I’m finally caught up on the usual chores but of course my primary goal was to change money so I headed to the Gold Zone to find a cambio. The bus ride into town was simple and direct. I did ask the bus driver If it was possible to take dogs on the bus on the off-chance I wanted to do some city walking with them, and he looked at me as if I was crazy so the dogs stayed home. He also wasn’t the most patient trying to decipher my Spanish.
I’ve found that most Mexicans who can speak English will preëmpt me by speaking English. I’m trying very hard to not fall into the trap of speaking English instead of Spanish so even if they initiate a conversation in English I try to answer in Spanish. Most people are happy to help when they realize that you’re trying. I went to the bank and told the teller that I wanted to change money, Quiero cambiar Dolores. She told me that they didn’t change money in the bank but I could go to a cambio that was down the street and to the right. I was extremely proud of myself that I understood what she said and headed down the street and found the cambio. So once again I said, “Buenas tardes, Senoir. Quiero cambinar dolores.” He grinned and said, “dolares a pesos.” So I repeated, “Quiero cambinar dolores a pesos.” We continued in this elementary conversation as teacher and student while having a simple conversation. He was very careful to speak slowly and patiently corrected my mistakes. As it turns out he had lived in LA for 10 years and learned to speak English the hard way, through immersion and perseverance. He said not to be embarrassed trying to speak or practice. It was such a heart warming and encouraging exchange I couldn’t stop grinning. As I walked down the street, like a very happy idiot, I shouted “hola” to all the merchants I passed.
So my next chore was to find a Spanish verb book. I’d found the address for a used bookstore and set out to find it. Having only a hand written map it was necessary to do a little hunting and finally I saw a sign (in English) that said Book Store, so I headed down the alleyway. What I found wasn’t the store I was after but a curios shop. The merchant came out and offered me to come inside. I told him that I was looking for a Spanish vocabulary book and he showed me the book he had. It was his own publication and had a variety of sayings, verb conjugations, info about Mazatlan, etc. I told him that I was looking only for a book of Spanish verbs but he was such a good salesman I decided that I had to buy his book anyway. He signed it for me on the off-chance that some day his book becomes a famous some day. I eventually found the proper bookstore and by some luck bought the only Spanish verb book they had and it had just come in the day before…. Sitting on top of a pile in the back of the store.
I decided, despite the fact that I’d left the dogs behind I wanted to catch the bus to the Old Town.
Not having a clue about which bus to take, I asked around and eventually got on the appropriate bus , asked around once more to find out where to get off to find some vegetables and fish. The two women sitting in front of me had no idea so I turned around and asked the two men behind me. They didn’t know either. I was just thinking that I might as well just take the bus back ‘home’ when they offered that I join them since they were going to walk back to the Golden Zone and it might be a good way to see Old Town. We ended up walking the lower beachfront into the old city, having a beer and heading back to the Gold Zone with them. They were great company.
It was finally time to head back to the dogs and so we could take our accustomed late afternoon walk on the beach.
Time to get home to call Olympus about the camera. It’s showing a Card Error and needs to be sent in for repair. The Mexico Facebook group suggests that getting a new camera is the best option since I may lose the camera in the Mexican mail system. Of course this means I need to find a destination address for shipping. I’m not sure what to do.
In the mean time I am back to using the iPhone for photos
Tomorrow we leave to head south