May 23, 2010

* Gringos in Mexico and Garage Sales

The entire concept of garage sales here in Mexico gives the whole idea new meaning for me.  Gringos are in Mexico.  Gringos miss their 'land of plenty of choice stuff'.  There are lots of things we are very used to in our lives which are not available here in Mexico.  Gringos move on. They can't take all their 'stuff'.  They create a Garage Sale.  Some here are by 'invitation only' for the first day.  The gringos who remain, 'move in', line up, wait, and do everything but stampede when the gate or door is opened.  They are craving what they left behind.  This morning there was quite a gathering outside the small door in the Colonia San Antonio.  Everyone looked calm.  Everyone smiled and chatted amongst themselves.  It's all a ruse.  Each person is planning and plotting.  How can I get ahead in this line without appearing 'pushy'.  What will my plan of attack be once I am inside.  Will I do a 'walk about' first.  Will I try to pick up everything I'm interested in and carry it with me while I decide?  What to do, What to do.  I'm sure the veterans of these sales have found out what works best for them and stick to a fairly general plan.  I'm still working on that. The small door is unlatched.  I watch Sylvia.  She's determined.  Gently and unobtrusively, she picks up her pace and is soon close to the front of the walking line.  I smile.  I observe.

Inside the walls, you never know what to expect.  It could be cramped quarters.  It could be a huge colonial home.  It could be acres and acres of tennis courts and casitas (like it was today).  Always a surprise to me what awaits my gaze behind the walls.

Today the sale took place in a casita within the walls.  Terraces full of plants and other ornamentation.  Quite honestly, I was a little overwhelmed.  It's because I don't really know what I 'need' yet.  I am not yet aware of what will fit where.  I haven't 'lived' in my space so I don't really have a sense of what I'm looking for.  It will come after I have moved in.

Straight in the front door I am greeted with beautiful yard goods.  Quilting came to mind.  Pillows popped into my head. Curtains?  I look.  It confuses me.  I don't have enough information yet.  What colours do I want.  What style do I want.  Are you serious about quilting again - or was that just a pop-in, pop-out thought?  Moving forward there is furniture.  Two lovely carved wooden chairs with arms.  Will I - won't I?  Move on ... into the back garden.  Greeted by plants, pots, lanterns, old windows, rusty old stuff -- an artists dream.  So many things, so many of them without prices.  Were they for sale?  Some things were marked 'not for sale'.  Confused again.  I was drawn to an old rusty round hand made bird cage hanging in a tree.  Still wired on very securely.  I climbed over benches and plants.  Yes -- I was in love.  I began to unwire it from it's hanging place.  "By the time I get this undone, everything else will be sold!" drifted in and out of my head.  Kept on twisting and turning the wire until the cage was set free.  When the full weight of it hit my body, I nearly toppled over into the flower bed.  I wobbled back over benches and plants holding on tight to my new found friend.  It was HEAVY -- !  Whew.  I began my trek back into the house.  Dodging people and things, bumping into others.  Made it into the kitchen.  Four cobalt blue hand painted chairs greeted me.  I had a quick sit.  They were comfortable.  My back fit nicely.  I began negotiations.  "Would you consider selling two instead of four?"  While the woman pondered my question, a man stepped forward, offered her $100.00 for the four.  Sold she cried.  Sold!  I cried.  Ah well, not meant to be.  I rummaged through a box of ancient brass fittings, choosing an old door plate and a primitive brass door knocker of a hand holding a ball.  Paid for my items and staggered out of the building.  But wait!  On the terrace I spied an old iron base which the bird cage could sit on.  HMMmmmmm.  I wouldn't have to hang it.  It could sit nicely in a corner of the terrace with candles in it.  I grabbed it.  Maneuvering my way back in, I negotiated a slightly better price, and met Sylvia outside.  She was standing outside the wall smiling down upon her collection. It takes so little to make us happy.  We admired each others goods.  Sigh of relief.  We had completed another mission successfully.

Now, I know most of you are going to WANT this bird cage and stand.  Can't help it!  I'm absolutely in love with rusty old stuff.
"There are people who have money and people who are rich."  ~Coco Chanel

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