clothes by hand, I find, is a lot of work.
Keeping it classy at the marina
I don’t have enough clothes pins and my whites are only partially white. I think I’m going to start wearing strictly bathing suits and board shorts from now on.
So why is this still worth it? There is something rewarding about working so hard for the basic necessities. We walk everywhere. We experience more of our surroundings and meet more people. And we learn to slow down and appreciate more in life.