Secrets to Being a Local
By Joanne M. Birce of Alma Libre
I’m going to let you in on a few secrets we’ve discovered since moving to Puerto Morelos that have made our lives easier and certainly more enjoyable. Did you know that almost everything here can be purchased right at your own front door?
Not only can you get your gas and drinking water delivered to your door, but here in Puerto Morelos and other towns, we have a never-ending supply of retailers who distribute their wares by foot or truck. Most prominent are the “Orange Guys”. These are pick up trucks with crackling loud speakers that slowly drive through the streets barking out their sales pitch in distorted Spanish. They sell seasonal fruits and vegetables along with delicious juice oranges. Depending on the time of year you may also find fresh pineapples, large onions, tomatoes for salsa or huge mangos.
Also in the streets of Puerto Morelos you will hear the yell of “Fresas, Fresas” which is the door to door strawberry salesman. This may be followed by the cry of “Camarones”, which are the shrimp guys from Campeche. The knife sharpener announces his presence with a distinct flute whistle. And usually once a week, a large truck carrying plastics rolls through town selling everything from bowls to hampers to garbage cans.
Other traveling salesmen include carts serving home made ice cream, candy salesmen who carry their sweets on a tray on their heads, small items of furniture, dollies filled with blankets, and my personal favourite, the door to door crucifix salesman (some times the crosses are 6 feet tall). And if you have a sweet tooth, listen for the gentle “honk, honk” of the bakery truck around dusk selling bread, pan dulce and lots of other treats. Also in the evenings you can hear the happy honk of the Pizza delivery guys who come from pizza chains in other towns to sell pies off the back of their scooters.
And if that wasn’t enough door to door service, our town doctor still makes house calls.
And I’ll let you in on a few more secrets. In our town we have a tortilla factory that makes hot, fresh corn tortillas all day. For only few pesos, you’ll get a whole stack. We also have several “Chicken Ladies”. These are woman who on select days grill or roast whole chickens. You can buy them for about $50 pesos and they usually come with a few side dishes, maybe rice, beans or tortillas. This is Puerto Morelos’ version of fast food. There are also several ladies who will cook fish-to-go as well. You can even bring your own or buy the catch of the day from the Fish Co-op most days around 2-3pm. What type of fish or seafood you find there depends on the season and what was caught that morning. If you ask them, for a few extra pesos they will fillet it for you. And every Wednesday morning Puerto Morelos has its own fruit & vegetable market beside the church.
And I’ve saved my favourite secret for last. There are 3 beauty shops in town that offer a manicures & pedicures combined for under $200 pesos. A great way to treat yourself.
These are just a few of the things that you may not know about when you arrive in Puerto Morelos, but they can make your stay more enjoyable. It’s all part of being a local, if only for a few days.