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Jerry@Ajijic

Dec 14, 2004, 12:08 PM

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SORIANAS IS OPEN

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We were just there and it is open and FULL of people. We could not see that there was an available parking space so we did not stop. In the morning at 8 AM we will try again. If you see somebody wearing a Monaco/Monte Carlo cap. that is me.



Bubba

Dec 14, 2004, 3:02 PM

Post #2 of 35 (5727 views)

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Re: [Jerry@Ajijic] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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We did go in. Crowded with hundreds of people at about 2:00PM. 99% Mexican clientele of modest means. Virtually no gringos or well-to-do Mexicanos. A store geered to the lowest common denominator of widely valued but mediocre foodstuffs and dry goods. Bland cheeses and cold cuts, stuff that turns fast. Not even an attempt at stocking anything the least bit exotic. However, great for buying staples including paper and cleaning and personal care products. Lots of good, fresh vegetables. Wait and see on the fish and meat markets. A wine department that induces laughter.

Be nice to Pancho at Super Lake. We will still need him.


Marlene


Dec 14, 2004, 5:41 PM

Post #3 of 35 (5695 views)

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Re: [Bubba] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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Quote
99% Mexican clientele of modest means. Virtually no gringos or well-to-do Mexicanos.


So how exactly did you determine what their financial status was?


Bubba

Dec 14, 2004, 6:32 PM

Post #4 of 35 (5678 views)

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Re: [Marlene] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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 Marlene:

Culteraly insensitive? Get serious.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Dec 14, 2004, 7:28 PM)


patricio_lintz


Dec 14, 2004, 6:37 PM

Post #5 of 35 (5675 views)

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Re: [Bubba] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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I was there close to noon. The parking lot had been closed. It did not matter to me since I came on foot with my wheeled shopping cart / basket. the store was jammed.

There were lots of Gringos and Canadians. In fact I heard some Mexicanos comment on this. Some of the Canadians were stocking up on Moosehead Beer, which was on sale.

It is definitely a Mexican Grocery store- A very big one. Not a lot of Gringo goods. And I doubt that you will find Wasabi there!

Nice pan dulce, lots of other things other than food. I saw a Delonghi room heater oil-filled radiator (1500 Watts) for $489 pesos. In downtown Chapala, the furniture store had been asking $1800 pesos for virtually the same thing. I was thinking of buying one for the guest bedroom which is unheated.

How about 90 cc. 2-stroke Motoscooters for just less than $1100 USD?

Pet products were bargains compared to the Veternaria (Sp?) where I usually by dog food. I bought a 15 Kg. sack. We always add some liver and veggies to the dry stuff anyway. Dog never complains.

I think that it all depends on what you are looking for. I am glad that the Mercado Soriana came to town.


Marlene


Dec 14, 2004, 6:45 PM

Post #6 of 35 (5670 views)

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Re: [Bubba] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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If you anticipated the question you probably should have been prepared with a much snappier comeback than this (to at least justify your culturally insensitive comments).


(This post was edited by Marlene on Dec 14, 2004, 7:16 PM)


BrentB

Dec 14, 2004, 7:40 PM

Post #7 of 35 (5649 views)

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Re: [Marlene] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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A Mexican store? Mexican goods? In Chapala? If they were modest- meaned Mexicans, it is probably because most Mexicans are of modest means, especially in the Chapala area.


Sherrill

Dec 14, 2004, 8:44 PM

Post #8 of 35 (5634 views)

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Where can I buy wasabi?

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I live in Celestun, Yucatan and we are considering moving to Chapala for more moderate climate-AND the availability of FOOD but not too much gringo shopping. Guess, we want it both ways; fabulous local markets with local sellers and ability to purchase those bland frozen veggies. I sure got a kick out of reading reactions to opening of Sorianna. I would give anything to be that close to one and I have been following expected opening with interest. Have to drive an hour and a half to view their offerings. Wow, the idea of being to go there every day fills me with desire... to make a big shopping list! Mine offers great selection of fresh pork and beef at fraction of price at CostCo and wonderful produce plus ICE CREAM. Seriously, I hope you all will write more about selection and practicality of parking, do they have an ATM, a pharmacy? How many gringos do I have to see?


juan david


Dec 15, 2004, 8:18 AM

Post #9 of 35 (5581 views)

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Re: [Marlene] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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Probably no BMWs in the parking lot. Betcha that will change on the weekend though.
" let sleeping dogs lie"


Bubba

Dec 15, 2004, 8:59 AM

Post #10 of 35 (5564 views)

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Re: [Marlene] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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I was trying to be nice to you Marlene. I take it as a compliment that you think my response to you should have been wittier but it was late. I'll try harder in the future.

For the rest of you, I have heard from several of my Mexican friends and acquaintances who attended the Soriana opening yesterday and they were positively giddy with excitement over the prices there. All of these people are of modest means and far more price sensitive than I since they really need to pinch pennies. A friend of ours, who is quite poor, told us that she paid $20 Pesos for a pie that would have cost her $80 Pesos in Ajijic where she works. This will have a huge effect on where she shops.

I must admit that I am culturally insensitive when it comes to pricing. All I saw in the Soriana deli section was the normal bland variety of redundant and unremarkable sausages and cheeses that one would expect in a superstore in a poorer section of Metro Guadalajara. I have learned to shop in Guadalajara in places such as Europea and Liverpool and even Costco when I am looking for fine wine, meats and deli items but use the Soriana type store for household staples, fresh vegetables and personal products.I don't dwell on pricing but on availability.

If one observes the clientele frequenting a Liverpool or Europea and then observes the clientele at a Bodega or Suburbia, all of which cater to a Mexican clientele with a scattering of non-Mexicans, the differences in the people are striking. However, one is more likely to find a mix of well-healed and poorer clients at a superstore than at Liverpool. This is, of course true in retail outlets anywhere in the world. If one expects the people watching the $120,000 Peso HDTV demo at Liverpool to meet the same demographics as the crowd in the electronics section at Soriana, then one should not go into retailing to make a living.

Finally, there is always the prospect that Soriana's very low pricing is a come on and prices will later be raised. I don't think that will work with some of my Mexican friends who are, of necessity, frugal and careful with their money. If, Soriana remains that competitive ($1,000 Pesos for a queen size mattress that would cost $2,000 Pesos down the street, for instance), they are going to hurt the small shops in Chapala catering to the lower and lower middle classes not the more affluent in the community buying Roquefort Cheese at Super Lake.

It seems to me that, if Super Lake management is smart, they will become even more specialized with high-end stuff. I cannot believe that Soriana management will interrupt their nationwide inventory profile to cater to a small customer base seeking gourmet food items. However, I have observed this phenomenon at the Gigante chain. The Gigante supermarket in Terra Nova caters to a wealthy clientele and carries many more gourmet items than does the Gigante in Tonala. Maybe there is hope.


Bubba

Dec 15, 2004, 9:35 AM

Post #11 of 35 (5555 views)

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Re: [Sherrill] Where can I buy wasabi?

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Sherrill:

I just rerturned from The Yucatan where we were considering buying a winter home. We were considering Celestun among a number of other places. The place has its charms but was simply too isolated for us. I mean, when you are there, your are there.

We gave up on Yucatan because of the heat and humidity. We are quite fond of Yucatecan food and the Mayan culture but that heat gets under your skin. By the way, we learned one thing. The colonial houses in Merida seem overpriced now for what you get and what you have to put in them after the purchase. In the prosperous and very attractive town of Sayula, Jalisco, about 1 1/2 hours out of both Ajijic and Guadalajara, you can buy a wonderful colonial house for far less than Merida and the town has a nice climate to boot. You sure as hell won't be bugged by gringos there and excellent shopping in Guadalajara is a short freeway drive from the city.

As for the opening of Soriana in Chapala, I didn't notice a pharmacy or an ATM but yesterday was opening day and it was a zoo. Maybe I missed those things or they will be coming later. Had you been in Soriana yesterday at about 2:00PM, you would have seen very few gringos but that doesn't mean you won't see them later. Most people of whatever nationality will be unable to resist those prices.
I must say that, while Soriana's meats are much cheaper than meat at Costco, I don't think there is any comparison when it comes to the quality of the beef. However, Soriana's fish and chicken products seemed fabulously fresh. Time will tell.

Let me say something about all the mis-information that is put out over the internet about the towns on Lake Chapala's north shore. There are, indeed, a large number of expats who live in this area. But the notion that Chapala, Ajijic and Jocotepec are not "real" Mexican towns is absurd. Actually, they provide the best of all worlds for retirees. One can live in a "real" Mexican town and still find amenities not normally available in communities much larger. We live in West Ajijic and if it ain't Mexican that there is no Mexico. Chapala is the same way. You can live two blocks from the new Soriana and you are as much in Mexico as you are in Celestun. What's more, you are 70 kilometers away from Guadalajara with its great urban amenities so you can escape to a big, sophisticated city when you need to.

If you choose to live in Gringolandia here, you can. Simply move into a gringo enclave and set up your new social circle just as you would in Sun City. There's nothing wrong with that but people need to criticize otherpeople's choices. It's a game. The great thing is that you can move about and participate in these true Mexican communities without participating in gringo activities. However, be advised that there are a lot of interesting gringos hereabouts if you select your friends wisely. So, the best of both worlds.

I spent a week in Celestun one afternoon. I was there too long. Run!


Bubba

Dec 15, 2004, 9:40 AM

Post #12 of 35 (5552 views)

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Re: [juan david] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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Yes, Juan David:

There will be BMWs in the Soriana parking lot this weekend but they will belong to Tapatio weekenders not gringos. You will be able to tell the Tapatios from the locals. They will be the ones with the spoiled, screeching kids shoving you out of the way as you linger in an aisle.

The 1978 Chrysler Imperial listing to one side? Now that's a Chapala gringo. You will be able to spot them by their blue hair and ornery manner.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Dec 15, 2004, 9:44 AM)


Rolly


Dec 15, 2004, 9:41 AM

Post #13 of 35 (5550 views)

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Re: [Bubba] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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In my area Soriana does, slightly, reflect its neighborhood. My near-by Soriana is in a working class neighborhood. I sometimes shop at another Soriana in a wealthy neighborhood of Torreón, and I can see a small difference in items stocked. I have observed the same thing at the two Sears stores located in similarly diverse areas.

Rolly Pirate


Elaine


Dec 15, 2004, 11:52 AM

Post #14 of 35 (5520 views)

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Re: [Marlene] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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Marlene, give the guy a break. I can usually spot people of "modest" means any where I go. Their clothing is the first clue. Other clues can be, but aren't always, the way they talk and their manners.

I learned that years ago when, as a single parent, I leaned how to shop for clothes for my child that would not break me nor mark her as a "poor" kid. I also taught her manners that she is grateful for to this day. I was very thankful to find a second hand store that the large retailers in the area, such as Sac's, Macy's, Lord and Taylor, etc., donated their end of season merchandise. We looked great without going in debt!!!

***********************************************************
When one door closes, another opens. Some people are so busy looking at the door that has closed, they don't see the door that has opened. Keep looking for those open doors.
***********************************************************


johanson


Dec 15, 2004, 12:06 PM

Post #15 of 35 (5513 views)

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Re: [Rolly] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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I went to Sorianas the morning, found a parking place quite close and went shopping. Not bad. Sure the biggest TVS were pretty small, maybe 21 inches. But I can go to Liverpool or Costco in Guad for a 60 inch HDTV.

I wont be able to get everything at Soriana's, but it will mean that I wont have to drive to Guadalajara as often. Now if only we had a Burger KIng


Marlene


Dec 15, 2004, 1:03 PM

Post #16 of 35 (5493 views)

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Re: [Elaine] SORIANAS IS OPEN

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Quote
I can usually spot people of "modest" means any where I go. Their clothing is the first clue.

Making that judgement is just a little trickier here in Mexico, because as one poster pointed out, many folks are of modest means. Still they do NOT normally go around in casual t-shirts, shorts and interesting footwear like the majority of the gringo expats here do. It is very hard to judge people's finances by how they look in Mexico. Mexicans have fierce pride and amongst other things, choose their attire and presentation carefully. I know how little money our Mexican friends make, and yet I am always amazed at how decked out they are when they go out for an evening. They live frugally but own their homes outright, something most people north of the border can't claim to do.

My Mexican friends and family are great little shoppers and know how to stretch a peso beyond all reason, an art most foreigners have no clue how to do, myself included. My mother-in-law is always giving me (unsolicited!) shopping tips right down to what dish soap I should use. She shops in Ley, not Soriana. It is familiar and has been around a long time. She knows where things are. To me, the food is the same in all these places and I didn't move to Mexico for special imported food so I don't fret about that stuff. To each his own, the great thing about living in Mexico.

Saludos,
Marlene.


patricio_lintz


Dec 15, 2004, 3:18 PM

Post #17 of 35 (5461 views)

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Re: [Sherrill] Where can I buy wasabi?

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I brought three tubes of the good japanese wasabi the last time I went to Dallas TX. I could not find it lakeside.

I just mentioned it as something rare, seemingly, around here.


Bubba

Dec 15, 2004, 3:41 PM

Post #18 of 35 (5457 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] Where can I buy wasabi?

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Well, Patricio:

In my refrigerator, I have a tube of Wasabi I bought in the Asian deli next to the Gigante in the Terra Nova Shopping center in Guadalajara's Providencia neighborhood about 80 kilometers from Ajijic which is a hell of a lot closer than Dallas,TX. Since Guadalajara is a town where Japanese food is extremely popular, I wouldn't worry about finding this product which is commonly found about town. I know where you can find it in Ajijic as well but I ain't talking.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Dec 15, 2004, 3:45 PM)


Sherrill

Dec 15, 2004, 8:32 PM

Post #19 of 35 (5419 views)

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Re: [patricio_lintz] Where can I buy wasabi?

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I should have said BUT where can I buy wasabi? I meant it as rhetorical question/slightly tongue-in-cheek but must confess that I am intrigued as right now I live with source of great fresh seafood. Can get rice vinegar and even leaves of seaweed; alas no wasabi.

Was a silly question and I genuinely appreciate your sincere response. I have never bought wasabi in tube. Came in dry form in a tin lilke the old-style Coleman's mustard. Really I am simply curious re life in Chapala area and want to respond to Bubba but I spent a reallly long day in Merida and am about brain dead.

Fact is I really like living in Celestun! But the climate sure makes me crazy around September.


Uncle Jack


Dec 16, 2004, 5:34 AM

Post #20 of 35 (5399 views)

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Re: [Sherrill] Where can I buy wasabi?

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At this point, probably no one cares, but you can buy wasabi at both El Torito and Super Lake. I've also seen it in Sorianas in Manzanillo. I never use the premixed tube type either. I have always bought the largest can of dry powered I can find. Both ET and SL also carry soy sauce (both the real stuff and the crap with wheat in it), Nuoc Mam, sesame oil, peanut oil, and a variety of asian noodles. It ain't San Francisco or the 99 Ranch Market in Phoenix, but it's a pretty good selection for here.

Now, if anyone runs across a few tubes of anchovie paste here locally, let me know.

uj


(This post was edited by Uncle Jack on Dec 16, 2004, 7:14 AM)


Bubba

Dec 16, 2004, 7:06 AM

Post #21 of 35 (5379 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] Where can I buy wasabi?

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A also have the dry wasabi mix as well as the tube. I'm pretty sure I bought it locally at Super Lake. I have bought anchovy paste at the deli on Avenue Mexico that I think is named Goitti. As you know, anchovy filets are always on sale a Supere Lake. I have also found anchovy filets in oil and vinegar as prepared in Spain at a Spanish deli on Avenue of the Americas in Guadalajara ner the Europea outlet on that avenue.


Bubba

Dec 16, 2004, 2:02 PM

Post #22 of 35 (5310 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Where can I buy wasabi?

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I stand corrected. We bought the anchovy paste at Super lake.

Well, the Soriana phenomenon is something else. Prices there are so low that I am sure this is an opening special. My wife just took off with her ayudante and several Mexican friends of very modest means and they are going on a shopping binge while prices are so low.

My Spanish teacher, who was born in Guadalajara and now lives in Chapala, just told me that she has never seen the town more festive regarding an opening. She was saying that it is normal for Mexican people to buy vegetables at the municipal market or at tianguis and to buy in small quantities so she feels that the extensive vegetable selection is aimed at the gringo market while household items, meats and chicken and prepared foods are aimed at the Mexican market. However, I remember the French family I married into in the early 70s before the supermarket craze hit France big time. My new wife's mother went shopping for the day's food every morning, visiting the butcher and baker and vegetable stands separately to compile the meals she would prepare that day. Now, she just goes for one stop shopping at one of several nearby supermarkets. The supermarkets in France have not destroyed that way of life but they put a major dent in it. The same is probably about to happen here in Chapala. That's life.


Jerry@Ajijic

Dec 16, 2004, 7:04 PM

Post #23 of 35 (5266 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Where can I buy wasabi?

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Bubba the reasons for "everyday shopping" were and still are probably, 1. Lack of money (living hand to mouth) and 2. lack of refrigeration. If you do not have a frig. you can not buy many things in volume and saving leftovers are a problem.


Sherrill

Dec 16, 2004, 8:46 PM

Post #24 of 35 (5251 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] Where can I buy wasabi?

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Yes, Uncle Jack, I still care and say thanks for your post. My gawd the food stuffs that are available in Chapala area just amaze me. I was just able to buy a Thai Peanut dressing at CostCo in Merida but nothing like the real thing that I could make if I could get peanut oil. I love all kinds of food including Mexican. My neighbors here were not any more ready for my versions of moles from Oaxaca than they were for my sushi; equally foreign. So please post any food info or insights. I am always interested.


johanson


Dec 16, 2004, 9:15 PM

Post #25 of 35 (5244 views)

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Re: [Sherrill] Where can I buy wasabi?

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OK you food experts, where can I buy good old fashioned crunchy peanut butter, without sugar added here in Mexico? OR do I still need to bring down more ADAMS CRUNCHY purchased at a northern Costco? (Why Costco? Because I am cheap)

Being a champagne connoisseur I discovered that my favorite bubbly ANDRES is available lakeside at the liquor store next to Superlake for only $60 per bottle. I just bought a case. The sad thing is I am telling you the truth. I prefer Andres over that more expensive stuff from France

You can tell by the font I chose, that I have had a lot of Andres tonight. For those of you who are not bubbly experts Andres costs almost $60 pesos not dollars per bottle. I have seen it for less than $4.00 per bottie in the states. I actually love the stuff. so much for a cheap drunk.



(This post was edited by johanson on Dec 16, 2004, 9:24 PM)
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