Friday, March 4, 2011

Rejoice! I Haz A Kitchen!

Clear Water? Yep.
Isla Mujeres was great, but without a kitchen it was way too expensive. Maybe in October or November I'll go back and stay, or maybe next January, and do work exchange, or work in a tourist bar. For now, though, it was time to get away from the craziness.

So yesterday at about 7am I got up and started packing. I nommed the free breakfast (tea or coffee plus toast w/ sweet toppings), checked out, and was on my way by 8:30.

Mujeres from the ferry dock.
8 hours later I was in my new home. I may have to stay forever. I'm honestly not sure I should tell you where I am. So far it's mostly sport-fishermen, backpackers, and hard-core marine biologist-types who come here (whale sharks, you know). Though I doubt many people reading this would want a 3.5 hour bus ride each way just for a relaxing bit of perfection. Not even for *cheap* perfection.

Anyway, for m$100 a night (about us$250/month) I have a bed in a (girls only) dorm, hot and cold running water, a private balcony, kitchen access, wifi, all the hammocks I care to rock in, and one heck of a view. Did I mention that my bed is less than 100 feet from the beach?
Room with a view.
Anyway, with a kitchen it's time to shop! No receipts today, the tiny shops don't really hand them out. But I hit 3 different shops and got everything I need for m$58.50 ($4.87, tells me).

At the first shop, generously called the grocery store (there are 3 on the island, I think, each about the size of a (small) convenience store) I got 900g of rice, 210ml of tomato sauce (like crushed tomatoes, not ketchup), 450g of lentils, and 200g of pasta (I think that was it) for m$35.50. The tomatoes were 5 pesos, and I might get them again, I don't know yet. Fresh ones are m$12/kg, and may be a better deal.
Roof View, too. Hammocks behind me.
Right across the street is a small... tortillarilla? Tortilla shop. By the kg- 8 pesos per. I'm playing "don't ask, don't tell" with the tortillas. I'm just pretending that there's vegetable oil in them, and I don't want anyone telling me otherwise. They don't keep large animals on the island, there's no beef at all, and I think all the non-fish meat is brought over by boat, so it's entirely possible that they *are* made with vegetable oil. Or that's what I'm gonna keep telling myself.

So yeah, 1kg of (*really, really*) fresh tortillas for m$8. I'll probably finish them in the next couple days, before they go weird.

Then off to hunt down the veggie guy. 1 head of garlic, 1 white onion, 1 (decent sized) zucchini, m$15. I'm told there is an actual veggie market here somewhere, I'll have to hunt it down tomorrow.
Veggie Tacos
So with that I made veggie "tacos". This is probably going to start sounding like a really familiar recipe.

  • 1/2 medium zucchini, sliced/ chopped into 1/4th rounds (2.5 pesos, .21us)
  • 1/5 white onion, chopped (1 peso, .08us)
  • 1 clove garlic, diced (.5? peso, ~.04us)
  • 5 tortillas, small, fresh (~1 peso, .08us)
  • oil (from the free bin), (.02us?)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (also from the free bin) (<.01us)
Fry up the veggies in the oil and salt, stuff into tortillas, eat. Total cost, about m$5, or... 42 cents US.

I think picking up veggies ever day or every other day, if I can figure out what's cheap and in season, I can probably eat pretty good *here* on $1us a day. Heck, that's 12 whole pesos, and I only spent 5 on lunch.

I guess it makes up for the *really* good US$15 dinner I had last night.

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