Day 3 of my 10 day juice feast caught me grumpy and understocked with produce. My solution: to treat myself to fresh coconut goodness — first water and then homemade milk — by buying coconuts at the farmer’s market. A half hour after leaving the house, I arrive at the market even grumpier than I left. I stopped at the gas station since my tank was nearly empty but could not buy gas; I only had coconut money with me and the station could not process credit cards. I can’t say I’m surprised. The last time I stopped at this Puma station, they only had diesel and no gas. Pretty standard.
I head to the area where the coconut man usually plants himself but don’t find the dry coconuts I prefer, just the green “pipa” that doesn’t have nearly as much meat for making the delicious milk I crave. So I make a huge loop around the market in my SUV, a vehicle type that is both necessary and tricky to manage along the small, unpaved streets of the market filled other cars, trucks and people coming and going in every direction. I finally find a dry coconut stand in the corner. I ask the vendor if he’s willing to open the coconuts for me once I buy them. Without negotiation he says no. His answer is so definitive and dismissive that I don’t even bother asking again. What he doesn’t realize is that I would easily pay double, even $1.00 a piece, for him to provide me with the service I seek. I’m bummed but also desperate for what he’s got so I buy 3 coconuts for $.40 each. Maybe the pipa vendor will open the green cocos of I buy them from him? So I maneuver through the market maze to find him. Again, my request is denied. I buy three pipas for $.40 each and listen to incomplete directions of where to find a man who opens coconuts by the platanos. He points and I head off “over there” still committed to getting what I want. I once again cross the dirty market, at one point on foot, but never find him. In total, I spend about an hour and a half trying, and partly failing, to get what I want. Today chivalry and good business sense are dead. I come home and Naya helps me open one of the pipas. We ruin a kitchen knife in the process. Tomorrow I head to Do-It-Center to buy my own machete.