In the words of the all-too-mortal Gilda Radner: "It just goes to show you, it's always something."
Every community has its tourist attractions. The Black Hills have Mount Rushmore. San Antonio has The Alamo. Minneapolis has world-famous toilet stalls.
If you read the local literature, Melaque outscores them all with -- its tianguis
Every Wednesday, a group of entrepreneurs sets up shop in a major street to sell their wares. When I visited in July last year, the owner of the house told me that it was a must-see. Not to be missed. It should be high up on my Bucket List.
So, I went. And I went again today to ensure that my first impression was not somehow tainted by comparing this travelling flea market to the other joys of the Pacific coast.
This time I took my brother.
Now, all of you have probably come to the conclusion that my bother and I us are very similar. And we are.
So, I was not surprised when he commented that tianguis
must be Spanish for giant yard sale. And he was correct. Most of the merchandise had a certain better-days-will-not be-seen-here ambience.
Being part of a Niles and Fraser show can be unpredictable. One moment, you can be talking about the nuances of wild versus cultivated oyster mushrooms; the next moment, one of you is looking at hardware to fix a leaky hose.
In mid-witty sentence, my younger brother was sucked into the maw of Charybdis. He purchased several pieces of hose hardware, using his minimal Spanish -- saving at least 75% of the cost for the same items at Commercial Mexicana.
He had such fun with that experience, we stopped at a hardware store on the way home to buy a flow valve and hose clamps.
For those of you who have not been to a Mexican hardware store, it is more akin to a wholesale parts counter than to Home Depot. Like Scylla on a bad day.
Rather than wandering through rows of nuts and screws, you describe your need to the man or woman at the counter. He or she then brings a proposed solution to you. Rather like a pharmacist.
I was once again amazed that my kid brother had the temerity to ask, to be understood, and to walk away with his problems (at least, those related to garden hoses) resolved.
Having had a full day of Authentic Mexican Experiences, we decided to try Mexican pizza. So off we drove. I pulled up to the far-too-high curb and got far-too-close.
Years ago, a Mexican laborer in a quarry broke up a pile of rocks. Some became gravel. Some smaller rocks. But one piece retained a very sharp edge.
That rock was part of a shipment to San Patricio to build sidewalks around an older building. The concrete worker sifted the rocks, as carefully as he sifted his sand, but that self-same rock slipped through into the mixture.
As the years went by, the concrete began to erode as concrete does. Large pieces of rock fell out of the tall sidewalk. But that sharp rock simply became more exposed. Children broke off other pieces of rock. But the sharp rock simply stuck out of the curb -- doing nothing in particular.
If the quarryman had smashed the rock, if the concrete worker had tossed it aside, if nature had eroded it away, if the children had broken it off, when Steve drove his truck up to the curb -- nothing would have happened.
But something did happen. The new front right tire that Steve purchased just before leaving Salem struck the rock while pulling up to the curb -- and the rock won, tearing a large hunk of rubber from the side wall.
There was no flat tire. No blow out. Simply the certainty that the tire's life was over. And would need to be replaced before Younger Brother could make it to the Manzanillo Airport on Thursday.
"I want to wake up every morning and not know how I am going to get through the day," said the ever-confident Mr. Cotton when departing from Salem.
Let me introduce you to Roseanne Roseannadanna, Mr. Cotton.
Because: "It's always something."