The nightly commute outside our windows
On Ambergris Caye, beach bikes are a common mode of transportation for locals, and riding along the beach serves as the "road" to and from town to jobs in resorts and at construction sites for many local men, and a few women.  There is an unpaved road north of the bridge to San Pedro Town, but during rainy season, where potholes and puddles can grow into ponds, riding a bike on the beach is easier, drier, and generally more pleasant.  We do it too.  

Since there is quite a bit of bike traffic passing by, and because we live in a first-floor condominium right on the beach, we get a lot of locals offering us various wares for sale as they ride by.  It's not something I particularly enjoy, since we really don't have an interest in most of it, and we have a budget to stick to as well.  If we bought from everyone, we couldn't afford to live here!  But I always feel bad telling someone no, since I know a lot of these folks are subsisting on just a small salary or day-wage, and a good number are unemployed, more now during low season than will be later during high season (Thanksgiving through Easter).

Here are the offers we have gotten since we've been here:
  • Jewelry made from shark's teeth
  • Wooden bowls and various other wood carvings.  Dolphins are particularly popular.
  • Guatamalan embroidered cloth/wall hangings
  • Coconut water, which the guy had not yet picked the coconuts for, and it was getting dark.  When I turned him down for that, he offered to let us pay him to take a photo with him.  Hmmmm.
  • Some sort of art pieces made from bull horns
  • And the latest,  "some good buds" (wink wink).
The only thing we've bought from one of these passing vendors so far is a hardwood cutting board.  We already had one cutting board, but decided that a second would be nice for cutting fruit on, so it doesn't pick up the taste of onion or garlic from the main board.   

We would have preferred a condo on a higher floor to avoid all these offers, but there were no other one bedroom condos available.  Just one of the little compromises we had to make to live where we do; and so far, it's worth it.  I wish we'd get more vendors selling consumables, like fresh fish, fruit, or freshly baked bread.  Maybe someday!  
10/12/2011 11:30:59 am

Why not ask one of them to do the shopping for you for your fresh veggies-@ least once!

David Christmas
10/12/2011 01:40:17 pm

Well you nailed it with the conch you bought from those boys the other day so feel good about that... though a pic with the coconut milkman would have been appreciated

BeBelize Emily
10/13/2011 12:17:12 am

Susan - I enjoy interacting with the local produce vendors, and the ride into town is fun and good exercise, but if someone were to show up with a nice variety of fruits and veggies, I'd certainly give them some business.

David - You're right about the conch; and in that case, I went to them. I feel like having a t-shirt made up that says "Vendors: Please don't come to me, let me come to you when I need something." I have never cared for aggressive salespeople, and there are a lot of them here. They mostly target "tourists", but we still look like tourists to the locals. They'll probably get the message eventually, and as more and more tourists show up here during high season, they'll spread the wealth a bit more. Right now we are easy targets since there aren't that many visitors here.


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