Cozumel is really getting developed in a big way. Recently we got a giant new grocery store, that has actually made shopping for food less gruesome. I can’t tell you how much I hated to go to the grocery store. I’m not a squeamish person, really! However, the other grocery store, where I used to shop, was often frightening and frustrating.

There was no consistency. Just because you had seen a particular item on your last visit is not an indicator that you will ever see that item again. I’ve coasted in there, shopping list in hand only to find out that key essential ingredients for Thursday’s pot luck were unavailable, forcing me to mentally recreate recipes in my head. “Ok, so the pasta salad is out, but perhaps I can work these beans into something nice..”

Once upon a brief time they had veggie burgers, and Oh how I loved them. I would race expectantly over to the refrigerated section searching for my beloved veggie burgers. First they were there consistently, then sometimes and then, never to be seen again. I finally asked one of the clerks, and she told me they were no longer carrying them “They were really popular, see? And we couldn’t keep them in stock all the time, so we got complaints, so, no, we’re not going to sell them anymore.”

Like I said, I’m not a super girly girl, but even the vegetable section grossed me out. There were fruit flies, and it smelled. There was half rotten produce that had been fondled by multitudes of strangers, trying to see if they could salvage enough for a meal.
Most importantly, the roof leaked. Dripping water would mix with the rotten vegetable pulp, creating a slick area of spooge. Rather than clean this spooge up, what the staff would do was place flattened cardboard boxes over them. That way you were cross the sea o spooge on your cardboard surfboard.

One particular incident stands out clearly in my mind. I was shopping and had a full cart of selections. I stopped in the veggie section, hit one of the cardboard flats just right and landed IN the spooge. I was literally covered from hip to ankle in sludge. It was probably one of the most disgusting things that had ever happened to me. Fellow shoppers looked on in both revulsion and sympathy. I stood up, wiped my hands on my pants, collected my purse and headed directly for the door, leaving the full cart. I drove directly home, with only one cheek touching the seat. I arrived home, and as I went up the stairs stripped off my clothes, in route to the sanitizing bath. I considered bleach. I mean, isn’t that where polio comes from?

This new grocery store, smells nice, and the floors aren’t slippery, and they seem to have things consistently. Looks like progress has finally hit the island.

Laura Wilkinson

Author at Cozumel 4 You
An ex-Connecticut Yankee who has called Cozumel home for over 18 years, Laura ran away to the Caribbean years ago, bumped around the islands teaching SCUBA diving, lost some time in Jamaica, and finally stopped in Cozumel for a 2 week vacation that hasn’t ended yet. With a degree in Journalism from a fancy private college she convinced her parents to pay for, Laura writes, edits, and creates the weeklyCozumel 4 You news,social media, and promotional articles about the island, as well as moderates the Cozumel 4 You Facebook group, which currently has over 25,000 members. Her long suffering husband, Fabian, has long since resigned himself to having zero private life, as he’s been involved in her various schemes and plots since his arrival. Proud parents to a variety of rescue dogs and cats, Laura continues to be the bane of her traditional Mexican mother-in-law’s existence, as she muses her way through life in the Mexican Caribbean.
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Una ex yanqui de Connecticut quien llama hogar a Cozumel desde hace más de 15 años. Laura escapó al Caribe hace años, desplazándose de una isla a otra dando clases de BUCEO. Se dedicó a perder el tiempo en Jamaica y finalmente se detuvo en Cozumel para pasar unas vacaciones de 2 semanas que aún no terminan. Convenciendo a sus padres que pagaran una elegante universidad privada, obtuvo su título en Periodismo y Laura crea semanalmente Cozumel 4You, medios sociales y artículos promocionales sobre la Isla y también es moderadora en el grupo Cozumel 4 You en Facebook que actualmente cuenta con 25,000 miembros. Fabián, s umuy tolerante marido, desde hace mucho tiempo se resignó a no tener vida privada, pues se ha visto implicado en los diversos proyectos y planes que urde Laura. Son orgullosos padres de diversos perros y gatos rescatados. Mientras contempla su paso a través de la vida en el Caribe mexicano,Laura continúa siendo la pesadilla en la existencia de su muy tradicional suegra mexicana.

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3 Comments
  1. DonW 10 years ago

    Restaurants and Grocery stores always start out like gangbusters then start going down hill.
    I hope your new store doesn’t hit too steep a slope

    • Sondi 7 years ago

      Rediang posts like this make surfing such a pleasure

  2. lavachickie 5 years ago

    My husband and I first visited Cozumel in January 2010. We visit 1-2 times a year. Since then, we’ve endeavored to experience the “real” Cozumel (and not the cruise ship fake destination), which includes trying to understand how Westernization has affected it. We laughed at how we’d come so far to buy some necessities at the Mega, which is owned by Costco, the same store we shop at at home. When I heard a Sam’s Club was on the island, I commented negatively about it, and was rightfully slammed by someone living on the island who explained how difficult it had been to get many goods on the island before they came in. (And, I’d seen the people in previous years hauling furniture and TVs on their shoulders as they came across on the ferry.)

    I have trouble reconciling what I know about Mexican wages with the costs of products in the stores. Are the wages paid on the island markedly higher than elsewhere in Mexico? Because the prices of goods are not so far off US prices.

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